Breast Cancer, Alcohol and Age

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Story Updated: Aug 30, 2013

We've long heard the concerns over drinking during pregnancy. Now comes news that drinking early in life...before a first pregnancy...can impact your chances of getting breast cancer.

Researchers analyzed health data from nearly 91-thousand nurses between the ages of 25 and 44. They looked at medical history, number of children, and lifestyle habits...including history of alcohol consumption during 4 specific age periods.

1-thousand-609 cases of breast cancer and 9-hundred-70 cases of benign breast disease were diagnosed during the study.

Drinking alcohol between the first menstrual period and first pregnancy was associated with risk of both breast cancer and benign breast disease- and the more alcohol a woman consumed during those years, the greater her risk.

The researchers say breast tissue is particularly vulnerable at that period in life... making it imperative that young women think before they drink.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com