Toast to cancer

Alcohol consumption raises risk of breast cancer

Published: Sunday 15 December 2002

Up to four per cent of breast cancers in the developed world can be attributed to alcohol, according to a new analysis by Oxford-based research organisation Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. The analysis was based on data from 53 previous studies, during which 58,515 with breast cancer and 95,067 not suffering from it were studied.

Women drinking an average of one glass of wine or a small beer every day are seven per cent more likely to suffer from breast cancer over their lifetime than teetotallers, the analysis indicated. Those drinking six drinks a day on an average are 46 per cent more susceptible to the cancer. According to experts, the results are noteworthy, as it is for the first time that a strong link between drinking and breast cancer has been established. "This report provides conclusive evidence," says study co-author Richard Doll from the University of Oxford, the uk.

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