Alcoholic beverages increase breast cancer risk, regardless of type

October 2, 2007 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Alcoholic beverages increase breast cancer risk, regardless of type

It doesn't matter if it's beer, wine or hard liquor. Women who drink three or more alcoholic beverages or any kind each day may be significantly increasing their risk of breast cancer.

In this large study from Oakland, USA, the researchers examined the drinking habits of 70,033 women over a span of seven years. The researchers compared the frequency of drinking and drink preferences of healthy women to those who were diagnosed with breast cancer.

During the study, 2,829 women developed breast cancer.

The researchers found that drink preference (beer, wine or spirits) had no effect on the risk of developing breast cancer. However, frequency of drinking any type of alcoholic drink had a strong association with increased breast cancer risk.

Moderate drinkers who had one or two drinks per day were 10% more likely to develop breast cancer than light drinkers who had less than one drink a day.

Surprisingly, heavy drinking (more than three drinks a day) increased breast cancer risk by 30% - an effect that is comparable to the risk from smoking a pack of cigarettes per day.

Previous studies have linked high alcohol intake to increased cancer risk, however, this is the first study to examine the influence of beverage type.

One drink is the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.