Drinking just one glass of wine a day could increase the risk of women developing breast cancer
Women are still putting themselves at risk of developing breast cancer by drinking within the recommended amount of alcohol, says a new study from Harvard University.
Research has shown that by drinking four small glasses of wine a week, women are 15 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer. Those who drink up to two glasses a day increase their risk by 50 per cent.
‘Our results highlight the importance of considering lifetime exposure when evaluating the effect of alcohol, and probably other dietary factors, on the carcinogenesis process,’ says Dr Wendy Chen, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Experts also warn that regular drinkers in their 20s and 30s are still at risk of developing the common illness and becoming a third more likely to develop breast cancer, even if they chose to cut back later in life.
It is also believed that drinking alcohol raises the levels of the hormone oestrogen, which can spark the growth of tumours.
‘This study adds to already strong evidence that drinking even small amounts of alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer,’ says health officer Sarah Williams from Cancer Research UK.
‘Cutting down on alcohol can reduce the chance of developing breast cancer – as can keeping a healthy weight and being physically active.’