Moderate Alcohol Consumption Ups Breast Cancer Risk

By Vera Viner


Did you know that drinking even a moderate amount of alcohol can still increase your breast cancer risk?  A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association highlights this.  The research is based on the Nurses’ Health Study which followed over 120,000 nurses starting in 1976.

Consuming as little as 3 glasses of wine every week increased a woman’s chances of contracting this disease, according to this research.  The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.  The best predictor for how much of an impact alcohol plays includes calculating the amount of alcohol consumed across a woman’s life span.

A woman is not expected to stop drinking alcohol altogether, but this study does show how the average amount of alcohol consumed over an extensive period of time makes an impact on a woman’s health.  While previous studies have emphasized that high amounts of alcohol lead to increased breast cancer risk, this research illustrates that even moderate drinking effects your breast cancer risk.

The exact numbers found indicate that a woman who drinks 3 to 6 glasses of wine every week has a breast cancer risk that is 1.15 times higher than a woman who doesn’t drink alcohol.  There is also no disparity found between wine, beer, or liquor when configuring the quantity of alcohol in each.  There is also no difference seen between what age alcohol was consumed in the study subjects.  And, finally, women who drank less than 3 glasses of wine (or other equivalent alcohol) per week throughout their lifetime show no increase for breast cancer risk.

So it is best to limit the amount of alcohol you consume and find other ways to relieve stress at the end of a long day.  Yoga is always good at relieving stress, or soaking in a hot bath could do the trick.  Leave your two glasses of wine for Friday night!



Martin, David. “A Drink a Day Increases Breast Cancer Risk – The Chart – Blogs.” The Chart – Blogs. 1 Nov. 2011. Web. 06 Nov. 2011.

Click This Link to See a CNN Video on This Study

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