Chilling news for tipplers: Sipping a single glass of wine, beer or other alcoholic drink a day increases breast cancer risk, according to a new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund.
Researchers analyzed 119 studies, including data on 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer. They found that even just a small glass of booze boosts breast cancer risk by 5% in pre-menopausal women and 9% in postmenopausal women.
On the other hand, the study that looked at lifestyle links to health and wellness also found that vigorous exercise, like running or fast bicycling, cuts the risk of of breast cancer by 17% in pre-menopausal women and 10% in postmenopausal women.
Light activity means taking a leisurely walk with no noticeable increase in breathing, heart rate or sweating. Moderate activity means walking a 15- to 20-minute mile with an increase in breathing, heart rate, and sweating, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. In vigorous exercise, breathing becomes more labored, making conversation difficult.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in U.S., with nearly 231,000 cases diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. While curbing consumption of Cabernet and such, and ratcheting up exercise aren’t magic bullets for avoiding breast cancer, they’re steps in the right direction. “There are no guarantees when it comes to cancer,” noted cancer researcher and lead author Anne McTiernan, M.D., “but it’s empowering to know you can do something to lower your risk.”