“In Norway, about 3 percent of all cancer cases can be attributed to alcohol use, which corresponds to around 1000 cancer diagnoses per year. This connection is unknown to many. Now Av-og-til and the Norwegian Cancer Society are encouraging doctors to talk to their patients.
Most people know that smoking and excessive sunbathing increase the risk of cancer, but alarmingly few know that alcohol does too.
“Regular” alcohol use also increases the risk of cancer and a number of other diseases. By asking patients about how they drink, doctors can contribute to raising awareness that can help more people change their habits, says Secretary-General of Av-og-til, Ragnhild Kaski.
“Only 1 in 10 and 2 in 10 know that alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer and bowel cancer, respectively. At the same time, we know that many people associate alcohol with cosiness and fun. When we ask people to do less of something they enjoy, it can probably seem a little too pointy,” said Ingrid Stenstadvold Ross, Secretary-General of Norwegian Cancer Society.
“We know that this can be a difficult message for some to take on board. At the same time, we at Av-og-til have found that communication about alcohol in times of crisis, such as during the pandemic, has been well received. I think we can and must provide information about issues that are important for people’s health – public health – all the time,” added Kaski.
“People like to be informed and make choices based on insight and knowledge. We owe it to them to come out with factual and good information. The Cancer Society has a social mission and a responsibility to tell people about all the risk factors they can do something about. Av-og-til has the same mission when it comes to alcohol. It’s very natural that we join forces,” says Ross.”
Find more from Av-og-til (Norway, March 2022)
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