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Topic: drinking alcohol

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After — Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications.

Posted on: Mar 12, 2010 04:01PM

figgy652 wrote:

HI, My oncologist said I should give up my glass of wine every night with dinner.  He said there is strong evidence alcohol of any type has an estrogen effect on the body and I am 100% ER+.  So I am suppose to drink wine only occasionally and then no more than 4 oz.  Seriously?  I love a glass of wine with dinner.  I can give up the nightly routine but do I have to feel scared if I am out several nights in one week for whatever reason and have a glass of wine?  Is 2-3 times a week too much?

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Mar 12, 2010 04:32PM fairy49 wrote:

Figgy, one alcohol beverage - increases your circulating estrogen by 400%, I know, it sucks! I have been sober for 10 years, and firmly believe that my large consumption of alcohol prior to that played a major role in my BC, thats just my opinion, and I am sure others will have a different view.  I think everything is ok in moderation, I think quality of life is important, so.........

L

ox

DX 9-22-08 IDC 1.1cm Stage 1 Grade 2 SNB 0/5 ER+ PR+ HER- Bi-Lat Mas re-con,tissue expanders on 10/29 - Exchange to silicone implants on 3/6/09 Oncotype DX Score 9 - BRCA 1 & 2 Negative.....If God brings you to it, he WILL get you through it
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Mar 12, 2010 05:06PM ruthbru wrote:

I think I read something about not having more than a couple drinks a week (like 2 or 3). I maybe have a couple drinks a month (a glass of wine on 'Girls Night Out', a beer with pizza etc.) If it's New Years Eve, a wedding, or some other celebration; I allow myself two drinks tops. It is just not worth it to me to raise my reoccurance chances by drinking more and/or more often (plus it's not that enjoyable when you know that's what you are doing by having that regular cocktail Cry). Good Luck!
"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2010 05:45PM seaofhope wrote:

Fairy, where did you get this information about the estrogen being magnified to this extent?  If you take tamoxafin, does this protect you from the estrogen surge?  This "not drinking" thing is really the icing on the  cake.  I don't want to give up my wine.

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Mar 12, 2010 05:47PM CaseyDoodle wrote:

My onc told me one drink daily was not a problem.  She said the study done included women who drank a minimum of 3 drinks daily.

Kay Dx 4/8/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 13, 2010 10:08AM Member_of_the_Club wrote:

You need a drink.  I don't think the evidence is strong enough for such a drastic decision and I get angry when oncs disregard quality of life issues.  I drink a glass of wine 2 to 3 times a week, and I suspect its more than 4 ounces.  My onc says thats fine.  I didn't survive cancer to give up the things in life that give me joy.

Dx 9/30/2004, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 2, 1/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 13, 2010 07:28PM rgiuff wrote:

Figgy, my Onc says the same thing, an occasional glass of wine maybe a few times a month.  He even suggested switching to grape juice.  Really?  That just doesn't cut it for me.  I have cut way down from my previous 1-3 glasses a night 3-4 times a week.  Now I have it on average 1x weekly and even an occasional beer or two when out socially.

I'm with those of you who believe in quality of life.  But I' m also curious to know if the tamoxifen is supposed to protect us against any excess estrogen or if too much estrogen can possibly overwhelm the tamoxifen?

RoseG Dx 4/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/6/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 05/20/2008 Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 08/20/2008 External Hormonal Therapy 11/19/2008 Tamoxifen
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Mar 14, 2010 06:50AM mcgaffey wrote:

I just go back and forth on this! My mother diagnosed with BC in 1965 had one breast removed in 1965 and another one in 1970. She never had chemo or anything else and lived to be 98 with a major  bourbon cocktail every night for the next many, many years. I had BC at the same age as her first diagnosis and am taking Arimidex and had Radiation. I am hoping that will prevent the second. I have a glass of wine most nights. If I die tomorrow, God bless. I am not so sure about all this fear.

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Mar 17, 2010 11:14AM figgy652 wrote:

I wish I knew the answer to this.  I am taking Arimidex but I really would like to know if Tamoxifen and Arimidex  suppress the estrogen effects of alcohol.  It is my understanding that this is the problem with drinking alcohol.  Have anyone asked their oncologist?  

Diagnosis 11-12-09 IDC Stage 1 0/5 nodes ER+PR-HER2-
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Mar 17, 2010 11:19AM IllinoisNancy wrote:

This is a troubling question.  My BC surgeon said have up to 2 a day.  My oncologist said don't drink anything.  My Oncology/Radiologist said 1 or 2 a day won't hurt me.  I know women who still drink after breast cancer and are doing fine 20 years later.  I know women who died of breast cancer and never drank any alcohol.  I sometimes think that since they don't know exactly what causes BC, they tell us to stop everything that is fun:(

OncotypeDX was 9, Pleomorphic ILC, Breast cancer twice, 10/06 and 10/10,
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Mar 17, 2010 02:28PM figgy652 wrote:

Here's the thing....it seems to be a problem if you have an estrogen positive breast cancer.  Not everyone does.  I do so I guess I will ask my onc about it again at my next visit and see if I can get an answer as to whether or not hormone therapy protects you at all from the estrogen effects of alcohol.  It'll be awhile but I will post when I find out.  Does anyone out there already know?

Diagnosis 11-12-09 IDC Stage 1 0/5 nodes ER+PR-HER2-
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Mar 17, 2010 02:43PM wallycat wrote:

You may want to do a search on alcohol and recurrence as this topic has been beaten to death.

I'll repeat my thoughts/opinions, but each person posting here really does have their own level of fear and adds that to their opinion.

My onco and breast surgeon both said alcohol (or course not to the extreme) was fine.

My mom drank occasional beers and is going to be 87 this year...no cancer.

My twin sister drank (though as of this year is opting out due to religeous reasons) and no cancer.

I drank --and still drink 1-2 glasses of wine with dinner...breast cancer.

My DH's ex-wife is a recovering alcoholic (I assume drinking to extreme is involved) + did HRT; she is in her 60s and still no breast cancer.

 Cancer = crap shoot until we know more.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Mar 17, 2010 02:45PM fairy49 wrote:

Found this info:

Abstract

Objective: To measure the association between alcohol intake and 11 hormones and peptides in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors and to evaluate whether this association differs by tamoxifen use.

Methods: Self-reported alcohol intake was assessed via food frequency questionnaire on average 30 months post-breast cancer diagnosis in 490 postmenopausal women from three western states. Concurrently, a fasting blood sample was obtained for assay of estrone, estradiol, free estradiol, testosterone, free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), leptin, C-peptide, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), and IGF-binding protein-3. Adjusted means of these hormones and peptides were calculated for categories of alcohol intake, overall and stratified by tamoxifen use.

Results: The association between alcohol intake and serum hormone and peptide levels differed by tamoxifen use. We found statistically significant inverse associations between alcohol intake and both leptin and SHBG values but only among tamoxifen users. In women not using tamoxifen, we found a positive association between alcohol intake and DHEAS but no association in tamoxifen users.

Conclusion: Tamoxifen may modify the association between alcohol intake and serum hormones and peptides. The significant associations found for DHEAS and SHBG are in a direction considered unfavorable for breast cancer prognosis. Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors may benefit from decreasing their alcohol intake.

ALCOHOL AND BREAST CANCER Alcohol may effect the way estrogen is secreted and broken down. estrogen in our bodies makes us absorb alcohol more readily and break it down less. At the same rate, alcohol affects how estrogen is secreted and broken down. Thus, by drinking alcohol your estrogen levels will increase significantly both pre-menopausally and post-menopausally. As a result, after you drink you get spurts of estrogen that can be as high as 300 percent within 30 minutes of consumption. This is similar to the spurt of estrogen just prior to ovulation and may be responsible for a breast cancer-promoting effect. In other words, there¹s one thing to have a constant amount of estrogen and occasionally have a rise before you ovulate, but if you get these rises in estrogen every time you drink, this may potentiate breast cancer.

DX 9-22-08 IDC 1.1cm Stage 1 Grade 2 SNB 0/5 ER+ PR+ HER- Bi-Lat Mas re-con,tissue expanders on 10/29 - Exchange to silicone implants on 3/6/09 Oncotype DX Score 9 - BRCA 1 & 2 Negative.....If God brings you to it, he WILL get you through it
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Mar 17, 2010 02:48PM StillVerticle wrote:

HEY LADIES, I HAVE 21 YEARS CLEAN AND SOBER-NADA-NO ALCOHOL IN OR WITH ANYTHING. AND I WAS JUST DIAGNOSED WITH BC IN OCTOBER. BC DOES NOT RUN IN MY FAMILY AND I AM THE FIRST WOMAN IN MY FAMILY TO GET BC. GO FIGURE! (((BIG LEPRECHAUN HUGS)))) SV

Good Girls go to heaven; Bad Girls go everywhere-Mae West! StillVerticle Dx 10/22/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 17, 2010 03:05PM , edited Mar 17, 2010 03:05PM by fairy49

Just like everything with this disease, its all a flippin crap shoot! You have to enjoy your life!

DX 9-22-08 IDC 1.1cm Stage 1 Grade 2 SNB 0/5 ER+ PR+ HER- Bi-Lat Mas re-con,tissue expanders on 10/29 - Exchange to silicone implants on 3/6/09 Oncotype DX Score 9 - BRCA 1 & 2 Negative.....If God brings you to it, he WILL get you through it
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Mar 17, 2010 04:02PM Suembala wrote:

I'm new to this board and sadly to BC, but here's my 2 cents for what it's worth... I'm raising my pomegranate martini to us all!!

Dx 2/3/2010, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 17, 2010 04:16PM pickle wrote:

I have reasoned with myself that Tamoxifen will take care of the estrogen so.... Bottoms Up!

I have 2 glasses of wine/day ..one with dinner and one post dinner. I think my heart and my arteries appreciate it.

 PS I'm not saying what size my wine glasses are !Smile

 Beth P

Dx
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Mar 17, 2010 04:26PM awb wrote:

Tamoxifen doesn't decrease any circulating estrogen in your system---it just blocks the estrogen receptors in the breast tissue, so it is not afffected by the estrogen as much.  (while the aromatase inhibitors actually decrease the production of estrogen in the body). Tamoxifen works to decrease risk  about 45%, but it may only work about 50% of  the time. Apparently there is a new metobolizer test, but my oncologist never even mentioned it during the 5 years I took the tamox (found out about it here.

Anne

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future" Dx 9/5/2003, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes Surgery 09/16/2003 Lumpectomy (Right) Hormonal Therapy 10/30/2003 Tamoxifen Surgery 04/05/2005 Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both) Hormonal Therapy 02/28/2009 Evista
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Mar 17, 2010 04:28PM awb wrote:

so yes, you have to watch alcohol intake even when on tamoxifen. My doctors never said an exact amount, but I do enjoy an occasional glass of wine.

Anne

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future" Dx 9/5/2003, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes Surgery 09/16/2003 Lumpectomy (Right) Hormonal Therapy 10/30/2003 Tamoxifen Surgery 04/05/2005 Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both) Hormonal Therapy 02/28/2009 Evista
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Mar 17, 2010 04:42PM pickle wrote:

My doctor said to watch my wine too. So I do....I watch it go from the bottle, to the glass, to my lips...lol

Dx
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Mar 17, 2010 04:46PM , edited Jul 18, 2010 04:44PM by cancersucks

This Post was deleted by cancersucks.
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Mar 17, 2010 04:55PM Sydney6 wrote:

I love you ladies!   Thanks for the laughs Pickle & Suembala.  I'm with you.  While I don't drink everyday when I do I just enjoy myself and don't worry about it.  Life is too short!

Sue

Dx 11/20/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 17, 2010 04:59PM dee1961 wrote:

Drink if you want and be happy! They do not know what causes cancer so it's all just speculation IMO. Laughing
Love is never wrong
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Mar 17, 2010 06:04PM irish47 wrote:

I agree with you dee.. am Irish so of course i would!

Seriously, have been doing loads of research and think I will stick with my (one, well maybe two) glasses of wine and forgo the tamoxifen.

Dx 1/13/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 17, 2010 11:14PM karen1956 wrote:

Pickle....I love your comment....ditto for me...

I refuse to give up everything....I enjoy my red wine and will have a couple glasses whenever the mood strikes....might be a few nights in one week, then not any for a week or more....I "did everything right" and still got BC....so a little wine (and whine) now and then is what I choose......

Karen in Denver, Dx 02/03/2006, ILC, stage IIIa, ER/PR+, HER2-, Dx 2/2/2006, ILC, Stage IIIa, Grade 1, 8/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 03/01/2006 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both) Chemotherapy 03/22/2006 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, Taxotere Radiation Therapy 07/27/2006 External Hormonal Therapy 07/27/2006 Arimidex Surgery 10/19/2006 Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both) Hormonal Therapy 03/01/2007 Femara Surgery 03/23/2007 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both) Hormonal Therapy 04/01/2007 Tamoxifen Hormonal Therapy 07/15/2007 Aromasin Surgery 07/23/2007 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Right) Surgery 07/01/2008 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Mar 18, 2010 07:37AM rgiuff wrote:

Fairy, thanks for posting that abstract.  I'm still trying to figure out what it means, though.  It think it's saying that tamoxifen somehow modifies the hormone levels, but what does that mean as far as blocking estrogen from breast cancer cells?  Anybody able to interpret this better than I can?

RoseG Dx 4/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/6/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 05/20/2008 Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 08/20/2008 External Hormonal Therapy 11/19/2008 Tamoxifen
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Mar 18, 2010 08:14AM IllinoisNancy wrote:

Hi  Ladies,

I think that if we really want to keep from getting breast cancer back we should not drink alcohol, not eat or drink anything with high fructose sugar, not eat white bread or pasta, no caffeine, no milk chocolate, no licorice, no meat of any kind unless it is guaranteed to be hormone free, nothing with preservatives, only vegetables that are completely organic, no peaches, never take antibiotics, never allow yourself to feel stress, no corn on the cob, never go near any pesticides, no milk unless it from hormone free cows, and the list goes on.  And, while staving yourself and trying not to be stressed, make sure you exercise everyday and keep a perfect weight for your height. 

Cheers ladies!

OncotypeDX was 9, Pleomorphic ILC, Breast cancer twice, 10/06 and 10/10,
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Mar 18, 2010 11:07AM pickle wrote:

Great list Nancy and may I add...no cosmetics, no hair dyes, no shampoos, no hair products, no deodrants, no toothpaste, no synthetic fabrics, no detergents etc etc. I will be a skinny, smelly Beeotch but that's ok because I don't want anyone with any chemicals on them to be around me anyway.

This is giving me a headache but I better not take anything for it...well maybe a glass of organic wine will help!Smile

Dx
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Mar 18, 2010 11:16AM Claire_in_Seattle wrote:

I would like to add something else to this discussion.  These are comments made by Michelle Holmes at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference regarding the Kwan study linking alcohol consumption with increased mortality from BC.  Note that she mentions that Kwan's findings do not show an increased mortality from all causes.

Michelle Holmes is the person who headed the Aspirin study team and hails from Harvard.

http://www.ecancermedicalscience.com/tv/video-by-category.asp?play=364&cid=5&scid=0&q=

Based on this, I have decided there are other areas where I will stress it, not this one.  That is, once I am done with chemo, as in no way want to compromise my liver which is being taxed enough as it is. - Claire

Completed all active treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, and radiation). Now on to the rest of my life. So much to celebrate. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
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Mar 18, 2010 12:27PM NancyD wrote:

Speaking as someone who gave up her wine for Lent (and surprizingly, isn't missing it!), I don't think a glass of wine with dinner 5-6 times a week is going to hurt. When you drink alcohol with food, it's absorbed slower, albeit over a longer period of time, and your body handles it differently than on an empty stomach (less stress on your liver).

I may or may not go back to drinking wine after Lent, but for other reasons not associated with bc. 

I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing. Dx 2/22/2008, IDC, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 03/22/2008 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, Taxotere
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Mar 18, 2010 12:37PM Mamita49 wrote:

I NEVER drink alcohol. never did in the past, and still got bc.

I was at a nutritions conference about healthy food/drinks and bc. Its ok to have an occasional glass of wine.

small little liver buggers Dx 12/15/2008, IDC, 3cm, Grade 3, 2/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 12/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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