With the holiday season upon us, many of us may be tempted to have that extra drink or two at that work Christmas party or a family gathering. However, we need to remember that alcohol has been proven to be linked to a higher risk of breast cancer as well as other types of cancer.
Sheffield University released a study that finds alcohol-related cancer deaths to hit 135,000 in the next 20 years, according to Science Daily. The results speak to more than 7,000 cancer deaths in the United Kingdom predicted to be caused by alcohol over the following two decades.
The more alcohol a person consumes, the higher their risk of cancer. Other findings show that a majority of people are now aware of the link between alcohol and cancer. Women at higher risk for breast cancer such as family history should be wary of drinking an excess of alcohol. Women are advised to drink potentially less than one glass of wine or beer a day.
The National Cancer Institute reported that multiple research studies have linked drinking an excess of alcohol to various types of cancer including head and neck cancers, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.
More than 100 studies have analyzed the risk between breast cancer and alcohol consumption. The studies have all found an increasing risk of breast cancer from rising alcohol drinking.
Women who have about three drinks of alcohol per day have 1.5 times the risk of developing breast cancer as those who do not drink. Breast cancer risk even increased by 7 percent among women who had about one drink per day.
However, on the other side of the story, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported that one of their studies found moderate alcohol consumption after breast cancer treatment will likely not lead to a “lethal recurrence.” However, this does not mean the disease will not recur. Alcohol consumption was found to be linked to breast cancer recurrence as well as an increased risk of the disease in healthy breasts.
Essentially, having a drink or two will not lead to a lethal recurrence, but breast cancer survivors will need to be vigilant and consume very little alcohol if they wish to avoid getting the disease again.
“Moderation is very important but our study supports previous studies in suggesting that the occasional glass of wine does not seem to impact a woman’s risk of dying of breast cancer,” said epidemiologist and lead author Dr. Christopher Li.
When you go out with friends or family and find yourself surrounded by alcoholic drinks, be sure to remember these health risks and keep consumption to a minimum in order to live a healthy and happy life.