Wine, how I love thee. It’s not like I needed more good news to drink it in moderation. But here we are with news that it may help protect you against cancer.
Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health presented their compelling findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. They studied more than 500 women with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And what they found was astounding.
“We found that wine had a protective effect,” says Xuesong Han, a doctoral candidate in cancer epidemiology. More encouraging was that the protective effects were strongest with the most common of type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
And the longer the woman drank, the better chance that she wouldn’t suffer a relapse or die within five years of diagnosis. Patients who had been drinking wine for at least 25 years prior to diagnosis were 26 percent less likely to relapse or develop a secondary cancer, and 33 percent less likely to die over the five-year period, compared with non-wine drinkers.
But there’s a tightrope to walk here. If you have a family history of alcoholism you should be extra careful. Also, if there’s a heightened risk for breast cancer in your family, you should at least talk with your doctor first.
“If you have risk factors for breast cancer, you should avoid wine. Studies have linked any type of alcohol to poor outcomes,” says Yawei Zhang, PhD, who also worked on the study.
Researchers say that beer and liquor did not appear to affect lymphoma risk.