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Alcohol linked to breast cancer recurrence

15th December 2009

Women who have survived breast cancer treatment may face a higher risk of their disease returning if they regularly consume alcohol, new research suggests.

A study conducted by scientists at Kaiser Permanente in California found that women who drank at least three to four beverages per week were 1.3 times more likely to experience a recurrence of their disease than those who had less than three drinks per week.

The findings, which are based on a study involving 1,897 survivors of early-stage breast cancer, were presented at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium by staff scientist Dr Marilyn Kwan.

The researcher advised: “Women previously diagnosed with breast cancer should consider limiting their consumption of alcohol to less than three drinks per week, especially women who are postmenopausal and overweight or obese.”

Dr Caitlin Palframan, policy manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said that drinking alcohol was already known to increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.

“Breakthrough’s advice to women who drink alcohol is to be aware of how much you consume and to drink in moderation,” she added.

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