On the pulse 4 July 2013

  • Dr Anmol Malhotra at the Patient Support Group
  • Get your sponsorship in for the Hyde Park Walk!
  • Research shows fewer than half of Britons are aware of the increased
    risk of breast cancer associated with certain lifestyle choices

Dr Anmol Malhotra at the Patient Support Group
Last week, we were delighted to welcome Dr Anmol Malhotra to June’s Patient Support Group. Dr Malhotra is the Lead Imaging Consultant from the Royal Free Hospital and he gave a very informative talk on the the current and future developments in breast imaging.

26 patients attended this session, and all spoke of how useful they had found the information and how grateful they were to Dr Malhotra for not only taking the time to speak to them, but also in answering some many of their questions. Everyone at Cancerkin would like to say a big “thank you” to Dr Malhotra for giving his time to speak to us.

Cancerkin’s Support Groups
July’s Young Women’s Support Group will be held here at the Centre on Wednesday 17 July from 4PM to 6PM. Specialist Nurse Practitioner Tina Kelleher will be with us from 5PM. The Patient Support Group will take place on Tuesday 30 July, from 11am until 1pm. For more information, or to book your place please contact Reema at r.ved@cancerkin.org,uk or call us on 020 7830 2323.

Research shows fewer than half of Britons are aware of the increased risk of breast cancer associated with certain lifestyle choices
New research commissioned by GE Healthcare and carried out by TNS has found that many people continue to remain unaware of the links between several lifestyle habits and breast cancer.

The survey was conducted as an online questionnaire, which was completed by over 8,000 adults between 31st May and 5th June. Participants were asked about the cancer risks associated with smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and physical activity, with a particular focus on breast, colon, lung and liver cancer. These four cancers (and the corresponding “bad habits”) have all been the focus of recent campaigns to raise awareness of lifestyle choices which can increase an individual’s risk.

The survey was carried out across eight different countries (including Great Britain, the USA, Brazil and China) and there were at least 1,000 respondents from each country. The results were then weighted to the national population for each country.

While most respondents were well aware of the relationship between lifestyle choices and the possible risk of developing lung, liver or colon cancer, the awareness of the link with breast cancer was comparatively low; between 28 per cent (in Germany) and 60 per cent (in China). For Great Britain, fewer than half (46 per cent) of all respondents and only 52 per cent of women were able to give any of the factors contributing towards breast cancer.

The survey also asked participants why they thought some people found it difficult to change bad habits that are associated with an increased risk of cancer. They found that “lack of knowledge or information” was one of the key factors (45%), behind addiction and laziness.

More positively, however, 66 per cent of British adults reported that they believed you should check your body at least once a month for unusual bumps and growths. This was the highest frequency of all the countries involved in the study, followed by the USA and Brazil on 58 and 57 per cent respectively. However, there was a British gender divide, with almost three quarters of British women (73 per cent) answering that checks should be performed monthly compared to only 57 per cent of men.

Dr Hannah Bridges, from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “It is important that women are aware of how their lifestyle choices can affect their breast cancer risk. Women can lower their risk of developing breast cancer by being regularly physically active, reducing the amount of alcohol they regularly drink, and maintaining a healthy weight.

“It is encouraging to see a good number of women in the UK believe they should check their bodies for anything unusual and we would hope this includes being breast aware. However, we know from research Breakthrough carried out last year that only 2% of women know the five most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer to check for. Breakthrough’s simple and memorable Touch Look Check (TLC) campaign gives women the information they need to help them stay breast aware.”

The full results of the survey are very interesting and can be viewed here. For more information, please see the GE press release or Breakthrough Breast Cancer.


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