The 'Spot of lunch' campaign across Yorkshire and the Humber is highlighting the fact that alcohol can increase the risk of at least seven different types of cancer, including breast cancer.
It is being run by the Yorkshire and Humber Alcohol Alliance, which consists of various local authorities and health organisations in the region, including Doncaster, Bradford and Leeds, and is funded by the Association of Directors of Public Health.
A new ‘Spot of Lunch’ campaign launches in #doncasterisgreat today highlighting alcohol as a cause of breast cancer, as figures show more than 60% of UK women are unaware of #breastcancer risks associated with alcohol. Read more here: https://t.co/FFFcqvrZg5 #7cancers pic.twitter.com/6cqoyjNqyi— NHS Doncaster CCG (@doncasterccg) September 2, 2019
The core message is that any level of regular drinking increases the risk of developing breast cancer, but reducing drinking can reduce the risks.
Another key message is that people should not exceed the recommended drinking guidelines of 14 units of alcohol per week for both men and women.
New ‘Spot of Lunch’ campaign has launched across Yorkshire. Visit https://t.co/yfHuT62aeM to see how you can cut your risk of breast cancer and to download the Drink Free Days app from @PHE_uk #SpotofLunch pic.twitter.com/dFmIuF8rSO— Rotherham Council (@RMBCPress) September 3, 2019
The awareness-raising campaign, which is supported by the Breast Cancer Now charity, includes TV and digital advertising as well as social-media activity and traditional media relations.
Local authorities and NHS trusts are supporting the campaign through their own local comms channels.
Low levels of awareness of the risks have prompted the month-long campaign, which includes a hard-hitting TV ad in which a woman enjoys a glass of wine unaware that she could be developing cancer.
The campaign has been developed by Balance, an organisation funded by seven local authorities in the region.
It aims to drive web traffic to a dedicated website where people can download a Drink Free Days app.
More than 60 per cent of women in the UK are unaware of the breast cancer risks associated with drinking, according to the Alcohol Health Alliance.
And a study published in the British Medical Journal in June found that just one in five women attending a breast cancer clinic knew that alcohol was a risk factor.
No 'safe level' of drinking
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said: "Like tobacco, alcohol causes cancer, and with breast cancer, evidence is clear there is no ‘safe’ level of drinking."
She added: "Alcohol is embedded in our culture – we now live in an age of ‘wine o’clock’ messaging on social media and Prosecco T-shirts, door signs and cushion covers. It might seem like harmless fun, but this sweeps under the carpet the risk to health. The fact that fewer than four in 10 UK women are aware of this link is a concern.
"This is not about scaremongering, but raising awareness of a risk women have a right to know about."
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