Our Blog

New Breast Cancer Research Trumps Old; Drink Up

Published on | Kylie Chin

A little wine won't increase your chance of getting breast cancer

If there’s one thing we can all count on, it’s change.

It seems that conflicting studies involving your risk of developing breast cancer are released every year and leave us scrambling to ingest the latest news – only to have it reversed and flipped on it’s head. So as you read on, take these studies with a grain of salt and remember that a solid, overall rule of thumb is always: everything in moderation.

So, if you followed the links above, you’ll notice the topic of weighing the affects of alcohol before and after a breast cancer diagnosis.

In 2011, it was reported, “even a few drinks can boost your risk breast cancer.” — few, meaning three to six glasses of wine per week. But now a new study has been released that has found that drinking before and after a breast cancer diagnosis does not hurt women’s survival rate; and in a percentage of cases actually seemed to improve survival.

“Our findings should be reassuring to women who have breast cancer because their past experience consuming alcohol will not impact their survival after diagnosis,” study author Polly Newcomb, head of the Cancer Prevention Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said in a statement. “This study also provides additional support for the beneficial effect of moderate alcohol consumption with respect to cardiovascular disease.”

The study tracked nearly 23,000 women for the past eleven years. They found a few interesting trends:

  • The type of alcohol being consumed prior to their cancer diagnosis had no influence on the likelihood of dying from their breast cancer
  • Women that consumed three to six glasses of wine per week during the time before they developed cancer were 15% less likely to pass away of heart disease related conditions compared to women who didn’t drink.
  • The benefits were seen most with wine, while beer and other drinks (including heavy drinking) did not translate to lower death rates from heart problems.
  • Drinking following a diagnosis doesn’t seem to affect any of the participants’ survival from breast cancer, but it did reduce their risk of dying from heart disease.

Bottom-line, moderate drinking is proven to be beneficial to your heart. The current research indicates that past and continued drinking won’t negatively affect survival from breast cancer. And, as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus’ philosophy dictates: “Nothing endures but change – not sure Heraclitus was referring to breast cancer research.



Comments are closed.