Alcohol and Breast Cancer
Overall Risk Factors
- Sex: female, although men can also get breast cancer
- Age: 50 or older
- Personal history of breast cancer
- Family members with breast cancer
- Being overweight
- Changes in breast tissue, such as atypical ductal hyperplasia, radial scar formation, and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
- Changes in certain genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, and others)
- Race: Caucasian
- Tobacco use
Increased exposure to estrogen over a lifetime through:
- Early onset of menstruation
- Late onset of menopause
- No childbearing or late childbearing
- Absence of breast-feeding
- Taking hormone replacement therapy for long periods of time ( Prempro for more than four years)
- Increased breast density (more lobular and ductal tissue and less fatty tissue)
- Radiation therapy before the age of 30 years old
- Alcohol use
Minimizing Risk and Keeping a Healthy Perspective
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
National Cancer Institute http://www.nci.nih.gov/
BC Cancer Agency http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/default.htm/
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca/
Alcohol use and cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/DietandPhysicalActivity/alcohol-use-and-cancer. Updated January 27, 2012. Accessed May 4, 2012.
Chen WY, Rosner B, Hankinson SE, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Moderate alcohol consumption during adult life, drinking patterns, and breast cancer risk. JAMA. 2011;306(17):1884-1890.
Chen WY, Colditz GA, Rosner B, et al. Use of postmenopausal hormones, alcohol, and risk for invasive breast cancer. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(10):798-804.
Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. Alcohol, tobacco, and breast cancer: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 53 epidemiological studies, including 58,515 women with breast cancer and 95,067 women without the disease. Br J Cancer . 2002;87:1234-1245.
Breast cancer (female). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated March 10, 2010. Accessed March 26, 2010.
Ellison RC. Alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Evidence-based Healthcare: A Scientific Approach to Health Policy. Churchill Livingstone, Inc.; 2002;47-48.
LaRusso L. Breast cancer. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: . Published date. Updated January 19, 2010. Accessed March 26, 2010.
Singletary KW, Gapstur SM. Alcohol and breast cancer: review of epidemiologic and experimental evidence and potential mechanisms. JAMA . 2001;286:2143-2151.
Smith-Warner SA, Spiegelman D, Yaun SS, et al. Alcohol and breast cancer in women: a pooled analysis of cohort studies. JAMA . 1998;279:535-540.
Terry MB, Zhang FF, Kabat G et al. Lifetime alcohol intake and breast cancer risk. Ann Epidemiol. 2006;16(3):230-240.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2012 -
- Update Date: 05/14/2012 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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