Sugar boosts cancer risk in women

I don't think anyone should be drinking sugary drinks at all -- because even in moderation, soda and other soft drinks can do real damage to men, women and children alike.

But ladies, today I want to focus on you -- because new research finds that women who drink the sweet stuff have a much higher risk of endometrial cancer.

Sugar of course causes blood sugar levels to spike and alters the body's insulin response. What makes a soda habit in particular so damaging is that it causes those sugar levels to spike and plunge quickly.

When it happens too often, you get insulin resistance and diabetes.

But even if you don't suffer from diabetes, changes to insulin and insulin growth factor proteins can lead to cancer -- including estrogen-dependent endometrial cancer.

That's why any sugary drinks at all will cause your risk of this form of cancer to rise. The risk gets higher with every sip -- and if you drink soda regularly, your risk of this disease will jump by nearly 80 percent, according to the study of 23,039 postmenopausal women tracked for up to 25 years.

Along with sugary drinks, the study also finds some other risk factors for this cancer -- including a few we already know about: age, obesity, diabetes and early puberty or late menopause.

You don't have any control over your age or when menopause strikes. But you do have control over your weight and you can take steps to avoid diabetes -- and avoiding soda will help you to do both at the same time.

Switch to water or seltzer instead. If you want a little flavor, infuse some fruit into it. And if you want a drink that will cut your risk of disease, including several types of cancer, try some tea.