Alcohol Linked to Breast Cancer

A drink a day raised risk 32% for older women: study
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2008 9:44 AM CDT
Nancy Hayes, 43, left, undergoes a digital mammogram. Researchers have discovered a significant link between alcohol consumption and the risk of breast cancer in older women.    (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer in older women by more than 50%, according to a new study. In an analysis of data from more than 184,000 post-menopausal women, those who had one or two drinks a day were 32% more likely to develop breast cancer tumors, researchers found. Three or more drinks a day raised the risk 51% higher.  

"Regardless of the type of alcohol, the risk was evident," said the study's lead investigator, who presented the findings at a California meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research yesterday. Researchers theorize that alcohol might interfere with the way the body metabolizes estrogen. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer killer among women, after lung cancer.