Women play a role in reducing breast cancer risk

By Mariam Digges

Women play a role in reducing breast cancer risk
Women are mostly unaware of the role played by their health and wellbeing when it comes to warding off breast cancer, a Newspoll survey has found.

Released at Cancer Australia’s 20th anniversary Pink Ribbon Breakfast today, the study determined that three out of four women did not regard psychical activity, alcohol consumption or maintaining a healthy body weight as fundamental in reducing their risk of breast cancer.

In fact, nearly half the women surveyed were classed as overweight or obese, with only 37 per cent falling into the healthy weight bracket.

“Of concern is the high proportion of women who believe that additives in our food and using underarm antiperspirant contribute more to risk of developing breast cancer than lack of exercise, being overweight and drinking alcohol,” commented Cancer Australia CEO Professor Helen Zorbas.

“While there will always be cancer risk factors such as gender, age and genetic susceptibility beyond individual control, there are a number of positive lifestyle changes we can make to reduce risk of breast cancer and improve overall wellbeing.”

“Evidence shows that being physically active for 30 minutes every day, maintaining a healthy body weight and limiting alcohol intake all significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.”

In Australia and New Zealand, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, including Indigenous women, with almost 15,000 new cases expected to be diagnosed this year, while one in nine Kiwi women will be diagnosed in their lifetime.

This number is expected to rise almost 15% by the year 2020.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and 30 minutes of exercise each day, as well as regular breast checks are key factors in lowering the risk of breast cancer. for more information, visit www.canceraustralia.gov.au or www.nzbcf.org.nz


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