Alcohol Increases Breast Cancer risks

Breast cancer Science

The risks of
alcohol

The World Cancer Research study 

Recently an interesting article was published discussing the risks associated with alcohol consumption and breast cancer.

The article titled’ Half a glass of wine a day increases breast cancer‘  discussed findings inside a report published by the World Cancer Research Fund that reinforced the evidence that alcohol can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

The report  outlined the latest evidence on how women can reduce the risk incidence by reducing alcohol consumption and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

The WCRF studies scrutinize all the evidence on potential risk factors and issues their opinion on whether it’s strong enough foundation in order to make recommendations to the public.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, and 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. The U.K. data serve as an excellent reference for other developed nations.

What the WCRF already know and have been sharing with the public is that  almost a third of breast cancer cases in the UK could be prevented, largely by lifestyle changes. This certainly holds true for other European nations, The U.S. and other developed nations.

It is impossible to pinpoint the cause of an individual’s cancer. Having said that, it is crucial to remember that there are many  things you can do to reduce your risk of Breast Cancer. That is when studies providing evidence such as this one, serve as the first step towards motivating women to take action.

What the report Says?

The report supports what was found on previous research showing that drinking alcohol can cause 7 types of cancer  including breast cancer. 

Right there, there is nothing new.

While the content on this report may sound alarming, it also known that by cutting down your consumption, you are decreasing the risks of breast cancer.

In fact, the more you cut down, the more you’re reducing your risk.

The More You Cut Down Alcohol Consumption,
The more you cut Your risk of breast cancer

Source: www.cancerresearchuk.org

The Link Between Alcohol and Cancer

In General, women are less prone to drink very large amounts of alcohol. However, even with low amounts or alcohol being consumed,  thousands of cases of cancer – including breast – are linked to alcohol each year.

So, what is the reason for this correlation?

There are 3 good theories explaining the roots of the the link between alcohol and cancer:.

  • When we drink alcohol, it’s broken down into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde has the ability to cause damage to our cells, more specifically the DNA inside our cells, therefore preventing cell damage from being repaired. This is critical to the process, as the damaged cell allows cancer to develop.
  • Alcohol consumption can impact hormone production in our organism.  It can increase the levels of certain hormones, including estrogen,  that can enhance breast cancer development. High levels of estrogen are often a factor on breast cancer diagnosis.
  • Another negative effect of Alcohol consumption is that it eases the way for cells in the mouth and throat to absorb other cancer-causing chemicals. Although this last factor is less relevant for Breast Cancer, It’s still an important factor on the relationship between cancer and alcohol.

How Much Alcohol are Women Consuming?

How much are you drinking?

We often underestimate how much we eat and drink. 

A good way to find out how much we are drinking is to find a way to measure it. With alcohol, it happens to be units.

A unit is not the same as a drink. Most alcoholic drinks contain more than 1 unit. The number of units in a drink is determined by the size of the drink and how strong (i.e. alcoholic) it is.

In most restaurants and bars, drinks are being served in larger glasses or amounts.  Drinks, especially wines, beers and ciders, have very different alcohol content and  strengths. The strength of a drink can make more difference than you might expect – a pint of 3.5% beer has around 2 units of alcohol, whereas the same amount of 5% beer has almost 3 units. most people are oblivious of these nuances. 

What this means?  Well, This means that you might be drinking more alcohol than you think.

 

keeping track of consumption

How to cut down?

7 Tips To Cut Down Alcohol Consumption
to help reduce breast cancer risk

There are many different ways for you to cut down your alcohol intake.

A good way to start is by identifying the situations or times when you are more inclined to increase the amount of alcohol you drink.

Very often people tend to go a bit over during a night with friends, special dates or celebrations as well as when under a bit of stress at work or having a bad day.

Recognizing it, may help you to develop a plan that will help you keep things under control and remind yourself of what you’ll say and do differently next time.

  • Take a break from alcohol. Try having some alcohol-free days each week.
  • Less is better. Select drinks with lower alcohol content and go for a smaller glass 
  • Alternate Drinks. On nights out or celebrations, make sure to have a glass of non- alcoholic drink every other drink.
  • Track it. That’s Huge. Keep yourself accountable of how many drinks you are having. And, set a week limit. to help you, try to use an online tracker or app.
  • Don’t stock up. Only buy alcohol when you plan to drink it.
  • Avoid refills. Topping up your drink will make it impossible to track how much you’re drinking.
  • No rounds  and challenges. Drink at your own pace, instead of feeling pressured to keep up with the fellow drinkers in the group.
  • Buddy up. Reach out to a friend or family member and Agree to cut down drinking together. It is fun and help each other stick to the plan.
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