Barcelona, Spain: One of the largest individual studies of the effects of alcohol on the risk of breast cancer has concluded that it makes no difference whether a woman drinks wine, beer or spirits (liquor) it is the alcohol itself (ethyl alcohol) and the quantity consumed that is likely to trigger the onset of cancer. The increased breast cancer risk from drinking three or more alcoholic drinks a day is similar to the increased breast cancer risk from smoking a packet of cigarettes or more a day
Speaking at a news briefing today (Thursday) at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, Dr Arthur Klatsky said: Population studies have consistently linked drinking alcohol to an increased risk of female breast cancer, but there has been little data, most of it conflicting, about an independent role played by the choice of beverage type.
Dr Klatsky, adjunct investigator in the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, Oakland, USA, and his colleagues studied the drinking habits of 70,033 multi-ethnic women who had supplied information during health examinations between 1978-1985. By 2004, 2,829 of these women had been diagnosed with breast cancer. In one analysis, the researchers compared the choice of drink amongst women who tended to favour one type of drink over another with women who had no clear preference. They also looked for any association between the frequency of drinking one type of alcoholic drink over another. Finally, they examined the role of total alcohol intake, comparing it with women who drank less than one alcoholic drink a day.
They found that there was no difference in the risk of developing breast cancer between wine, beer or spirits. Even when wine was divided into red and white, there was no difference. However, when they looked at the relationship between breast cancer risk and total alcohol intake, the researchers found that women who drank between one and two alcoholic drinks per
|Contact: Emma Mason|
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference