New research has found women who drink two units of alcohol a day before their first pregnancy increase their risk of breast cancer by 34 per cent.
Equivalent to having a glass of wine a night, the new study released in the US this week shows that women who drink heavily between having their first period and their first child showed a substantial increased risk of contracting breast cancer.
Findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, examined the history of 91,000 women aged 15 to 40, reports The Telegraph.
They found that the more women drank in their teens and 20s, up until becoming pregnant with their first child, the higher the risk of developing breast cancer.
While alcohol and cancer have been linked in the past, the study was examining if the age at which alcohol is consumed has an effect. These findings suggest that as the 'vulnerable' breast tissue is 'vulnerable' in young women makes them particularly susceptible.
The risks were found to be increased again for women waiting to have children into their thirties.
It is thought women drinking heavily in their teen years and through university and beyond don't associate the long-term risks to their health.
'Reducing alcohol consumption during this period may be an effective prevention strategy,' said lead researcher Dr Ying Liu from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.
'The findings indicated a dose-dependent relationship, which means the more alcohol a woman drinks during that time, the higher her risk of developing breast cancer,' she continued, adding, 'These findings have potentially important implications for breast cancer prevention.'
If you have any concerns over breast cancer, visit breastcancercare.org.uk
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