(NaturalPath) A recent study reviewed several areas of alcohol-linked health concerns, and the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer risk. The Research Society on Alcoholism found that even light drinking is detrimental to one’s health, and increases the risk of some cancers.
Previous research has considered alcohol to be a carcinogen, and the link between consumption and breast cancer risk was established in 2007. Since this time, research has aimed to quantify whether the amount of alcohol consumption plays a role, and what that role is. The current study reviewed three different areas of research in relation to light drinking to determine if even small amount of alcohol poses a risk. The three areas examined were as follows; biological processes in relation to breast cancer risk, epidemiological risk, and the global burden of incidence and mortality of breast cancer attributable to light drinking.
Results showed that even with low levels of alcohol consumption, there still remains a risk for breast cancer. It was demonstrated that alcohol consumption affects hormone levels and many biological pathways. Carcinogens are produced when ethanol is metabolized. It was demonstrated that there was a dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. Even light drinking produced an increased risk, when compared to no drinking. In 2012 roughly 144,000 cases of breast cancer, and 38,000 deaths related to breast cancer, could be attributed to alcohol consumption. Of these, 18.8 percent of the breast cancer cases, and 17.5 percent of the deaths were attributable to light drinkers.
This study emphasizes that alcohol consumption contributes to an increase in breast cancer incidence and mortality, regardless of the levels of consumption.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.
Kevin D. Shield, Isabelle Soerjomataram, Jürgen Rehm. Alcohol Use and Breast Cancer: A Critical Review. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2016; 40 (6): 1166 DOI: 10.1111/acer.13071