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Drinking alcohol ups breast cancer risk

Drinking alcohol ups breast cancer risk
28th September 2007

All alcohol influences the risk of developing the cancer, with the quantity consumed the important factor, rather than the type of beverage.

One of the largest studies of alcohol and breast cancer risk ever undertaken has concluded that whether you drink wine, beer or spirits is irrelevant.

Instead, what matters is total alcohol intake. The research reveals that women who drink between one and two alcoholic drinks per day increase their risk of breast cancer by ten per cent compared with light drinkers who drink less than one drink a day. More alarmingly still, women who imbibe more than three drinks a day increase their risk of getting the disease by 30 per cent.

Lead investigator Dr Arthur Klatsky said: "This strongly confirms the relation of ethyl alcohol per se to increased risk.

"A 30 per cent increased risk is not trivial. To put it into context, it is not much different from the increased risk associated with women taking oestrogenic hormones. Incidentally, in this same study we have found that smoking a pack of cigarettes or more per day is related to a similar (30 per cent) increased risk of breast cancer."

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