On Friday, a new report was published from Sheffield University, commissioned by Cancer Research UK, estimating that alcohol will cause around 135,000 cancer deaths in the United Kingdom over the next 20 years.
By 2035, alcohol-related cancers will cost the National Health Service an estimated 2 billion pounds (about $2.47 billion dollars at current exchange rates) in treatments, the report also states. Additionally, over this period, the UK could see around 7,100 cancer deaths every year that are associated with alcohol.
These findings are based on the assumption that drinking trends will remain consistent with those over the last 40 years. Recent declines in alcohol consumption, including among young people, were taken into account when calculating these estimates.
“These new figures reveal the devastating impact alcohol will have over the coming years. That’s why it’s hugely important the public are aware of the link between alcohol and cancer, and what they can do to improve their risk,” said Alison Cox, the director of prevention at Cancer Research UK, according to a press release.
Did you know about the link between alcohol and cancer? A reported 9 in 10 people in the UK are unaware of the connection.
“If we are to change the nation’s drinking habits and try to mitigate the impact alcohol will have then national health campaigns are needed to provide clear information about the health risks of drinking alcohol,” Cox explained.
Prior to these findings, alcohol had already been scientifically connected to seven other types of cancer, according to Drinkaware: bowel, breast, laryngeal, liver, mouth, esophageal, and pharyngeal cancers.
Source: Angus C, Holmes J, Pryce R, Meier P, Brennan A. Alcohol and cancer trends: Intervention Studies. University of Sheffield and Cancer Research UK. 2016.