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TV star says think twice about how much you're drinking

Think Twice

Think Twice

Posted 17/11/14

Actress Charlie Hardwick is the voice behind a North East campaign urging women to think twice and limit how much they drink to reduce their breast cancer risk.

The Think Twice campaign, launched today (Monday, November 17) by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, aims to increase awareness of the link between alcohol and breast cancer, encourage women to take stock of their alcohol intake and if necessary – cut back.
 
Regularly drinking alcohol – even just one drink a day – increases a woman’s risk of developing the disease, which is the most common cancer in the UK. 
 
However, two thirds of women in the North East don’t realise that the more they drink the greater their risk of breast cancer.
 
To coincide with the start of Alcohol Awareness Week, the campaign will launch on the region’s airwaves with a radio advert featuring the North East TV star.
 
In the advert, Charlie says: “I’m a worldly woman and I'd like to think I've gained a bit of knowledge in my time. But I'll tell you something, I didn't know about the proven links between alcohol and breast cancer. Until now.
 
“The more you drink the more you increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Now there aren't many ways we can reduce our risk. But limiting the amount we drink is one. And that made me think twice.
“I just thought, 'isn’t this something women should know about?' Which is why I support this message from Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Balance.”
 
One in eight women develop breast cancer in their lifetime but the individual level of risk varies from person to person depending on a number of factors such as genes, lifestyle and environment. Drinking alcohol is one of the few contributing factors that can be changed to help reduce a woman’s risk of developing the disease.
 
Studies have shown that: 
 
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “Breast cancer is a devastating disease that affects thousands of women across our region. Alcohol is linked to thousands of breast cancer cases each year across the UK so anything that can be done to raise awareness of this issue is vitally important. This is why we have launched our Think Twice campaign.
 
“Here in the North East, around two in three women are unaware that the more they drink the greater their risk of breast cancer. That’s a significant proportion and we need to raise awareness. 
 
“Although there are many uncontrollable factors that increase a woman’s risk of developing the disease, such as genetics and age, there are a few things women can do to reduce their risk. Limiting the amount of alcohol they drink is amongst the most significant of these.”
 
Eluned Hughes, Senior Information Manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “Our hope is that one day we will be able to stop breast cancer for good and part of this mission is to pinpoint the root causes. That’s why we run the Breakthrough Generations Study, the world’s largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, following more than 113,000 women across the UK of different ages and from a range of backgrounds.
 
“Through detailed analysis of the various lifestyle and environmental factors that might influence breast cancer risk we are confident that we can unravel some of the biggest questions about how to prevent the disease altogether.
 
“Until this day comes we recommend that women try to maintain a healthy weight, are regularly physically active and if they do drink, to do so in moderation in order to help reduce their risk of developing this devastating disease.”
 
The Think Twice radio advert will be backed up by an online film - also voiced by Charlie - which highlights the alcohol and breast cancer link. This will be available to view on the Balance campaign website from today (Monday, November 17).
 
This will be further supported with a hard-hitting regional TV and cinema health campaign which features a man drinking from a pint of lager with a growing tumour at the bottom of the glass. The wider campaign is aimed at increasing awareness of the link between alcohol and seven types of cancer including mouth, bowel and liver.
 
Colin added: “Alcohol is a Group 1 carcinogen, like tobacco, and measures need to be put in place to ensure people have access to all the necessary information which supports good, healthy choices. 
 
“The Government has a key role to play here by ensuring transparency. The introduction of health warnings on all alcoholic drinks would help tackle the problem. However, information alone is not enough. To turn back the tide of alcohol misuse we require a multi-faceted approach which includes the introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol and the curbing of alcohol marketing.”
 
Department of Health guidelines recommend no more than 2-3 units a day for women and a maximum of 3-4 units a day for men, with at least 2 alcohol free days per week. There are 2 units in a standard 175ml glass of wine and 3 units in a pint of strong lager, beer or cider.
 
To see the campaign videos and to find out more information about alcohol and cancer, visit reducemyrisk.tv
 
Help the women you know and love to reduce their risk by sharing our message across social media. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/balance.northeast and on Twitter @BalanceNE. Tweet us using #ThinkTwiceUK