A new report “Alcohol, Cancer and other Health Issues: An Action Plan for Prevention” prepared for the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition has just been released. It addresses alcohol-related risks for cancer and other chronic diseases, and points out the persistent misunderstandings about alcohol and its health impact. The report’s purpose is to develop an action plan outlining the main themes for preventing alcohol-related cancer relevant to Ontario and specifically to Toronto, as that is the mandate of the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition.
The report contains recommendations in seven key areas requiring short-term and long-term action:
- The Province of Ontario should provide strong support for targeted alcohol control strategies focused on limiting availability, access and consumption, and include controls on alcohol advertising and marketing, especially those targeted to youth or high-risk drinkers. (Policy Development and Legislation)
- Relevant non-governmental organizations, in collaboration with health professional organizations, addictions specialists and public health units, should increase awareness among health professionals of the risks associated with excessive alcohol use. (Capacity Building; Raising Public Awareness)
- Public health units should use targeted social-marketing strategies to clarify and increase public awareness of the risks – such as cancer and other diseases – associated with excessive alcohol consumption. (Raising Public Awareness)
- The Province of Ontario should support comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of alcohol use and related harms. (Monitoring and Evaluation; Capacity Building)
- The Province of Ontario, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, should facilitate the development and dissemination of a comprehensive provincial alcohol strategy. (Cooperation and Coordination)
- The Province of Ontario should coordinate health policies and strategies across all sectors – including non-traditional stakeholders such as the media and public – to integrate alcohol as a key risk factor in cancer, chronic disease and injury prevention, as well as prevention of other alcohol-related harms. (Policy Development and Legislation; Capacity Building; Raising Public Awareness)
- Relevant governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations should coordinate the efforts of national, provincial and local cancer and chronic disease prevention organizations, including the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Canadian Cancer Society and Cancer Care Ontario, to develop and support a focused alcohol, chronic disease and cancer prevention agenda for the next 10 years. (Cooperation and Coordination)
For more information on this report, call the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition at (416) 392-7469.