Alcohol and Breast Cancer: Are They Related?
If you could do something to prevent breast cancer, would you? For many women who struggle with alcoholism, intellectually the answer is easy, but emotionally it may be more difficult because one of the risk factors for breast cancer is alcohol consumption. Alcohol has become a socially acceptable way of destressing and for many women this vice can be a catch-22. Health risks and scares can create stress and for some women, alcohol is seen as a way to alleviate this stress. But using alcohol for stress relief may be increasing their health risks, which in turn creates more stress. And the cycle continues.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 225,000 women in the United States have been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and about 39,000 have lost their lives to it. The cause for most cases of breast cancer is unknown, but a number of risk factors have been identified. Alcohol definitely increases the risk of breast cancer, and the more a woman drinks, the greater her risk. Alcohol consumption also factors into recurrence of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is scary. No one wants to think about the risk of cancer but the rates are continuing to increase for women who are developing breast cancer. I believe that it is in the best interest of women to steer clear of alcohol, especially if there is a family history of breast cancer. Information about the statistics about alcohol and breast cancer may be helpful in our high school health courses as preventive education for our teens.
What are some of your thoughts about alcohol and breast cancer? Have you struggled with alcoholism and are a breast cancer survivor? Share you thoughts with us below or on our Facebook page. Your story may help a fellow addict through a difficult time.