Women who drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day are 30% more likely to develop breast cancer, according to a new study.
And the research found no difference between wine, beer and spirits - even when wine was divided into red and white.
The increased risk is similar to that associated with women who smoke at least a packet of cigarettes a day, scientists in America said.
Even those who consume only one or two drinks per day could be increasing their risk of developing the disease by 10%.
The drinking habits of 70,033 women were studied by experts at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in California.
They all supplied information during health examinations between 1978 and 1985, and by 2004, 2,829 had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Arthur Klatsky, author of the study, said: "This strongly confirms the relation of ethyl alcohol to increased risk.
"A 30% increased risk is not trivial. To put it into context, it is not much different from the increased risk associated with women taking estrogenic hormones."
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Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
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