A local news outlet ran with a story recently that said research had shown that increased alcohol consumption lead to increased mouth cancers.
The trail to try to find the supporting research lead back to a UK cancer body but a request for a reference went unanswered.
The report (SBS News) said that over the last 30 years alcohol consumption had gone up and so had the incidence of mouth cancers. Ergo, drinking increases your chances of mouth cancer. The stated increase was 25%.
Sounds scary. But what if the chance had gone from 1 in a million to 1.25 in a million.
Not quite so scary.
And what else has changed over the last 30 years with things that go into people's mouths?
The Western diet has dramatically increased its consumption of chilli, a known mouth irritant.
Much more processed food.
Much more junk food.
Many more novel food additives, such as artificial sweeteners.
Vegetable consumption has decreased.
Fruit consumption has decreased.
Oral sex has, anecdotally, increased. (human papilloma virus (HPV), is a known carcinogen.)
Beer consumption down, wine consumption up.
Genetically modified foods introduced.
To mention just a few.
I will take their survey just a little more seriously when they can tell me how they allowed for these other changes.
And who paid for the research. And why.