Three out of four women did not identify physical activity, healthy body weight and alcohol consumption as key factors in reducing the risk of breast cancer, according to survey results released today at Cancer Australia’s 20th anniversary Pink Ribbon Breakfast.

The Newspoll survey, conducted on behalf of Cancer Australia, also revealed that only one in three women exercised for the recommended amount of time and less than half thought drinking alcohol increased the risk of breast cancer.

In addition, approximately half of the women surveyed were classified as overweight or obese, however, only 37% saw themselves as being above a healthy weight range.

Speaking at this morning’s Pink Ribbon Breakfast, Cancer Australia CEO Professor Helen Zorbas said the survey results highlighted misconceptions that exist in the community.

“Of concern is the high proportion of women who believe that additives in our food and using underarm antiperspirant contribute more to risk of developing breast cancer than lack of exercise, being overweight and drinking alcohol.” Professor Zorbas said

Professor Zorbas also outlined healthy lifestyle behaviours that can significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

“While there will always be cancer risk factors such as gender, age and genetic susceptibility beyond individual control, there are a number of positive lifestyle changes we can make to reduce risk of breast cancer and improve overall wellbeing,”

“Evidence shows that being physically active for 30 minutes every day, maintaining a healthy body weight and limiting alcohol intake all significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.” Professor Zorbas said.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Australia, including Indigenous women, with almost 15,000 new cases expected to be diagnosed this year. This number is expected to rise almost 15% by the year 2020.

For more information on reducing risk of developing breast cancer, visit www.canceraustralia.gov.au

Cancer Australia is the Australian Government’s national agency providing leadership in cancer control to improve outcomes for those affected by cancer, their families and carers.

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  • Sugar is one of the biggest caner foods too.


  • It is so important to be aware of the risks


  • Never realised being overweight was linked to breast cancer! Another reason to go on a diet!


  • I wasn’t aware of the risk with breast cancer from low exercise and being overweight


  • and it is good that there is much more information available too


  • thank you for sharing this


  • thanks for sharing, was a good read


  • Wonderful advice, a very motivational article.


  • Very important to get checked regularly.


  • regular mammograms are a must, no matter you’re risk factor.


  • i think more people need to talk about cancer more rather than avoiding it ! great to read this on here and making more parents aware of the dangers! thank you


  • it is such a sad thing


  • We’ve only had the one incident of breast cancer in our family but that was enough to give us all a wake up call. Take care and be observant of your body peeps, it could happen to you.


  • no matter how fit you are, don’t smoke or drink excessively, you should have regular checkups.
    No one could have been more health conscious than Raylene Boyle.


  • thank you for your tips


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