When it comes to reducing your risk of breast cancer, less alcohol is better, and no alcohol is best. Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing breast cancer. The less you drink, the better, and no alcohol is best.
Drinking too much alcohol is a risk factor for many diseases, including breast cancer. While we still don't know exactly how alcohol leads to cancer, it is thought that alcohol damages DNA in cells. DNA damage increases the risk of cancer.
There is a large amount of research showing that alcohol increases risk for breast cancer before and after menopause. Studies also suggest that the more you drink, the greater your risk. Those who are heavy drinkers and who take hormone therapy for menopause symptoms are especially at risk for breast cancer.
It's true that research has shown that drinking small amounts of alcohol every day may benefit your heart health. However, it's important to recognize that when it comes to breast cancer, no amount of alcohol has been found to be "risk-free."
What you can do:
If you don't drink alcohol, don't start.
If you do drink alcohol, consider reducing the amount you drink. Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines recommend that to reduce your risk for several long-term health problems, you should limit your drinking to no more than 10 drinks a week, and no more than 2 drinks a day most days. Breast cancer experts recommend even less alcohol – less than one drink per day.
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse – Canada's Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines