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Drinking any amount of alcohol can increase your risk of breast cancer


Women who consume three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Photo: Nicolas Postiglioni / Pexels

Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of different types of cancer. Even when drunk in moderation, alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in women. It doesn’t matter if it’s beer, tequila or red wine, all types of alcoholic beverages are linked to cancer. Ethanol is ethanol, the body doesn’t care.

The National Cancer Institute notes that Alcoholic beverages are known to be a human carcinogen. There is strong scientific evidence that alcohol can cause breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women in the United States.

Even those who drink very little alcohol have a higher risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society notes that compared to women who do not drink alcohol, those who drink 1 alcoholic drink a day have a 7% to 10% increase in riskwhile women who drink from 2 to 3 drinks a day have approximately 20% more riskier than those who do not drink alcohol.

Women who consume three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of developing breast cancer. Breastcáncer.org shares that the risk increases another 10% for each additional drink that women have on a regular basis each day.

How does alcohol affect breast cancer risk?

Alcohol can increase the levels of estrogen in the blood, which is a sex hormone linked to the risk of breast cancer.

Alcohol can also increase the risk of breast cancer by damaging the DNA of cells. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that “alcohol can affect the normal functions of the cells in your body, causing them to grow out of control and become a cancerous tumor ”.

Alcohol can also impair the body’s ability to break down and absorb a variety of nutrients that can be associated with cancer risk. For example folate, which is important because it helps repair and maintain DNA.

How much is moderate alcohol consumption?

Moderate consumption limits intake to 2 drinks or less per day for men and 1 drink or less per day for women. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines excessive alcohol consumption in men as more than 4 drinks in a day or more than 14 drinks per week; for women, have more than 3 drinks in a day or more than 7 drinks per week.

One drink equals 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol), 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol), or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (40% alcohol).

No amount of alcohol is safe when it comes to breast cancer risk.

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