Alcohol consumption is a major preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. It has a causal impact on many acute and chronic diseases including: cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, female breast, liver, and possibly pancreas. For some cancers, levels of relative risk noted in international research are as low as one to two standard drinks a day. Despite this knowledge, alcohol is still being consumed in quantities that increase the risk for disease. Participants in this session will examine findings on the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer, as well as review evidence-based population health policies to reduce alcohol-related cancers, including: minimum pricing, alcohol availability, marketing, and access to brief counselling interventions. The session presenters will provide an overview of opportunities in advocating for interventions to reduce the risks of alcohol-related cancers, as well as the roles that public health personnel, policy makers, and cancer charities can play.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
• Describe the public health burden of alcohol-related cancers in Ontario.
• Analyze the relationship between alcohol marketing, alcohol industry sponsorship, and cancer.
• Identify existing policies and programs that have been effective in reducing levels of alcohol consumption.
• List opportunities for action and advocacy for public health practitioners, policy makers, and cancer charities.
Presenters: Dr. Norman Giesbrecht and Susan Flynn
Norman Giesbrecht, PhD, is an Emeritus Scientist, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, and Adjunct Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. His research and knowledge translation activities focus on alcohol policies, prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. He chairs the Alcohol Work Group:Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition (TCPC).
Susan Flynn is Senior Manager, Cancer Prevention for the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario. She has over 15 years of experience in not-for-profit program management and health promotion planning with diverse populations.
She has a BA(Hons)Psychology, University College Dublin and is a member of the Alcohol Work Group, TCPC.
The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
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