February 25, 2009
Alcohol May Cause Cancer In Women
Ladies, a glass of wine a day may increase your chances of developing cancer.
According to Cancer Research UK, a drink a day causes 7,000 cancer cases - primarily breast cancer - in the United Kingdom each year.
The study reviewed women who had a low to moderate intake of alcohol: three drinks a day or less. In the seven-year study, available in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a quarter reported consuming no alcohol.
About 70,000 of the women diagnosed with cancer had a pattern connected to alcohol consumption. Having one drink a day can increase the chance of contracting cancer by 6% in women.
Lead author Dr Naomi Allen from the University of Oxford, says that "the findings of this report show quite strongly that even low levels of drinking that were regarded to be safe do increase cancer risk."
"About 5% of all cancers in the UK are due to drinking something in the order of one alcoholic drink a day."
She noted that there is bewilderment about the amount that people should drink. Red wine is supposedly good for the heart.
"It is up to individual people to make their own decision. All of us to some extent have to weigh up the risks and take some responsibility for our health," said Allen.
A Department of Health spokesman said: "We keep our guidance on sensible drinking under review. We currently advise on a lower risk drinking limit and that drinking above this level could be harmful."
"There is no completely safe level of drinking but this lower level reflects the known risks including breast cancer, which is partly why there is a lower drinking limit for women," they added.
"We look forward to examining this research in more detail."
Dr Sarah Cant of Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: "We already know that drinking alcohol can increase your risk of breast cancer."
"This study suggests that for women over 50 even drinking moderate amounts of any type of alcohol can have many health consequences, including a greater chance of developing breast cancer. Around 80% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women aged over 50, so limiting how much you drink is one step you can take to try to reduce your risk of developing the disease," Cant said.
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