Even One Drink = Higher Breast Cancer Risk?
You can be forgiven for not being entirely sure what the deal is with moderate alcohol consumption.
But there are undeniable downsides to alcohol, and the list keeps getting longer: Tuesday researchers announced a small but significant increased risk of breast cancer linked to alcohol consumption.
A study with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston followed over 100,000 women in the US — all nurses — for 30 years, documenting their average alcohol intake and comparing it to their health, specifically the incidence of breast cancer.
The results were clear: The more the women drank, the more their risk of breast cancer went up, albeit slightly. A drink a day, on average, bumped their likelihood of developing cancer up from 2.8% to 3.5% over ten years. Heavier drinking upped the risk to 4%.
The risk is still overall very small, and a bump of 1.5% is probably not going to cause anyone to swear off alcohol for life – and yet, it’s something to think about, particularly for those with increased cancer risks such as family history or a personal history of cancer.
Will you be giving up your nightly glass of merlot? Or is the risk slight enough to not worry about it?
Photo Credit: Quinn.anya on flickr.