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Alcohol intake increases certain types of breast cancer
Date:8/23/2010

Alcohol increases the risk of lobular and hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, but not necessarily invasive ductal carcinomas, according to a study published August 23 online in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Although alcohol intake is an established risk factor for overall breast cancer, few studies have looked at the relationship between alcohol use and breast cancer risk by subtype of breast cancer. While some studies have shown alcohol use is more strongly related to risk of hormone receptor-positive (estrogen receptor and/or progesterone receptor-positive) breast cancer, not many have looked at breast cancer risk by histology, or whether a tumor is ductalin the milk ductsor lobularin the milk-producing lobules.

To understand how alcohol may influence sub-types of breast cancer, Christopher I. Li, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducted an observational study of a subset of patients in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, conducted between 1993 and 1998, which included 87,724 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years.

The researchers looked at the following data from the 2,944 women in the WHI study who developed invasive breast cancer: tumor subtypes and hormone status, alcohol consumption, demographic and lifestyle characteristics, family history of diseases and reproductive history. Women were categorized as those who never drank, those who formerly drank and those who currently drank. Drinkers were grouped into six categories according to the average number of drinks per week, starting from less than one drink per week to more than 14 drinks per week.

The researchers found that alcohol use is more strongly related to the risk of lobular carcinoma than ductal carcinoma, and more strongly related to hormone-receptor- positive breast cancer than hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer. These results confirm previous findings of an association of alc
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Contact: Kristine Crane
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1285
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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