Link between teen drinking and precancerous breast changes
A shocking new study, to be published in the May 2012 issue of Pediatrics, reports that each time teen and young adult women drink, even moderate amounts of alcohol, they increase their chances of developing proliferative benign breast disease (BDD) which are noncancerous cells and lesions.
Don’t panic. No one is saying that most teen drinkers will get breast cancer. However, the analysis indicates “that for each 10 grams of alcohol (the equivalent of about one drink) consumed each day, the risk of developing these noncancerous cells and lesions — called proliferative benign breast disease (BDD) — increased 15 percent.”
Culling through data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, which followed more than 29,000 females, the researchers found 659 cases of benign breast disease after an average follow-up period of ten years. The study was looking for links between drinking, folate absorption and breast cancer. It’s possible that drinking may depress folate uptake which may impact our DNA. They were hoping to establish that increasing folate decreases benign breast disease but the researchers didn’t observe any effect from adding folate to the diet.