A recent report by World Cancer Research Fund has shown that drinking even one glass of alcohol a day can increase the risk of breast cancer.
The report involved an analysis of worldwide research on breast cancer, reviewing evidence from 119 studies from all over the world. The studies examined more than 12 million women and over 260,000 cases of breast cancer.
There was strong evidence to suggest that just half a glass of wine, or a small beer, a day can increase the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer by 5%, and post-menopausal breast cancer by 9%.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:
"Even one drink each day can increase your risk.
The more you drink, the higher your chance of developing the disease at some point in your life."
The report also found evidence that suggests that maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise decreases the risk of breast cancer. It was also revealed how a certain diet can decrease the risk of breast cancer. Consuming food high in carotenoids, such as carrots, tomatoes, and spinach, was linked to a lower risk, along with dairy foods and other foods that are high in calcium.
Dr Anne McTiernan, a cancer prevention expert at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre said:
“Having a physical active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life and limiting alcohol are all steps women can take to lower their risk.”
1 in 8 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, and it is the most common cause of cancer death. Cancer Research UK states that 27% of breast cancer cases are preventable. This report believes that 1 in 5 breast cancer cases in the UK could be prevented by not drinking alcohol.
It is important to note that there are several other factors that can increase the risk of breast cancer, and some of these are out of a person’s control. Cancer Research UK lists 17 other factors that can contribute to increasing the risk of breast cancer, these include age, height, and family history.