Friday, October 29, 2010

Daily Drink Raises Cancer Risk

Women who have just one alcoholic drink each day increase their risk of cancer, according to a new study.

Consuming just one drink a day causes an extra 7,000 cancer cases in women in the UK each year, researchers found.

Around 5,000 of these cases are related to breast cancer but others are cancers of the rectum, liver, mouth and throat, researchers from the University of Oxford found.

They examined data for more than a million middle-aged women taken from the Million Women Study and they found that, among drinkers, consuming one drink a day increased the risk of all types of cancer by 6% by the time women were 75.

The rates for individual cancers varied, with one drink a day causing a 12% rise in the risk of breast cancer and a 44% rise in cancer of the larynx.

For each additional drink up to a maximum of three a day, the percentage risk doubled for each type of cancer.

For example, women who drank two drinks a day had a 24% increased risk of breast cancer and an 88% increased risk of cancer of the larynx.

The researchers calculated each drink to be 10g of alcohol. In the UK, a standard measure of alcohol is 8g but a 10g equivalent would be a small glass (125ml) of 10% ABV (alcohol by volume) wine or a 330ml bottle of beer at 4% ABV.

The researchers found that it did not matter what women drank, it was the amount consumed which increased the risk of cancer.

For example, women who drank only wine were found to have a similar risk of developing cancer as those who consumed other alcoholic drinks


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