Alcohol, poor diet linked to UK breast cancer rates

January 24th, 2011 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 24 (IANS) Chances are that women in Britain are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those in other developed countries because of unhealthy lifestyles, their alcohol intake and lack of exercise.

Analysis of data collected by the World Health Organisation shows Britain has higher rates of the potentially fatal disease than the US, Australia, Germany and Spain.

In only 10 of the 50 countries assessed by the researchers do women have a higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer than those in Britain.

The experts said that many of the 46,000 breast cancer cases in the UK each year could be avoided if British women drank less, ate more healthily or exercised more, the Telegraph reports.

More than a quarter of women who develop the disease in Britain die from it.

Martin Wiseman, medical and scientific adviser for the World Cancer Research Fund that compiled the new study, said: “We know that people in high-income countries are more likely to be overweight, to drink a lot of alcohol and to be inactive.

Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK’s director of policy, said: “We do know that up to half of all cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle such as giving up smoking, keeping a healthy weight and cutting down on alcohol.”

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