Thursday, February 16, 2012

ALCOHOL, YOU AND BREAST CANCER

ALCOHOL, YOU AND BREAST CANCER

Many patients ask me about the interaction of alcohol and breast cancer.

There has been new awareness concerning the risk of alcohol consumption and breast cancer. When reviewing information about alcohol consumption, it is important to first know how a drink is defined. Twelve ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of liquor are considered a drink. The risk of breast cancer is influenced by how much you drink, how early in life you start, and how much of your life you continue.
It is a cumulative effect.

SUPPORTING DATA

A recent Nurses Health Study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at “cumulative average consumption” over a 28-year-period of more than 100,000 women. There was a significant increase in breast cancer cases in those women who drank as little as 3-6 drinks per week. This increased risk of 3-6 drinks per week was small but real. The greater the amount of alcohol consumed on average per week, the greater the increase in breast cancer risk.

WHAT ABOUT OUR DAUGHTERS

Another important study was published recently in the journal Cancer. This study evaluated the effects of alcohol and family history on the risk of benign breast disease, a known risk factor for breast cancer. This study looked at daughters from the Nurses Health Study II. The study confirmed an increased risk of benign breast disease for girls who drank at a level of greater than 1 drink per week at age 16, greater than 2 drinks per week at age 18, and 3 drinks per week at age 19 and who had a family history of breast cancer or maternal benign breast disease. These girls had a significant increase in the incidence of benign breast disease over girls without family history of breast cancer or alcohol use. Girls without a family history did not have an increased risk with alcohol consumption.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE

These two studies show the influence of alcohol on breast cancer risk. The main consideration is the amount of alcohol over time. Delaying the beginning of drinking alcohol until you are older and then drinking moderately will reduce effects.

I recommend limiting yourself to 3-6 drinks per week maximum. Less if you are young and/or have a family history of breast cancer. I also recommend red wine if you like it because of the extra advantage of heart benefits.




ABOUT DR. DiNOME:
Jessie W. DiNome, MD received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and served a residency and fellowship in Radiation Oncology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is board certified in Radiation Oncology. Dr. DiNome is an attending physician in the Jefferson Health System and Medical Director of the Jefferson Cancer Center at Riddle Hospital. She has been on the Riddle Hospital staff since 2004.
For physician information, appointments, locations and more, please call
1.866.CALL.MLH or 484.580.1000


3 Comments:

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At October 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM , Blogger Rosalinda Ursery said...

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