80 per cent of women don't know that alcohol increases risk of breast cancer

Caroline Allen
New research has found that as many as 80 per cent of women don't know that drinking alcohol increases risk of breast cancer. [Photo: Getty]

New research has discovered that 80 per cent of us don’t know that drinking alcohol can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Researchers surveyed UK women about their knowledge when they attended breast clinics or screenings.

Just one in five people in the group knew that there were cancer risks associated with alcohol.

Although the survey covered a relatively small amount of people, it could indicate a greater need for nationwide awareness.

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Alcohol is a risk factor for seven types of cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.

This includes breast, mouth and bowel cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common in the UK and is responsible for 11,000 deaths and 54,000 cases each year.

Cancer Research UK attributes around 8 per cent of breast cancer cases to alcohol each year and even “low levels of drinking” can increase the risk.

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“Compared with other organs, breast appears to be more susceptible to carcinogenic effects of alcohol.” A Washington University School of Medicine study suggested.

Previous studies have found that the risk of breast cancer increases between 7 and 10 per cent for each 10mg of alcohol consumed daily.

That’s roughly one drink per day.

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Breast Cancer Now suggests that one of the reasons for this link is due to the way alcohol alters our hormone levels. However, the exact reason isn’t known.

There are a number of ways to begin cutting down your alcohol intake. Breast Cancer Now suggests tracking the amount you drink by writing it down or using an app, trying to have 1-2 alcohol days a week and having evenings with nice soft drinks or mocktails.

If you’re concerned about this link and want to learn more, the NHS offer a lot of support as well as clear alcohol intake guidelines to follow.

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