Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Does Alcohol Increase The Risk of Breast Cancer?

The risk of a female having breast cancer gets magnified especially if the female is overweight or is a smoker. This risk however is quadrupled when the female consumes alcohol, especially if there is a family history of breast cancer in first degree relatives of the female as genetic makeup also plays a big part in increasing the risk for breast cancer. Several studies have been conducted which have proved a relation between alcohol and increased risk for breast cancer, although there are very few females who are even aware of the increased risk for breast cancer when consuming alcohol.

A recent study conducted showed that many females were not aware of breast cancer symptoms. A small percentage of females who consumed alcohol had gone through mammogram screenings but overall less than 20% of females were aware that alcohol was a potential risk factor for Breast Cancer.

How Does Alcohol Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer?

Researchers have concluded that there is an increased risk for Breast Cancer with alcohol but what causes this still remains unknown. One reason speculated by scientists is that alcohol when consumed in large amounts on a regular basis breaks down into acetaldehyde. This chemical causes genetic mutations which increase the risk for cancer development.

Alcohol also tends to increase estrogen hormone, especially in females who are above the age of 40. The higher the levels of estrogen in the body the more likely are the chances of the female developing Breast Cancer. Studies show that when compared to females who do not drink alcohol, females who drink have approximately 20% chances more of developing Breast Cancer.

This study is based on a female consuming maximum of three drinks per week and this risk goes up by 10% with each extra drink that the female consumes on a regular basis. This percentage magnifies to around 40-50% for females who are habitual drinkers and drink three or more drinks every night. The study showed the increased risk for Breast Cancer with Alcohol is seen more in teenaged girls who have more than five to six drinks per week.

According to American Cancer Society, females should consume alcohol in moderation and not take more than a drink a day and not more than 10 ounces of beer for them to be safe and reduce the risk of Alcohol increasing the risk of Breast Cancer.

In summary, the next time you go out for a party with friends or have to go for a social gathering then you need to show restraint and take alcohol with caution so as not to increase the risk for Breast Cancer.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 20, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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