Raise a toast to this breast cancer news

A NEW study has found that moderate amounts of alcohol do not appear to increase a woman's risk of breast cancer.

The research will be of interest to all women who like a tipple as excess alcohol consumption is listed by the Cancer Council Australia as a risk factor for the disease.

Other risk factors include increasing age, family history, inheritance of mutations in the genes BRCA2, BRCA1 and CHEK2, exposure to female hormones (natural and administered) and obesity (poor diet and inadequate exercise).

There is also an association with some benign breast disease and past exposure to radiation, says the council.

In Australia, the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85 is eight for women and one in 724 for men.

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The Collaborative Breast Cancer Study in the United States, the results of which have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, involved 23,000 women.

Alcohol consumption of any amount, before diagnosis of breast cancer, was found to have no association with an increased risk of dying from breast cancer, reported Medical News Today.

In fact, the researchers found that moderate alcohol consumption (around three to six drinks per week) was actually linked to a 15% reduction in deaths from heart disease and stroke.

Wine seemed to be the best tipple.

Scientists say more research is needed into the possible link between alcohol consumption and breast disease

Previous research by the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors at Cornell University in the United States reported a weak association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer in women who drink one alcoholic beverage a day.

Drinking more, about two to five drinks per day, was associated with a rate of breast cancer that is about 40% higher than the rate for non-drinkers, said researchers.

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