Reducing Australia's cancer death rate

July 13, 2018

New research has revealed for the first time what impact cutting back on drinking and smoking as a population would have on Australia's cancer death rate.

Researchers from the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR), La Trobe University, found reducing tobacco and alcohol consumption rates as a nation would significantly reduce future cancer deaths.

The researchers used health and consumer data dating back to the 1930s to establish the link between population-level smoking and drinking rates and cancer mortality.

They found: Lead researcher Dr Jason Jiang said understanding the impact on a population level was important.

"We know that there is a strong link between an individual's use of alcohol and tobacco and their risk of cancer, but few studies have looked at the impact from a national perspective," Dr Jiang said.

"What we now have is evidence of the longer term health benefits of taking a collective approach to reducing smoking and drinking.

"Public health advocates and policymakers on tobacco and alcohol should work together to minimise the adverse health effects on cancer of these two risky behaviours."

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Chief Executive Michael Thorn said the study provides further evidence that a reduction in per capita alcohol consumption would flow through to reductions in cancer deaths.

"The problem unfortunately is that too few Australians are aware of the link between alcohol and cancer, or understand the Government drinking guidelines which state how best to avoid those risks," Mr Thorn said.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper, said research like this reinforced the need for greater education about the risks associated with smoking and alcohol consumption.

"There remains work to be done on both fronts. To continue to see decreases in smoking rates it is vital population-wide education campaigns occur at sustained and effective levels," Mr Harper said.

Mr Harper also expressed concern about a lack of community knowledge on the harms of alcohol.

"The lack of community knowledge of the harm alcohol can cause is particularly worrying, especially given many Australians are unknowingly drinking at levels which can damage their health, and increase their risk of eight types of cancer," Mr Harper said.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, expands on a study conducted last year by Dr Jiang and colleagues that found reducing alcohol consumption would reduce liver, pancreatic, head and neck cancer rates.
-end-
Media contact: Anastasia Salamastrakis 0428 195 464

The Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR) is an innovative, world-class research facility examining alcohol-related harms and the effectiveness of alcohol-related policies. The Centre, which receives funding from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and La Trobe University, is led by Professor Emmanuel Kuntsche and Professor Robin Room. To find out more visit http://www.capr.edu.au

La Trobe University is an Australian public institute founded in 1964. In 1967, 552 students enrolled at La Trobe University, the third university to open in Victoria. It has grown to accommodate more than 30,000 students including approximately 7,600 international students from over 90 countries. It now has a network of campuses with 21,000 students at our Melbourne campus and over 5,900 at our campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Mildura, Melbourne City, and Shepparton. http://www.latrobe.edu.au/

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to stop the harm caused by alcohol. Alcohol harm in Australia is significant. Over 5,500 lives are lost every year and more than 157,000 people are hospitalised making alcohol one of our nation's greatest preventive health challenges. To find out more visit http://www.fare.org.au.

La Trobe University

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.