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.