A protein has been identified that plays a key role in the link between drinking alcohol and breast cancer.
Women with higher levels of the molecule in their breasts are more likely to develop cancer if they drink too much, research suggests.
Scientists in Mexico say their discovery could lead to a test showing which individuals are most at risk. Preventative measures could them be taken, such as helping vulnerable people cut down on alcohol.
The protein, an enzyme called CYP2E1, is believed to be involved in breaking down ethanol, otherwise known as alcohol , in the body.
In the process, unstable destructive oxygen molecules called free radicals are generated, which attack cell membranes and DNA.
Free radical damage, or oxidative stress, is known to be linked to cancer as well as other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Alcohol consumption is a long-established risk factor for breast cancer but until now the reason for the link has not been clear.
In this situation why aren’t women being warned of the dangers? How are drinks companies allowed advertise alcohol without any warning? Why is there no breakdown of the composition of alcohol drinks on the bottles or cans?