Alcohol Use and Women’s Health

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), just one alcoholic drink per day can increase breast cancer risk in both pre and post-menopausal women. The increased risk is about 5% for pre-menopausal women and 9% for post-menopausal women. Moderate drinkers have a 23% increase and heavy drinkers (who consume more than 8 drinks per day) have a 63% increased risk of breast cancer.

“The more you drink, the higher the risk.” according to Dr. Clifford Hudis, chief executive of ASCO.

And breast cancer is not the only type of cancer risk to increase with regular alcohol use. One drink per day for women and two for men nearly doubles the risk of mouth and throat cancer and more than doubles the risk of esophageal cancer, cancer of the voice box and colorectal cancers.

“The message is not, ‘Don’t drink.’ It’s, ‘If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less. And if you don’t drink, don’t start,'” according to Dr. Noelle LoConte, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lead author of the ASCO statement.

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