Alcohol linked to breast cancer Friday, 22 May 2015

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 consumption.

"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 breastfeeding.

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 day.

"Regular exercise appears to have remarkable protective effects on both physical and psychological health."

The key then to decreasing the risk comes with moderation.

-3 News