Uncovering the link between alcohol and cancer
New Zealand’s leading experts in public health and alcohol harm, Professor Jennie Connor and Professor Doug Sellman,
will be in New Plymouth this month to present the evidence that alcohol directly causes cancer.
Dr Jonathan Jarman, Taranaki DHB Medical Officer of Health said, “In recent years we have heard a lot about how drinking
red wine is supposed to be good for your health. This presentation is about delivering the facts so people can make
informed choices about alcohol consumption and their health.”
The levels of hazardous drinking are higher in Taranaki than the national average. The most recent Health Survey between
the years 2011-2014 show that the proportion of adults who engage in hazardous drinking in Taranaki was 17.6% compared
with 15.5% for the country as a whole.
Professor Connor recently published a report demonstrating there are around 250 alcohol-related cancer deaths a year in
New Zealand. About 60% of these deaths in women are due to breast cancer, a third of which occur in women drinking on
average less than two drinks a day.
These premature deaths from cancer result in an average 10.4 years of life lost per person affected, with more loss of
life among Māori than non-Māori, and for breast cancer compared with other cancers.
Members of the public are invited to attend the free presentation, to be held at Highlands Intermediate School Hall at
5:30pm, Monday 15 August. A supper of soup and buns will be available for all attendees from 5:00pm.
Media will be provided with an opportunity for short interviews with Professors Connor and Sellman from mid-afternoon.