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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Scary News for Women Who Drink Alcohol

Even one small drink a day can raise a woman's risk for the most common type of breast cancer by a staggering 32 percent, according to a new, large study of more than 184,000 women conducted by the National Cancer Institute. Those who drink three or more alcoholic beverages a day--and it doesn't matter if it's wine, beer or spirits--raises the risk by 51 percent.

Reuters report that this is the largest of three major studies to reach the same conclusion: While alcohol may be good for a woman's heart, it creates a very high risk for breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women. Alcohol ups the chances of developing a hormone-sensitive tumor. About 70 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have tumors that are positive for both the estrogen and progesterone receptors.

Why does alcohol increase breast cancer risk? Lead study author Jasmine Lew told Reuters that the main theory is that it interferes with the metabolism of estrogen raises the risk of cancer. She said it is too early to make public health recommendations about alcohol consumption, but advised women to talk with their doctors to assess risk factors and consider lifestyle changes. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer killer of women. Only lung cancer kills more. The study findings were presented at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
source: Netscape.com

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