Alcohol Intake and Survival
Here we go again with a new paper reporting on alcohol intake and recurrence risk/survival. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I am drawn (perhaps like a moth to the flame) to these papers. Full disclosure: I really enjoy my almost nightly glass of wine or a cocktail, but I have surely wondered on occasion if this habit it stupid. My personal decision has been to hope that the daily gym and other good living habits may balance out the alcohol--and I am quite sure that, if the cancer does come back, it will not be because of the delicious glass of Merlot. You need to make your own decisions about this as you do about everything else.
Here is the introduction/abstract and a link:
Alcohol intake and mortality among women with invasive breast cancer
HR Harris*,1,2, L Bergkvist3 and A Wolk1
BACKGROUND: Alcohol intake has consistently been associated with increased breast cancer incidence in epidemiological studies. However, the relation between alcohol and survival after breast cancer diagnosis is less clear. METHODS: We investigated whether alcohol intake was associated with survival among 3146 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Alcohol consumption was estimated using a food frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).
RESULTS: From 1987 to 2008 there were 385 breast cancer-specific deaths and 860 total deaths. No significant association was observed between alcohol intake and breast cancer-specific survival. Women who consumed 10g per day (corresponding to approximately 0.75 to 1 drinks) or more of alcohol had an adjusted HR (95% CI) of breast cancer-specific death of 1.36 (0.82 - 2.26;ptrend 1/4 0.47) compared with non-drinkers. A significant inverse association was observed between alcohol and non- breast cancer deaths. Those who consumed 3.4 - 9.9 g per day of alcohol had a 33% lower risk of death compared with non-drinkers (95% CI 0.50 - 0.90;ptrend 1/4 0.04).
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that alcohol intake up to approximately one small drink per day does not negatively impact breast cancer-specific survival and a half drink per day is associated with a decreased risk of mortality from other causes.