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Table 3 Frequency of ‘Alcohol’ (or alcohol subtypes), ‘cancer’ (or cancer subtypes), and descriptors of amount of alcohol mentioned in articles claiming a link between alcohol and cancer

From: An examination of Australian newspaper coverage of the link between alcohol and cancer 2005 to 2013

CANCER and ALCOHOL (causes / does not cause Cancer) with subtype1
n = articles with exclusive mention of type / n = total articles mentioning type; % of totals within causative or non-causative articles for cancers only
21/93
Alcohol
>1 time
Causative articles
(n = 1425)
Alcohol (1301/1406)
Beer (9/48)
Wine (30/78)
Red (23/23)
White/Riesling (7/7)
Mouthwash (29/29)
Spirits (4/33)
Whisky (5/5)
Vodka (4/4)
High-energy alcohol (2/2)
Non-causative articles
(n = 93)
Alcohol (47/24)
Wine (45/7)
Red (38/37)
White (5/0)
Beer (12/18)
Strawberry Daiquiri (9/9)
Whisky (1/6)
Vodka (1/6)
Cancers   Cancer only (472)
Causative articles Breast (241/569) 40%
Bowel (60/330) 23%2
Head & neck (89/309) 22%3
Liver (18/152)
Prostate (12/116) Lung (4/116)
Skin or melanoma (2/89)
Pancreatic (4/37)
Cervix (2/52)
  Cancer only (52)
Non-causative articles Bowel (3/13) 14%2
Breast (3/11) 12%
Head & neck (0/6) 6%3
Prostate (11/14)
Liver (0/2)
Lung (1/5)
Skin or melanoma (0/1)
Pancreatic (0/1)
Cervix (0/3)
ALCOHOL DESCRIPTORS with examples4
n = total mentioned / n = % within causative or non-causative articles
Alcohol link with cancer Causative
None in article: n = 531 (37%)
Non-specific (892/63%)
(Consumption, alcohol intake, any amount, drink, use, consuming)
Specific ≤2 drinks (28/2%)
(small glass, 1.5 drinks daily, two drinks daily, one beer)
Specific >2 drinks (57/4%)
(more than 2 drinks, above 2 standard drinks, at least 3 drinks a day)
General low-moderate (42/3%)
(little, modest, tipple)
General heavy (240/17%)
(too much, a bit of excess, more, exceeding, frequent, sustained)
Problem labels (98/7%)
(long heavy, excessive, alcoholism, dependency, chronic, abuse, binge, harmful)
Other (20/1%)
(mouthwash, rising, habits)
Non-causative
None:
n = 11
(12%)
Non-specific (55/\59%)
(consumption, drink, preventative)
Specific ≤2 drinks (12/13%)
(two glasses of alcohol a day, one serving per week)
General low-moderate (8/9%)
(moderate, light to moderate, light)
General heavy (6/6%)
(heavier, high, too much)
Problem labels (1/<1%)
(excessive)
  1. 1Only subtypes mentioned more than once exclusively are included
  2. 2Bowel includes bowel, colon, rectal, colorectal
  3. 3Head & neck includes oral, mouth, oesophageal, pharynx, throat, tongue
  4. 4More than one descriptor possible in single article