Health Buzz: Alcohol Use and Cancer Risk and Other Health News
Posted February 25, 2009
A Drink a Day May Increase Your Cancer Risk
Consuming as little as one alcoholic drink per day may increase the risk of several types of cancer in middle-aged women, according to a new study published online yesterday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study involved more than 1.2 million British women, making it the largest study ever to look into the role of alcohol use in women's cancer risk. During the seven-year follow-up period, 68,775 women in the study were diagnosed with cancer. Cancer risk increased as the consumption of alcohol rose, and the kind of alcohol the women drank didn't seem to make a difference. Moderate drinking, the study suggests, accounts for about 13 percent of cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, and upper respiratory/digestive tract in women, HealthDay reports.
Alcohol consumption affects more than cancer risk; in fact, in some women, alcohol may protect against heart disease and fractures—if it's not abused. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis reported last year that alcohol use and alcoholism are on the rise in women, though not in men.