Breast Cancer Survivors Can Consume Alcohol without Worrying About Recurrence, Study Shows

In Education

A study by Kaiser Permanente indicates that despite the historical connection between alcohol and breast cancer, survivors need not worry about alcohol consumption increasing the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence.

Drinking after breast cancer diagnosis doesn’t affect prognosis

In the most extensive study of its kind, researchers have determined that consuming alcohol shortly after breast cancer diagnosis is not linked to higher risks of cancer recurrence or death. This study provides oncologists with a clear response to a common question among breast cancer survivors regarding the safety of alcohol consumption.

Lead author of the study Marilyn Kwan said that it is known that women who consume alcohol are at an increased risk of breast cancer with the chances of developing the disease likely to increase in tandem with one’s alcohol consumption. She explained that because of this the assumption was that alcohol consumption post breast cancer diagnosis could increase breast cancer recurrence. However, the study established that alcohol consumption following breast cancer diagnosis didn’t affect an individual’s prognosis.

Previous studies investigating the relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer have yielded contradictory findings. Furthermore, these studies primarily concentrated on alcohol use before a patient’s breast cancer diagnosis. As a result, there is currently a lack of guidance for breast cancer survivors regarding alcohol consumption. Existing risk reduction guidelines advise women to limit their daily alcohol intake to one drink.

Researchers used Pathway Study data

In the current study, researchers utilized data from the Pathways Study, which involves more than 4,500 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from 2005 to 2013 at Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Senior study author and co-leader of the Pathways Study Lawrence Kushi explained that following breast cancer diagnosis patients often focus on lifestyle changes that can help them live longer. Moreover most breast cancer patients are concerned regarding to whether alcohol consumption may result in recurrence of breast cancer. Kushi said that their study sought to offer physicians and breast cancer survivors with information to assist in decision making to enhance their quality of life.

Mobile Sliding Menu