There are lots of risk factors of breast cancer, for example family history, aging and life style. We cannot change the first two factors, which are totally out of control. But we can do something to reduce the risk by changing the life style.
Certain breast cancer risk factors are related to personal behaviors, such as diet and exercise. Other lifestyle-related risk factors include decisions about having children and taking birth control. Let’s talk about drinking alcohol in this post.
As we all know drinking alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Compared with non-drinkers, women who have 1 alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in risk. Those who have 2 to 5 drinks daily have about 1½ times the risk of women who don’t drink alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of other cancers, too.
Although alcohol is an established risk factor for breast cancer, most studies have been conducted in predominantly white populations, noted Melissa A. Troester, PhD, a professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina. But she wanted to determine whether previous research on alcohol and breast cancer was applicable to African-American women.
Therefore, a new research was conducted by professor Troester. And it turns out that alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in African-American women, indicating that they, like white women, may benefit from limiting alcohol.
22,338 African-American women were enrolled in the study. The study showed that women who drank seven or more drinks per week showed an increased risk of almost all sub-types. Women who drank 14 or more alcoholic beverages per week were 33 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than women who consumed four or fewer drinks per week. The results of this study indicate that the same risk factors that have been documented in previous research apply to black women as well.
Troester said that further research would be necessary to determine which breast cancer risk factors—weight, reproductive history, oral contraceptive use, family history, etc.—apply most significantly to each race.
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