Glass half empty on why women drink so much

If one in seven Australian women are predicted to develop breast cancer, why don’t more people acknowledge the risks and cut down their alcohol consumption?

The Cancer Council found the number of breast cancer cases linked to alcohol as much higher than previously estimated with one in five breast cancer cases linked to alcohol,[1]  women aged 35-54 are at the highest risk for cancer due to excessive alcohol consumption according to a 2019 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report. [2]

With women aged 35-54 at the highest proportional cancer risk due to excessive alcohol intake, a new anonymous online survey is seeking to understand behaviour and devise interventions and advice to turn the tide and raise awareness.

“Given the evidence is mounting, the risk of breast cancer and other side effects of alcohol consumption do not seem to be deterring older women in sometimes above-standard drinking routines,” says lead researcher, Jessica Thomas, from the Flinders College of Medicine and Public Health.

The Flinders researchers are keen to hear from women aged 35 to 54 about their consumption patterns.

“Previous research has shown that many women are not aware of the link between alcohol and breast cancer, and many women believe that breast cancer is just bad luck,” Ms Thomas says.

“This new research will look at the social conditions that are facilitating alcohol use and the role that drinking plays in women’s lives.”

“Every response is important, and we need to hear from women who drink at all levels and from those who do not drink at all.” Ms Thomas says.

“This research will improve health information about women and drinking and may help to reduce breast cancer rates.”

The researchers need women aged 35 to 54 years to share their experiences by completing an anonymous online anonymous survey available at

For more information contact:

Name: Jessica Thomas, PhD candidate, College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University




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