Source: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Can as little as one alcoholic drink a day raise your breast cancer risk?

Studies say yes. But does that mean you should steer clear of alcohol completely? And what about that glass of wine that’s supposed to be good for you?

Research consistently shows that drinking alcoholic beverages — beer, wine, and liquor — increases a woman’s risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol also may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells.

However, while most experts concur that the risk is very low, it’s still a good idea to exercise caution. MD Anderson’s Cancer Center offers some suggestions for how to balance your health and your enjoyment, including:
• Select low-calorie options to avoid unwanted weight gain.
• Stay away from 100-proof liquor. Researchers believe that it’s the ethanol or alcohol in beer, wine and liquor that causes increased cancer risk.
• Avoid alcohol as often as possible.