BBD and cancer risk rises among girls who drink

September 3, 2013

A girl who consumes 1 alcoholic drink per day between her first menstrual cycle and her first full-term pregnancy increases her risk of proliferative benign breast disease (BBD) and breast cancer, says a new study.

 

A girl who consumes 1 alcoholic drink per day between her first menstrual cycle and her first full-term pregnancy increases her risk of proliferative benign breast disease (BBD) and breast cancer, says a new study.

Data from the Nurses Health Study II from 1989 to 2009 for over 90,000 mothers show that for every 10-g of alcohol consumed on a daily basis between the time of first period and first full-term pregnancy, the relative risk of BBD and breast cancer in women aged 15 or older increased by 15% and 13%, respectively. Although BDD is not cancerous, BBD tumors can increase the risk of developing breast cancer by 500%.

Younger age at menarche and older age at first full-term pregnancy also are associated with increased risk for breast cancer because breast tissue undergoes rapid cellular proliferation at these times and is susceptible to carcinogenic stimuli. The longer the interval between menarche and first pregnancy, the longer the time for girls and women to drink and the greater the risk of breast cancer.

The researchers say their study provides evidence that drinking, especially during adolescence before first pregnancy when breast tissue is at a vulnerable stage, may play an important role in the etiology of breast cancer in women, and reducing alcohol consumption during this time may be an effective prevention strategy.

 

 

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