A recent report from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Fund found that drinking one alcoholic beverage a day can increase the risk of breast cancer. This study examined data on 12 million women and 260 cases of breast cancer from 119 studies to understand how certain lifestyle factors can affect breast cancer risk.
Among pre-menopausal women the risk from having one drink a day is 5 percent and 9 percent in post-menopausal women. The report characterizes one drink as containing 10 grams of alcohol, but noted that a standard drink contains 14 grams.
The good news is that the report also revealed that vigorous exercise could decrease a woman’s breast cancer risk factors. Active pre-menopausal women averaged a 17 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer and very active post-menopausal women had a 10 percent lower risk. Maintaining a healthy weight and breastfeeding are other factors that may help lower a woman’s risk.
There are no guarantees with cancer, but for any woman who wants to take a proactive stance in preventing breast cancer, some healthy lifestyle changes are well worth considering.