Drinking alcohol as a teenager may increase your chances of getting breast cancer

An epidemiological study carried out by Spanish researchers showed that alcohol consumption , especially if it is done during adolescence, would be associated with a greater risk of developing breast cancer in the future.

Alcohol consumption is associated with the appearance of different types of cancer, so it is recommended that you stop consuming, as a form of prevention of this disease. Now this study, published in the British Journal of Cancer proved its direct relationship with breast cancer.

Personnel from 23 hospitals from 9 autonomous communities in Madrid participated in this work. Of the 2,034 people who participated, it was determined that 77.6% of them had consumed alcohol to different degrees.

To monitor the probabilities, different groups were defined according to their consumption. Most of the participants have consumed less than 5 grams of alcohol per day, at different stages of development. The second group is made up of those who drank little alcohol in adolescence to moderate consumption in adulthood. In the third, they went from moderate to mild consumption and the last with those who increased their consumption from adolescence to adulthood. 

Why are adolescents more affected?

Of all the groups identified, it was determined that the higher the consumption, the greater the chances that they would have cancer after menopause. Especially in those who belong to the last group and who went from consuming moderate amounts to a higher one. This group would double the chances of diagnosis.

Apparently, it would be related to the effect of alcohol on reproductive hormones in adolescence, a stage in which sexual maturation occurs and the mammary glands finish developing. 

From what the researchers determined, if they developed cancer, this occurred in postmenopausal women, especially those in the normal or lower-than-normal weight range. 

“It could be explained by the effect that alcohol has on increasing estrogen levels, which could be more important in postmenopausal women, in whom the ovary stops working, and even more prominent in those with less body fat, since fat tissue is the main source of estrogens after menopause ”, explained Dr. Carolina Donat, from the Department of Preventive Medicine of the Autonomous University of Madrid, first author of the article and member of CIBERESP.

That is why, to prevent future diagnoses of breast cancer, it will be better to avoid alcohol consumption at an early age. 

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