Doctors Say Breast Cancer May Be Linked To Drinking Alcohol

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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, The American Institute for Cancer Research is reminding women of a little-known factor causing ten percent of breast cancer cases.

Drinking alcohol, even in moderation, can harm more than just the liver. 
Doctors believe as little as one drink a day can significantly increase a woman's chance of getting the disease. 
"It will depend on the woman because some women will be more susceptible than others," Peter Shields, Deputy Director of the Cancer Center at James Hospital in Columbus said.  "Although we don't really know how to identify what that susceptibility is. On average, it could be as little as a drink a day could increase the risk for a woman to get breast cancer."
Doctors have several theories about why the link between alcohol and breast cancer exists, but Sheilds says none of them are proven.
The alcohol could be effecting hormones, causing changes in metabolism or damage to the DNA.
On the other hand, some studies show an ingredient in red wine contains anti-cancer enzymes, but most experts are saying it is the alcohol itself that is a bigger factor in causing breast cancer.
Other studies show both women and men should drink moderately to benefit their health, such as to decrease their risk of getting heart disease.
While doctors work to determine whether alcohol is more beneficial or detrimental to a woman's health, breast cancer survivors offer their own advice.
"Women getting treated earlier I think is very important," Athens resident Lee Woods said. "Since I found the lump, that's something I think women should do every month."
"Live every day to the fullest," Guysville resident Nancy Jackson said. "Don't sit and dwell on anything and whatever you make of it is how it turns out."