A survey of adults suggests that there is poor awareness of cancer risk factors in Ireland.

Almost half of those surveyed believed a blow to the breast could lead to breast cancer, while 11% believe luck is important in avoiding cancer.

The research was carried out at University College Cork, in conjunction with Breakthrough Cancer Research and the Irish Cancer Society, and involved a survey of 748 people.

The research indicates that many people are misinformed and unaware of the real risk factors for cancers.

Dr Aoife Ryan, a lecturer in nutritional science at UCC, believes cancer statistics in Ireland could be greatly reduced if people made simple changes in their behaviours and attitudes towards the disease.

Medical oncologist at the Mercy & Cork University Hospital Dr Derek Power said that while most people are aware of classic risk factors such as smoking and poor diet, there are lots of misconceptions.

The survey found 20% believed that cancer is inherited.

However, scientists say that only 3-5% of cancers are inherited.

It was also found that 39% of those surveyed believe that red wine is protective against cancer and 27% thought that detox diets can reduce the risk of cancer.