Navigation Links
As Few As 3 Drinks a Week May Up Breast Cancer Risk
Date:11/2/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have as few as three alcoholic drinks a week may have a moderately increased risk of developing breast cancer, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 106,000 women taking part in the U.S. Nurses' Health Study to examine any links between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. The women were followed from 1980 through 2008 and asked about their alcohol consumption about every four years.

"We did see a modest risk [of breast cancer] associated with lower levels of alcohol consumption," said lead study author Dr. Wendy Chen, an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

But Chen stressed that women who occasionally over-imbibe on vacation or at a holiday party shouldn't be alarmed; the research measured cumulative alcohol consumption over many years.

During the study period, about 7,700 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Women who reported drinking 5 to 9.9 grams of alcohol daily (less than half an ounce a day or the equivalent of three to six glasses of wine weekly) were 15 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than women who never or rarely drank alcohol.

Women who drank more -- about two glasses of wine, or 30 grams of alcohol, daily -- had a 51 percent increased risk of breast cancer. (Although the researchers converted grams of alcohol into glasses of wine, the risk was similar whether women drank wine, liquor or beer.)

The study is in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Prior research has also found an association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. One reason for the connection may be that alcohol raises levels of circulating estrogen, and high levels of estrogen are linked to breast cancer, Chen said.

What made this study unusual is that information was provided about women's alcohol consumption over several decades. Many other studies have asked about alcohol consumption at a single point in time, but drinking patterns may change over a lifetime, Chen said.

Researchers also looked at whether breast cancer risk varied depending on when a woman drank -- either earlier in life (ages 18 to 40) or later in life -- but found it was the cumulative exposure that made the most difference.

Binge drinking per se -- consuming at least six drinks in a single day -- didn't seem to significantly add to breast cancer risk. However, binge drinkers did tend to consume more alcohol overall than other women, which upped the odds of breast cancer.

"It really is a cumulative average over a long period of time that gave the most consistent association with breast cancer risk," Chen said.

Researchers also analyzed average daily alcohol consumption alongside other factors that could impact breast cancer risk, such as family history and age, to make sure they were really getting at the effect of alcohol. They found that women who drank a lot were also more likely to smoke, although most studies have not found a strong link between tobacco and breast cancer, Chen said.

Dr. Steven Narod, research chair in breast cancer at Women's College Research Institute in Toronto, said the study was "well conducted."

"For breast cancer, it does seem the risks [of alcohol] start up at a lower level than we previously thought," Narod said.

But he urged women who drink regularly not to worry too much. "I don't think I would worry about drinking one or two drinks a week. If your average is five or six a week, I'm not sure that I would be particularly worried about that, either. But 10 or more a week, maybe," Narod said.

Previous studies have suggested a glass of red wine daily has cardiovascular benefits, and those findings should not be discounted, said Narod, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the same journal issue.

"Women who abstain from all alcohol may find that a potential benefit of lower breast cancer risk is more than offset by the relinquished benefit of reduced cardiovascular mortality associated with an occasional glass of red wine," he wrote.

Moreover, the study authors said no evidence exists to show that giving up drinking will lower a woman's risk of breast cancer.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more on women and alcohol.

SOURCES: Wendy Y. Chen, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass; Steven A. Narod, M.D., professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and research chair, breast cancer, Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, Canada; Nov. 2, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Soft drinks may increase risk of pancreatic cancer
2. Energy Drinks, Alcohol a Dangerous Mix
3. Beverage Industry Delivers On Commitment to Remove Regular Soft Drinks In Schools, Driving 88% Decline In Calories
4. Neuro Drinks Provide Sparkling Refreshment on a Star-Studded Evening at the 18th Annual Academy Awards(R) Viewing Party Hosted by the Elton John AIDS Foundation
5. National Poll Finds Americans Oppose Tax on Soft Drinks; Dont Believe it Will Go to Improve Public Health
6. Coffee and soft drinks have little or no association with colon cancer risk
7. Fewer Sugary Drinks, Less High Blood Pressure
8. Green Drinks NYC and Green Mountain Energy Company Present Summer Bash at Solar One
9. People May Skip Soft Drinks Rather Than Pay More
10. Teens and alcohol study: After a few drinks, parenting style kicks in
11. Study examines risks, rewards of energy drinks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
As Few As 3 Drinks a Week May Up Breast Cancer Risk
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department ... in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at ... Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In ... benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued ... Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to ... came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers ... Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June ... MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June ... Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  ... Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: