Alcohol and Breast Cancer Risk
Drinking as little as half a glass of wine a day may raise a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, a new study shows.
Assessing Breast Cancer Risk
The American Cancer Society lists alcohol as
It clearly states that having a drink or
more a day is a risk factor for the disease. One standard drink a day is
defined as moderation for women.
But this is the first study to show that even a half glass a day is
associated with "a slight but definite increase in risk," says Len
Lichtenfeld, MD, the society's deputy chief medical officer.
So what should a woman do with all this new information?
First of all, don't fret if you've indulged in a glass of wine or beer now
and then, Chen says. At the same time, don't think that abstaining all week
only to start partying come happy hour on Friday is going to help, Chen tells
WebMD. "It's the average amount the counts -- a glass a day for seven days
carries the same risk as seven glasses on one day, once a week."
Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that becoming a teetotaler means
you'll lower your risk of the disease, Lichtenfeld says.
The new findings "have to be looked at as one more piece of information
among many risk factors," he tells WebMD. "In the big scheme of things;
[alcohol] is a small issue" compared with something such as family
A sure bet: Follow a healthy lifestyle, with a good diet, exercise, and
avoidance of smoking and heavy drinking, Lichtenfeld says.