Regular light alcohol drinking raises cancer risk for womenWomen who regularly consume one or two alcoholic drinks each day have a notably higher chance of developing cancers compared to women who do not drink regularly, says a new report from Cancer Research UK.
By: Staff Reports, Grand Forks Herald
Women who regularly consume one or two alcoholic drinks each day have a notably higher chance of developing cancers compared to women who do not drink regularly, says a new report from Cancer Research UK.
The risk increases significantly for breast, liver and rectum cancers, says the report. A woman smoker who regularly consumes one or two alcohol drinks per day also has a significantly higher chance of developing mouth and throat cancers compared to a female smoker who does not drink regularly. The report did not compare mouth and throat cancer risks between female smokers and non-smokers.
According to the researchers, British women who drink alcohol consume an average of one alcoholic drink per day — this consumption is similar to that found among alcohol-consuming women in other developed nations. Approximately 118 of these cancers are diagnosed for every 1,000 women up to that age of 75 in industrialized countries. The researchers say that there would be 15 extra cancer cases per 1,000 women up to 75 years of age for every additional regularly consumed alcoholic drink.
Thirteen percent of cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, mouth and throat are caused by alcohol consumption, say the authors of the report.
Approximately 11 percent of breast cancer cases in the UK can be attributed to women’s consumption of alcohol, say the researchers (5,000 out of 45,000 each year).
Cancer Research UK researchers at the University of Oxford’s cancer epidemiology unit studied data from more than a million middle-aged women from the Million Women Study.
Dr. Naomi Allen, lead study author, said: “These findings suggest that even relatively low levels of drinking — about one or two alcoholic drinks every day — increase a woman’s risk of developing cancer of the breast, liver and rectum, and in smokers, cancers of the mouth and throat.”