Many studies show drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.
A pooled analysis of data from 53 studies found for each alcoholic drink consumed per day, the relative risk of breast cancer increased by about 7 percent .
Women who had 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who didn’t drink alcohol .
Learn about alcohol and breast cancer survival.
Alcohol can change the way a woman's body metabolizes estrogen (how estrogen works in the body). This can cause blood estrogen levels to rise.
Estrogen levels are higher in women who drink alcohol than in non-drinkers . These higher estrogen levels may in turn, increase the risk of breast cancer .
Learn more about estrogen and breast cancer risk.
For a summary of research studies on alcohol and breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.
No one should drink a lot of alcohol.
Drinking low to moderate amounts of alcohol, however, may lower the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and death [24-26].
But, drinking more than one drink per day (for women) and more than two drinks per day (for men) has no health benefits and many serious health risks, including breast cancer.
Talk with your health care provider about the potential health benefits and risks of drinking low to moderate amounts of alcohol.
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Susan G. Komen’s breast self-awareness messages
1. Know your risk
2. Get screened
3. Know what is normal for you and see a health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes (see images):
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices