Recent research uncovered that modest alcohol consumption can increase the risks of breast, digestive tract, liver, and other cancers for middle-age women. Women who drink and smoke also put themselves at a higher risk for cancers of the mouth and throat.
University of Oxford lead researcher Naomi Allen used 1.2 million women up to 75 years old for her study. The majority of the participants had about one drink per day while a smaller amount of participants had three or more drinks per day. Over 7 years of follow-up, more than 68,700 women developed cancer.
The type of alcohol consumed did not create a difference in the overall results.
The higher amount of alcohol intake resulted in the higher health risk of cancer. The surprising part of the study seemed to be that the risk increased even with very low amounts of alcohol consumption.
"I have a glass of wine maybe twice a week," said Evelyn Johnson, 64. "Studies such as this are helpful because they make me more aware of what risks are involved with just my normal everyday activities."
Representatives of the American Cancer Society say the study confirms previous studies done on men and smaller groups of women. They suggest limits of one drink a day for women and two drinks a day to men.
Despite previous research that shows alcohol may help decrease the risks of heart disease, they do not encourage the start of consumption.