Germany: 20,000 alcohol-related cancers every year

“More than 20,000 new cancer cases [in Germany] and more than 8,000 cancer deaths are attributable to alcohol consumption every year,” says Dr.Katrin Schaller, Head of the Cancer Prevention Unit of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungsinstitut). Schaller is the responsible author of the Alcohol Atlas Germany 2022, which compiles the newest research by the German Cancer Research Center with the financial support of the German Cancer Aid.

The strongest influence of alcohol is on colon cancer, on cancer of the mouth - and pharynx, liver, esophagus and chest.

In addition to cancer, alcohol consumption is involved in the development of over 200 diseases. These include cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and damage to the brain and nervous system. Around one in ten crimes is committed under the influence of alcohol, and alcohol is involved in around five percent of all traffic accidents involving personal injury.

Thus, alcohol consumption causes society direct and indirect costs of around 57 billion euros a year. On the other hand, there are revenues from the alcohol tax of only 3.2 billion euros say the authors of the study. Every German household spends 8.5 percent of its total income on alcoholic beverages alone. Risky alcohol consumption is particularly common among people with a high level of education.

On the occasion of the National Cancer Prevention Week,September 12th to 16th, the German Cancer Research Center, the German Cancer Aid and the German Cancer Society are campaigning for effective political regulatory mechanisms that make it easier for people to use the drug alcohol responsibly. Their common demands: a minimum age of 18 for the purchase and consumption of all alcoholic beverages, restrictions on the advertising of alcohol and significant tax increases for alcoholic beverages.

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