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Alcohol Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Large Study Confirms This Worrisome Link Between Alcohol and Breast Cancer

It's true that alcohol in moderation can be good for your health, but weighing the pros and cons of your daily glass of wine is always a good idea. A new, large European study reinforces this idea by confirming that every glass of alcohol you drink increases your risk of breast cancer.

Related: Foods That Prevent Breast Cancer

In the study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers followed the habits of more than 334,000 women aged 35 to 70 for 11 years and found that alcohol consumption was a determining risk factor for developing breast cancer. In fact, they calculate that while drinking a glass a day increases the risk by one percent, drinking two glasses of wine or beer a day increases your risk of breast cancer by four percent. In other words, with each drink, you're quadrupling your risk of breast cancer. The scientists also found that long-term exposure to alcohol was also a risk factor, meaning that the longer you've been an alcohol drinker, the higher your risk of developing breast cancer.

Limiting alcohol intake has long been recommended by health organizations as a way to prevent diseases like cancer — in fact, one study from 2007 found that drinking three glasses of any type of alcohol a day increases your risk of breast cancer by 30 percent — but this large study is just one more big confirmation that habits like alcohol intake can have a direct and lasting impact on your health. Read more of our tips on how women of any age can reduce their risk of breast cancer here.

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