Drinking Alcohol Raises Breast Cancer Risk

Three alcoholic drinks per week may increase a women’s risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study in mynewsdaily.

The women in the study who drank up to 6 glasses of wine per week were 15% more likely to develop breast cancer, compared to those who did not drink.  The study adds to the growing body of evidence that alcohol consumption is linked to elevated risk of breast cancer.
Drinking moderate to high amounts of alcohol has been linked to breast cancer risk, but the effects of consuming low amounts of alcohol had been uncertain.
Alcohol may boost breast cancer risk by altering levels of the sex hormone estrogen, researchers said.
“While the increased risk found in this study is real, it is still quite small.   Women will need to weigh this slight increase in breast cancer risk with the beneficial effects alcohol is known to have on heartheath.   Any woman’s decision will likely factor in her risk of either disease,” said Dr. Wendy Chen, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Chen mentioned that women who took fewer than 3 drinks per week had no increase in breast cancer risk.  “I don’t think the take home message would be that women can’t drink at all,” Chen said.
For the study, Chen and colleagues reviewed data on 105,986 women who were followed from 1980-2008 as part of the Nurses Health Study.

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