New research suggests that middle-aged women who imbibe even one alcoholic drink a day have greater risks for developing breast, liver and rectum cancer, Health Day News reported Feb. 24.
Naomi Allen and colleagues from the University of Oxford analyzed data from more than 1.2 million middle-aged British women, through use of cancer records in the National Health Service Central Registries. Most women in the study consumed at least one drink each day, and 68,755 of the women developed cancer during the seven year follow-up period.
Researchers found that moderate drinking was linked to 13 percent of breast, liver, rectum, and upper respiratory/digestive tract cancers for women. Overall, each additional drink increased the cancer risks, and the type of alcohol did not seem to matter.
“Because a high proportion of women drink low amounts of alcohol regularly and because most of the increased risk is for breast cancer, the risk among women associated with drinking alcohol is of particular importance,” said lead researcher Naomi Allen.
For women who drank and smoke, the risk of developing mouth and throat cancers increased also.
The study was published online in Feb. 24, 2009 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.