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Good for Your Heart, Bad for Your Breasts

Posted Feb 28 2010 12:29pm

© Brenda Coffee.  All rights reserved.

Did you know that having a drink or two each day may increase your risk of getting breast cancer by up to 51%? Did you also know it does not matter if you are talking about wine, beer, or hard liquor? They all pose an increased risk. That is a staggering statistic and one that nags at me from time to time. So much for a glass of red wine a day because it is good for your heart. While it may be good for your heart, it is bad for your breasts.

Since my diagnosis I now wonder is there a link between alcohol and a recurrence of breast cancer?  My intuition says there is a link however the experts say not enough is known about alcohol and recurrence.  Before breast cancer I did not think anything about having a glass of wine or a couple of gin and tonics now and then. But now if I have one drink I wonder, will this be the one that triggers a recurrence of my breast cancer?

While my oncologist says everything in moderation, including moderation, I am not a moderate kind of girl. I am often at one end, or the other, of many given spectrums.  I go for weeks without even thinking about a glass of alcohol and then, like last night, have three Cosmopolitans. Hey it’s Vegas baby! Today I feel terrible, partly because I rarely drink at all, as in I have a hangover, and partly because I had the drinks in the first place.

It seems as though everything in life has some association with getting breast cancer: food, water, stress, sleep, sun, exercise, alcohol, estrogen, phytoestrogens in food and body care products, even sex, but these are all topics for future Brenda’s Blogs. Almost everything we do in life has risks. While we cannot avoid risks, we can educate ourselves as to whether we are willing to take them, or avoid them altogether.

I probably should be asking myself, if I believe there might be a connection between alcohol and a recurrence of breast cancer, why do I drink at all? Or, am I over reacting?
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