Posted by John Ager on 02 November 2011.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study which links light drinking to an increased risk of breast cancer in women. The study, the largest of its kind, followed more than 100,000 women for nearly 30 years and contradicts previous research which found no increased risk for light drinkers. Women in the study who consumed 3-6 drinks per week had a 15% greater risk of developing breast cancer than non-drinkers. The risk increased by 10% for each additional drink consumed daily. Occasional drinking did not increase the risk at all.
While it is not clear that drinking small amounts of alcohol causes breast cancer as there could be some other reason light drinkers were at high risk, the study highlights the fact that alcohol has been found to be both helpful and harmful to good health. For example, most people are aware of the studies which suggest light drinking has many benefits, including reducing cholesterol. People should assess the relative risks and benefits of all their activities, including drinking, in their personal decision making process.
To learn more about the diagnosis of breat cancer, visit the breast cancer link on our website.