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GE Healthcare Survey Highlights Lack of Awareness between Bad Habits and Breast Cancer


Infographic shows the percentage of respondents who were aware of the link between bad habits and lung cancer (in green) compared to breast cancer (in pink)


The infographic here details respondents’ degree of awareness of how bad habits increase the risk of cancer

According to new research commissioned by GE Healthcare, adults continue to remain unaware of the link between bad lifestyle habits and breast cancer.

The survey reveals the shortcomings of nationwide campaigns designed to educate the public of the link between lifestyle and breast cancer.

The survey may well prompt a rethink on how this message is distributed and also to consider innovative ways to communicate the risks.

For example one way would be to inform women at appropriate opportunities such as when attending breast screening appointments.

Bad habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or physical inactivity* have often been blamed for a rise in cancer cases.

While the interaction between genetics plays a part in the development of cancer, it is lifestyle and the choices made around eating, drinking and being physically active that recent campaigns, such as GE Healthcare’s #Getfit, place the emphasize on.

Respondents from a selection of eight countries generally understood the relationship between bad habits and the possible risk of developing lung, liver and colon cancer.

However, the awareness of the link to breast cancer was relatively low: between 28% (in Germany) and 60% (in China). In comparison 91% of Germans and 95% of Chinese were well aware of the causes of lung cancer.

Adults who self-diagnosed on line were also explored in the survey.

Here, the percentage of respondents who engaged in such activity ranged from 86% (France) to 97% (US) suggesting that the internet had now become the first port of call for the overwhelming majority of individuals.

The survey also revealed a worryingly high percentage of individuals that did not self-examine for unusual bumps and growths.

The survey found that 33% of British, 42% of Americans, 93% of Japanese and 86% of Chinese respondents did not check their body at least one a month.

Unsurprisingly women were more conscientious than men at checking their bodies each month.

More than 70% of respondents from each country agreed that they would be influenced by their family when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Family members came top as the single most important source of influence, motivation and inspiration for those wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle.


#Getfit and Help Prevent Cancer

The #GetFit campaign, now in its third year, continues on the theme of cancer prevention and aims to capture global public awareness by promoting healthy habits that can help reduce the likelihood of developing cancer.

The campaign works by primarily using social media to actively encourage ways in which people can improve their health and well-being.

By sharing healthy habits and tips such as not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, sticking to a healthy diet, being physically active and getting recommended screening tests**, the hope is many cancer deaths can be prevented.

#GetFit launched on May 28th and runs for six weeks. Visit the website to see how you can get involved.

A larger version of the infographic can be found here.


** As recommended by the national health programs in your and/or advised by your HCP