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Does Alcohol Boost the Risk of Breast Cancer?

Does Alcohol Boost the Risk of Breast Cancer?

Could your alcoholic drink be silently killing you? A few drinks in moderation may not appear to be harmful but, could they be increasing your chances of developing a breast cancer? Alcohol has been linked to many diseases. Find out, if it is secretly attacking your breasts too.
Urvashi Pokharna
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
It is often said that drinking alcohol in moderate quantity is beneficial for the heart and circulation system. Its touted benefits include protection against Type-2 diabetes. Excess consumption of alcohol is linked to several types of diseases. For a long time, researches couldn't answer whether alcohol raises the likelihood of breast cancer because most women accompany their alcohol with cigarettes. This made it difficult to find out which one was the real culprit responsible. However, new studies were conducted by examining women who drank alcohol but were not smokers. And now ladies, I hate to disappoint you, but you need to know that every unit of alcohol that you consume per day, increases your chances to be diagnosed with breast cancer by at least 7 to 11% according to international standards. One unit of alcohol is equivalent to approximately 10 grams of 13% concentration alcohol concentration (as found in wine). There is no safe level of alcohol that will not harm your breasts. There is 'NO' safe limit.

Alcohol Consumption and Breast Cancer

The main cause of breast cancer is high levels of estrogen, a sex hormone. Alcohol contributes to the increase in estrogen levels in the body and increases your risk of getting a breast cancer. Your body is more prone to the disease as you grow older. Also, when alcohol mixes with the blood, it breaks down and is converted into acetaldehyde by the liver. This carcinogen, when not eliminated by the liver as a toxin, causes mutations in your genes and changes the DNA structure. This leads to the production of cancer-causing cells that multiply uncontrollably and cause breast cancer, respiratory cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer and mouth cancer. Alcohol also attacks the immune system and leaves you weak.

Women are increasingly becoming heavy drinkers and this will affect the rate at which women will become victims of breast cancer in future. While you are in your early 20s, alcohol may not do as much damage to your body due to your built-in strong immune system. However, as you near your 30s, your chances of developing a breast cancer will keep increasing. The effect will be magnified as your intake of alcohol increases.

Breast Cancer Statistics

Did you know? Every 8.8 women in 100 will suffer from breast cancer before reaching 80 due to natural causes. If you are amongst those women who drink alcohol daily, you may be amongst the 9.4 women out of every 100 at the same risk. If you are an alcoholic, you stand at a chance of 13.3%. At least 4% of breast cancer patients are victims of alcohol consumption. The National Cancer Institute of America also agrees that there are damaging effects of alcohol consumption on human body. If you are already fighting against breast cancer, my advice is you absolutely steer clear of alcohol even if you are having it in small quantities. Even after being healed from breast cancer, returning to your habit of alcohol consumption can put you at a 50% higher risk and lead to the cancer returning to your breasts. Women drinking more than 3 glasses of alcohol everyday sail in the same boat.

The concept that a glass of red wine per day can decrease the chances of a cardiac problem only applies to men. It also significantly safeguards them from the risk of prostate cancer. However, in women, the same phenomenon cause the increase in chances of breast cancer. All kinds of alcohol, whether it is your wine, vodka or beer, will cause equal damage and put you at a risk of breast cancer. Yes, I know you love your bar night with your girls and it is absolutely hard to say no, when the cute guy offers to buy you one. But, you can start with reducing your consumption by a drink or two.