UK: Women Largely Unaware of Alcohol’s Breast Cancer Risk
A new study discovered only 1 in 5 women attending a breast cancer clinic knew alcohol was a risk factor. This is despite 5-11% of breast cancer cases being due to alcohol consumption.
Two hundred women took part in the study. They were either being screened for breast cancer, or having symptoms checked.
They completed questionnaires on lifestyle-related risk factors.
Results showed, fewer than a third knew being obese increased breast cancer risk, and half knew smoking was another risk factor. But only 16% of women in the screening group, and 23% in the symptoms group, knew that alcohol is a risk factor.
More than half of those who consumed alcohol (88 out of 152) thought they knew how to estimate the alcohol content of drinks. However, less than three-quarters correctly estimated the alcohol content of a standard glass of wine, and just over half correctly estimated the amount in a pint of beer.
In the UK
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer.
- There are more than 54,000 new cases diagnosed and 11,000 deaths each year.
- Eight in 100 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.
- Consuming two units of alcohol a day increases the risk to 11 in 100
Alcohol increases the risk [of breast cancer] by three per 100 so it’s a low absolute risk, but it’s something that’s modifiable.
This is about empowering women to have the knowledge, so they can make decisions, said Professor Julia Sinclair, lead researcher of the study, as per BBC.