Practical Steps to Prevent Breast Cancer: Day 3 – Avoid Too Much Alcohol

It’s day three in our nine day series highlighting key steps and practical tips that can help women lower their risk of breast cancer. Previous days.

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Day 3 – Avoid Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol can be good for the heart, but when it comes to cancer, there is, unfortunately, nothing really good about it. Even modest amounts increase the risk of breast cancer. In general, if you drink moderately (no more than one drink a day for women) the overall health benefits of drinking outweigh the risks. But if you’re particularly concerned about breast cancer, you may want to choose not to drink.

Tips and Tricks – Alcohol

Choose non-alcoholic beverages at meals and parties. If you’re trying to cut back on alcohol, meals and parties can be tough occasions since so many of them center around alcohol. Yet, more than ever, there are good non-alcohol choices. And if you want to be sure to have a non-alcoholic choice that you like, don’t be afraid to bring it along with you.

Avoid occasions centered around alcohol. There’s no reason to avoid alcohol completely, but if you’re trying to cut back to a healthier level and having trouble keeping to the new program, it can be good to avoid occasions or establishments centered around alcohol. Unfortunately, this can mean your favorite watering hole or restaurant, but just keep in mind your bigger goal and maybe you’ll miss it a bit less.

Talk to a health care professional if you feel you have a problem with alcohol. Alcoholism and problem drinking are major problems in the United States. By some estimates, close to 20 percent of the population have abused alcohol at some point in their lives 46. If you feel you have a problem with alcohol – or want to cut back drinking but can’t – talk to a health care provider. They can help.

Discuss the risk and dangers of alcohol use with your children. It’s almost never too early to begin an age-appropriate healthy dialogue with your kids and grandkids about drugs and alcohol use. A health care professional or school counselor can help. For breast cancer, this discussion can be particularly important since alcohol intake in youth and young adulthood can have an important influence on breast cancer risk later in life.

Next Steps – Alcohol

Looking for more in-depth information on alcohol? Here are some good sources:

Centers for Disease Control

National Library of Medicine

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