The founder of a Ricky running club for breast cancer sufferers has reacted to a new study which suggests women know too little about alcohol’s role in increasing breast cancer risk.
A new study published in the online journal BMJ Open, involved 200 women who were either being screened for breast cancer, or having symptoms checked. It concluded that only one in five women attending the clinic knew that alcohol consumption was a risk factor.
They completed questionnaires on lifestyle-related risk factors. Just under a third knew being obese increased breast cancer risk, and half knew smoking was another risk factor. But only 16 per cent of women in the screening group, and 23 per cent in the symptoms group, knew that alcohol is a risk factor.
Former breast cancer sufferer Juliet FitzPatrick set up Rickmansworth 5k Your Way recently to help bring local sufferers together to keep fit.
She told RickyNews: “I was very surprised by the findings. So few women realise the risks they’re taking with drinking and to be honest, I didn’t really know either.
“I obviously knew the risk with smoking or obesity but I wasn’t aware of how big an impact alcohol had – it’s something that definitely needs more prominence.”
Juliet, who was diagnosed in January 2016 before having her breasts removed, admitted she was unsure if raising awareness of the potential impact of drinking would make a difference to young women’s consumption.
She said: “I did drink a lot when I was younger at university, as it was part of the culture, and I’m not sure if knowing this information back then would’ve stopped me. You feel invincible at that age and don’t think about the consequences.
“But awareness of the major risks they could be taking is still important; the information has to be put out there in the hope that people do listen.”
To read the full report, go to bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/6/e027371