Can Drinking Alcohol Lead to Breast Cancer in Women?

Nov 24, 08 • Health & Beauty

 Can Drinking Alcohol Lead to Breast Cancer in Women?

Many women drink wine because they think it is healthier than beer and hard liquor but the latest studies show that it’s about the amount of alcohol consumed, not the type.

By: Natasha Morgan

Alcohol, red wine in particular, has received a great deal of good publicity in the past year or two. However, women may not realize that by consuming alcoholic beverages they maybe putting themselves at risk for breast cancer.

Many women drink wine because they think it is healthier than beer and hard liquor but the latest studies show that it’s about the amount of alcohol consumed, not the type.

In the past there has been some confusion about whether different kinds of alcohol were more dangerous than others. Now American researchers say that all types of alcohol – wine, beer or liquor – add equally to the risk of developing breast cancer in women.

A recent study conducted over a five year period looked at women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and noted which types of alcohol the women drank, as well as their total intake. This data was then compared with women who consumed less than one drink a day.

Researchers found no difference in the risk of developing breast cancer among women who drank wine, beer, or liquor. However, the risk of developing breast cancer increased by 10 percent for women who had one or two alcoholic drinks a day. Alarmingly, women who had more than three drinks a day raised their risk by a whopping 30 percent.

Although the study held strong indicators of the risk factors, it is not entirely clear how alcohol contributes to breast cancer. One theory suggests that alcohol raises hormone levels in the blood to levels that could potentially cause cancer.

Others believe that factors such as genetics, obesity and age were more likely culprits for raising breast cancer risks than alcohol consumption.

Clearly, more studies need to be conducted to gain a better understanding of all potential causes of breast cancer. Meanwhile, knowing the risks involved, women can make informed decisions on the number of alcoholic drinks they consume daily.

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Photo: pink_fish13