New study links all alcohol to increased risk in women
A study released this month by Kaiser Permanente suggests that when it comes to drinking, all alcohol has the same detrimental effects.
Whether it’s a Keystone Light, or a 12-dollar martini from Boulder’s hottest bar, both contain ethyl alcohol, which has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in women.
“Anything that is a cause of breast cancer concerns me,” said Francesca
Schechter, a sophomore business major. “I take precautions with other products that are supposedly linked to breast cancer like soymilk and birth control.”
The Kaiser study included 70,033 multi-ethnic women. The women provided information on their drinking habits during their health exams conducted between 1978-1985. Three years ago, 2,829 of these women were diagnosed with breast cancer.
While researchers found a 10 percent increase in breast cancer when women consumed less than one drink a day, the risk for breast cancer tripled when women consumed more than three drinks a day.
The researchers found that the risk was the same with all alcohol – whether it was wine, beer or hard liquor.
Patricia Kintzing a registered nurse at Women’s Health Clinic in Wardenburg Health Center, says that most of the time, students don’t feel their alcohol consumption is a cause for concern.
“Students are young so you can’t push [them],” Kintzing said, adding that
students need to know the facts.
Schechter said the study would not prevent her from casual drinking, such as having a glass of wine with dinner.
“It’s not like I drink daily and I would only have one or two drinks, if that, if I went out to dinner,” Schechter said.
Other students do not find the study as impacting.
“I don’t think it’s going to change my drinking habits,” Lauren Beno, a sophomore international affairs major, said. “I’m not scared by it. If there are more studies related to the topic I’d be more concerned.”
Besides cutting alcohol out of their diet, there are other steps women can take to lower the risk for breast cancer, experts say, including a healthy diet and exercise.
According to breastcancer.org, the best way to prevent breast cancer is to see a doctor for regular screening tests. An annual mammogram and a monthly breast exam are recommended and increase the chance of catching the disease in its early stages.
If alcohol becomes an issue, students can turn to Women’s Health Clinic in
Wardenburg at (303) 492-2030 or log onto the Web site.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Jennifer Jacobs at