Paris | About 4% of cancer cases detected last year worldwide (or 740,000) are linked to alcohol consumption, including the average, according to estimates by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released Wednesday.
Most (86%) of these alcohol-related cancers are related to “risky and excessive” consumption (more than two alcoholic drinks per day), according to the study.
But “light to moderate” consumption (up to two glasses of alcohol per day) still accounts for “one in seven cases attributable to alcohol, more than 100,000 new cases of cancer worldwide” in 2020, a press release estimates. The IARC, which is based on the World Health Organization (WHO).
An official at the International Agency for Research on Cancer commented that this demonstrates “the need to implement effective policies and interventions to raise public awareness of the link between alcohol consumption and cancer risk, and to reduce alcohol consumption in general.”Return Isabel Surgumaram.
Published in the medical journal Lancet oncology, The study listed seven types of cancers whose risks are increased by alcohol consumption: oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver and breast in women (or 6.3 million cases in 2020).
Crossing this with data on alcohol consumption by country ten years ago (by the time of disease onset), the researchers estimated that 741,300 of these cancers (or 4% of the total number of new cancer cases in the world in 2020) could be direct. related to alcohol.
“In 2020, the types of cancers with the largest number of new cases associated with alcohol consumption were esophageal cancer (190 thousand cases), liver cancer (155,000 cases) and breast cancer. In women (98 thousand cases), according to the report. IARC.
Mongolia is the country with the highest proportion of new alcohol-related cancer cases (10%, 560 cases). In Kuwait, a Muslim country where alcohol consumption is prohibited, the lowest level (just over 0%, or 5 cases).
This percentage is estimated at 5% in France (20,000 cases), 4% in the United Kingdom (16,800), 3% in the United States (52,700) or even 4% in Germany (21,500).
In addition, males account for about three-quarters of all alcohol-attributable cancer cases (567,000 cases).
The study has its limitations, however, stress Oncology Lancet In a press release. On the other hand, it does not take into account the interruption of care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have led to some cancers being undiagnosed in the past year.
On the other hand, it does not integrate interactions between alcohol consumption and other phenomena such as tobacco or obesity, to which cancers can also be attributed.