Text Size
Breast Cancer

Teens Girls Who Drink At Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

posted 04:05 AM EST, Wed April 14, 2010

Drinking while a teen is found to increase the odds of benign breast disease in the 20’s – which is a known risk factor for later in life breast caner.

Harvard University researchers say that women who drink alcohol during their teen years and into young adulthood increase their risk of benign breast disease, with those that drink heavily at a 500% elevated risk for the condition.

Benign breast disease is a known risk factor for later in life breast cancer.

The researchers took data from the Growing Up Today Study which followed the growth and habits of teen girls with annual or bi-annual questionnaires. Subjects began participation at between 9 and 15 years of age.

The researchers found that:

  • Young women who drank 6 or 7 days a week were 5 times as likely as abstainers to develop the disease
  • Young women who drank 3 – 5 days a week were 3 times as likely as abstainers to develop the disease.

Although the researchers can’t say exactly why drinking seems to increase the risks of benign breast disease, Marisa Weiss MD, a breast cancer expert, speculated, saying, “The breasts of young girls are very active and if you give them extra hormones or alcohol, then they can respond by creating lumps and bumps and things in the category of benign breast disease, and if you keep this going, it can increase the risk of breast cancer"

Lead researcher Catherine S. Berkey says the research is significant, particularly as drinking by college age youth has risen greatly over the last years. She says, "If future work confirms our findings, then clinical efforts to delay the onset of alcohol consumption may prevent some cases of benign breast disease and breast cancer."

The full research results can be read in the May edition of the journal, Pediatrics.

Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Story Highlights
  • Drinking: While a teen increases a woman's odds of breast cancer
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Helpful Information
For Teens: How to Quit Marijuana on Your Own
For Teens That Want to Quit Marijuana – 10 Situations That Lead to Relapse and 5 Ways to Overcome Cravings © John Steven Fernandez
If you prepare yourself for high-risk situations and learn strategies to prevent relapse you have a great chance of being able to quit on your own – learn how to succeed here. Read Article
Teenagers April 12, 2024
Teen Marijuana Addiction Self Test Smoke marijuana? Got 2 minutes to spare for a self test? If so, answer yes or no to 12 questions to make sure you don’t have a marijuana problem. Read Article
Teenagers June 09, 2014 (7)

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.

Find Treatment
Browse by region »
Scan to call us
using your phone camera app