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Having just one alcoholic drink daily can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by 5 percent, a review of studies concludes. Three or more daily drinks can raise a woman’s breast cancer risk between 40 to 50 percent, the researchers found.

After reviewing 113 studies, the researchers found that 2 percent of breast cancer cases in Europe and North America were due to light drinking. They estimate about 50,000 cases of breast cancer worldwide can be attributed to heavy drinking, according to HealthDay.

The findings suggest that healthy women at average risk of breast cancer should not have more than one alcoholic drink a day, the authors report in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

“Women at an elevated risk for breast cancer should avoid alcohol or consume alcohol only occasionally,” they wrote. Women at increased risk of breast cancer include those with a family history of the disease.

A study published last year suggests that teenage girls and young women with a family history of breast cancer should steer clear of alcohol. The study found those who had a drink a day on average were more than twice as likely as those who didn’t drink to develop benign breast disease, a risk factor for breast cancer.


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