Young women who drink alcohol before their first pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life, according to new findings.
Those who regularly consume alcohol from the age of 15 until the time of first pregnancy, have up to 35 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer, according to data analysis of 13,630 women tracked in a Cancer Council Victoria study.
‘Breast tissue during adolescence is more susceptible to tumor formation, as the findings suggest that alcohol did not pose a threat after pregnancy.’
The study also suggested that after a woman's first pregnancy, alcohol did not pose an increased risk breast cancer, suggesting that breast tissue in adolescence may be more susceptible.
"These findings suggest that limiting alcohol consumption before the first pregnancy may decrease an individual's risk of breast cancer later in life," said the study's lead researcher, Dr Harindra Jayasekara.
Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said the study is a reminder to everyone, not just women, to reduce alcohol consumption to cut their risks of various cancers.
"Cutting back on alcohol consumption throughout life will reduce your risk of developing other cancers, in addition to female breast," he said, adding that links have also been made between drinking alcohol and the development of mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver and bowl cancers.