A new report from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research says drinking even a small amount of wine, beer or hard liquor every day raises the risk of breast cancer.
For many years researchers have said excessive drinking could be linked to an increase risk, but this report says even a small amount could make a difference.
The study showed the increase was 5 percent in pre-menopausal women and 9 percent in post-menopausal women.
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"The regular use of alcohol does increase your risk of having breast cancer in your lifetime," said Dr. Jillian Lloy, a breast surgical oncologist with UT Medical Center. She says her main concerns are what else a patient is doing to improve their risk.
Dr. Lloyd suggests four ways that women can help their chances of getting breast cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise at least 150 minutes a week
- Avoid smoking
- Reducing alcohol consumption
"It is up to the patient or up to the individual to decide what they are going to do or not do in order to affect their risk of breast cancer," said Dr. Lloyd.
She encourages women to start early in life practicing healthy habits, but says there is no guarantee a woman will or will not get breast cancer.