Intake of alcohol has been linked to a large number of health impairments, chronic diseases, and death worldwide. Research by the International Agency for Research on Cancer established the carcinogenicity of alcoholic beverages based on the increased risk of liver cancer. Alcohol’s relationship to cancer was established twenty years ago. Generally, alcohol consumers are likely to experience cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, and colorectal, liver and female breast. Ethanol metabolism plays a role in tumor initiation in different types of cancers and polymorphisms in genes involved in oxidation.
Alcohol consumption and breast cancer biological mechanisms are not well defined. However, estrogen and androgens have been defined as activators of cellular proliferation associated with increased risk of breast carcinogens. It is believed that consumption of alcohol in women leads to increased levels of endogenous estrogens, which contribute to development of breast cancer. Ethanol stimulates cell proliferation and transcriptional activity of liganded ER; this in turn increases the levels of estrogens that ultimately control proliferation and morphogenesis in the breasts. This biochemical processes affect cells in the body, which increases the chances of breast cancer for alcohol consuming women. All these factors have been extensively studied to understand the correlation.
According to research, the relationship of alcohol and cancer is mainly due to hormonal changes experienced with its consumption. Women who are menopausal and have prescribed hormonal enhancers are at a higher risk of breast cancer due to a high level of estrogen. Polymorphisms that regulate acetaldehyde formation and detoxification in an individual are susceptible to breast cancer. It alters the rates of acetaldehyde elimination from the blood stream. Studies on the relationship of cancer to alcohol consumption have been extensive; for instance, study done on women breast cancer reveals predisposing factors as being excessive estrogen levels. Therefore, women are advised to reduce alcohol consumption of certain beverages whose ingredients are the elements that have influenced tumor growth in the breast.