Black Women, Alcohol & Breast Cancer
We’ve long known that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer for those of European descent. Research now shows that this risk applies to African-American women as well. A study including 22,000 black women has found that those who had two or more alcoholic drinks per day increased the risk by 33 percent compared to women who consumed three or fewer drinks per week. The researchers reported that the risk attributed to alcohol remained after they controlled for age, weight and other breast cancer risk factors. Surprisingly, the study also found that women who never drank had a slightly higher risk of breast cancer than the “light drinkers” (those who had three drinks per week or less). The researchers suggested that these non-drinkers may have had other serious health problems that prevented them from consuming alcohol and also may have increased their risk of breast cancer. Black women with breast cancer tend to have lower survival rates compared to other women and are more likely to be diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Komen for the Cure Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the University Cancer Research Fund of North Carolina.
Lindsay A. Williams, et al, “Alcohol Intake and Breast Cancer Risk in African American Women from the AMBER Consortium.” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, April 2017, DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0792
Also in this week’s bulletin:
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