Throat Cancer Threat To Boozy Britons
Britian has the highest death toll from throat cancer in Europe, fuelled by binge drinking, smoking and obesity, according to new research.
Death rates for the cancer have also increased among middle-aged women, the study of 34 European countries found.
The highest female death rate for cancer of the oesophagus, which carries food from the throat to the stomach, was in Scotland, with four lives claimed in every 100,000. Researchers at the University of Milan found that England and Wales were next with three in 100,000, closely followed by Ireland.
Scotland also had the worst death rate for men, with almost 11 in every 100,000 lives claimed by the cancer.
This was followed by a rate of more than eight lives per 100,000 for England and Wales, with Hungary boasting worse figures.
Researchers studied the period between 2000 and 2004 and said that at least part of the rise in deaths could be attributed to the “increased prevalence of obesity”.
In contrast, deaths fell “substantially” in France and Italy, where drinking has declined.
Amanda Sandford, spokeswoman for anti-smoking group ASH, said: “It is worrying that the UK has such high rates of oesophageal cancer. More needs to be done to inform people about the risks, particularly of smoking combined with alcohol consumption, which significantly increases the risk.”
Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker said it was time to introduce tobacco-style health warnings on alcohol.
“While alcoholic liver disease remains the number one killer linked to alcohol, more and more people are suffering from oral cancers — and record drinking levels have undeniably played a part.”
The researchers compared cancer mortality rates across Europe between 1990 and 1994 and 2000 and 2004.
Overall, the death rate from all types of cancer fell by nine per cent in men and eight per cent in women, but there were large variations between countries and the sexes.
Scotland’s high number of smokers were blamed for it having the third highest overall cancer death rate for women in Europe, at more than 123 lives per 100,000.
More than 7,500 people are diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in Britain each year.
source: Daily Express