Clear Link Found From Alcohol to Breast Cancer | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Clear Link Found From Alcohol to Breast Cancer

Researchers track down the microscopic culprit responsible for increased cancer risk for drinkers.


Researchers think they've got it all figured
out. Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda


| Share

Booze has long been associated with breast cancer—rates are 40 to 50% higher for women who drink three drinks a day—but medical professionals have never been able to explain why. Now, one research team thinks they have the answer. The team, from the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos in Mexico, tracked a protein called CYP2E1 in breast tissue samples from healthy women. This protein is where most breast cancers originate, and it's found in the "mammary epithelial" breast cells, to which researchers administered ethanol. The results? Cells that expressed low levels of CYP2E1 were almost immune to the ethanol, while cells with high levels of the protein began to produce carcinogenic free radicals. "Ethanol-treated human mammary cells had an increase in free radical production, oxidative stress and the activation of cellular mechanisms that cause cells to increase their proliferation rate," says Maria de Lourdes Rodriguez-Fragoso, professor of pharmacology and toxicology. "So if you are a woman who naturally expresses higher levels of CYP2E1 and you consume alcohol, you would be at a greater risk for developing breast cancer than a woman who expresses lower amounts of CYP2E1." Rodriguez-Fragoso believes that with these results they will be able to develop a better method of diagnosis for breast cancer: "If you know the risk probability of certain behaviors on your likelihood of developing cancer, then you can better understand what preventative measures you should be taking.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Suboxone: Trading One Prison Cell for Another

Suboxone seemed like a get-out-of-jail-free card, the answer to my opiate addiction. Instead, I had a new ten-year addiction, complete with thinning hair and lost motivation.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv