A drink a day raises breast cancer risk
As little as one s mall alcoholic drink a day could significantly increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer, a major new study has found. Scientists at the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund analyzed data from 119 previous studies, involving 12_million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer. They found that premenopausal women who drink an average of 10_grams of alcohol each day––equal to a small glass of wine or an 8-ounce beer–– have a 5_percent greater risk for breast cancer. For postmenopausal women, the risk jumps to 9_percent. Alcohol can trigger DNA mutations and raise estrogen levels, two factors that have been linked to increased risk for the disease. “[The study] suggests there is no level of alcohol use that is completely safe in terms of breast cancer,” lead author Anne McTiernan tells The Washington Post. “If a woman is drinking, it would be better if she kept it to a lower amount.” In better news, the researchers found that vigorous exercise can help protect against breast cancer. The study showed that the most active premenopausal women had a 17_percent lower risk of developing the disease than the least active; postmenopausal women who did regular exercise had a 10_percent reduced risk. The report also confirmed that women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing the disease after menopause.