Following on from last night’s post, I’ve been collating a few media reports on the alcohol-causes-7-types-of-cancer story.
Alcohol causes 7 kinds of cancer, study concludes
Alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer. Tough words to swallow, but those are the conclusions of researchers from New Zealand, who say they found that no matter how much you drink, alcohol will increase your risk of cancer.
“There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites in the body and probably others,” the authors write in the latest issue of the journal Addiction.
Alcohol Linked To Seven Types Of Cancer – Study
Alcohol causes at least seven forms of cancer, and people drinking even low to moderate amounts are at risk, according to researchers.
Scientists say they are unsure of the exact biological reasons why alcohol causes cancer, but a review of existing research concludes there is strong evidence of a direct, harmful effect from drinking.
Jennie Connor, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, believes alcohol caused about half a million deaths from cancer in 2012 alone – around 6% of cancer deaths around the world.
Alcohol is a direct cause of at least seven deadly types of cancer and there is “no safe level of drinking”, scientists have warned.
The emergence of “strong evidence” that alcohol is a direct cause of cancer has prompted campaigners to demand an urgent drive to alert drinkers to the risks.
Alcohol linked to at least seven types of cancer, study says, while ‘health benefits are irrelevant’
There is strong evidence that alcohol causes seven types of cancer and probably others, according to a review that dismissed the claimed health benefits as “irrelevant”.
A study of existing research found strong evidence of a direct, harmful effect of drinking, even though scientists are unsure of the exact biological reasons why alcohol causes cancer.
Writing in the journal Addiction, Jennie Connor, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, said alcohol was estimated to have caused about half a million deaths from cancer in 2012 alone – 5.8 percent of cancer deaths worldwide.
The highest risks are from heavy drinking, but even people who drink at low levels are at risk.
Alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer, finds study
Analysis implicates alcohol in development of breast, liver and other types of cancer and says even moderate consumption is a risk.
Alcohol causes seven forms of cancer, and people consuming even low to moderate amounts are at risk, according to new analysis.
Health experts endorsed the findings and said they showed that ministers should initiate more education campaigns in order to tackle widespread public ignorance about how closely alcohol and cancer are connected. The study sparked renewed calls for regular drinkers to be encouraged to take alcohol-free days, and for alcohol packaging to carry warning labels.
Drinking alcohol DOES increase your chance of cancer – and even moderate drinkers are at greater risk
It is known that drinking excess alcohol can increase a person’s risk of various cancers.
But now, a new study has revealed even moderate drinkers should be concerned.
Indulging in less than two alcoholic beverages a day, puts drinkers at heightened risk of breast and bowel cancer – two of the most deadly forms of the disease.
Furthermore, experts at the University of Otago, said alcohol is also linked to cancer of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, larynx and liver.
Researchers found alcohol was responsible for 236 cancer deaths in people aged younger than 80 in New Zealand in 2012.
I had thought that with these health scares, researchers were sending out press releases which got printed more or less verbatim by news media hungry for stories.
But this doesn’t seem to be the case with this particular scare story. There doesn’t seem to have been any press release. And it hasn’t been reproduced verbatim.
Instead, it rather looks like the media picked up this story and ran with it. And wrote a whole bunch of different stories. Which says to me that media editorial policy favours stories linking disease with lifestyle. And does so strongly enough to get their staff to write stories rather than reproduce press releases.
Why do the media want to print these scare stories? Don’t they know that a lot of people are sick to death of these stories?
Not all of the media reports were the same though. The science media seemed more sceptical, and reported that the story was based on an opinion piece:
Study Links Alcohol To Seven Types Of Cancer
Alcohol has long been recognized as a carcinogenic substance, but narrowing down exactly what primarily causes which types of cancer is a tricky task.
A researcher from the University of Otago in New Zealand has scoured through a plethora of pre-existing studies regarding alcohol and cancer, hoping to highlight alcohol’s malevolent role by ruling out other factors. Writing an opinion piece in the journal Addiction, she notes that many strands of research have shown that seven types of cancer can be directly linked to even moderate alcohol consumption: liver, mouth and throat, larynx, esophagus, colon, bowel, and breast.
GO HOME HEALTH WRITERS, YOU’RE DRUNK —
That time a bunch of journalists confused an opinion piece for a study
Pile of neglected research gets passed off as new data by reporters.
…Dozens of news headlines and reports blared that her new “study” found that alcohol causes cancer, suggesting not only that her conclusion was new, but that Connor herself had reported fresh, objective data and/or analysis supporting the finding—neither of which is true. One report even called her opinion piece a meta-analysis, others suggested that Connor had multiplied, referring to her as “researchers.”
While these errors may appear minor to some, confusing an opinion piece with research is likely to seem disturbing, if not egregious, to those in the scientific community. After all, scientific endeavor is rooted in empiricism and objectivity. And that’s not to mention the problem of potentially passing off years of research as one person’s conclusion, arrived at in a brisk seven-page article with zero data or analyses.
Result: My good opinion of TV and newspaper reporting declined even further. And my good opinion of arstechnica jumped considerably (not sure I’d even heard of it before). And it’s an interesting exercise to compare how different news media treat the same story.