Determine Your Risk

A new study shows that young women who drink have a higher risk for breast cancer than those who do not.

Woman drinking beer

Another reason to curb the booze: It could increase your risk for breast cancer.

A recent study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis says that the more women drink between the time of their first period and first pregnancy, the higher their chances for developing breast cancer.

In fact, one drink a day during that time in a young woman's life boosts the risk by 13 percent.

Ying Liu, the lead study author, said that alcohol is already well documented as a breast pathogen, but up until her study, there was no data available showing that the timing of drinking was an issue. Her study was published Thursday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and included data from more than 91,000 mothers in the U.S. who were tracked over a 20-year period.

For every drink a young woman consumes daily, her risk also goes up 15 percent for benign breast disease. Liu said that having a benign breast disease can increase a woman's risk for breast cancer by up to 500 percent.

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