Science has produced yet another reason to crack open a bottle of wine - for women suffering from breast cancer, that is. Researchers say that drinking a glass of wine a day may help boost women's odds of surviving breast cancer.

The study was undertaken by researchers at the University of Cambridge. In the largest study of its kind, the scientists looked at 13,525 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer over an average of seven years. In addition to collecting each patient's body mass index, the researchers recorded the women's weekly alcohol intake.

They found that women who drank three and a half small glasses of wine each week were 10 percent more likely to survive breast cancer than those who abstained. Women who drank seven glasses a week upped their survival rate by 20 percent over women who did not drink.

The results were surprising, because alcohol has been shown by various studies to increase women's risk for developing breast cancer. The Cambridge researchers believe that just as some of the chemicals in alcohol help to destroy healthy cells, leading to cancer, so too do the drinks destroy cancerous cells as well.

There is no specific protocol about alcohol for patients suffering from breast cancer. Many patients stop drinking though, hoping that it may help with their treatments.

The American Cancer Society reports that the survival rate for the various stages of breast cancer range from 93 percent for women with Stage 0 cancer, when the cancer remains in a duct and has not spread to the surrounding tissue, to 15 percent for women with Stage 4 Cancer, when the cancer has spread to distant tissue and organs.

Experts say that the results only hold true for women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer.

It is unclear whether wine would also help men diagnosed with breast cancer.