Boozing in early adolescence could increase breast cancer risk

Updated: Aug 29, 2013, 13:27 PM IST

Washington: Researchers have linked increased breast cancer risk to drinking between early adolescence and first full-term pregnancy.

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, said that 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.

First author Ying Liu, MD, PhD, a School of Medicine instructor in the Division of Public Health Sciences, said that they also found that for every bottle of beer, glass of wine or shot of liquor consumed daily, a young woman increases her risk of proliferative benign breast disease by 15 percent and although such lesions are noncancerous, their presence increases breast cancer risk by as much as 500 percent.

She said that parents should educate their daughters about the link between drinking and risk of breast cancer and breast disease, asserting that`s very important as this time period is very critical.

The findings are based on a review of the health histories of 91,005 mothers enrolled in the Nurses` Health Study II from 1989 to 2009.

The study has been published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.