Newly released research on breast cancer is showing that there might be a direct correlation between alcohol and the return of the dreaded disease in survivors.
This past week, researchers from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California presented their findings to the American Association for Cancer Research San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Scientists have concluded that women survivors of breast cancer are at a significantly higher risk for their breast cancers return if they drink more than three alcoholic beverages per week.
The scientists advise that post-menopausal women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer should consider “limiting alcohol consumption to less than three drinks a week, especially if they are overweight or obese”.
An eight year study of 1900 women who survived early-stage invasive breast cancer produced the results.
The women were responsible for recording and reporting the amount of alcohol they drank on a weekly basis.
A 30% increase in the cancers return was noted in women that consumed as little as 3-4 drinks a week.
It didn’t matter whether the alcohol consumed was wine, beer, or liquor. The more alcohol they drank, the higher their risk was for cancer recurrence, according to research scientist Marilyn Kwan. (One drink equals a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer, or a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor.)
Kwan said other studies have shown alcohol can affect levels of estrogen circulating in the body and can increase the rate at which the body processes estrogen. Since many breast cancers are fed by estrogen, and she thinks moderate to heavy alcohol consumption may be fueling the cancers.
It has long been thought alcohol consumption may increase the risk of developing breast cancer to begin with.
Kwan’s research extends these findings to include the risk of recurrence among women who have already been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer (about 2.5 million women in the U.S. alone)
They sure picked a heck of a time to announce these findings! It’s the Holidays, Christmas, Christmas sales, lunches and dinners with friends, parties at work and next door … and now not even a glass of wine?
We should actually be grateful for all the research being done on breast cancer. It kills more than 400,000 women a year (world-wide) and if there is a correlation in drinking and cancer, we need to take notice. Now does this study mean if you’re not obese it’s ok to drink? I doubt it.
Researchers have shown that alcohol may raise risk of breast cancer return…I don’t think I will risk it.
I do know, however that some women will dwell on the word MAY, versus WILL and continue to imbibe.
To them I say talk to your Doctor … if you have already survived breast cancer, do you really want to increase your chances of it returning?
To the researchers I say: Back to work! There is much yet to do! Oh … and Thank YOU for trying to eradicate this insidious disease.