Even Modest Drinking Increases Breast Cancer Risk

woman with cosmopolitan

Having just one drink per day increases breast cancer risk, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers monitored alcohol consumption for 88,084 women and 47,881 men as part of the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

For women, having just one alcoholic drink per day increased the risk for alcohol-related cancers (mainly breast cancer) by 13 percent, compared with those who consumed no alcohol.

Among men, colorectal cancer was the principal alcohol-related cancer. Researchers suspect ethanol and other compounds found in alcohol may be potential mechanisms.

Many previous studies have also found that moderate alcohol intake increases breast cancer risk.

More information: pcrm.org

Cao Y, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Giovannuci EL. Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer: results from two prospective US cohort studies. BMJ. 2015;351:h4238.

Scoccianti C, Lauby-Secretan B, Bello PY, Chajes V, Romieu I. Female breast cancer and alcohol consumption: a review of the literature. Am J Prev Med. 2014;46:S16-S25.

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