According to a new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), drinking just one glass of wine or other alcoholic drinks a day can increase the risk of breast cancer in women. Drinking alcohol comes at a price and may become hazardous to health in the long run. The side effects of drinking are not uncommon. Drinking excessive alcohol regularly can cause alcoholic hepatitis, chronic liver inflammation and even brain damage, but a new study suggests that drinking just a glass of wine or beer daily can also harm you.
Researchers also suggest that vigorous exercise such as running or fast bicycling can help decrease this risk of both pre- and post-menopausal breast cancers. For the study, the team of experts collated and evaluated all the scientific research available worldwide on how diet, weight and exercise can affect breast cancer risk in the first such review since 2010. They analysed 119 studies including data on 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer. Their report found a strong link between drinking a small glass of wine or beer daily and increased risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer risk by five per cent and post-menopausal breast cancer risk by nine per cent.
As per the US National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, alcohol may increase the risk of cancer in multiple ways like increasing blood levels of estrogen, a sex hormone linked to the risk of breast cancer. Drinking alcohol regularly may also increase breast cancer risk by damaging the DNA in cells.
On the other hand, it was seen that pre-menopausal women who were active had a 17 per cent lower risk and post-menopausal women had a 10 per cent lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who were the least active. According to Anne McTiernan, lead author of the report, having a physically active lifestyle, maintaining healthy weight and limiting alcohol are all steps that women can take to lower their risk. If you want to cut down your breast cancer risk, limiting your alcohol intake makes sense. You can avoid it altogether or indulge in an occasional tipple like two or less alcoholic drinks in a week.
How to Prevent the Risk of Breast Cancer
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), breast cancer is the one of the most common cancers that affects women. Here are some preventive measures that you can take to avoid the risk of breast cancer. Firstly, get regular screening done particularly after the age of 35. Secondly, regular physical activity along with a healthy diet, could considerably reduce breast cancer risk. Cut out processed foods. Some studies show that fiber-rich foods and foods that are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent the risk of breast cancer. Thirdly, most oncologists suggest that breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for a longer period of time, preferably till the new born is at least two-years old. Lastly, avoid any kind of hormone therapies and if you have to don’t continue them for more than three years as advised by Dr. Jeebak Bhattacharya, Radiologist at Apollo Hospital in Kolkata.