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Lorraine Pace Says Study Linking Alcohol and Breast Cancer Should Look into Other Contributing Factors That Play a Role in This Disease

November 2, 2011

Lorraine Pace, Co-President, Breast Cancer Help, Inc., says a recent study which links alcohol intake to developing breast cancer may need further research, stating that Europeans consume plenty of wine, yet there is no indication of an increased risk in breast cancer overseas, and other factors besides alcohol may contribute to the increased risk of breast cancer.

A study following 100,000 women concluded that those who had three alcoholic beverages a week had a slightly higher risk in developing breast cancer than those who did not drink. Women who averaged three to six drinks a week throughout the study had a 15% higher chance of developing breast cancer than non-drinkers.

While previous studies showed no link between alcohol and breast cancer, the new study had a greater number of subjects and a longer time period — 30 years — compared to the studies which concluded otherwise. Ms. Pace said that alcohol should not be considered the sole factor in the development of breast cancer and added that Europeans consume large amounts of wine, compared to the American population. According to The Wine Institute, in 2009, Americans drank 8.96 liters of wine per capita, while countries such as France, Portugal and Italy consumed 42 to 45 liters of wine per capita.

“Europeans consume more wine than Americans do, yet there are no studies done in Europe linking alcohol to breast cancer,” Ms. Pace said. “Studies have also shown that drinking a glass of wine has health benefits, including protecting your heart. Maybe these studies should also look into other contributing factors, such as the cancer-causing chemicals that people on Long Island use to maintain their lawns. These chemicals find their way into the groundwater, which, in turn, adversely affects the environment.”

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