Research among 2,000 women aged between 65 and 79 found that those who drank two or more alcoholic drinks a day significantly increased their risk of breast cancer compared with non-drinkers.
The risk was increased by over three times for some types of breast cancer. There was no increased risk among younger, premenopausal, women who drank, which suggests a link with oestrogen levels. 'Alcohol is known to increase oestrogen levels in the blood, and therefore it could stimulate hormonally sensitive tumours,' said one of the researchers.
(Source: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, October 2003).