Lifewatch: Alcohol and cancer in women

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - A new study suggests alcohol could increase a woman's risk of cancer.

United Kingdom researchers looked at the drinking habits of more than a million women and found drinking even low or moderate amounts of alcohol increased their risk for cancer.

"The sum of the clinical data we have to date is very consistent, and it says that with every bit of alcohol one consumers, one's risk of cancer goes up a little bit," said Dr. Gwen Stritter.

The study found the risk was the same regardless if women drank beer, wine, or hard alcohol.

The study suggests alcohol may account for nearly 13 percent of cancers involving the breast, liver, rectum, and parts of the digestive tract.

While this is the largest study establishing a link between alcohol and cancer, it's not the first.

In 2007, a Kaiser Permanente study looking at the records of more than 70,000 women found the risk of breast cancer increases 10 percent with just one drink, and up 30 percent with three drinks a day.

Some scientists suspect alcohol increases production of estrogen which made lead to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Previous studies have found drinking moderate amounts of alcohol is good for heart health, but the risk for cancer associated with alcohol may outweigh any cardiovascular benefits.

To learn more about the health risks associated with alcohol, click here or click here.