Alcohol and Hormones Raise Cancer Risk: Study

Even casual drinking heightens breast cancer risk 3-fold, researchers say
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2008 5:31 PM CDT
Dr. Murray Rebner reviews a mammogram done using digital technology at Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. A new study links regular drinking to cancer risk in women taking Hormone replacement therapy.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Postmenopausal women who drink casually while taking hormones will raise their chance of getting breast cancer, researchers said today. A Danish study of 5,000 women showed that those on estrogen and other hormones increased breast cancer risk three-fold by downing one or two drinks a day; a third drink or more raised the risk by almost 5 times.

Among the 5,035 women studied in the 20-year probe, 267 got breast cancer. But casual drinking did not heighten cancer risk among the women not on hormones, researchers said. They added that drinking may affect women differently depending on which hormones they use, but called for further study to establish specific hormone-alcohol links.