Research & Resources

Awareness of Alcohol as a Breast Cancer Risk Factor and Intentions to Reduce Alcohol Consumption Among U.S. Young Adult Women

Researchers in this study aimed to identify associations between young women’s awareness of alcohol as a breast cancer risk factor and their intentions to reduce drinking. Surveyed were 493 women ages 18–25 who resided in Ohio and reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Only 28 percent of the women were aware that alcohol use increases breast cancer risk, and their intentions to reduce drinking were moderate. Factors associated with awareness of alcohol use as a breast cancer risk factor included cancer worry, the belief that there is not much you can do to lower your risk of cancer, the belief that everything causes cancer, higher perceived risk of breast cancer, and the belief that drinking less reduces breast cancer risk. Factors linked to intentions to reduce drinking included younger age, older age at the time of their first drink, negative attitudes about alcohol, the belief that fewer friends drink, and high confidence of their ability to reduce drinking. The findings indicated that researchers and policymakers should create new interventions to educate young women about the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk and help them reduce alcohol use as a breast cancer prevention strategy.

This paper, “Awareness of alcohol as a breast cancer risk factor and intentions to reduce alcohol consumption among U.S. young adult women,” was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and published in the journal Translational behavioral medicine.

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