While past research has shown that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer in white women, its effects on Black women has been iffy. But a new study suggests that we need to be just as concerned.
According to Reuters Health, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studied more than 22,000 women in the African-American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Consortium and found that compared to light drinkers (less than four alcoholic beverages a week) Black women who consumed at least two drinks a day were 33 percent more likely to develop invasive breast cancer. Also, women who reported drinking more than seven drinks a week had a higher risk of breast cancer of nearly all types compared to women who drank less.
Even with just one drink a day can elevate our risk too, researchers noted.
“Many breast cancer risk factors like family history cannot be changed, however, alcohol drinking can be moderated if a woman wants to decrease her risk,” said senior study author Melissa Troester, a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“Most studies show that risk is only significantly increased if women drink more than one drink per day,” she added.
Past studies about this correlation have mostly been tested on white women; this is one of the first studies to this inclusive with its scope of participants.
Why does alcohol increase one’s risk for breast cancer?
Troester theorizes that liquor may affect hormones and cause tumor growth or cause cell damage.
Now that does this mean that you can’t enjoy a glass of wine? Of course not. It’s all about cutting back.