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26/09/2021

Raising awareness of the Link between Alcohol and Cancer on Mouth Cancer Awareness Day

Raising awareness of the Link between Alcohol and Cancer on Mouth Cancer Awareness Day

The HSE Health and Wellbeing Alcohol Programme is hosting a Webinar ‘Alcohol and Cancer – Reducing the Risk’. The webinar is in conjunction with Mouth Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Ireland (MHNCAI) to support Mouth Cancer Awareness Day (MCAD) today 15th September 2021. We can all take steps to reduce our risk of cancer, for example not smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. We know not all cancers are preventable; being aware of the early signs of Mouth Head and Neck Cancer and acting on these early can save lives. You can register for this webinar here.

Dr Aisling Sheehan, National Lead HSE Alcohol Programme said that “Mouth cancer awareness day is an opportunity to promote awareness about how alcohol can cause cancer, and how this cancer risk can be reduced. In 2020, 1,000 cases of cancer in Ireland were caused by alcohol. In relation to mouth cancer specifically, almost a third of those cases were caused by alcohol. Alcohol is one of the most avoidable causes of cancer. There is robust evidence which shows that not drinking alcohol, or drinking less, reduces your cancer risk. We encourage everyone to visit HSE’s www.askaboutalcohol.ie  for alcohol information, tips for cutting down, and details of support services.”
 

Dr Triona McCarthy, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Director of Public Health NCCP said that “Cancer risk from alcohol varies for different parts of the body, the strongest association is for tissues that come into direct contact with alcohol such as the mouth, head and neck. Alcohol poses a greater risk for mouth, head and neck cancer. Evidence has shown that for those who drink two or more standard drinks per day are three times more likely to be diagnosed in their lifetime with these cancers compared with those who do not drink. A standard drink is just half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine. The more you drink, the greater the risk of developing mouth, head or neck cancer”.

 

Kevin O’ Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager at the Irish Cancer Society and Chairperson of MHNCAI said that “Working with key partners to deliver this webinar on Mouth Cancer awareness day is an opportunity to highlight the right of citizens to know about the damaging effects of alcohol and its role in cancer development and to encourage people to check their mouth for early warning signs, such as a sore, ulcer or lump in the mouth that does not heal within three weeks.”

 

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