25 August 2015

RCGP Response to BMJ Study on Alcohol and Cancer

Dr Richard Roope, Royal College of GPs’ Clinical Lead for Cancer, said: “We have known about the strong link between alcohol and cancer for sometime, but this study serves as a useful reminder about how pronounced this is, especially when coupled with smoking, and when people have a family history of cancer.

“According to recent figures, 30% bowel cancers, 21% oesophageal cancers, 12% bowel cancers and, surprisingly, 6% breast cancers in women are all associated with alcohol every year.

“GPs do not want to be killjoys – but we want our patients to live long and healthy lives and lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, are very real risk factors in developing cancer that can’t be ignored.

“We would urge all patients, particularly those with a family history of cancer, to seriously think about how their lifestyle choices are affecting their long-term health, and encourage them to take steps to address this.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.