Alcohol pre ER+ BC?

For those who had ER+ BC only, what are your thoughts on this:

How does alcohol cause cancer? | Cancer Research UK.

Was there anyone t’ total completely their whole life who then had ER+ BC? Without undertaking a more representative study in the area! I am genuinely interested as I’ve never found anyone who was completely t’ total.

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Hi, interesting read, I have been told alcohol is a risk factor but although I wasn’t t total before diagnosis, I would say I didn’t drink much. Who knows :woman_shrugging:t2: too much we don’t know yet but I often think why and could I have done anything differently

I beat myself up on this. I haven’t been a big drinker since I had kids (eldest is 12) but I drank like a fish at Uni and carried on drinking much more than was good for me throughout my 20s. Probably was a factor. That said, plenty of friends drink more than me and they haven’t had cancer. :thinking:


I was the same until until I was about 30 then gradually decreased . I can go for months without having a drink now and I’ve been that way for at least 15 years now and was diagnosed at 56 .

Alcohol is one of the few risk factors I don’t have though - I’m tall over 50 no kids late menopause and I’ve been overweight to one degrees or another for lost if my life .
For about 10 years I also smoked though I kicked that habit 22 years ago now. You can stop smoking and stop drinking - if you could stop eating (instead of changing what you eat / eating less ) then I would probably find it easier to lose more weight.

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My mum was only ever had an occasional drink, had 4 of us kids, no birth control, no hrt, balanced diet. She developed bc 25 years ago, treated succesfully, but sadly distant recurrence years later which she chose to hide from us until it was too late to do anything about it.
Her mother had 5 kids, no birth control or hrt, balanced diet (wartime so lots of veg home grown). Double mastectomy 1970. I’m not aware of any further treatment as I was only 4 at the time. I don’t know what was available then. She died nearly 20 years later, not cancer related.
I never had children, used birth control for many years but not hrt. I enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner, which is cooked from scratch almost 100% of the time, like my mum and her mum.
None of us ever smoked. My mum’s sister was a heavy smoker, no children, no cancer.
Cancer has been around for ever. I believe that you can look for common links, but you will either develope cancer or you won’t.


I have never been a drinker, not even social drinker. Drank very very little as a teen and also at uni, mostly due to peer pressure as I don’t enjoy alcohol.
Never order wine at restaurants and I am fond of tea shops more than bars. I did smoke like for 10 years, I quit 15 years ago.
BMI in healthy range, heavy active walker (at least 2 hours daily since I am a teen, except on covid time), very occasionally took red meat, had a child in my mid 20s and breastfeeded for a whole full year.
Still, diagnosed at 48 with 18mm grade 3 IDC that was found on a screening as I had no symptoms, not even a lump I could feel.
Genetic test is pending.
I’d rather belive it was just bad luck for me.

To be honest I think there’s a lot of luck / randomness involved - which never feels fair . I found out a couple of years ago that Motor Neurone Disease tends to affect people who are otherwise very fit and healthy and you just think well what a ******,:face_with_symbols_over_mouth: you just can’t win can you .

I certainly hit most of the risk factors but when I go to my breast cancer support group age seems to be the only common denominator - I’m not sure that I’ve seen anyone under 40 though one of the volunteers must be close to 40 and had her cancer when she was quite a bit younger. The rest of us are every shape and size with vastly different histories including a couple of men.

There have been studies done that suggest high alcohol consumption can cause BC and puts you at risk for All cancers.

My GP showed me some stats that suggested the biggest risk is being over weight. When I was diagnosed I was quite overweight and I certainly enjoy a drink and had a lot of wine during covid and lockdown so that seems like a double whammy! I did beat myself up over it at the time thinking I’d brought it on myself but 2 years on I don’t. I also breast fed my 3 children for 3 years and I’m pretty active. It seems even skinny teetotallers also get BC so it’s hard to make sense of it all.

Anyone who gets BC is just unlucky. The main risks are being a woman and getting older so that’s that.

I just wanted to give myself every chance of staying well so I did cut alcohol out. Losing the weight is still a work in progress but I walk 2 miles a day with my dog and do some gentle weight bearing exercises so it’s good to feel you’re doing something to stop the bugger coming back. That’s just my take on it anyway x


Alcohol causes seven cancers flat out (female breast, liver, mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus and bowel). It’s a class one carcinogen. But like any carcinogen it doesn’t mean that it will cause your cancer. Just that it can. I was a light drinker so I doubt it had anything to do with mine but even if it did I don’t feel bad. Lots of people drink and don’t get cancer. Lots of people don’t drink and get cancer. All any of us can do is the best we can. But in saying that it is the one thing I got rid of food consumption wise after diagnosis. Figured I can’t control how much carcinogens I get completely but if I can easily knock one out, I will. I don’t miss it. I’ve replaced it with tea and sparkling water.


I had a very interesting conversation with my surgeon when diagnosed with DCIS last month - I just wanted to understand why… was it something that I had done. There is no family history, I am active, exercise regularly, have a very healthy balanced diet and do enjoy my wine … in moderation. Her answer was simple - she said it was just “bad luck”. It seemed a rather simplistic answer from a medical professional but she explained BC can happen to anyone and it doesn’t help recovery to over think, beat ourselves up unnecessarily.

I think it’s difficult because we want to understand why to have some level of control over the diagnosis and the fear of what comes next.

I would probably say I’m more aware of how much / when I drink now and limit to weekends only and enjoy as a treat rather than a routine. I changed this after lockdown anyway so wasn’t much different.

Hope this helps any anxieties xx

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Diagnosed last June - not last month! Too early in the morning :sweat_smile:

I’m a health care professional and through the years I’ve seen a lot of healthy people who live well be diagnosed with serious health problems that statistically it would seem unlikely for them to get . There’s definitely a lot of luck both bad and good involved .


Hi I am living with secondary breast cancer, stomach metastases. With primary diagnosis I beat myself up blaming my weekend wine consumption, it’s just bad luck…… I can no longer enjoy my food like I used to but I certainly enjoy my wine in moderation…… if you take away the joys of food and wine…. What’s left??

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Completely agree Yvonne

Yes you’re bang on there xx

I know T-total women who have got breast cancer as well alcoholics who didn’t.
If you look at research it was thought that being a nun & celibate was a very high risk factor. Now the research shows that having children and breast feeding protects women but then lots of women get it during or straight after pregnancy.
Its just bad luck or bad genes or both.