The UK population has traditionally had a close relationship with alcohol
Alcohol has been a well-loved but problematic part of British life for centuries, as immortalised in 18th century artist Hogarth’s depictions of “Gin Lane” and “Beer Street”.
In its latest steps to try to tackle England’s long-standing and complex relationship with booze, the Government has just announced its alcohol strategy.
As you probably spotted last Friday, one of its headline-grabbing – and welcome – measures will be the introduction of a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol sold.
While the strategy’s main aim is to reduce binge drinking, its impact will be seen far beyond our city centres after closing time.
Because it would be a mistake to look at modern-day footage of drunken young people falling over in the streets and assume that alcohol is a purely social problem – the hidden damage to the nation’s health from excessive alcohol consumption is just as serious.
But while most people know that drinking excessively over time can cause liver damage, fewer know that it also increases the risk of cancer.
It was a week that started in Scotland, with the ‘no’ decision on prostate drug abiraterone, and went on to cover skin cancer, No Smoking Day, oral cancer, shisha pipes, prostate screening and cancer-munching blood cells.
In short, it was another hectic week in the world of cancer news.
Here’s our weekly round-up. We’re sticking with the Storify format for now, but please do keep sending us your comments and feedback…
The latest cancer scare story to hit the headlines this week was about mouthwash. An Australian researcher claimed to have found ‘sufficient evidence’ of a link between alcohol in mouthwashes and mouth cancer.
He even went on to suggest that ‘it is inadvisable for oral healthcare professionals to recommend the long-term use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes’.
Now, most people reading the story may feel the need to run home and clear their bathroom shelves. But hold on, don’t pour your bottle of mouthwash down the sink just yet. Let’s take a look at what the evidence says.