As warmer weather approaches, so do backyard barbecues, outdoor brunches and lazy days spent by the water. And what goes great with all of that? A drink! Mimosas, crisp rosé wine, sangria and margaritas all go perfectly with a hot summer day. However, there are studies that link alcohol to an increased risk in breast cancer, which is why we’ve compiled the facts so you’ll be in the know before you raise a glass:
- What’s the risk? There’s a 10% increase in breast cancer risk for every 10 grams of alcohol imbibed per day (a glass of wine is about 11 grams). That means as little as one drink per day can slightly increase your risk. Women who have three to four drinks per day have nearly a 50% risk increase. Studies have not yet shown if the risk goes away if you stop drinking or start limiting the amount of drinks.
- What’s the link? Since alcohol can increase estrogen levels in a woman’s body, drinking alcohol can cause certain types of breast cancers to grow.
- Who’s at risk? Everyone, but mostly girls who drink often and heavily during their teens. Drinking heavily can cause a much greater risk of developing benign breast disease at a younger age (benign breast disease is a risk factor for breast cancer).
So, what can you do about it? For one, start by limiting your alcohol intake. We know that’s no fun, but there are easy swaps for your favorite summer beverages that are just as satisfying and delicious! Want a Bloody Mary? Try a virgin version, one that’s got all the delicious taste minus the alcohol. Or, whip up a cosmo-not, which keeps the healthy cranberry juice without the booze. You could always try out non-alcoholic beer, wine and champagne—they’re widely available and taste almost like the real thing!