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New Report Says Light Drinking Adds To Breast Cancer Risk

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For some time now, researchers have known that heavy alcohol use increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Now a new analysis reveals that even light drinking, as little as three to six glasses of wine a week, can add to a woman’s risk by as much as 15%.

The study, based on an 18-year study of factors that cause various illnesses in women, was published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. It found that light drinking added to a woman’s breast cancer risk by about 15%, similar to the increase caused by estrogen-progesterone therapy for menopause.

Preventive health experts say that the new report doesn’t mean women should avoid all alcohol. They point to American Cancer Society statistics that estimate an American woman’s risk for breast cancer at 1 in 8. A 15% increase is considered moderate, while other studies have noted that light to moderate drinking reduces a woman’s risk of heart disease by up to 40% [A woman's risk of heart disease is estimated as 1 in 2].

Your doctor is probably the best person to suggest whether you should drink or not.


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