Breast Cancer Awareness: Are You Aware How Alcohol Affects Breast Cancer Risk?

ID-100181924There are a variety of diets out there. And most of them touch on the subject of alcohol. So what about a glass of wine with your meal? It adds calories, but you may have read that it can help your heart by raising your HDL Cholesterol a bit. Or, you’ve heard that red wine is full of helpful antioxidants. In “Prescription for Life,” I discuss in detail the pros and cons of alcohol so you can best choose for yourself. But in light of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I want to share some startling medical findings specifically connected to increased risk of breast cancer.

In the medical literature concerning drinking alcohol, most articles say that if you do drink, you should drink in moderation. And most articles refer to moderation as up to one 4 ounce glass of wine a day for women. Yet studies show the increased risk of breast cancer because of alcohol intake. In the Nurses’ Health Study, 106,000 women were followed for more than twenty-five years. Women who had 3- 6 drinks per week were 15 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than nondrinkers. It didn’t matter what type of alcoholic beverage they drank. Of the women who averaged 6-19 drinks per week, the increased risk for breast cancer was 20 percent. For those who drank more than 19 drinks per week, the risk rose to a 50 percent increased risk for breast cancer.

Previously, studies on the relationship between alcohol and breast cancer mostly blamed heavy drinking. But a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that light to moderate drinkers also face an increased risk of breast cancer. Additionally, the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research’s latest write-up on alcohol consumption stated that for breast cancer in postmenopausal women, there is convincing evidence that alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.

Pass the word on to those you love, and help educate women and men on the many other health and lifestyle choices that can affect the risk of breast cancer in “Prescription for Life.”





“Generations” photo courtesy of ambro at