Twenty-six episodes of ‘The A-Files’ will run throughout Alcohol Awareness Month on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Alcohologist.com andAddictedMinds.com, among other web and social media sites. Episode B covers the only dietary link to an increased risk of breast cancer.

 A University of Houston researcher and his team have discovered an important link between alcohol and breast cancer by identifying a cancer-causing gene triggered by alcohol. The 2015 Houston research shows alcohol enhances the actions of estrogen in driving the growth of breast cancer cells and diminishes the effects of the cancer drug Tamoxifen on blocking estrogen by increasing the levels of a cancer-causing gene.

To date, the only dietary link to an increased risk of breast cancer is alcohol use. One in eight women will have an encounter with breast cancer in her lifetime. It takes relatively little alcohol to boost the cancer risk. As little as one drink a day can provide a double digit increase in the chance of getting the disease. Three or more servings of alcohol per day gives you the same risk as a daily pack of cigarettes.

Alcohol increases production of estrogen. Estrogen increases are behind 80 percent of breast cancers. Toxic alcohol also creates another toxin – acetaldehyde. That second toxin has been shown to alter DNA and breast tissue in younger drinkers, leading to increased cancer risk later in life. A Journal of the National Cancer Institute report showed a double-digit increase in breast cancer risk for women who drank as little as one drink daily between the first menstruation and the first pregnancy. The results were independent of drinking after first pregnancy. That study also discovered an increase in benign breast disease, a non-cancerous condition which accounts for 80 percent of breast lumps. These benign lumps do increase the risk of breast cancer by 500 percent. The more alcohol consumed between the onset of the first menstrual period and the first pregnancy, the greater the risk for both benign breast disease and breast cancer.

More than 100 studies 1920-2014 have conclusively linked alcohol consumption to increased breast cancer risk. A consensus panel formed by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in 2007 concluded: “The evidence on cancer justifies a recommendation not to drink alcoholic drinks” … a recommendation still maintained by the organization.