Women who take estrogen supplements to reduce symptoms of menopause may be at a higher risk for breast cancer if they consume alcohol. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported on December 4 that Estrace, a specific form of estrogen supplements, may in fact cause breast cancer in women who drink a considerable amount of alcohol. The study, conducted by Elizabeth S. Ginsburg, a Harvard doctor, is based upon previous studies which indicated that estrogen replacement alone may increase the risk of breast cancer. Ginsburg’s recent findings point to the fact that alcohol may factor into the previous studies, particularly in women who consume more than an occasional drink.
Ginsburg notes that Estrace, when combined with alcohol, may triple the blood levels of estradiole, the female hormone which helps reduce the symptoms of menopause. This overdose may be harmful, although further research is required.
Nearly a quarter of women in the U.S. over the age of 50 take estrogen when the ovaries stop producing it after menopause. Estrogen is commonly known to provide bone density and be a common defender of heart disease, the most common cause of death among women.