Alcohol & breast cancer: an avoidable risk

Include information/health warnings on all packaged alcohol

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, again called on the Government to act on overdue legislation and put information/health warning labels on all packaged alcohol.

Speaking on Europa Donna Breast Health Day (15th October 2009), Acting Director Cliona Murphy said: “Consumers have the right to be made aware of the relationship between alcohol use and the risks to health.

“For instance, there is an undeniable link between alcohol and breast cancer; a link that many drinkers are completely unaware of.”   

“In Ireland well over 2,000 women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer, of which around 650 die. This makes it the most common cancer in this country among women.

“More worrying is that fact that there is research which tells us that one in five alcohol-related cancer deaths in Europe are women who have died  from breast cancer.

“Drinking one standard alcoholic drink a day is associated with a 9% increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, while drinking 3-6  standard drinks a day increases the risk by 41%.”

Ms Murphy added: “We also know that there is a very low level of awareness in general among consumers about the health risks associated with alcohol use. A simple warning label listing a drink’s ingredients, units and health risks, including cancer, could contribute enormously to the public’s awareness of cancer and alcohol.”

“Labelling empowers all consumers, letting them know exactly what they are drinking and about the possible risks involved. People have the right to make informed choices about their health.”

  “Alcohol is a risk factor for breast cancer but an entirely avoidable one. The women of Ireland need to know this. Labelling is an important step in providing this information.” concludes Ms Murphy.//ENDS//

For more information please contact Cliona Murphy on 087 219 5723


  Communication Officer Jo Fox on 087 995 0186