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Research Suggests Alcohol Causes Breast Cancer in Women

Monday, May 04, 2009 by: Henri Junttila
Tags: alcohol, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Breast cancer is the one of the most common cancers among women from the United States. The chance of getting invasive breast cancer sometime in a woman's life was around 12 percent in 2008 according to statistics from the American Cancer Society. In addition to invasive breast cancer there were another 67,770 cases of non-invasive forms of breast cancers in 2008. The risk that you will develop breast cancer can be significantly lowered if you eat and live a healthy life.

A recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on February 24, 2009, found that just a few alcoholic drinks each day may increase the risk of not just breast cancer, but other cancers as well, compared to those who drink less. The study was lead by Naomi Allen, D.Phil, from the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Breast cancer risk was shown to increase 12 percent with each daily drink. This would translate into 11 extra breast cancers per 1,000 women up to the age of 75. "The risk of cancer was similar in women who drank wine exclusively and in women who drank a mixture of alcoholic drinks," Naomi Allen told CNN. "This suggests that alcohol, rather than other substances contained in specific alcohol beverages, is the most important factor in determining cancer risk" she said. "Breast cancer risk has long been known to be higher in drinkers, but beyond that, there has been little research done on alcohol and cancer in women" said Allen. Although it is not clear how alcohol may increase cancer risk, there is evidence that moderate alcohol intake at the levels studied increase circulating levels of sex hormones, which are known to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer," she told CNN.

In the study, around 1.3 million women participated. The average age was 55 and they all visited the breast cancer screening clinics in the United Kingdom between 1996 and 2001. They had to answer various questions, including the type of alcohol they drank and how often. Other questions included if and how often they smoked, their body mass index, how often they exercised, if they used oral contraceptives or have or have been involved in hormone replacement therapy. The problem with this study is that they did not measure how much alcohol the women actually drank, because this would be close to impossible. Dr. Michael S. Lauer, director of the Division of Prevention and Population Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, noted exactly these limitations. He also said that the large sample size made this study unique. "I don't think one study is enough to make major policy changes right now, but this is a very well done study, and when policy is being made they are going to have pay a lot of attention to this" he said to CNN.

Researchers are still undecided about what forms of consumption lead to increased chances of breast cancer and other cancers. If you want to be on the safe side it is probably a good choice to stop drinking alcohol altogether (if possible), it certainly will not be harmful for you. The American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association currently recommend that you should drink in moderation, and by their standards this means one drink per day for women (12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits).

Sources:
http://www.nysun.com/national/study-all-type...
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cr...
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/24/wom...
http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/a...

About the author

Henri Junttila is passionate about topics such as home water filters, natural skin care, omega 3 fish oil and natural supplements. His website Colon Health, provides information on topics such as candida cleanse, hemorrhoid cure, relieving constipation, colon detox, colon cleaning, the best colon cleanse and colon cleanse products reviewed by his visitors.

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