The link between alcohol and breast cancer may
be closer than perceived.
Research released by the Northland District
Health Board (NDHB) claims women who drink more than one
glass of wine a day increase their likelihood of being diagnosed by
10 percent for each additional drink per day.
The reason being, alcohol affects the way
oestrogen levels are metabolised in the female body.
Breast cancer is the third most common cancer
among Kiwis, claiming approximately 600 lives every year.
NDHB promotion advisor Dave Hookway says the
problem lies within our complacency towards alcohol
"Many women are not aware alcohol adds to their
risk of getting breast cancer," he says.
Mr Hookway is pushing for more education
surrounding the effects of alcohol consumption and says breast
cancer charities should be at the forefront of this.
"I encourage organisers of activities to raise money for
breast cancer charities to take the opportunity to become
alcohol-free and explain why they have chosen to do so."
Current guidelines for safe drinking,
recommended by the Health Promotion Agency say women should not
consume more than four standard drinks under any given
circumstances, and completely avoid consumption while pregnant and
However, it isn't all bad news.
Mr Hookway says women can decrease the risk of
developing breast cancer by going for a 30 minute brisk walk and
consuming at least five servings of fruit and vegetables each
"Regular exercise appears to have
remarkable protective effects on both physical and psychological
The key then to decreasing the risk comes with