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Sunday 24th June 2018

Kylie raises cancer fears

25th October 2006

31082006_Kylie1.jpgAwareness of breast cancer has risen sharply among young women following singer Kylie Minogue’s diagnosis.

But the Australian’s much publicised diagnosis, along with other younger celebrities like Caron Keating, means young women now wrongly believe they are at greater risk than those over 70, say Cancer Research UK.

In a survey, the charity found that more than three-quarters thought the risk was higher for those under 70, while a third thought the under-50s were most at risk. In fact the risk of cancer actually increases with age, with 80 per cent of breast cancer cases in the UK diagnosed in the over-50s.

Research shows those over 70 have a one in 11 chance of getting the disease, while in the over-50s it reduces to one in 50. Women aged under 50 have a one in 200 risk.

The charity blamed the ‘Kylie effect’, because celebrities receive a massive amount of attention and media coverage when they are diagnosed, undergo treatment or die from the disease.

The charity said, while media coverage was helpful in raising awareness of the disease, it can cause younger women to panic, while older women who are more at risk of breast cancer can underestimate their risk, which can adversely affect screening attendance.

Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer in May last year, aged 36, while former TV presenter Caron Keating lost her seven year battle with the disease in 2004, aged 41.

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