According to a recent study, it would appear that even very modest amounts of drinking such as just one glass of wine a day could up breast cancer risk among high-risk women. Recent research has also revealed that breast cancer screening tends to increase rates of unnecessary treatments – that mammograms may be responsible for over diagnosis of breast cancer.

 Link between modest drinking and breast cancer

Drinking wine may be a lifestyle habit with so many women, but what a recent study has found could give women pause for thought. A glass or two of wine a day was thought to be innocuous at worst, but we are now being told that even this small amount of alcohol could increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Women-drinking-wineHelmut Seiz, and other researchers from the University of Heidelberg, Germany are of the view that breast cancer tissue is particularly sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of alcohol, which tied to an increase in risk of various other cancers as well.

Women who are heavy drinkers increase their breast cancer risk by as much as 40 to 50%. However even modest amounts of alcohol intake could raise risk, say the researchers of this study.

The irony is striking here, since having a drink in a day is actually able to decrease risk of heart disease and stroke among women!

Mammograms could mean over diagnosis and unnecessary treatment

A new Norwegian study has found that mammograms could be responsible for detection and treatment of harmless breast cancers.

As many as one fourth of women who undergo mammograms could be detected with a breast cancer that may not have been inimical to a woman’s health, found researchers.

In other words, the breast cancers detected would not have caused symptoms or death had they not been detected by the mammogram. It is a problem of over diagnosis here, when women receive treatment that they do not even need. According to Mette Kalager of the Telemark Hospital in Norway, women undergo the discomforts and unwelcome side effects of treatment without getting any benefit from it.

The study spanned 10 years and involved 2,500 women who underwent mammograms. During this time, 20 cases of breast cancer were detected, which would have gone on to cause significant disease and even death if they had not been detected. In the meantime 6 to 10 cases of over diagnosis also occurred. The difficulty is that there is no way of telling which way each disease will progress. So it cannot be said in advance whether it is a case of over diagnosis or not.