You can’t swap out your genes or change your medical history, but the food and drink choices that you make today and tomorrow, over time, can affect your risk for breast cancer. And according to the American Institute of Cancer Research, these same choices may impact risk of recurrence in the breast cancer survivor.
When you look at the research about alcohol intake you will find contradictions in the conclusions. On the cardiac disease risk side, it appears that alcohol, and particularly red wine, may provide a benefit in risk reduction in many studies. However, a history of past or present alcohol intake seems to be a risk factor for head and neck cancer as well as breast cancer. In fact, alcohol is the only food-related risk factor for breast cancer.
One specific study from the University of Washington examined the drinking habits of women from age 15 until their first pregnancy. It showed that women who consumed one drink per day increased their breast cancer risk by 11%. And saving those drinks for the weekend also increased a woman’s risk.
The AICR recommends avoiding alcohol, but if you do drink, Ladies, limit yourself to just one drink or less per day. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or one shot of distilled spirits.
Switching to lite beer or wine spritzers can reduce alcohol intake and save calories. Non-alcoholic choices are better but be sure to choose calorie-free beverages such as diet sodas or flavored waters to help with weight management. In a previous posting obesity was identified as a risk factor as well.