COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and a new study shows how aware women are when it comes to the risks of breast cancer when consuming alcohol.
According to the CDC, drinking alcohol raises the risk of getting several types of cancers including breast cancer. When you drink alcohol, the CDC states it breaks down into a chemical called acetaldehyde. That chemical damages the DNA in your body and keeps it from repairing damage. When DNA is damaged, a cell can grow and could create a cancerous tumor.
Dr. Darren Mays, a behavioral scientist and a member of the Cancer Control Program at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, is part of the study that researches alcohol use and cancer risk behaviors. The study also involves several collaborators through the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium.
“Funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, we will be creating an intervention for young adult women and doing some unique things through that process,” said Mays “We’re working with them to develop an intervention that is designed to raise awareness about the breast cancer risk from drinking alcohol and change their behavior.”
The new study that is launching is based on prior work conducted with young adult women. Dr. Mays said one of the key findings of the study was only about a third of those recognized alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer.
“That’s a finding that is consistent with national population-based data,” said Mays. “We have consistently seen most U.S. adults are unaware or don’t know that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for cancer in general.”
As alcohol consumption is common, the goal of the study is to develop a messaging and communication strategy to send to young adults specifically to increase awareness and change those behaviors that could increase the risk of getting cancer.
The risk of cancer increases with the number of drinks consumed, according to the CDC. One drink a day increases the risk of developing different cancers including breast. The CDC states that reducing your consumption may also reduce the risk.
For more information from the CDC on reducing your risk, click here.