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Drinking Alcohol Can Increase Your Breast Cancer Risk

October 29, 20159 min
Does it matter how many drinks you have in terms of breast cancer risk?Breast cancer is the most common cancer (other than skin cancer) among women. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight (roughly 12 percent) of women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.In a long-term study, five Spanish universities analyzed over 300,000 female volunteers who participated in a European investigation looking at the link between alcohol intake and breast cancer risk.The study included 334,850 women between the ages of 35-70 from 10 European countries. The investigation was part of the EPIC Study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition).Researchers found that 11,576 women who participated in the investigation were diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of the 11-year monitoring study. One of the authors of the study stated, "a woman's average risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases by 4% with each additional 10 grams/day of alcohol. In other words, a daily intake of one glass of wine or beer -- or less -- would correspond to a risk value of 1. However, if we increase our intake to two daily glasses of wine or beer, our risk would rise by 4%''.What else did the researchers find?Beth Baughman DuPree, MD, FACS, ABIHM, shares results from this latest study on alcohol and breast cancer risk.

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