Find information and resources for current and returning patients. Learn about clinical trials at MD Anderson and search our database for open studies. The Lyda Hill Cancer Prevention Center provides cancer risk assessment, screening and diagnostic services.
Moderation is key. One drink per day has been shown to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol also increases estrogen in your bloodstream.
Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of sugars and starches by yeast. Alcohol is also found in some medicines, mouthwashes, and household products including vanilla extract and other flavorings. This fact sheet focuses on cancer risks associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Male breast cancer is a relatively rare cancer but one that doctors often diagnose in the later stages. Knowing how to recognize the signs can help a person get early treatment. The outlook for male breast cancer is excellent if diagnosis occurs in the early stages. However, early diagnosis is not always possible.
Alcohol is classified as a group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC as there is a proven, causal link between alcohol and several types of cancer. Alcohol consumption can cause cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, bowel and female breast. All these cancers showed evidence of a dose-response relationship — the risk of cancer increases steadily with greater volumes of alcohol consumption.
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.
Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer but it is important to get them checked by a doctor. Please visit the Cancer Research UK website for more information about the early symptoms of breast cancer. Globally, one in five of all alcohol-related deaths are due to cancer 3 yet too few people make the connection between alcohol and cancer.
Reducing your drinking can also help improve your general health and wellbeing, as well as reducing your risk of other cancers and diseases. It might change the levels of hormones in the body, including oestrogen. Oestrogen can help some breast cancers to grow.
This week, Chief Medical Officers announced new guidelines on alcohol consumption which suggest that drinking any level of alcohol increases the risk of a range of cancers. These came into effect on 8 January, but the wording of the guidelines is still open to comment until 1 April. Work started inand a thorough review of new scientific evidence was led by a panel of experts in public health, behavioural science and alcohol studies.
Many studies show drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer [ 20 ]. A pooled analysis of data from 53 studies found for each alcoholic drink consumed per day, the relative risk of breast cancer increased by about 7 percent [ 20 ]. Whether drinking alcohol increases risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers more than it increases the risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancers is under study [ 21 ]. Learn about alcohol and breast cancer survival.