TORONTO — Bad news for those who like to unwind with a glass of wine every night: a new study has found that even up to one drink per day for women is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
One drink in the study was defined as a small (four ounce) glass of wine or a 355ml bottle of beer.
The risk of cancer was also found to be higher for men who drink up to two drinks per day and have ever smoked. No link was found in men who’ve never smoked.
“Our study reinforces the dietary guidelines that it is important not to go beyond one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men,” said lead investigator Yin Cao of Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health in a release.
Dr. Jürgen Rehm of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto wasn’t surprised by the findings.
“Alcohol can cause cancer, even at levels of light to moderate drinking. The present study reinforces this statement.”
Rehm added in an accompanying editorial that people with a family risk of cancer “should consider reducing their intake to below recommended limits or even abstaining altogether, given the now well-established link between moderate drinking and alcohol-related cancers.”
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Known alcohol-related cancers were said to include: cancer of the colorectum, female breast, liver, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx and esophagus.