Women who drink more than a glass of wine or beer a day have long been known to increase their risk of developing breast cancer. But new research suggests the risk is far greater than previously believed — quadrupling with each daily glass of alcohol. The study, led by five Spanish universities who tracked over 300,000 women from 10 countries, is raising new alarms on the links between alcohol and breast cancer, Science Daily reports.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumour is a group of cancer cells that can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too.
Of the women in the study, funded by the European Union (EU) and coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, 11,576 were diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of 11 years. Those who drank more than one alcoholic beverage a day were far more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, the findings showed.
”A woman’s average risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases by four per cent with each additional 10 grams per day of alcohol,” said María Dolores Chirlaque, one of the Spanish researchers from the University of Murcia. ”In other words, a daily intake of one glass of wine or beer — or less — would correspond to a risk value of one.
However, if we increase our intake to two daily glasses of wine or beer, our risk would rise by four per cent [so] an increase of up to 15 grams [per] day is linked to a 5.9 per cent greater risk of breast cancer.” A very important large scale recent study which has again demonstrated the link between alcohol and breast cancer is the Million Women Study. Run by Oxford University, it is ongoing and involves 1.3 million women across the UK.