Women of all ages have been told to have more alcohol-free days to reduce the risk of breast cancer and other diseases.
Public Health England and alcohol education charity Drinkaware have advised women to increase the number of days they go without a drink each week as part of their new ‘Drink Free Days’ campaign.
Every year 55,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer, with alcohol causing 1 in 13 cases. Drinking alcohol increases oestrogen levels in the bloodstream and raised oestrogen levels over a long-term period increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to other conditions such as liver and heart disease. UK Chief Medical Officers say men and women should drink no more than 14 units a week, with alcohol-free days a good way to control consumption.
Rosanna O’Connor, Director of Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco and Justice at Public Health England said: “While the link with liver disease is well known, many people are not aware that alcohol can cause breast cancer as well as numerous other serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and several other cancers.”
Health bosses also advise people who drink as much as 14 units each week to spread their alcohol consumption over three or more days. Binge drinking on one or two days increases the risk of long-term illness, as well as accidents and injuries.