WOMEN in South Tyneside are being urged to “think twice” as health experts reveal that almost six North- East women a day are admitted to hospital with alcohol-related breast cancer.
The statistics for the North East have been published by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, as part of its Think Twice campaign.
They show a 13 per cent increase in the number of alcohol-related breast cancer hospital admissions in the region between 2008/09 and 2012/13 – against a national increase of nine per cent.
Alcohol-related breast cancer hospital admission figures show 2,109 women were admitted in 2012/13 – the equivalent of 5.8 women a day.
Regularly drinking alcohol, even just one drink a day, can increase a woman’s risk of developing the disease, which is the most common cancer in the UK.
However, two thirds of women in the region don’t realise that the more they drink the greater is the risk of developing breast cancer.
Dr Wendy Carr, a breast physician at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, has seen first-hand the increase in the number of breast cancer cases.
She said: “It’s concerning to see a rise in the number of alcohol-related breast cancer cases here in the North East, and it goes to show how important it is to make women aware of the link between alcohol and breast cancer.
“In my experience, many women are often very surprised to find out that drinking alcohol can increase their risk of not only developing breast cancer but also of recurrence.
“I would encourage women to assess how much alcohol they are drinking and cut back or take a few days out.”
To find out more information about alcohol and breast cancer, visit www.reducemyrisk.tv/thinktwice.