Why Binge Drinking Can Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer?

Why Binge Drinking Can Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer In Young Women?

breast cancer and alcohol
Contributed by: Abshar Faheem


Overview: Alcohol leads to breast cancer

As per scientific research, alcohol consumption can result in breast cancer in young women however, several women are ignorant of it. Even though the little amount of alcohol is also not safe and you might have a minimum risk of breast cancer. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of acquiring the disease and you might have a more vigorous type of breast cancer. There are not numerous effective ways of reducing your breast cancer risk but skipping alcohol consumption can be one important way to lessen the chances of acquiring breast cancer.

Researchers have been working to find out the link between breast cancer and alcohol for decades and they have proved that binge drinking enhances the risk of breast cancer by up to 7 to 16 percent. If a woman consumes three or more drinks of alcohol per day or more than seven drinks of alcohol per week especially at a young age is likely to develop breast cancer later in her life. If a woman is at her postmenopausal phase, she is likely to get this disease. Breast cancer can occur in moderate drinkers as well.


Why is binge or heavy drinking unsafe for women?

Experts have found out the link between alcohol and breast cancer however, they are still working on the mechanism behind it. Multiple theories have proved the relationship between alcohol and breast cancer. Alcohol affects females differently than it affects males. Alcohol enhances the level of estrogen particularly in women and who are at their postmenopausal stage because it might develop hormone-sensitive breast cancer. Consumption of Alcohol makes it difficult for the body to absorb the folate and other nutrients from the food. Folate is an important nutrient that fixes and controls your DNA. 

If your DNA is not properly maintained, it can be damaged and cells who have damaged DNA are prone to be cancerous. Even drinking alcohol can enhance your intake of extra calories and sometimes, you also gain weight. There is a strong relationship between weight gain and cancers.  Hence, consuming alcohol can result in extra calories and weight gain and this can be an indirect way that it might contribute to cancer formation.

In addition to breast cancer, alcohol consumption can lead to other medical conditions such as liver disease, neuropathy, and dementia as well as other types of cancer including the rectum, colon, pancreatic, stomach, liver, esophagus, voice box, throat, and mouth. As per various scientific departments, alcoholic beverages are supposed to be cancer-causing agents. If cancer has already begun in the body, alcohol may play a role in cancer’s growth and progress through several mechanisms including a breakdown of tissue, oxidative stress, and liver disease.


How much alcohol is safe?

In terms of breast cancer risk, not a single amount of alcohol is safe for women however, a smaller amount can increase a minimal risk. Moderate drinking includes one drink or less than it per day; however, moderate drinkers are also at higher risk of developing breast cancer. One drink per day or seven drinks a week can also contribute to breast cancer. Skipping or decreasing the drink can decrease your risk of developing cancer and the kind of alcohol consumed does not make a difference in your breast cancer risk.


How can we mitigate the risk of cancer?

When it comes to breast cancer, no amount of alcohol is safe. Drinking a smaller amount of alcohol can compromise your health. Most women are unaware of it so making awareness among women can decrease the risk of breast cancer in other women as well. 

Apart from alcohol, other factors also contribute to breast cancer including genes, environmental exposures, physical attributes, smoking cessation, artificial additives in your food, and your body weight. Alcohol is one of the factors contributing to breast cancer so we have to control and manage other factors as well to reduce the risk of it. Hence, we cannot necessarily recommend a safe amount of alcohol and everyone has to decide on their own.


The bottom line

If you are a breast cancer patient and consumes alcohol, you should connect to your healthcare provider. He or she may recommend several things to cut from your daily routine including alcohol and smoking. We recommend you talk to your healthcare provider before skipping anything on your own. We hope you find this article useful for yourself.


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