New Link: Alcohol and Breast Cancer in Young Girls and Women

Yet something new involving teenage use of alcohol, and critically important to worry about.  School-age girls who drink have a 13% greater risk of breast cancer.

According to newswise.com, a new study has shown that, for young girls and women heading back to school, "The more alcohol they drink before motherhood, the greater their risk of future breast cancer."

This is the first time research has been able to find links between increased breast cancer risk and drinking between early adolescence and first full-term pregnancy. Previous studies have looked at breast cancer risk and alcohol consumption later in life or at the effect of adolescent drinking on noncancerous breast disease.

"More and more heavy drinking is occurring on college campuses and during adolescence, and not enough people are considering future risk. But, according to our research, the lesson is clear: If a female averages a drink per day between her first period and her first full-term pregnancy, she increases her risk of breast cancer by 13 percent,” said co-author Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, newswise.com reports.

That's potentially millions of young women in this country.

The researchers also found that for every bottle of beer, glass of wine or shot of liquor consumed daily, a young woman increases her risk of repeated benign breast disease by 15 percent. Although such lesions are noncancerous, their presence increases breast cancer risk by as much as 500 percent, Liu said.
“Parents should educate their daughters about the link between drinking and risk of breast cancer and breast disease,” she said, according to newswise.com. “That’s very important because this time period is very critical.”

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