Posts tagged ‘alcohol intake’

If you are obese or if you indulge in alcoholism, then you pose yourself at a higher risk of cancer. If the scientists and specialists are to be believed then one may surmise that being over-weight and consuming alcohol is absolutely suicidal.

According to World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), UK and other high income countries report high rates of cancer because the citizens of these countries report low physical activity, higher cases of obesity and over-indulgence in alcohol.

UK has been placed at 22nd position in cancer rate with nearly 267 people diagnosed out of 100,000. But UK ranks higher at 11th position when it comes to breast cancer. Breast cancer has long been associated with excess body fat and alcohol consumption, hence the 11th rank of UK for breast cancer hints at a direct relationship between the disease and the UK women’s indulgence in alcohol.

Research has shown that women who drink on a regular basis are more likely to develop breast cancer than their non-drinking counterparts. Besides drinking, smoking is another factor which has been directly linked to various forms of cancer. For instance, Denmark has the highest rate of cancer and it is no surprise since a huge chunk of the Danish women is addicted to cigarette and alcohol.

Professor Martin Wiseman, medical and scientific adviser for WCRF, states that UK and other high-income countries report high cancer rates because of the lifestyle of the people. Physical activity, healthy consumption and abstinence from alcohol and smoking are some of the preventive measures that one can take to keep cancer at bay. So, the citizens of UK and other high-income countries need to alter their lifestyles significantly in order to combat this dreaded ailment.


Consuming alcohol after being diagnosed with breast cancer may spell doom. A recent study, ‘Life After Cancer Epidemiology’ (LACE) revealed that the intake of alcohol by patients in the early stages of breast cancer increases the risks of recurrence. The mortality rate, however, remains unaffected by and large.

The study was conducted by observing 1,897 patients diagnosed with breast cancer, all in the early stages. The participants recruited between 1997-2000 had been living with breast cancer for at least two years. The study specifically aimed at uncovering the relation between alcohol intake and recurrence of cancer and death. Almost all of the women who took part in the study were light drinkers of alcohol. They were studied closely for 7.4 years on an average.

The results revealed an increased risk of recurrence as well as death due to breast cancer. The study, however, disclosed that there was no effect on the total mortality.  The risk factor was associated with women who had 3-4 drinks per week following the diagnosis of breast cancer in comparison to women who abstained after the detection of carcinoma.

There have been a number of studies conducted on this particular aspect previously, but the results have varied widely. Most of the study results have concluded that there is no increase in mortality, which is true of this particular study result as well.  However, the results for increased risks of recurrence have not always been alike, with most of the studies concluding that there is no added risk for moderate drinkers. There has been only one instance of a study concerned with estrogen receptor tumors which hinted at the possibility of developing primary cancer in the contralateral breast following alcohol consumption, particularly when it exceeded 7 drinks per week.

The conflicting nature of results from various studies indicate the need for further research  on  the topic before arriving at a concrete conclusion.


1.     Kwan ML, Kushi LH, Weltzien E, Tam EK, Castillo A, Sweeney C, Caan BJ. Alcohol Consumption and Breast Cancer Recurrence and Survival Among Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer:The Life After Cancer Epidemiology Study. J Clin Oncol 2010;28 (published ahead of print, 10.1200/JCO.2010.29.2730)

2.    Contributions by the members of the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research. Details can be found at