Monday, April 14, 2008

Alcohol Intake Raises Breast Cancer Risk Substantially

A new National Cancer Institute funded study has shown that alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of the most common type of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

More than 184,000 women were considered in this, the biggest of three major studies to conclude that drinking raises the risk of breast cancer for older women.

Jasmine Lew, a researcher at the National Cancer Institute and the study's lead investigator said on Sunday that the research found women who had one to two small drinks a day were 32 percent more likely to develop a hormone-sensitive tumor. The risk goes up substantially, to more than 51 percent, with three or more drinks a day.

"Regardless of the type of alcohol, the risk was evident," said Lew, presenting the findings in San Diego at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

This work referred to hormone sensitive tumors. About 70 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have tumors that are positive for both the estrogen and progesterone receptors.


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