Tags: Cancer | breast | cancer | drinking | alcohol | death | risk

Study: Drinking Leads to Lower Breast Cancer Death Risk

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 04:05 PM


Women with breast cancer who had a few alcoholic drinks per week before their diagnosis were slightly less likely to die from their cancer, according to a study that followed newly-diagnosed patients for 11 years, on average.
Moderate drinking before and after a breast cancer diagnosis was also tied to better heart health and fewer deaths from non-cancer causes, the study team found.
"This is a lifestyle choice," said Dr. Pamela Goodwin from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, who wrote a commentary published with the new study.
"With alcohol, what we're saying is, if you are someone who would like to have the odd drink, it's probably safe," she told Reuters Health. "We're not telling women to go out and start drinking."
Researchers asked close to 23,000 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985 through 2006 about their drinking habits, exercise and use of hormones before their diagnosis.
About 5,000 of those women were surveyed again about their diet and lifestyle habits a few years later.
The study team found women who reported drinking three to six alcoholic drinks per week before getting cancer were 15 percent less likely to die of the disease over the 11 years post-diagnosis, on average, compared to non-drinkers.
However, there was no link between either occasional drinking or heavier drinking before diagnosis and survival from breast cancer, Polly Newcomb from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and her colleagues wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Research has shown regular drinking raises a woman's risk of developing breast cancer in the first place (see Reuters Health story of November 1, 2011 here: reut.rs/v4hXN8).
One possible explanation for the new findings, Goodwin said, is that alcohol predisposes women to a less-dangerous form of cancer, making their survival better than the average non-drinker who develops cancer. Or, she added, women who drink moderately may have a healthier lifestyle, in general, than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers.
About one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, and one in 36 will die of the disease.
Among women in the study who completed surveys in the years after getting cancer, post-diagnosis drinking did not affect the chance of dying from breast cancer - but it did seem to improve general health.
For example, women who drank 10 drinks per week were about half as likely to die of heart disease and 36 percent less likely to die from all causes combined than non-drinkers. The effect was similar, but not as strong, for women who had three to six or seven to nine drinks per week.
"What this finding does is it sort of frees up a woman to make that choice, whereas in the past we might have cautioned that women not even consider a single drink," Goodwin said.

© HealthDay

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Bacteria Offer New Way to Treat Cancer: M.D. Anderson Study

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 11:34 AM

Bacteria may offer a new way to treat cancer, a small, preliminary study suggests.

Researchers injected a wea . . .

Do You Get Winter Nose Bleeds? Here's Help

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 11:29 AM

Nosebleeds are a common during the winter and shouldn't be cause for concern, an expert says.

Cold winter ai . . .

Drug That Fights Binge Eating OKd by FDA

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 10:04 AM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Shire's stimulant Vyvanse to treat binge-eating disorder, the f . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved