Even Modest Drinking Increases Breast Cancer Risk
Having just one drink per day increases breast cancer risk, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers monitored alcohol consumption for 88,084 women and 47,881 men as part of the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. For women, having just one alcoholic drink per day increased the risk for alcohol-related cancers (mainly breast cancer) by 13 percent, compared with those who consumed no alcohol. Among men, colorectal cancer was the principal alcohol-related cancer. Researchers suspect ethanol and other compounds found in alcohol may be potential mechanisms. Many previous studies have also found that moderate alcohol intake increases breast cancer risk.
Cao Y, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Giovannuci EL. Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer: results from two prospective US cohort studies. BMJ.
2015;351:h4238. Scoccianti C, Lauby-Secretan B, Bello PY, Chajes V, Romieu I. Female breast cancer and alcohol consumption: a review of the literature. Am J Prev Med. 2014;46:S16-S25.
Breaking Medical News is a service of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 5100 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20016, 202-686-2210. Join the Physicians Committee and receive the quarterly magazine, Good Medicine.