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Are Drinking Habits and Breast Cancer Risk Related?

The more alcohol a woman drinks before her first full-term pergnancy increases her risk of breast cancerImportant new research shows there is a correlation between drinking habits and breast cancer risk. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that the more alcohol a woman drinks before motherhood, the greater her risk of developing breast cancer are in the future. This is a scary and sobering fact.

This study is also the first time in which increased risk for breast cancer is linked to drinking habits between puberty/early adolescence and first full-term pregnancy. Previous studies have examined the relationship between breast cancer risk and drinking habits later in life (can increase risk of breast cancer), as well as the effect of early drinking habits and noncancerous breast disease.

The study concluded that if a woman averages a drink a day (beer, wine or liquor) between her first period and first fill-term pregnancy, her risk of breast cancer increases by eleven percent. And the risk of developing proliferative benign breast disease increased by fifteen percent. Though benign, the presence of legions caused by this disease can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer by nearly five hundred percent.

There are a few things that make these findings important and something to pay attention to. One is more and more women are delaying motherhood (or avoiding it all together). This trend coincides with heavy drinking occurring on college campuses. And among young professional women, there are business dinners, work happy hours, and social outings in which drinking (if not heavy drinking) is a common occurrence. In July, we wrote about the rise of liver disease among young women and the denial of drinking habits (women shouldn’t have more than 2-3 drinks/day).

Considering one’s future health risks if difficult to do at any age, especially in adolescence and early adulthood. The most important thing you can do is talk to the women in your life, younger or older, and help educate them of the risks.

1 Comment
  1. Hello Jacquie,
    Guess who celebrated 34 years of continuous sobriety on Oct 4th.

    Correct, your once seemingly hopeless case.
    Hope you’re well and happy.

    I wish I could do your program but I have nowhere for my son to stay. He turns 16 this Wednesday. What a ride. As you know I live with relentless pain. I do take opiates; the lowest amount…no more than twice a day. Funny when u use them for their intended purpose you don’t get high. Lately they’re not working very well. Looks like knee replacement is in the near future.

    Please keep me on your mailing list.


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