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Healthline Connects
Healthline Connects

Women Who Drink More Increase Their Risk of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer worldwide. Earlier this week, scientists at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, Spain shared findings that it makes no difference whether women drink beer, wine or spirits - it is the quantity of ethyl alcohol itself that is consumed (three or more servings daily) that increases the risk of breast cancer. Amazingly, the risk is almost equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day!

Researchers at Kaiser Permanente (right here in Oakland, CA) found that age and ethnicity did not make a difference but three drinks a day increased the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by 30%. One of the researchers, Dr. Klatsky, discussed the heart protection benefit of drinking red wine. He suggests that red wine decreases blood clotting and diabetes while raising HDL (the good cholesterol - are we all confused yet?) but that has nothing to do with breast cancer. Figuring out how much alcohol is best for you is just one more question for you to discuss with your doctor. Again, being an informed patient and partnering with your provider is your best bet for optimal health care.

  • Other breast cancer news: there is significant racial disparity between black and white women with breast cancer. Black women are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer but more likely to die from it. So far, researchers are at a loss to explain the disparity but all are troubled by it.
  • Would you like to get your organization or group involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month? The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation invites us to be Passionately Pink for the Cure, an exciting new fundraising campaign. Your group agrees to wear pink on a certain day or days and raise money for research for this disease that continues to devastate the lives of so many.
  • What do we do when the going gets tough? Retail therapy! If that one glass of wine isn't cutting it for you, try shopping online and raise money to fund mammograms for women who can't afford them at The Breast Cancer Site. Don't know what to wear on your Passionately Pink for the Cure day? The Breast Cancer Site has some ideas...
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The Healthline Editorial team writes about the latest health news, policy, and research.