Tyne & Wear

Cancer risk doubled by alcohol 'view' in North East

Woman slumped on pavement
Image caption Balance says more than half of the region's women are unaware of the daily recommended limits

Drinking levels viewed as acceptable could be doubling the risk of cancer for women in the North East of England, it has been revealed.

Research by Balance, a drink awareness group, says 32% of the region thinks it is reasonable for a woman to drink two glasses of wine five nights a week.

It is advised women should drink only a glass and a half of wine a day.

Balance says the region's alcohol related deaths in women had risen by 176% over the past two decades.

The organisation said women drinking over the recommended levels were 50% more likely to be at risk of breast cancer, twice as likely to get cancer of the mouth and almost twice as likely to get liver cirrhosis.

'Change attitudes'

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: "Our findings suggest that a significant number of women could be putting their health at increasing risk because they misunderstand or are unaware of the damage that a few drinks on a regular basis can do.

"We already know that more than half of the region's women are unaware of the daily recommended limits.

"Alcohol related deaths in women across the region have increased by a staggering 176% over the last two decades - which is more than double the national average.

"If we are to improve health and quality of life in the North East, we need to change people's attitudes and drinking behaviour."

Balance teams are visiting supermarkets across the region, including in Newcastle and Gateshead, to provide advice and hand out information.

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