Hyderabad: One alcoholic drink a day increases the risk of breast cancer in women, according to a recent study by the American Institute for Cancer Research. The study states that consuming 10 grams of alcohol per day or the size of a small glass of wine increases the ri sk in women as it leads to mutations in the genes. Alcohol breaks down the genes and causes genetic mutation, which is a permanent change in the DNA sequence.
Oncologist Dr Bharat Shah explained, “Various research papers have shown that alcohol triggers a response from the body which leads to development of cancerous cells. It increases levels of oestrogen in pre-menopausal and post menopausal women. When there are high circulating levels of oestrogen, the risk of breast cancer is high.”
Alcohol has been a suspect for a long time. Senior oncologist Dr T.S. Rao, said, “There are multiple factors which lead to breast cancer. Lifestyle disorders like sedentary lifestyle, less physical activity, obesity, early menstrual cycle, and also more mass in the breast region are factors which can’t be underestimated. Alcohol increases the risk. There have been comparative studies in the West which show that women who do not drink have less chances of getting breast cancer than those who consume alcohol.”
But there are ways to minimise the risk. According to the study, vigorous or highly strenuous activity lowers the risk better than moderate exercise. Managing weight is very important; being physically active all the while reduces the risk of breast cancer. Dr K.M. Srivastav, senior oncologist explains how it works, “Body fats release hormones and compounds that increase the risk of cancer. Checking on weight reduces the risk but it is not a surety that cancer will not occur. These factors are merely identifiable risks which cause cancer but what is the real reason is still being researched.”