Whenever I talk about how alcohol is a carcinogen (a cancer causer), people have one of four reactions; their eyes glaze over, they go a funny shade of pale, they say “No it doesn’t!” or they nod sadly and say “Yes, I know…”
Researchers have been studying breast cancer for decades. A small number of women inherit genes with mutations that make developing breast cancer much more likely. For most women, though, it is what happens during their lifetimes (obesity, being overweight, fattening foods, lack of fruits and vegetables, alcohol, cigarettes, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement drugs) – not the genes they inherited, that contribute most to breast cancer. The study titled “Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach” was produced by the Institute of Medicine, a panel of independent medical experts headed by Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, chief of environmental and occupational health at the University of California, Davis. The research found that substances to which women voluntarily expose themselves every day — fattening foods, alcohol, cigarettes, meat, sugar etc — are the highest risk drivers for breast cancer.
“Breast cancer risk could be decreased by up to 38% through lifestyle factors including maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. In fact, less than 10% of breast cancer appears to have a genetic basis. For prevention of breast cancer, limiting alcohol is one of the most important things that you can do. In addition, a plant-based diet loaded with at least two cups a day of a variety of produce is beneficial”
Sally Scroggs, MS, RD, LD and Clare McKinley, RD, LD, at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, one of the leading cancer hospitals in the world.
Alcohol pickles your liver
The reality is that your liver has to process alcohol and alcohol damages your liver. Every time your drink. If you ask the doctors that have to deal with the carnage and fallout from alcohol, they will tell you what alcohol really does. “You cannot get a cancer cell occurring unless DNA is altered. When you drink, the acetaldehyde is corrupting the DNA of life and puts you on the road to cancer. One of most common genetic defects in man is our inability to counteract the toxicity of alcohol” says Dr Nick Sheron, from the liver unit at Southampton General Hospital. He would know.
Alcohol contributes hugely to breast cancer risk
Breast cancer is sold to us from the perspective that it is genetic. But 90% of cases appear in families that have no genetic history of breast cancer. Why is it that in most Western countries we have 1 in 10 or 12 women with breast cancer and yet in other places around the world it is virtually non-existent? Diet and lifestyle play a MASSIVE role in breast cancer creation, treatment and reversal.
“The association between alcohol and breast cancer has been shown over and over and has been known for many years…”
Karin Michels, ScD, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health.
Most breast cancer is not a death sentence at all. Consider how much you drink, whether you need to drink, why you drink, how you feel after drinking and if you could go without drink for a period, or for good. I gave up booze over 30 years ago. One of the best things I ever did. It is never too late to cut back or quit alcohol.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.