A new report by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has found that drinking just one alcoholic drink a day can increase breast cancer risk.
The report found strong evidence that drinking just the equivalent of a small glass of wine or half a pint of beer a day (about 10g alcohol content), could increase your pre-menopausal breast cancer risk by 5% and your post-menopausal breast cancer risk by 9%.
The report also found that vigorous exercise that increases heart rate such as cycling, swimming or running can decrease the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and both moderate exercise, such as walking, and vigorous exercise can decrease the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“Comprehensive evidence continues to show that regularly drinking alcohol increases an individual’s risk of breast cancer. Even one drink each day can increase your risk – and the more you drink, the higher your chance of developing the disease at some point in your life.
“But the message is clear: no matter how much people drink, everyone can reduce their risk of breast cancer by cutting down their alcohol intake.
“We need to do so much more to prevent breast cancer and to empower more people to reduce their cancer risk – and this must be taken into account through the Government’s public health agenda.
“We hope this important report will also encourage even more women to become more physically active. The findings show that even moderate physical activity gained from everyday activities can reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women – while more vigorous exercise can benefit women of all ages.
“Thousands of breast cancer cases could be prevented each year with lifestyle changes that everyone can aspire to. It’s vital that all women know that they can actively reduce their risk of breast cancer by reducing their alcohol intake, being more physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.”