In 2017, our collaboration to get more people taking part in Alcohol Concern’s Dry January, resulted in almost 5 million Britons attempting Dry January this year. 

Wednesday 8 February 2017      Health information blog
Breast Cancer Now supporters Kerry Rubins and Colin Plews

Our supporters Kerry Rubins (left) and Colin Plews

Nearly 5 million Britons took part in Dry January this year. But the benefits of going booze-free will last well beyond January. Ditching the alcohol for a month is proven to help you in the long-term – almost two thirds of people who give up alcohol by signing up to Dry January are drinking less six months on. The health benefits speak for themselves too: great sleep, more energy, shifting a few stubborn pounds.

Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now, said:

“Teaming up with Alcohol Concern for Dry January 2017 was an ideal way to spread the word about the link between alcohol and breast cancer. Evidence suggests that, as well as the good you’ll do your body by taking a break from alcohol for the month, you’re also more likely to change your drinking habits in the long term if you’ve stopped altogether for a while. This will, in turn, help reduce your breast cancer risk.

“It’s not about pointing the finger or accusing women of drinking too much. We know that women worry about breast cancer and want to reduce their risk – our involvement in Dry January was another way to help provide women with important health information.”

So how did it go?

Our supporters Colin Plews and Kerry Rubins took on the Dry January challenge this year. We caught up with them to see how it went...


I took part in Dry January because I wanted to challenge myself to a month without drinking after indulging at Christmas. Being a true Geordie lad, a drink is in our culture. My initial thoughts were a whole month without a drink? When you look at the bigger picture, and the risks of regularly drinking alcohol and its link to breast cancer, it was a no brainer for me to say yes.

I will admit it was very difficult to start with, as I tend to have a glass of wine with meals, but I soon got into the habit of having tonic water with ice and lime. Over the weeks I truly didn't miss it and the weight started falling off. By the 31 January, I'd lost a total of 18lb which is astounding! It truly made a difference to me and I loved keeping the day-to-day diary, hoping it would help spur others on. A massive thank you to the support and help from my family and friends and to all at Breast Cancer Now.

Colin Plews


I took part in Dry January, because every Christmas I tend to eat and drink more than I normally would and end up feeling tired, lethargic and bloated at the start of the New Year. After only 12 days of taking part I felt great and smug that I didn’t have a hangover. I also wanted to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and breast cancer. Although initially I found it hard not having a tipple at social events, I was sleeping better, lost a couple of pounds, and my skin felt brighter. It also made me feel that when I go out drinking in future, I would drink less.

Kerry Rubins

What’s next?

Did you take part in Dry January? Have you thought about how you can incorporate alcohol free alternatives into your lifestyle? Share your experiences and suggestions with us on Facebook and Twitter.

More information

If you would like to know more about alcohol and its link to breast cancer please download our factsheet

Find out more about Dry January and our collaboration with Alcohol Concern