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Topic: Drinking Alcohol!

Forum: High Risk of Recurrence or Second Breast Cancer — Managing high recurrence risk of developing a second breast cancer.

Posted on: Mar 18, 2014 08:32AM

Kalonis52 wrote:

Hello, I figured I better come here for some advice. I am a 8 year Breast Cancer Survivor. I have a history of Breast Cancer on my Mothers side of the family. However, I am a bit worried. I drink alcohol. I have about 4 drinks a week. If not more. I am a social drinker. I am to the point of getting worried that my Cancer may come back in my Right Breast. Should I stop this drinking? Please help. 


Dx 4/1/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/5 nodes, ER+ Chemotherapy 10/1/2006 AC Surgery Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Surgery Lumpectomy: Left Surgery Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction Surgery Mastectomy: Left
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Apr 29, 2019 11:30PM Butterfly1234 wrote:

Hi Simone,

Wishing you all the best on your operation tomorrow...sending lots of prayers and love. Focus on healing and getting your strength back. Keep us posted on how you're doing. Gentle hugs.

My choice to stop drinking has nothing to do with ATM (other than my increased risk) and more to do with my E+.

You're right TB90. The link between alcohol and BC is not absolute. It ticks me off because we just don't know how to tame the BC beast. I just feel better not dinking, but at times it “ain't" easy. Nothing about any of this is easy.

Peace and love.

No matter what you look like or think you look like, you're special and loved and perfect just the way you are. Ariel Winter Dx 1/24/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/27/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/11/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/9/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 30, 2019 08:33AM el7277 wrote:

We all have so many balls in the air while going through this, it is not an easy ride. When I see the number of ladies on this site who don't drink, live healthy loves, do not smoke AND end up here anyway it only makes things more confusing. My dx was early Dec. And I have had maybe 5 lite beers in that time. I do not plan on quitting but will be extremely mindful of consumption and will enjoy in moderation. I am er+ so that is a fact that will unfortunately always be at the forefront. I am going to exercise more regularly and attempt a healthier life but I will not go to the extremes of dropping alcohol and sugar completely

Dx 12/3/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/19/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 4/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 30, 2019 02:31PM TB90 wrote:

Like the rest of you, I quit drinking out of sheer terror. Lost 50 lbs out of sheer terror also. Five years later, I drink when I want to and have gained back 20 lbs. I know I am taking a risk, but I have consciously accepted that. It is part of my lifestyle as my husband is a chef and we love to cook. We live in a beach community where everyone comes out for the weekends and summer vacations and drinks. I fought it for so long and the stress of the guilt every sip I took finally made me furious. But I still eat very healthy food and walk miles every week. I had to find a balance I could live with. But certainly don't drink if you can avoid easily. Beesie posted many studies that were scientifically based and put the real risk in perspective for me. Thanks to Beesie, I can sip without guilt (much). A recent study stated that exercise has a greater impact on preventing a recurrence than any other single factor that we can control. So jog with your cocktail and you'll break even. Lo

Dx 11/28/2013, DCIS, Grade 2 Surgery 12/17/2013 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/19/2014 Breast
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Apr 30, 2019 03:37PM Beesie wrote:

Thank you, TB90!

To your comments, I have no crystal ball here, but will offer up some information.

First off, there is no question that there is a link between breast cancer and alcohol. There have been enough studies done to show without any doubt that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer. But what the studies have also shown is that the amount of risk increase is small.

A 2017 meta-analysis of breast cancer-alcohol research that looked at 16 studies done on pre-menopausal women and 34 studies done on post-menopausal women found that consuming one small (well, self-reported as "small") alcoholic beverage a day increased breast cancer risk by 5% in pre-menopausal women and 9% in post-menopausal women. In other words, a post-menopausal woman who is high risk - let's say she has a 20% risk (over the rest of her lifetime) to develop breast cancer (or a new primary, for those of us previously diagnosed) - and who consumes small drink daily, increases her risk to 22%.

As for recurrence, which of course is relevant to all of us who've already had breast cancer, the studies are all over the map although the most recent studies seem to show no negative impact from moderate alcohol consumption. The following study, from last year, actually found a positive impact (i.e. a lower recurrence rate) for those who consume alcohol.


Given the mixed results from all the studies, my oncologist had no concern when I asked about drinking wine. When I raised the question, he asked if I liked wine. I replied that I did, to which he said "Then drink it". He did however go on to say that while alcohol doesprovide heart health benefits, those benefits may be less than previously thought, and alcohol does have a number of other negative health impacts. So his advice, from a general health perspective, was to limit consumption to 2-3 times a week.

Cheers to that! 🥂

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Apr 30, 2019 04:02PM Toyamjj wrote:

TB90I love your jog with a cocktail!!! I just returned from Aruba where I literally drank all week; wine, vodka and margaritas! I felt guilty about it but I kept telling myself life is short and I'm in Aruba. I still feel like ive done damage to myself I hope I haven't, ugh! After the dx I eat better and only drink on weekends and even then its only in moderation. Ive always loved working out so obviously ive continued staying active and thats why your jog with a cocktail sounded so funny to me. Now that im back home no more drinks for me for a couple of weeks. Going to give my mind and body a break. The guilt was too much.

DX at age 44 Oncotype 22 Dx 1/4/2019, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/30/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Radiation Therapy 3/13/2019 Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)

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