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One Alcoholic Drink Daily Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

May 24, 2017 11:26 AM EDT
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Sure, we love our booze. It's not always a good idea to go for that drink though as a new study revealed that even a single glass of alcohol daily could significantly increase the risk of breast cancer for women.

According to a report from Science Daily, a major new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) collated the report on the habits and lifestyle factors that can contribute to an increase or decrease in breast cancer risk. This comprehensive report included analysis of 119 studies with data on 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer.

"It can be confusing with single studies when the findings get swept back and forth," said lead author Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, a cancer prevention expert at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "With this comprehensive and up-to-date report the evidence is clear: Having a physically active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life and limiting alcohol - these are all steps women can take to lower their risk."

One of the most significant findings was that partaking in the equivalent of a small glass of wine or beer per day - roughly 10 grams alcohol content - increases the risk for pre-menopausal breast cancer by 5 percent and post-menopausal breast cancer by 9 percent.

Other factors that increase the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer include being overweight or obese. Age, early menstrual period and a family history of breast cancer are also well-known risk factors.

Meanwhile, the report also detailed the factors that can reduce the risk of breast cancer including vigorous exercise and carotenoid-rich food.

"There are no guarantees when it comes to cancer, but it's empowering to know you can do something to lower your risk," explained Alice Bender, MS, RDN, AICR's Head of Nutrition Programs.

The report was published in the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

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