NEWS.com.au | Alcohol boosts cancer risk (November 14, 2002) HOME?> "
Alcohol boosts cancer risk
By Jenny Hope in London
November 14, 2002
DRINKING a single glass of wine a day increases a woman's risk of getting breast cancer by 6 per cent, according to a cancer research study.
It shows that every year thousands of women could be saved from the trauma of the disease by giving up drinking.
The huge Cancer Research UK study reveals that heavy alcohol consumption is particularly dangerous, with women drinking more than a bottle of wine a day at 40 to 50 per cent higher risk of the disease.
Rising levels of drinking by women have already contributed to more cases of breast cancer in recent years ? and the toll could go higher if the trend continues upwards.
The study estimates around one in 20 breast cancer cases each year can be blamed on drinking. Its results, which come at a time when young women are drinking more than ever, could lead to revised guidance from the Department of Health which currently recommends women drink no more than the equivalent of two to three small glasses of wine a day.
Professor Valerie Beral of Cancer Research UK's cancer epidemiology unit at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, said: "This research tells us there is a definite link between alcohol and breast cancer and the evidence suggests that the more a woman drinks the greater her risk." She said drinking had contributed to rising numbers of breast cancer cases, although other factors such as the trend for women to remain childless or have smaller numbers of children and not breastfeed had probably had a bigger effect." [So, which will become the most common message, "breastfeed to reduce your cancer risk" or will they say "stop drinking to reduce your cancer risk."? - JC]