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Does Alcohol Increase Risk for Breast Cancer?


Does alcohol increase risk for breast cancer?

  • Women who averaged three to four or more drinks per week were 34% more likely to have a recurrence than those who drank less than once a week.
  • Likewise, breast cancer-specific mortality risk rose 51% for the regular drinkers among breast cancer survivors.
  • The increased risk of recurrence was highest for women who drank two or more glasses of wine a day, while there was no significant risk increase among those who consumed less than three drinks overall per week.
  • Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors were particularly at risk from moderate to heavy drinking, as were overweight and obese women.
  • Alcohol also increases aromatase activity, which is the enzyme that converts other steroid hormones to estrogens.
  • This is the same enzyme that drugs such as Femara and Arimidex is blocking.
  • Therefore, alcohol works against these medications.


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