There’s been for quite some time now a sort of common truth that drinking one glass of wine a day is if not harmless, even coming with health benefits. Well, if you were living by this so far, a new study should give you something to think about. Apparently, one glass of wine a day is linked to the development of breast cancer.
Scientists have identified new risk factors in the development of breast cancer. Their findings point out to the fact that women with a family history of breast cancer should avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible.
The journal Alcohol and Alcoholism features a 113 research paper on the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. The data comes from a joint team of researchers with the University of Milan and the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
“Since several populations show a high prevalence of light drinkers among women” wrote the researchers, “even the small increase in risk we reported represents a major public health issue in terms of breast cancers attributable to alcohol consumption”.
In their study, researchers classified a drink to carry 10 to 12 grams of ethanol, which stands for an average glass of wine or a lager pint. Basically, each alcohol drink raised a woman’s risks of developing a type of breast cancer. Their data lead to the conclusion that “women should not exceed one drink day, and women at elevated risk for breast cancer should avoid alcohol or consume alcohol occasionally only”.
The link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer is believed to be caused by how the alcohol impacts oestrogen, the female hormone that is responsible for several types of breast cancer.
Lead author of the study Helmut Seitz explains there isn’t a “threshold level of ethanol for breast cancer risk, the breast is one of the most sensitive organs for the carcinogenic action of alcohol. Healthy women should not exceed one drink a day”.
Although this isn’t the first study to show that alcohol does play a major role in the development of cancer, Sarah Williams, health information officer with UK’s Cancer Research, explains that “this new study adds to the evidence that drinking even small amounts of alcohol – about one drink a day – can slightly increase the risk of breast cancer”.