Alcohol Consumption and Risks of Breast Cancer

There has been significant research over the decades to prove the relation between alcohol consumption and chances to get breast cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has clearly found evidence and stated that there is enough of scientific evidence to state that alcoholic beverages of Group 1 carcinogen can cause breast cancer in women and also men (very rare).

A woman who drinks 2 units of alcohol per day has almost 8% increased chances of developing breast cancer. In UK a study was conducted where it showed that 1,280,000 middle-aged women if consumes alcohol regularly and takes additional sips as well, the chances of breast cancer increases by 1.1%. Almost 6% cases of breast cancers every year can be prevented if drinking can be reduced, suppose less than 1 unit in a week.

In women, almost 60% cases of breast cancers are caused by alcohol consumption. Alcoholic beverages like liquor, beer and wine increases the hormone levels, especially estrogen and enhances the chances of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer, thereby damaging the DNA in cells.

alcohol consumption and risks of breast cancer

How Alcohol does Increases the Risk of Breast Cancer?

The exact ways of how alcohol is increasing the probabilities of breast cancer is still under research. However, some potential mechanisms are understood –

  • Alcohol when consumed gets disintegrated into a substance called acetaldehyde that causes genetic mutations, which leads to permanent alterations in the structure and sequence of DNA that is making up your genes. Thus, this will evidently trigger a response from your body and lead to the formation of cancerous cells.
  • Alcohol also considerably increases the production of the female hormone called oestrogen. This is more likely to happen in women in pre-menopausal and post-menopausal phase. High cvirculation of oestrogen in your body will let the cancerous cells to multiply in high rate and thus enhances the chances of breast cancer.
  • Regular consumption of alcohol changes the sensitivity of the immune system and often seen to bring in nutritional deficiencies, especially that of folic acid that is essentially needed during childbirth process. It also reduces the amount of vitamins A, D, B6, and E and zinc in your body that makes it difficult for the body to withstand cancer.

How can you Lower the Chances of Breast Cancer Even with Alcohol Consumption?

The most sensible act would be whatsoever to stop drinking alcohol. However, in most cases the addiction levels are so high that this is just not possible. Check the following steps that can help you to lower the risks of developing breast cancer despite drinking alcohol –

  • Start limiting the alcohol consumption as much as possible – you can start with drinking 5 days a week, then 3 and then to only one day. Fewer alcoholic drinks per week will definitely lower the chances of breast cancer.
  • You can choose from the other beverages that do not contain alcohol or has very little amount of it. The mocktail Virgin Mary will give you the taste of cocktail Bloody Mary owing to the tomato juice but does not have the harmful vodka. Even Cosmo-Nots is a punch of healthy cranberry juice without vodka. You can also have non-alcoholic wine, beer, and champagne as their tastes have also improved with time.
  • Have a fruit salad with the drink. If you have a healthy fruit bowl along with alcoholic drinks, the harmful effects are negated to some extent as the healthy fruit input can boost your immune system considerably.
  • Create homemade beverages and garnish them well in your drink tumblers so that they give you the psychological feeling of having a drink. Often it’s just a habit that you need to get rid off! Substitute your alcohol evenings with dramatic mocktails, favourite juice mixed with club soda and sparkling ice, add organic fruits to ginger ale and champagne etc.


Posted in: Breast Cancer

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