Health & Temperence – Moderate Drinking May Increase your Risk of Breast and Colon Cancer

Mounting evidence finds even moderate drinking may increase your risk of breast and colon cancer

Something to ask yourself: Is it worth it?

By Judy Peres | Chicago Tribune staff reporter

You eat your veggies, you exercise at least a few times a week, you gave up cigarettes and hormone-replacement pills, and you have a glass of red wine every day, all because you care about your health.

But one of these things is not like the others.

While your attention has been elsewhere, scientists have amassed persuasive evidence that drinking alcohol — any form of alcohol, even in moderate amounts — can pose a serious threat to your health.

Researchers have known for nearly 20 years that drinking alcoholic beverages can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver. But those diseases don’t get much publicity. In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer added breast and colon cancer — two of the four major killer cancers — to the list of malignancies known to be fostered by alcohol. The risk is “dose dependent,” meaning the more you drink the higher the risk.

According to comprehensive reviews of the scientific evidence, people who average just over one drink a day (100 grams of alcohol in a week’s time) increase their chances of developing colon cancer by about 15 percent. For those who consume about four drinks daily, the risk is 40 percent higher.

Women who have one to two drinks a day increase their breast cancer risk by 13 percent. With four drinks, the risk is 50 percent higher.

source: Chicago Tribune

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