Breast cancer and alcohol: 4+ Facts
Table of Contents
Breast cancer and alcohol: 4+ Facts about
Numerous studies point out to the fact that consuming alcohol well over the recommended daily intake over long periods can indeed increase the chances of breast cancer. Alcohol consumption does not cause breast cancer directly but can increase the risk of many folds. Excessive alcohol consumption aggravates 3 key areas that potentially could lead to breast cancer development.
Hormones and alcohol.
The female body produces two key hormones named estrogen and progesterone that control a lot of functions like regulation of the menstrual cycle, development of the uterus, and others. Alcohol consumption in excess can disturb the balance of these hormones and increase the deposition of these hormones around the tumor. This unnecessary deposition near the tumor cells directly improves the rate of tumor cell division.
DNA damage and alcohol.
The habit of alcohol consumption beyond normal levels can easily damage the DNA within our cells. Damaged DNA can easily lead to the production of faulty proteins or cause mutations that eventually lead to cancer.
Alcohol and oxidative stress.
Regular alcohol intake leads to oxidative stress. This means that alcohol helps highly reactive oxygen radicals that can easily damage body tissues. How does alcohol reach each of the different body tissues? Well, when we have an alcoholic drink, it takes about 30 to 120 minutes for the consumed alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Alcohol has an average rate of metabolism at 0.25 once per hour. The more you consume alcohol at a higher rate, the more are the chances of oxidative stress to occur.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also increase the levels of folic acid and easily trigger obesity. The unnecessary increase in folic acid levels and obesity are both, without doubt, risk factors for breast cancer. Restricting alcohol will not only help in improving general health but also help control other diseases as well.
A scientific study was conducted that compared two groups of females; one group had females that consumed alcohol on an average of 2-3 drinks a week while the females from the other group did not consume alcohol in any form. The results were quite astonishing because the group of females who consumed alcohol had a 15% higher chance of developing breast cancer when compared to the ones who did not consume alcohol. The study even suggests that women who have a habit of drinking at last one drink, every day have a 25% higher chance of developing cancer.
Another survey was conducted to further explore the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. The study aimed to identify the risk factors of breast cancer as well as the awareness of the daily drinking limit. A total of 238 females were selected for the study. Only 19.5% of the females had the information that alcohol can indeed increase the risk of blood cancer. The rest of the females had no idea about the link between alcohol and breast cancer. Alcohol consumption within limits does not pose as a probable risk factor, yet most of us don’t even know what the right amount is.
Any form of drink such as wine, beer, whiskey, vodka, etc. falls under the category of alcohol. One drink referred to in the study can be understood as having 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces for strong alcohol-based drinks, or 12 ounces of beer. There are well over 100 scientific studies that have proven alcohol consumption is indeed a risk factor for breast cancer.
The bottom line about Breast Cancer and alcohol.
If you want to avoid the risk of developing breast cancer, keep a tab on your alcohol consumption. Limit drinks to not more than 2 per week. Moreover, if a female has a family history of breast cancer, alcohol intake should be completely stopped as chances of breast cancer development are much higher when compared to others. Alcohol is not only a risk factor for breast cancer, but it is also a risk factor and triggers the development of neck, head, and esophageal cancers.
Some of us drink when in social gatherings and it is not advisable to avoid communication with your peers if you are not consuming alcohol, rather carry on your same routine, go to events, places, meet family and friends an keep your well-being in your mind. Females who are habitual of alcohol consumption daily should keep a tab on their health, perform a self-breast examination at least once a month. Still, the best option would be to limit consumption. Try to taper off the quantity of alcohol gradually over time. Self-determination and support from peers can work wonders when you are trying to avoid unnecessary drinking. If you ever find it hard to control your drinking habits, seek help from the nearest healthcare professional who can assist you in stopping your overconsumption. There are proven therapies that have effective results.
Alcohol is not the only risk factor for breast cancer, there are at least a dozen other factors, environmental as well as a chemical that can trigger breast cancer without hassle. You should not avoid and go for a complete examination to your doctor when you feel pain in the breast, under the armpit, or you feel an uncomfortable tension within the breast. Breast cancer occurrence cannot be prevented but can be identified early on through proper diagnostic tests, and treated afterward.