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British throat cancer Europe’s highest thanks to obesity and alcohol

Sun, Nov 20, 2011

Oral Cancer News

Author: Lana Clements

The UK suffers the highest rate of throat cancer in Europe, double the average rate, according to new analysis by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). Britain’s high level of alcohol consumption and obesity are blamed for the figures.

Using World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, the WCRF found that around six out of every 100,000 people develop throat cancer in the UK, while the European average stands at about three.

The findings come as the British Liver Trust reports a 74% increase of liver cancer deaths in England and Wales since 1997 as ten people a day now die from the disease.

Liver and throat cancer are both strongly linked to obesity and alcohol consumption, while throat cancer is also linked to smokers and liver cancer to hepatitis B.

Andrew Langford, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, attacked the government over the UK’s strategy towards liver damage: “At the moment all we are seeing are weak policies or no action at all.

“Our government-led alcohol policies are a joke and despite nearly every other developed nation having universal vaccination for hepatitis B we are still debating whether we should, while this debate continues many are being infected and for some this will lead to them dying of liver cancer.”

According to the British Liver trust, liver cancer survival rates have not improved during the last three decades, even though scientific treatment has moved forward, because of the advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis.

The Department of Health responded to both sets of cancer figures by admitting that while the number of smokers has fallen, more needs to be done to maintain the progress and to tackle obesity and alcohol consumption.

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