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Alcohol Tied to Higher Cancer Risk

November 13, 2002|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Alcohol may be good for the heart, but a daily glass of wine or beer can increase a woman's risk of breast cancer, researchers said Tuesday.

One unit, or eight grams of alcohol per day, raises a woman's chances of developing the disease by about 6%, but smoking, which is linked to a range of other diseases and different cancers, does not contribute to the illness.

"The more women drink, the higher their risk of breast cancer," professor Valerie Beral of the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford told a news conference.

The scientists, who analyzed the results of 53 previous studies into the effects of alcohol and smoking on breast cancer, estimated that alcohol accounts for about 4% of breast cancers in the developed world.

Although the risk is small and represents only a tiny part of the picture of what contributes to the disease, Beral said women should know about it because it is preventable.

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