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Graphic New Ad Warns Of Link Between Alcohol and Cancer

Drinking alcohol is giving more than 3,200 Aussies cancer each year and a new ad is aimed at showing the realities of what alcohol actually does to your body.

The reality that alcohol can increase a person's risk of getting cancer is nothing new. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared alcohol a carcinogen ( a cancer-causing agent) just over 30 years ago, but less than one-quarter of Australians are aware of the link between drinking alcohol and some forms of cancer.

According to Cancer Council Victoria, just 19 percent of Australians know there's a link between breast cancer and consuming alcohol, while only 23 percent know drinking can increase the risk of developing mouth cancer.

Cancer Council research has shown drinking alcohol has links to cancers including mouth, throat (pharynx and larynx) oesophagus, bowel, liver and breast cancer.

The Cancer Council Victoria has launched a new campaign called 'Drink Less, Live More' to educate Australians on the link between consuming alcohol and developing cancer.

"... most Australians are still unaware of the link between alcohol and cancer. We need campaigns like Drink Less, Live More to show people the real damage alcohol leaves behind,” Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said.

The campaign includes a graphic advertisement that started to appear on television, digital platforms and social media on Sunday. The ad shows the affects alcohol has when it spreads into the blood stream and is absorbed into organs.

Cancer Council Victoria Ad
The graphic ad shows alcohol spreading through the body. Image: Cancer Council Victoria.

“We need more hard-hitting campaigns ... to ensure people know the reality of the health impacts associated with alcohol and have the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about what they’re putting into their bodies," Cancer Council Victoria Alcohol Policy Manager Jane Martin said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian drinks 9.4 litres of alcohol each year. That's the equivalent of each person consuming 224 stubbies, 38 bottles of wine, 17 bottles (375ml) of cider, four bottles (700ml) of spirits and 33 cans (375ml) of premixed drinks.

One stubby, for example, includes 17mls of ethanol, which is the same substance used to fuel cars.

READ MORE: The 4 Things Your Non-Drinking Friends Want You To Know

“The big alcohol companies are very good at creating a façade of alcohol as glamorous, making us feel like having a drink with friends will make any event more fun,” Martin said.

“But the reality is quite the opposite. More than just a headache or a hangover the next day, this damage can have very real and long-term devastating consequences."

Essentially, reducing alcohol or cutting back altogether is vital to reducing the risk of cancer.

If you do enjoy a drink, there are guidelines designed to help measure how much is too much.

READ MORE: One Drink A Day Now Considered "Low Risk"

The National Health and Medical Research Council says one person should consume no more than two drinks, with an absolute maximum of four drinks, each day.

Featured Image: Cancer Council Victoria.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au