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2256 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 21/4/2021)


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upper aerodigestive cancer risk and alcohol

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Upper aerodigestive tract cancers (combined) - cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, larynx, and oesophagus separately

oral cavity and pharynx

  • consumption of alcoholic beverages is causally associated with risk of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx (combined). Increasing alcohol consumption increases risk in a dose-dependent manner. Statistically significant increased risks were observed at low, medium and high levels of alcohol intake

  • consumption of alcoholic beverages is causally associated with the risk of cancer of the oral cavity. Statistically significant increased risks were consistently observed at high alcohol intakes (>50 g ethanol/day), but findings were more variable at medium and low intakes

  • consumption of alcoholic beverages is causally associated with the risk of cancer of the pharynx. Statistically significant increased risks were consistently observed at high alcohol intakes (>50 g ethanol/day), but findings were more variable at medium and low intakes.

laryngeal cancer

  • consumption of alcoholic beverages is causally associated with risk of laryngeal cancer

  • statistically significant increased risks were consistently observed at medium and high (>12.5 g ethanol/day) but not low alcohol intakes.

Oesophageal cancer

  • consumption of alcoholic beverages is causally associated with risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oesophagus. Increasing alcohol consumption 14 increases risk in a dose-dependent manner. Statistically significant increased risks were observed at low, medium and high alcohol intakes

  • consumption of alcoholic beverages is not associated with adenocarcinoma (AC) of the oesophagus

Notes:

  • Typical alcohol content in grammes and UK units of different alcoholic beverages

      Typical Alcohol by Volume (ABV) (%) Typical volume of a drink (mL) Ethanol content (g) UK units of alcohol
    Beer 4.5 568 (pint) 20 2.5
    Wine 13 175 (glass) 18 2.3
    Spirits 40 20 (single) 8 1

    UK 1 unit of alcohol = 8g ethanol

    In describing levels of alcohol consumption, the terms 'low', 'medium' and 'high' were used to represent intakes averaging approximately <12.5 g ethanol/day (< approximately 1.5 units/day), 12.5-50 g ethanol/day (approximately 1.5-6 units/day), and >50 g ethanol/day (> approximately 6 UK units/day), respectively.

Reference:

  • Public Health England (2015). Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COC) Statement 2015/S2 - Statement on consumption of alcoholic beverages and risk of cancer.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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