Alcohol Triggers Breast Cancer-Causing Gene
With one in every eight women being effected by breast cancer in their lifetime, this disease is commonly researched to see how women can protect themselves. Besides undergoing regular screenings and breast exams, lifestyle plays a direct role in breast cancer risk. Research has revealed that alcohol consumption can increase the likeliness of breast cancer.
Thus, a study is providing a direct link between alcohol, estrogen and a cancer-causing gene. This study was led by biologist Chin-Yo-Lin at the University of Houston in Texas.
This study differed from previous studies because they focused on alcohol’s effects on growth factor and estrogen signaling among other things. Lin says “cancer patients who may want to take into consideration the potential detrimental effects alcohol consumption might have on treatments and modify their behavior and habits accordingly."
In their study, researchers conclude that 230,000 women in the U.S. alone will develop breast cancer. Although it has been known that alcohol consumption is a modifiable risk factor for breast cancer development, 50% of women with breast cancer drink alcohol. The results of their study were what they expected. According to Medical News Today, they discovered that alcohol promotes expression of a cancer-causing gene called BRAF - even in the absence of estrogen - and mimics and enhances estrogen's effects, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
More in depth, he says alcohol consumption diminishes the effects of the cancer drug tamoxifen on blocking estrogen by increasing the levels of a cancer-causing gene. These results from this study directly affect women already diagnosed with breast cancer and women who drink alcohol often. This study is hoped to trigger further research on the relationship between breast cancer and alcohol consumption.
The Science Behind It
As the study revealed, alcohol consumption can increase a woman's risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Drinking alcohol results in and increase level of hormones that increase a woman's chances of getting breast cancer and also may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells.
Number show that women who have three drinks per week were 15% more likely to develop breast lumps. Other studies have also shown that alcohol consumption can increase the likeliness of relapse in women who have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Simply by decreasing your alcohol intake to two or fewer drinks per week, you can help reduce your risk of breast cancer. We encourage you to undergo annual mammograms, perform at-home breast exams, and stay informed about ways you can prevent breast cancer. If you are at high risk for breast cancer, a breast MRI may be the best way to screen for cancerous lump. Be sure to visit our center with any of your Open MRI needs.