Alcohol and Breast Cancer


Having going through BC, chemo and surgery now waiting for further surgery to remove more lymph nodes.

I wanted to ask thoughts on alcohol….

Im a social drinker as in out for dinner parties or Holidays, 

I’m need a more understanding around drinking on these occasions is it ok, and what do you all do?

for example 

Dinner share a bottle of wine

Parties can stick to the 5 units recommendation

Holidays there’s generally more drinking going on!

please share, your thoughts and guidance 

very grateful xx

Hiyer Deb,

I found this article on the main BCN site for you…

That was the top article when I did a search on BCN, but there are lots of links and references to all matters relating to Alcohol on the following link…some might be of interest to you in researching the topic. I can’t comment annecdotally or personally as was teetotal for the 20 years before diagnosis. (and still am)

You might need to check on the date of some of the articles, and discard any with are quite old - as we know in the field of cancer research and recommendations things move forward and change quite quickly. :slightly_smiling_face:

Alcohol is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence and there is no way around it. It has something to do with how it interacts with estrogen. In saying that though everyone has to decide what is best for them based on a risk versus reward analysis. Liz O’Riordan, both a breast cancer surgeon and patient, says studies show to keep alcohol consumption to less than 5 units per week. For me I’ve decided that for the near future I’m not drinking alcohol at all. But then I never enjoyed it all that much so it’s not that hard of a choice. I may decide to dye my hair though and that is also associated with an increased risk (although a very mild one and it’s not as definitive in studies as alcohol). So again, risk versus reward and whatever you feel will best help you live both a healthy and happy life.

Hi Deb

I still have a drink…but stick to 5 units or less a week…in reality this works out at 1 glass of wine each Friday and Saturday night…on holiday I may have more … maybe one drink every other day …its risk v quality of life… but we all have to find our own balance 

I hardly drink now as I am married to an alcoholic and think it’s easier not to have drink anywhere on the premises and not to drink more than the odd glass when we go out. So I probably only have about three glasses of wine a year now. During my younger days I drank more often and would binge drink at parties. But I didn’t go to many parties! So I really don’t think drink was a factor in my breast cancer. But if it was, there’s nothing I can do about it. I think it’s much more likely connected with acne and not having children. It’s the most common of all cancers so unless we stop being women or living so long we have a pretty good chance of getting it at some time of our lives. I have now had it twice. It would be fine if it didn’t involve surgery and unpleasant surgery. That’s worse than dying of it I reckon. You have to die of something and there are worse things, e.g. pancreatic, ovarian, lung, stomach cancers. All of which have killed friends of mine