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How what and how much we eat (and drink) affects our risk of cancer
Date:4/13/2008

SAN DIEGO A healthy diet and lifestyle protect against a wide range of diseases, and new research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2008 Annual Meeting, April 12-16, shows that cancer is no exception. Researchers demonstrate how excessive alcohol drinking could lead to an increased risk of breast cancer, how consuming too many calories may increase ones risk for melanoma, and why with folic acid, timing is everything for colon cancer prevention.


Alcohol consumption and risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women: the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: Abstract 4168

One of the largest studies of its kind has found that alcohol is a substantial risk factor for development of the most common type of breast cancer the 70 percent of tumors that are classified as positive for both the estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER+/PR+).

Researchers report that even moderate alcohol consumption, defined as one or two drinks per day, increased risk of developing this kind of cancer, and the more a woman drank, the higher her risk. Compared to women who did not drink at all, women who had three or more glasses of alcohol daily had as much as a 51 percent increased risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancer.

This suggests that a woman should evaluate consumption of alcohol along with other known breast cancer risk factors, such as use of hormone replacement therapy, said the studys first author, Jasmine Q. Lew, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Chicago who is conducting this research as a recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institutes of Health Research Scholarship at the National Cancer Institutes (NCI) Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

Lew and her research colleagues from NCI say their analysis could not support a definitive conclusion as to whether alcohol influences development of other breast cancer tumor types. But we have enough numbers to stu
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Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg
Staci.goldberg@aacr.org
267-646-0616
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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