Now we all have heard from Hillary, Trump, and dozens of other politicians in the last few weeks about a real or imagined war on women, but what no one mentioned was that one of the most popular pastimes in the United States can have much more serious consequences for women than men — a real war on women. I am talking about drinking alcohol — even in moderate amounts.
Alcohol is one of the hidden killers of women. Drinking alcohol can significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true in alcoholics, heavy drinkers or even moderate to heavy drinkers. According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, women who had 2 to 3 drinks per day had a 20% higher risk of breast cancer and the relative risk of breast cancer increased by about 7% for each alcoholic drink consumed per day.
The increased risk comes from a variety of factors, including how the female body processes estrogen. Estrogen levels are higher in women who drink alcohol than in non-drinkers, and these higher estrogen levels may increase the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol can also reduce the amount of folic acid the female body has, and some scientists believe that lowered amounts of folic acid can cause cells to mutate into cancerous cells.
So ladies, not only does heavy drinking affect your brain, heart, liver, pancreas and immune system, it has the double whammy for you of significantly increasing the risk of breast cancer.
So, for you ladies out there that get your annual mammogram, eat healthy and take other preventative actions to avoid breast cancer, don’t let two nightly glasses of wine erase all of those proactive steps.
And for you men out there with a wife, mother, daughter, sister or other female loved ones, make sure they know that their minor habit or major addiction to alcohol may be subjecting them to some serious risks that you do not face.
Marc Treitler and his family are the founders and creators of the family addiction education website www.potatoallergy.com and the authors and illustrators of My Dad Is an Alcoholic, What About Me?: A Pre-teen Guide to Conquering Addictive Genes.
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