Drinking increases risk of breast cancer more than we even realized

Aug 19, 2015 at 12:05 p.m. ET
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You might want to rethink that daily glass of wine. After years of hearing that occasional drinking was OK, a new study has revealed that, in fact, even one drink a day can raise a woman's lifetime breast cancer risk.

The new study published in the British Medical Journal is based on two large U.S. studies of more than 100,000 people. And the recommendation seems to be, the less you can drink, the better. Officially, it's:

"Light to moderate drinking was defined as up to 15g alcohol (a small glass of wine) per day for women and up to 30g alcohol (two 355ml bottles of beer) per day for men."

For women, even one drink a day could increase their risk of breast cancer significantly. Pretty scary stuff. Judging from these studies, I feel like women should really think about abstaining from alcohol altogether. I know it's not what anyone wants to hear, but it's pretty disturbing stuff.

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The truth is, drinking is bad for us. No one wants to believe it, but alcohol can be just as dangerous as any other drug and abstaining is the best idea for our health. It might not be realistic for most of us. We all love our nightly wine, but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking it's OK. Yes, there have been studies saying wine (red wine) is good for us. And yes, mental health matters, too. But for me, with my risk of breast cancer (my mother died of it), it's just not a risk I want to take.

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So goodbye wine. I'll see you once in a while, but not every day. And hey, I might even lose some weight in the process, too.

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