Doctor: Alcohol could increase cancer risk


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If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to cut back on your alcohol intake, here’s one more incentive for that plan: It could lower your risk of developing cancer.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to cut back on your alcohol intake, here’s one more incentive for that plan: It could lower your risk of developing cancer.

“The link to alcohol and breast cancer has been well defined,” said Dr. Paula Rosenblatt, an oncologist who treats breast cancer patients at the University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor Assistant in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Maryland.

“There are hundreds of studies that have shown the association that basically as little as one drink a day can increase breast cancer risk,” she said.

When it comes to talking about alcohol and health, Rosenblatt said that saying that a glass of wine a day is good for the heart has overshadowed the fact that alcohol can also pose serious risks to the heart. health, such as cancer. It’s not just breast cancer: the risk of other cancers of the head, neck and whole body increases with alcohol consumption.

As to why alcohol has this effect, there are a few hypotheses.

“Alcohol is just empty calories and can be associated with weight gain,” Dr. Rosenblatt said. “Obesity can also be associated with breast cancer. “

Another explanation is that metabolizing alcohol increases the level of estrogen in a woman’s body, and 80% of breast cancers are estrogen-positive breast cancers.

Does this mean you need to stop drinking completely?

“I think a drink here or there is safe,” Rosenblatt said. “It’s drinking regularly every day and drinking several servings of alcohol that is really the problem.”

Basically, save alcoholic drinks for special occasions or a weekend treat, instead of adding them to your menu every day, she said.

It is also important to note what constitutes a drink.

“I think the American portions of things are pretty large,” Dr. Rosenblatt said. “In medical terms, one serving of alcohol is only 5 ounces of wine, only one and a half ounces of alcohol, or a 12 ounce beer.” So be aware that your one drink could be more than one serving.

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