Study: Alcohol increases breast cancer risk

NHK -- Mar 15
Researchers at a Japanese cancer center have found that the more alcohol premenopausal Japanese women drink, the more likely they are to develop breast cancer.

A research group at Aichi Cancer Center in the city of Nagoya collected data from more than 158,000 Japanese women over a period of around 14 years. It analyzed the data to study the link between alcohol and breast cancer.

About 2,200 of the women developed breast cancer. The researchers found that premenopausal women who drink alcohol almost every day have 1.37 times higher risk than those who do not drink alcohol.

They also found that premenopausal women who drink more than 23 grams of alcohol a day have 1.74 times higher risk than those who do not drink alcohol.

The researchers say they found no link between the amount or frequency of drinking alcohol and the risk of breast cancer in women after menopause.

They say this is the first large-scale study of the link between alcohol and breast cancer in Japanese women. The results have been published in an international journal.

Matsuo Keitaro, a member of the research group, said obesity reportedly increases the risk of breast cancer by about 50 percent. But he said their study has found that drinking alcohol carries a greater cancer risk than obesity.

He says premenopausal women who drink alcohol should be made aware of the breast cancer risk. He said they should reduce alcohol intake and have regular medical exams. - NHK