Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Drinking increases risk of breast lumps in young women

The more alcohol a girl drinks in adolescence, the more likely she is to develop breast lumps as a teenager and young woman, a new study suggests. Eighty percent of breast lumps, known as benign breast disease, are noncancerous. But they can be a pathway to breast cancer. Since most breast cancers develop later in life and since drinking by adult women is a known risk factor, the researchers decided to look at the relation between alcohol and benign breast disease in the earlier years.

Drinking increases risk of breast lumps in young women

There are plenty of good reasons to for you women to avoid binge drinking. My colleague Don Sapatkin reports on a study in the medial journal Pediatrics that provides another one, the more adolescent girls drink the more likely they are to develop breast lumps that can increase the risk of breast cancer.

Here’s the brief story on that study that will appear in Monday’s Health & Science section:

The more alcohol a girl drinks in adolescence, the more likely she is to develop breast lumps as a teenager and young woman, a new study suggests.

Eighty percent of breast lumps, known as benign breast disease, are noncancerous. But they can be a pathway to breast cancer. Since most breast cancers develop later in life and since drinking by adult women is a known risk factor, the researchers decided to look at the relation between alcohol and benign breast disease in the earlier years.

They analyzed data from an ongoing national survey of girls beginning at ages 9 to 15 and continuing to ages 18 to 27. The typical amount of alcohol (1 1/2 drinks per day) was associated with a higher risk of diagnosed benign breast disease compared with one drink or none. Girls who reported drinking three to five days a week had triple the risk; those who drank six or seven days, 5 1/2 times the risk. More drinks per occasion and binge drinking were also linked to greater risk.

The findings are of particular concern, the researchers reported online last week in the journal Pediatrics, “because alcohol intakes by college students has increased greatly in recent years.”

About this blog

Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael Cohen id the president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Horsham.

Daniel Hoffman is the president of Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates (PBRA) in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, a healthcare research and consulting company specializing in key account positioning and messaging.

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