As part of an ongoing series of answers to common questions received by the Basser Center for BRCA, Executive Director Susan Domchek, MD, discusses alcohol and how it relates to cancer risk.
Dr. Domchek: Another question that I get a lot is what do I mean by minimizing alcohol intake? There have been several large studies that have been done that show that up to three drinks of alcohol a week has an extremely small, if any, effect on breast cancer risk. Up to one drink per day, any risk is very small and more than that the risk definitely goes up.
What I generally counsel people though is pretty much not to drink every day. Because even if someone's having a glass of wine every night, it's rarely just one glass, because a glass counts as four ounces. So it's likely best to keep alcohol to a minimum and just on weekends in order to decrease your risk the most.