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Alcohol Consumption Might Increase Breast Cancer Recurrence

Posted Dec 14 2009 12:00am
A number of studies have reported that excess alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and have suggested that the more alcohol consumed, the greater the breast cancer risk.  New breast cancer research presented at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggests that excess alcohol consumption by breast cancer survivors increases their risk of breast cancer returning.

In this study, researchers examined the association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer recurrence in a group of nearly 2,000 early stage breast cancer survivors.  Information on alcohol consumption over the previous 12 months was collected by questionnaire.  Analysis of the risk of breast cancer returning showed that:
  • Women consuming more than 6 grams of alcohol per day were about 1.4 times more likely to develop breast cancer again compared to non-drinkers.
  • Among women who consumed alcohol, drinking more than 2 servings of wine per day was associated with a 1.4-fold increase in developing breast cancer again.
  • Post-menopausal women (nearly 1.8 times more likely) and women with estrogen receptor-negative tumors (nearly 2 times more likley) were at the greatest risk of breast cancer recurrence due to alcohol consumption.
This new breast cancer research adds to the growing amount of evidence that excess alcohol consumption can increase breast cancer risk.  This study specifically points out the risk associated with alcohol consumption for breast cancer survivors.  While it has been suggested that moderate levels of alcohol consumption, particularly wine consumption, might provide some heart health benefits, the American Heart Association does not recommend consuming alcohol for this purpose.   Being self-aware of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including what we eat and drink, is an important part of reducing breast cancer risk.  The increased breast cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption is why Day 4 of my 7-Day Prescription for Healthier Breasts is to reduce or eliminate the amount of alcohol consumed on a weekly basis.

To learn more about my 7-Day Prescription for Healthier Breasts, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at
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