Cancers alcohol may cause – Part 4: Breast

Cancers alcohol may cause – Part 4: Breast

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. Studies report that it is the second leading cause of death after lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the United States had the highest annual incidence of breast cancer in the world nearly a decade ago in 2007. Although further studies reported a decline in the incidence and death rates due to breast cancer in the country, it continues to be the most feared disease among women.

Despite numerous studies, the precise cause of breast cancer in unclear. However, research has revealed that factors such as age, genetics, hormonal changes, therapy like hormone replacement therapy, exposure to radiation, and consumption of alcohol can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. While all the other factors are hard to control, one can curb their alcohol intake and reduce the risk.

Excessive alcohol consumption is usually associated with the damage caused to the liver. However, a recent study has disclosed that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to seven types of cancer including breast cancer. According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBJ), 3.6 percent of all cancers worldwide (5.2 percent in men, 1.7 percent in women) are attributable to alcohol drinking. The risk of developing breast cancer increases by 10 percent with every drink consumed each day, added NCBI.

Link between alcohol and breast cancer

Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer as well chances of its recurrence even leading to death in extreme cases. A study titled, “The Burden of Cancer Attributable to Alcohol Consumption,” published in the journal Maedica in 2011, has linked the rise in the risk of breast cancer with the increased level of hormones such as estrogen and androgen due to alcohol consumption. Further, alcohol consumption has also been found to affect other body functions such as enhanced mammary gland susceptibility to carcinogenesis, increased mammary carcinogen DNA damage and greater metastatic potential of breast cancer cells.

The study added that “regular drinking equivalent to two to four standard drinks or more per week was associated with 1.3-fold and 1.5-fold increased risk of breast cancer recurrence and breast cancer death respectively.” It also reported that the risk of developing cancer was higher among postmenopausal women or overweight or obese women.

The increased risk of breast cancer primarily develops as alcohol tends to breakdown in acetaldehyde, which further has the potential to cause permanent damage to the DNA sequence, thereby triggering the development of cancer. The risk further increases for women who have never smoked or ingested alcohol in their lifetime.

Breast cancer in men

Though breast cancer is related to women, men can also develop this illness. The symptoms of breast cancer in men are same as in women. However, the incidence of this cancer in men is rare with less than 1 percent of such cases. Be that as it may, heavy alcohol consumption is still one of the leading factors for developing breast cancer in males. Therefore, men can easily reduce their risk of this disease by curbing their alcohol consumption.

Road to recovery

By curbing alcohol consumption one can avoid the risk of developing breast cancer. Besides breast cancer, studies have also linked alcohol to other cancers such as of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum (colorectal), and liver.

If you or your loved one requires help for alcohol abuse, seek assistance from one of the reputed alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California. The Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California can connect you to one of the best alcohol rehab centers in California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online to know more about treatment centers for alcohol addiction in California.

Read the other articles of the series Cancers alcohol may cause:

Part 1: Oropharynx, larynx, esophagus

Part 2: Liver

Part 3: Colon, rectum

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