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Última actualización [13/05/2007]


Copia el link directo Lee la investigación completa

Aumenta alcohol riesgo de padecer cáncer

GRUPO REFORMA / EFE

Aumenta alcohol riesgo de padecer cáncer


Londres, Inglaterra (14 noviembre 2002).-El riesgo de una mujer a padecer cáncer de mama aumenta en un 6 por ciento por cada copa de más que se toma a diario, según un estudio del instituto británico ''Cancer Research UK'' publicado en el ''British Journal of Cancer".
En cambio, fumar, que provoca otros quince tipos de cáncer, no incide en el de pecho, señala esta investigación, la mayor hecha en el mundo sobre los hábitos de tabaco y alcohol de las mujeres.

El estudio establece que un exceso de alcohol es el responsable de un 4 por ciento de los casos de cáncer de pecho registrados anualmente en el mundo desarrollado, y de unos 2.000 casos al año en el Reino Unido. Si el consumo de alcohol entre las mujeres sigue aumentado, estas estadísticas tenderán a crecer, advierte el estudio.

Sin embargo, mientras que beber es perjudicial para el mencionado tipo de cáncer, es beneficioso para otros males: según los expertos, quienes toman alcohol tienen menos riesgo de padecer enfermedades coronarias y embolias. "El equilibrio entre los efectos perjudiciales y beneficiosos del alcohol dependen de la edad de la mujer", indicó el doctor Gillian Reeves, uno de los autores del informe. "Antes de los 60, el cáncer de mama es una causa de mortalidad más significativa que las enfermedades del corazón. Después de los 65, cuando el riesgo de sufrir dolencias coronarias es mayor, los efectos beneficiosos de un consumo moderado de alcohol son más evidentes", explicó. Los autores del estudio combinaron los resultados de más de 50 informes e incluyeron datos de 150.000 mujeres de todo el mundo.

El consumo medio de alcohol en mujeres del Reino Unido se ha incrementado de 7 a 8 gramos al día (una unidad) en la última década, especialmente entre las más jóvenes. El estudio no especifica si el incremento del riesgo relativo de padecer cáncer de mama entre las mujeres que toman alcohol se refiere a sus hábitos actuales o si se basa en hábitos del pasado o a largo plazo. Por otra parte, los expertos reconocieron que desconocen por qué el alcohol incide en el cáncer de pecho, aunque sugirieron que puede afectar a los niveles de estrógenos. Según las estadísticas del estudio, a la edad de 80 años se darán 8,8 casos de cáncer de pecho por cada cien mujeres. Esta cifra aumenta a 9,4 casos si las mujeres toman una copa al día y llega a 13,3 casos por cada cien mujeres para quienes consumen seis bebidas alcohólicas a diario.
La profesora Valerie Beral, coautora de la investigación, recalcó que "el impacto de la bebida sobre el cáncer de pecho es mínimo si se compara con otros factores, pero hoy en día las mujeres beben más y, si esta tendencia continua, el impacto será mayor en el futuro". "El alcohol es sólo una parte de la historia del cáncer de pecho, pero al menos es algo a lo que se puede poner remedio", dijo. A su vez, el director de "Cancer Research UK", Sir Paul Nurse, subrayó: "Esta investigación no modifica nuestra recomendación contra el tabaco porque ya sabemos que es peligroso; simplemente refuerza nuestra advertencia de que el consumo excesivo de alcohol también comporta riesgos".


Este articulo fué tomado de: Reforma-Salud.
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Artículo en Ingles.

Breast cancer risk rises by 6% for every drink

by Nigel Hawkes, health editor


For every drink a woman has each day, she adds six per cent to her risk of getting breast cancer.

The shock conclusion reached by Britain''s leading cancer experts means that alcohol is responsible for 2,000 extra cases of breast cancer in Britain every year. And as drinking increases, particularly among younger women, the toll is expected to rise.
The results mean that a women drinking five drinks a day increases her risk by 30 per cent, when compared to a non-drinker.
They led to a call - from a drink-financed group - for the Government to launch an education campaign to alert young women to the dangers.

The link between breast cancer and drinking has always been difficult to establish, because women who drink tend also to smoke.
But by pooling the results of more than 50 previous studies, involving 150,000 women, the team were able to disentangle the effects of tobacco and alcohol. They conclude in the British Journal of Cancer that drinking does increase the risk, with almost no safety threshold. But smoking does not.
Sir Richard Doll of Oxford University, one of the authors of the study, says: "There has been a great deal of research on whether smoking or alcohol contributes to breast cancer, but until now results have been confused.

"For the first time we have undertaken a study large enough and detailed enough to look at the separate effects of tobacco and alcohol reliably. When we did this we found that drinking, but not smoking, increases the risk of breast cancer."
The team was able to reach this conclusion because among the 150,000 women in the various studies, more than 23,000 did not drink. Looking at this group separately, the researchers could see no significant difference between rates of breast cancer in smokers and non-smokers.
Professor Valerie Beral, also from Oxford, said: "The impact of drinking on breast cancer is small compared to childbearing factors, but women are drinking more now than they used to and if this pattern continues it is bound to have an impact on the rates of breast cancer in the future."

Both having babies and breast-feeding them is known to reduce the risks. Professor Beral said: "If Western woman had as many babies as those in the Third World and breast-fed them all, we know it would cut the number of cases of breast cancer by half. If women gave up drinking, it would cut it by 4 per cent."
Moderate drinking also has benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease. But women are less prone to heart disease than men, because of the protection provided by female hormones, so working out the exact balance of advantage is difficult.
Dr Gillian Reeves, another co-author, said: "It depends on a women''s age.
"Before about 60, breast cancer is a more important cause of death than heart disease. After the age of 65 or so, when the risk of heart disease becomes much greater than the risk of breast cancer, the benefits of moderate drinking are more apparent."

The reason why drinking affects breast cancer risk remain unknown, but there are strong suggestions that alcohol affects the levels of the sex hormones.
Jean Coussins, Director of the Portman Group, which is funded by the drinks industry, said: "This research underlines the crucial importance of 16 to 24 year-old women taking on board the sensible drinking message.
"The Government should be putting significant resources into a targeted public education campaign."
Sir Paul Nurse, Cancer Research UK''s chief executive, said: "Large studies of this kind are very important for dissecting the complex causes of cancer. This research doesn''t alter our advice on smoking because we already know that it''s dangerous but it does reinforce our advice that excessive drinking can also be hazardous.
"It seems that women''s attitudes to alcohol are changing and this can only have a negative impact on their health. It''s important that we get the message out to young women that drinking too much is dangerous."

A spokeswoman for the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: "We have been concerned for some time about the possible relationship between alcohol and breast cancer and the study published today goes some way to confirm our fears.
"The causes of breast cancer are complex and further research in this area is needed to prove a causal link. However adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet can help reduce the risk of developing cancer in general and we would encourage people, if they do drink alcohol, to do so in moderation."

Times online


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