Women are drinking in ignorance of the breast cancer risks, experts have warned Picture: File

Women are drinking in ignorance of the breast cancer risks, experts have warned.

Only one in five women attending breast clinics and screening appointments knew that alcohol increases the risk of cancer, researchers found.

Alarmingly, half of the 33 staff at an NHS breast clinic in Southampton said they did not know that alcohol raised the risk.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with more than 54,000 new cases diagnosed and 11,000 deaths every year. Lifestyle factors account for nearly a quarter of cases, with drinking estimated to be responsible for between 5 and 11 per cent of cases.

The research, led by experts at the University of Southampton and published in the BMJ Open journal, found that a third of women knew obesity was a risk factor and half identified smoking as another. But only a fifth knew alcohol was a risk factor.

Daily Mail