Woman thinking about alcohol and breast cancer while drinking wine

What Is the Link Between Alcohol and Breast Cancer?

You probably already know that alcohol can adversely affect your health, but did you know that alcohol can also increase your risk of breast cancer? The effects of alcohol go well beyond the liver and can impact all areas of your mental and physical health. Learn how alcohol and breast cancer are linked and what you can do to protect yourself.

The sooner you get help for alcohol dependence, the better the chances you can prevent health conditions like breast cancer. At Promises Brazos Valley, we understand that it is not easy to quit drinking, even when you know how it affects your health. Our alcohol detox combines compassionate care with addiction treatment expertise to help you overcome alcohol addiction safely and effectively. Fill out our online form today or call us at 979.426.0086 to learn more about our alcohol detox and other addiction treatment programs.

The Link Between Alcohol and Breast Cancer

When you think about alcohol and cancer risk, your first thought may be liver cancer since the liver is the organ associated with processing toxins like alcohol. People who drink excessively are more prone to liver conditions, but the effects of alcohol can spread to other areas of the body.

So how does alcohol relate to breast cancer? There are several ways alcohol increases breast cancer risk:

  • Alcohol is a carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer. Other examples of carcinogens are tobacco, air pollution, fried foods, and deli meats.
  • Alcohol can cause changes in your hormones, leading to higher estrogen levels. Elevated estrogen contributes to breast cancer risk.
  • Alcohol can lead to weight gain and obesity, which makes you more vulnerable to developing breast cancer. This is because alcohol disrupts your body’s ability to burn fat while increasing cravings for unhealthy foods. Some alcoholic drinks are also high in calories but offer minimal to no nutritional value.

Alcohol and breast cancer are linked in both men and women—this disease isn’t reserved for women only, as some people mistakenly think.

Other Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Alcohol is not the only contributor to breast cancer risk. You may also be more susceptible to developing this form of cancer if you:

  • Have a family history of breast cancer
  • Are female
  • Started your period before the age of 12
  • Had your first child after the age of 30
  • Have never been pregnant
  • Started menopause after the age of 55

While some of the above are lifestyle choices—such as how old you were when you had your first child—others are out of your control. But that does not mean you are destined to develop breast cancer. You can increase your resilience to this disease by implementing some healthy habits into your life.

How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer?

If you have some of the above risk factors for breast cancer and you consume alcohol, you may be worried about your health. However, you can make some lifestyle changes to minimize your risk:

  • Drink in moderation or completely abstain from alcohol. Moderate drinking for women is one drink or less per day.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes a day most days of the week.
  • Eat a diet rich in healthy plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and olive oil.

Maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce breast cancer risk. The above tips will go a long way toward helping you achieve a healthy weight if you are currently overweight. If you eat a healthy diet and are physically active but still struggle with your weight, talk to your healthcare provider to see if an underlying health condition is interfering with weight loss.

Protect Your Health with Alcohol Detox in Texas at Promises Brazos Valley

Alcohol and breast cancer risk are correlated, so moderating your consumption is critical for reducing the chances of developing this type of cancer and others. If you struggle to moderate your drinking, contact Promises Brazos Valley today at 979.426.0086 for the support you need to overcome alcohol dependence.

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