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Adolescent alcohol consumption and breast cancer
Date:11/13/2011

Breast cancer patients often wonder what their daughters might do to reduce their risk of also developing cancer. Are there dietary intakes or behaviors that can be modified by their daughters to lower their own chances of getting the disease? A new study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, sought information relevant to this question.

Dr. Catherine Berkey, a biostatistician at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, led a team that investigated childhood and adolescent risk factors for benign breast disease among girls with a family history of breast cancer. Benign breast disease, a large class of breast ailments that can cause breast lumps or breast pain, is a known risk factor for breast cancer. The authors found that among adolescent girls with a family history of breast cancer (or maternal benign breast disease), there was a significant association between amount of alcohol consumed and further increased risk of getting benign breast disease as young women.

The investigators analyzed information from the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS, founded by co-author Dr. Graham Colditz), which includes females who were aged nine to 15 years old in 1996 and who completed annual questionnaires from 1996 to 2001, then again in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Participants provided information regarding alcohol consumption, age at first menstrual period, height, and body mass index.

In the final two surveys, the participants (who were aged 18 to 27 years at the time) reported whether they had ever been diagnosed with benign breast disease. A total of 67 reported receiving this diagnosis (confirmed by breast biopsy), while another 6,741 reported they had never been diagnosed with the disease. Also, participants' mothers reported their own cases of benign breast disease and breast cancer, as well as breast cancer in their sisters and mothers (maternal aunts and maternal gr
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Contact: Jen Beal
healthnews@wiley.com
44-012-437-70633
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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