For many years, men and women have applauded studies that have shown mild alcohol use is linked to many beneficial repercussions such as lower stress and better blood pressure. Recently, some studies have shown moderate alcohol use in women can actually increase their risk of getting breast cancer. Moderate use is defined as 3 or more drinks per week and even light drinkers experience the same increase in risk factors for breast cancer. Alcohol is a socially-accepted habit, but consistent drinking even on a small scale can have serious consequences, including increased risk for depression and, new evidence shows, breast cancer.
In almost three decades, over 100,000 women have been studied and their habits analyzed with long-term health repercussions determined. The findings in this particular study from 1980 to 2008 show that even as few as three to six drinks per week can result in a 15 percent increase in risk of breast cancer over women who drank zero alcohol. These findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It is important to keep in mind that the greatest increase in risk was shown to be associated with cumulative and consistent alcohol use as opposed to occasional indulges of three to six beverages in one week.
When evaluating your personal alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk, it is important to keep these findings in mind. Researchers are careful to point out that these results cannot be extrapolated to women that occasionally indulge, but apply more to those that enjoy a glass of wine every night. It is also important to note that the type of alcohol did not change the results of the study: hard liquor, beer, and wine were all found equally guilty.