Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Data from 1.2 million females reviewed

Daily glass of wine or booze can dramatically raise women's risk of breast cancer, review shows

Having just one glass of wine or another alcoholic drink a day is likely to boost a woman's risk of breast cancer.

That's what a new massive review indicates, according to a story by Laurie McGinley in today's editions of The Washington Post.

The increased risk is considered significant.

Statistically, McGinley's piece says, the difference is "5 percent for pre-menopausal women and 9 percent for post-menopausal women."

Reducing risk is also possible, the story also reports, by vigorous exercise such as running and bicycling.

That information translates, according to the study, into "pre-menopausal women who were the most active [having] a 17 percent lower risk of developing malignancies compared to the least active women, while post-menopausal women had a 10 percent decreased risk."

Why the added or diminished risks?

McGinley writes that "alcohol increases estrogen, which is linked to increased breast-cancer risk, while physical activity reduces it."

The review — done by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund — "evaluated research in 119 studies encompassing data on 12 million women from around the world."

AICR estimated that 1 in 3 cases of breast cancer could be prevented if women didn't drink alcohol, were physically active and maintained a healthy weight.

Anne McTiernan
The Post article cites Anne McTiernan, a cancer-prevention researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and one of the report's lead authors, to the effect that the review "suggests there is no level of alcohol use that is completely safe in terms of breast cancer. If a woman is drinking, it would be better if she kept it to a lower amount."

The review showed, too, that women who are overweight or obese run a higher risk of post-menopausal disease in general. Losing just 10 percent of their weight apparently can reduce blood estrogen and inflammation.

But even a healthy lifestyle is no guarantee.

The Post paraphrased the researcher as saying it's more like wearing a safety belt — with many women doing everything they can to reduce their risks but still get diagnosed with breast cancer.

"That's unfortunate, but that's what happens," the newspaper quoted McTiernan as saying.

Many more risks of breast cancer are outlined in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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