One drink a day can increase the risk of cancer in women

One Drink a Day Can Increase the Risk of Cancer in Women.Research shows that the way women metabolize alcohol is different from their male counterpart.The effects of drinking have more serious ramifications on women’s health over men.During the pandemic, liquor stores increased sales to 41.9 billion dollars.A new study shows the consumption and misuse of alcohol is higher and on the rise in women.Over 100,000 cases of cancer a year are alcohol related.Alcohol links to cancer by...Metabolizing, generating reactive oxygen species and increasing blood levels of oxygen. .Cancers that can be caused by alcohol are: head and neck, liver, colorectal, esophageal and breast cancer. .Doctors recommend forgoing alcohol or limiting consumption to as little as possible.

Whether it’s a glass of wine or a cocktail after a hard day’s work, or a night out with friends, it’s nice to throw back a drink every once in awhile.

But new research shows that the way women metabolize alcohol is different from their male counterparts. In particular, drinking can have more serious ramifications for women’s health.

“Over 100,000 cases of cancer a year were attributed to drinking.” said Dr. Suneel Kamath, a gastrointestinal oncologist at Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center in Ohio, on Good Morning America.

During the pandemic, alcohol sales skyrocketed, with sales topping 41.9 billion dollars just during the first six months. Research from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that increased consumption and misuse of alcohol was highest among women.

How does drinking lead to cancer?

A 2019 study linked women consuming one alcoholic drink per day to a 5-9 percent higher chance of developing breast cancer compared to those who don’t drink. The NIAAA warns that the chances of getting cancer from alcohol consumption increase for each additional drink per day in a woman’s diet.

There are multiple ways that researchers have hypothesized how alcohol may increase cancer rates:

  • Metabolizing ethanol: The body converts ethanol to acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical and known human carcinogen. Acetaldehyde can damage the DNA.
  • Generating reactive oxygen species: When chemically reactive molecules contain oxygen, they can damage not only DNA, but also lipids, fats and proteins through oxidation.
  • Increased estrogen: Alcohol is known to increase the amount of estrogen in the blood, which has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer.

Why are the effects worse for women?

Aside from the fact that women metabolize differently than men, researchers also look at physiological differences between men and women. One big difference is that women tend to have less body water than men. Since alcohol resides primarily in body water, a female drinker will generally experience a higher blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) that a male drinker — even if both are roughly the same height and weight.

According to the NIAA, that higher BAC puts women at higher risk than men not only for cancer, but also for other alcohol-related diseases like heart disease and brain damage.

Does that mean you should cut out alcohol all together? Not necessarily, but doctors do recommend that you take alcohol in moderation and consider what is driving you to drink. Is it emotionally related? Do you consume the most alcohol when you’re sad, upset or anxious? Or do you just drink socially?

“It’s not the only thing that we do that can have negative effects,” explained Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a board-certified OB/GYN and ABC News chief medical correspondent. “It has to be a deliberate choice and we have to go into it with the awareness that we know, unfortunately, it’s just not good for us.”