Teens who drink may increase their breast cancer risk if they have a family history of the disease.
The short-term effects of teen drinking have been well reported, but young women who drink may be doing more harm to their bodies than a hangover.
A study of 18- to 27-year-old women, which began in 1996 when the girls were nine to 15 years old, has shown that those with mothers or aunts with breast cancer were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with benign breast disease compared to those with no family history.
Benign breast disease covers a large group of breast problems that may result in breast lumps or pain. It’s also a known risk factor for breast cancer.
Researchers found that the more alcohol adolescent girls consumed who had a mother, aunt, or grandmother with breast cancer, the greater their risk of developing benign breast disease. These studies corroborated earlier findings that drinking by adult women increases their breast cancer risk.
Researchers recommend that young women with a family history of breast cancer should avoid alcohol to reduce their risk for the disease.