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Alcohol and Cancer: From Policy to Action

​November 12, 2013 - We know that alcohol use can lead to violence, drinking and driving, liver disease and alcoholism, but how many people realize that alcohol consumption can cause cancer? 

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, alcohol consumption is a contributing cause of several types of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, throat, colon, and breast.

On November 15, the Alcohol Working Group of the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition is hosting Cancer & Alcohol: Myths, Evidence, Action & Precautionary Policies, a public forum at Metro Hall, Room 308, 55 John Street in Toronto. Participants will hear from researchers, medical doctors, public health specialists, media specialists, and advocates of alcohol control policies who will discuss next steps to raise awareness and implement effective policy change. 

Participants will learn about the evidence of the association between cancer and alcohol, discuss current and emerging prevention initiatives, and effective policies and interventions. 

"Alcohol is an important public health issue,” says Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health for Toronto. “The evidence for the link between alcohol and health threats like cancer is stronger than ever, and more needs to be done to prevent alcohol-related harms."

In order to implement and sustain precautionary policies, all sectors need to be aware of the causal links between alcohol and cancer. “Everyone has a role to play in cancer education and prevention,” says Dr. Norman Giesbrecht, CAMH Scientist. “From doctors and scientists to policy makers and the media, the more we can make people aware of the risks, the easier it will be for people to make healthy choices when it comes to alcohol use.”

Speakers at the forum include representatives from Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation; Canadian Cancer Society; Cancer Care Ontario; Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH); Kingston, Frontenac & Addington Public Health; Parent Action on Drugs; Province of Nova Scotia; Public Health Ontario; and Toronto Public Health.

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For more information or full itinerary please contact Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, 416.595.6015 or media@camh.ca, or Kris Scheuer, Toronto Public Health, 416.338.8020.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, and one of the world's leading research centres in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. 

CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. 
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