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From Medicineworld.org: Even half a glass of wine a day can increase the risk of breast cancer

Breast cancer treatment Breast cancer main Breast cancer news  

Even half a glass of wine a day can increase the risk of breast cancer


Even half a glass of wine a day may increase the risk of breast cancer in women as per new analysis of data from Nurse's health study. These findings were presented at the American society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting that was held in May 2005 at Orlando. The study was presented by Wendy Y. Chen MD, PhD who works as a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

When it comes to an alcoholic drink, there is no difference in the risk associated with various different kinds of alcoholic beverages. Beer, wine or spirit may be equally dangerous for the development of breast cancer. Previous studies have shown a link between alcohol use and risk of breast cancer, but this is the first time moderate drinking of alcohol is connected with increased risk of breast cancer. Increased risk of breast cancer is associated only with regular drinking of alcohol. Women who take an occasional drink may not have increased risk of developing breast cancer. Consistent weekend drinking on the other hand may be still associated with increased risk of breast cancer, since it the average amount that counts. A glass of wine a day carries the same risk as 7 glass of wine on weekend. Again one has to remember that breast cancer occurs as the result of combination of risk factors, and alcohol is only a small issue compared to a strong family history of breast cancer.

Several studies have previously shown that drinking alcohol in very moderate amounts may decrease the risk of heart attack. This is especially true for red-wine. Now with this new information that even very small quantities can increase the risk of breast cancer, women should be told to think about the benefits and risks of moderate alcohol use.

The researchers arrived at this conclusion by examining data from 121,700 registered nurses between ages 30 and 55 starting from 1976. These nurses were asked every 4 years to complete a questionnaire that asked about the food habits and amount of alcohol consumption. By the year 2002, a total of 5,973 of these nurses - all of whom were free of cancer at the start of the study -have been diagnoses with invasive breast cancer during the study period.

The study showed that, women who were drinking 5 to 9.9 grams of alcohol (about half a glass of wine) a day had 6 % increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who were not drinking alcohol. Women who were drinking 10 to 19.9 grams of alcohol (about one glass of wine) had 21% increased risk of developing breast cancer compared teetotalers. Those who drank more than 20 grams of alcohol faced a 37% increased risk of developing breast cancer. The risk was even higher in postmenopausal women. In 4,671 postmenopausal drinking of just half a glass of wine increased the risk of breast cancer by 18%.

This increased risk of developing breast cancer was independent of body mass index, use of hormone replacement therapy, or type of alcoholic beverage.




Cancer terms:
Latissimus flap: This is skin and muscle flap used for reconstruction of breast. Otherwise called latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap. This flap consisting of tissue from the back rotated around to the area of the breast for reconstruction. See cancer terms for more cancer related terms.

Medicineworld.org: Even half a glass of wine a day can increase the risk of breast cancer

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