Health warning: Just half a glass of wine a day raises a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer, says leading doctor (Posed by model)
Just half a glass of wine a day raises a woman’s chance of developing breast  cancer, one of Britain’s leading doctors has warned.
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore said that even those who stick within Government  recommended limits for alcohol could be at higher risk.
He warned that one unit of alcohol a day – half a glass of wine – increased the risk of breast cancer by ten per cent.
The Government advises that women do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week or two units a day.
This means that even those who stick to these safe limits are at substantially higher risk.
Professor Gilmore, former head of the Royal College of Physicians, was referring to a major ongoing study carried out by Oxford University involving  more than a million women.
It had shown that 10g of alcohol a day – a unit – increased a woman’s risk of breast cancer by ten per cent.
A large glass of wine served at a pub or restaurant typically contains 2.3  units, a small glass 1.7 units.
Professor Gilmore, who had been addressing MPs at the health select committee, said that it was important that this information ‘was in the public domain’.
He added: There is no safe limit for all conditions.
‘But the risk of breast cancer increases even for women who stick within the  safe limits.’
Professor Gilmore, a liver specialist, acknowledged that the risk posed by  drinking small amounts of alcohol was small.
He added ‘It is up to women to make their own judgement. Conveying the risk is very difficult.
‘Women who have a strong family history of breast cancer may consider cutting back.’
It is well-known that excessive drinking substantially increases the likelihood of breast cancer, and other forms of cancer.
But many will assume that as long as they do not exceed their recommended weekly limits they will not put themselves at higher risk.
Breast cancer rates have soared in the last 30 years and it is estimated that one in eight women will develop the disease at some point in their lifetime.
The rise in cases has partly been attributed to high levels of obesity, smoking  and also drinking.


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