Study Links Alcohol And Breast Cancer

April 2, 2012 Updated Apr 2, 2012 at 10:37 PM EDT

By WKBW News

April 2, 2012 Updated Apr 2, 2012 at 10:37 PM EDT

(WKBW/ABC News) Having one drink a day has been associated in other studies with heart benefits, but a new study has bad news for women who drink alcohol, especially if they are at high risk of breast cancer.

Researchers already knew that alcohol increases the chance of getting stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer.

Now a study in the Journal "Alcohol and Alcoholism" links even small amounts of alcohol with breast cancer.

The authors found up to a 4% increase in women who have one alcoholic drink a day and up to a *50%* increase in women who have three or more drinks a day.

Scientists think that's because alcohol increases a woman's estrogen production, cell damage and toxic substances in her body.

The authors say this translates into some 50-thousand alcohol-related cases of breast cancer worldwide.

They say women should talk to their doctor as they weigh the heart benefits of having one drink a day with their risk of getting breast cancer.

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