Daily Drinking Raises Risk of Cancer in Women, Study Shows

After a long day at work many of us love to unwind with a beer, glass of wine, or some other kind of alcoholic beverage. But a new study shows that having just a couple drinks each day can significantly increase a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer.

The study, which was led by a team of researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was based on an examination of data pulled from two large United States-based studies. Overall, the data include health information related to nearly 90,000 women tracked over a 30-year period.

In the end, the study showed that light drinking, which is defined as one standard-sized drink for women, increased one’s risk of developing any type of cancer by a small amount. In addition, the study revealed that women who drank just a single glass of wine every day significantly raised their risk of developing breast cancer.

Dr. Jurgen Rehm, a Toronto, Canada-based cancer expert, says the study should lead women to carefully reevaluate their daily consumption of alcohol. “Light to moderate drinking should be limited to no more than 10-grams of pure alcohol a day for women and 20g for men (roughly one standard drink a day for women and two standard drinks for men, as defined in most countries),” he said.

Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, wants to take things a step further–he believes it’s time for health warning labels on alcohol containers. “This research confirms the results of previous studies showing that there is no such thing as a safe level of drinking when it comes to the risk of cancer,” he said.