Alcohol and Womenís Cancer Risk
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A study of more than 1 million British women offers yet more evidence that moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of a handful of cancers.

Dr. Edward Hill discusses the study in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Women who drink as little as one alcoholic beverage a day have a significantly higher cancer risk than women who donít drink at all, according to recent research.

Researchers studied more than 1 million middle-aged women for an average of seven years. The women were participants in the ongoing Million Women Study in the United Kingdom.

Those who drank alcohol consumed on average one drink a day. Compared to non-drinkers, these women had a higher overall cancer risk, especially for cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, mouth, throat and esophagus.

The link between alcohol and breast cancer has been researched, but this study was among the first to link low-to-moderate alcohol consumption to other cancers in women.

Less than 2 percent of the women in the study regularly consumed more than three drinks a day, but each additional drink increased risk.

Moderate alcohol use has long been thought to be heart-healthy, something the new research doesnít address but which should prompt debate about safe levels of alcohol consumption.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.