“The current alcohol guidelines from the Government are still very high. To reduce the risk of mouth cancer risk, the Mouth Cancer Foundation recommends that people should limit or avoid drinking alcohol altogether.   The evidence about alcohol and the link to cancer is growing and people should be more aware of the risks and reduce their alcohol consumption.”

Founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, Dr Vinod Joshi

While the UK’s leading mouth cancer charity; the Mouth Cancer Foundation does welcome the new government campaign it also believes it does not go far enough. The charity has been campaigning for a reduction in the amount of alcohol consumed by individuals due to its risk of developing head and neck cancers for many years. 

Drinking alcohol is the second most important cause of mouth cancer.  80% of mouth cancer patients say they frequently drink alcohol.*

Drinking just one glass of alcohol a day doubles the risk of developing Mouth Cancer **

The Government announces a campaign to show that drinking just over the recommended daily limit for alcohol increases the risk of serious health problems.

Drinking two large glasses of wine or two strong pints of beer a day triples the risk of developing mouth cancer, according to the Government campaign.

Two million leaflets will be made available to Change4Life supporters and health professionals across England to get the message across.  Under the Change4Life banner the adverts will also inform people about a new online calculator to work out how much they are drinking.

Drinkers will be encouraged to cut down through measures such as having alcohol-free days, not drinking at home before going out, swapping to low or alcohol-free drinks and using smaller glasses.

The campaign follows a survey of more than 2,000 people which found 85 per cent do not realise drinking over recommended limits increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

Some 65 per cent were unaware it increases the risk of bowel cancer, 63 per cent did not know about a raised risk of pancreatitis and 59 per cent had no idea excess drinking increases the risk of mouth, throat and neck cancer.

Dr Vinod Joshi continues...’every additional drink a day shows risks of getting cancer will increase.   People in the UK are drinking even more now than ever before and this could lead to more people developing cancer because of alcohol in the future. Bingeing is responsible for most cases, but some are triggered by drinking at levels below the suggested daily total.’

The Department of Health’s current advice is that men should not regularly drink more than 3 - 4 units of alcohol per day, and women should not regularly drink more than 2 - 3 units of alcohol per day.

Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, and liver in men and women. In general, these risks increase after about one daily drink for women and two daily drinks for men. For men, the Mouth Cancer Foundation recommends no more than occasional drinking of two standard drinks a day and for women no more than one standard drink a day.


For general press enquiries, please contact:

Elizabeth Laverack

Media Ambitions - 020 8940 2222



*Cancer Research UK:


**U.S..National Cancer Institute:


The Mouth Cancer Foundation –

The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a registered charity no. 1109298.


In the UK, nearly 8000 people are diagnosed with Mouth Cancer every year.  Cancers can occur in any part of the mouth, tongue, lips, and adjacent areas like the throat, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx, sinus, and other sites in the head and neck area. In its very early stages, these Mouth Cancers can be easy to ignore.


Symptoms include:

1. An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks

2. A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks

3. A difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue

5. A numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth

6. A feeling that something is caught in the throat

7. A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks

8. An unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause


More information about Mouth Cancer is available at the Mouth Cancer Foundation web site or by emailing


Microsoft Office document icon Alcohol PR 08.02.12.doc