As I enjoyed a glass of red wine at the end of the day yesterday, it was the type of news I really didn’t want to hear: A study of more than one million women found that drinking even low amounts of alcohol—it doesn’t matter what type—increases the risk of specific cancers in women.
The U.K. study found that as daily alcohol intake increases so did the risks of cancers of the breast, liver, rectum, mouth, throat and larynx. With low to moderate drinking habits accounting for almost 13 percent of these cancers. The findings are published in the March 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The study also linked alcohol consumption to decreased risks of thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the main type of kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma).
Reporting this isn’t meant to make us more anxious about enjoying a drink, but it will certainly make me rethink that extra glass of not-so-great wine at dinner and pass even more readily on a beer or cocktail (my personal preferences, obviously). These findings will make quality and moderation, not quantity, even more of my philosophy. And experts say it’s important for us to know this type of information when discussing risk factors with our doctors.
What are your thoughts on the ongoing debate over the hazards and benefits of wine in particular, and alcohol in general?