Study: Drinking Alcohol Raises Risk Of Breast Cancer In Women

DENVER (CBS4) – A new study shows women who drink even small amounts of alcohol have a higher risk for breast cancer.

“The idea that drinking alcohol can raise the risk of breast cancer in women isn’t a new one,” CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida said. “But most of the research has centered on women who have two or more drinks every day.”

The new study looked at the effects of smaller amounts of alcohol over the course of decades. It followed more than 100,000 women for 28 years.

Women who had a small amount of alcohol regularly, such as a drink a day or every other day, had a 15 percent increase in breast cancer. That’s compared to a 51 percent jump in women who had two or more drinks every day.

“Why might any amount of alcohol increase the risk? We’re not sure but it may be due to how alcohol affects hormones which allow tumors to form,” Hnida said.

Two or more drinks per day can be a problem; but how about the occasional drink? With a 15 percent rise in risk Hnida said women probably don’t have to stop drinking altogether.

“Fifteen percent is not that big — and even then — remember that small amounts of alcohol is heart protective, so having a drink now and then is probably more helpful than harmful for most women,” Hnida said.

More than a drink a day significantly raises the risk of breast cancer and also the risk of a heart attack.

“It’s a good study with an important message,” Hnida said.

The type of alcohol — beer, wine or liquor — did not make a difference in the study.

The study appears in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Read more about the study on

  • mary

    The discussion about alcohol and breast cancer, brings up many questions. What about estronic substances in our environment from pesticides and agricultural chemicals?
    We talk about estrogen often, but don’t distinguish, estradiol, estrone, and estriol.

  • Paul Chenault

    Breast Cancer Prevention Musts
    A healthy diet, regular physical exercise, appropriate sun exposure and an effective way to manage your emotional health are the cornerstones of just about any cancer prevention program, including breast cancer.

    But for breast cancer, specifically, you can take it a step further by also watching out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer.

    So if you are a post menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. So if it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.

    Further, the following lifestyle strategies will help to further lower your risk:

    •Improve Your Insulin Receptor Sensivity. The best way to do this is make sure you have an optimized exercise program. Most of us need about five to eight hours of exercise every week to optimize our insulin receptors. Make sure you just don’t do cardio. You can get some ideas from reviewing my video on exercise.

    •Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising. It’s important to lose excess weight because estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue, may trigger breast cancer.

    •Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.

    •Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your drinks to one a day for women.

    •Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast cancer risk.

  • Paul Chenault

    Also most dont know about the effects of Geneticaly Modified foods that are in just about everything these days. Glyphosphate the main ingredent in Roundup herbacide is showing up in humans bloodstream.
    Most all other forgien countries have banned GMOs, corn and soy are now allmost all modified
    Despite many studies proving this to be dangerous it is allowed by the USDA whos bought off by Monsanto who also brought us womderful safe products like DDT, PCBs, agent orange, and now GMOs.
    Wake up folks before its too late

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