Just one small glass of wine per day increases breast cancer risk


We know that drinking alcohol increases the risk of several cancers, but surely just one drink a day won’t hurt, right? Actually it could –

If you’re a heavy drinker, you may want to be aware of this. According to a comprehensive new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, drinking alcohol and less surprisingly, exercising can affect a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.

The report, which attests that just one alcoholic beverage daily is sufficient to increase breast cancer risk, included data of 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer. In contrast, vigorous exercise can reduce this risk in pre- and postmenopausal women.

Photo: Malimacchiato

One standard drink has about 14 grams of pure alcohol, and that equates to 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of a 5% alcohol beer. For premenopausal women, the surge in risk for consuming an average of 10 grams of alcohol daily is about 5%, whereas there is a 9% boost in risk for postmenopausal women for the same amount of alcohol.

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Though the research boasts significant results, alcohol consumption may be a “surrogate” for various lifestyle factors that are risk carriers. With that said, drinking is one area that we are able to control, as opposed to family history, age, breast density and genetics.

On the other hand, premenopausal women who are very active have shown a 17% decrease in risk of developing breast cancer, whereas postmenopausal women had a 10% reduction in risk. Vigorous activities in this context would signify cycling, power walking, or jogging, depending on the individual’s fitness levels.


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