Middle-aged Australian women are more likely to stop drinking for the sake of their waistline than to avoid cancer.
A study from Flinders University has found more women aged between 45 and 64 are not aware of increase risk between breast cancer and alcohol consumption.
"There is a low level of awareness about the established link between alcohol and breast cancer, and some confusion about the risk given the community perception that not all drinkers get breast cancer," says study lead Dr Emma Miller at Flinders University.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, accounting for over 13 per cent of all new cancers and 28% of all cancers diagnosed in women – and alcohol consumption is proven to increase the risk.
Despite this, women are more likely to know about the connection to weight gain and mental health.
"It's interesting that the group were most aware about short term harms like the impact alcohol has on their weight, mental health, and relationships rather then cancer."
"We all want to hear good news about drinking, such as small amounts of red wine may be good for cardiovascular disease, which is a message that's promoted by the alcohol industry. I
"In contrast, information that alcohol is linked to breast cancer is actively suppressed by the industry presumably in order to build the female customer base."
"Our research shows that while more middle aged women are drinking, there are ways of getting the right messages through by focusing on issues important to them. For example, younger people are drinking less so we can look into the reasons behind that and utilise them."