Attention red wine drinkers: Drinking moderate amounts of any kind of alcohol (including wine, beer, and liquor) is associated with a slightly increased breast cancer risk — and the rosy-hued beverage is no exception.
That’s the conclusion of a new study that dashes any hope that red wine is less likely than other alcohol-containing drinks to increase breast cancer risk, or that it might even protect against the disease.
“If a woman chooses red wine, she should do so because she likes the flavor, not because she thinks doing so will reduce her breast cancer risk,” said Polly A. Newcomb of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington, who led the research. “It might be good for other things, but it definitely is not conferring any protection against breast cancer.”
There’s good evidence showing that women who consume alcohol have a slightly greater risk of breast cancer than teetotalers, and the risk is higher with heavier drinking. But research in animals and some human studies had suggested that red wine might not carry the same risks as other forms of alcohol or could even be protective.