Page last updated: August 16, 2013
Risk of second breast cancer diagnosis linked to alcohol consumption and physical activity

Risk of a second breast cancer diagnosis may be reduced by engaging in physical activity and reducing  alcohol consumption.

A study investigating how modifiable lifestyle factors may affect the chance of a second breast cancer diagnosis after treatment for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), suggests that increased drinking and declining physical activity may be associated with the risk for a second breast cancer diagnosis.

Among nearly 2,000 DCIS breast cancer survivors first diagnosed from 1997-2006, Dr Newcomb and her colleagues examined the longitudinal association between body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and alcohol intake and risk of a second breast diagnosis from the Wisconsin In Situ Cohort. 

During the study’s follow-up (approximately six-and-a-half years), the patient interviews reported 162 second breast cancer diagnoses. An increase in post-diagnosis alcohol consumption and increasing BMI and decreasing physical activity were linked to an increasing risk of a second diagnosis. Those women who were treated with ipsilateral mastectomy and increased their physical activity after their diagnosis saw a reduction in the risk for a second diagnosis.

The Investigators state, “Our results suggest that DCIS survivors may reduce their risk of a second diagnosis by engaging in physical activity and reducing their alcohol consumption.”

Source: Lifestyle Factors and the Risk of a Second Breast Diagnosis after DCIS in the Wisconsin In Situ Cohort McLaughlin V, Trentham-Dietz A, Hampton JM, Newcomb PA,Sprague BL. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention March 2013 22; 472.

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