Page last updated: August 16, 2014
Pre- and postoperative alcohol consumption in breast cancer patients: impact on early events

A study investigated the association between preand postoperative alcohol consumption and risk for early breast cancer events, since the association between alcohol consumption and prognosis in breast cancer patients is unclear.

Alcohol consumption was recorded for 934 primary breast cancer patients who underwent breast cancer surgery in Lund, Sweden, between 2002 and 2011 and were followed until December 2012. Clinical data were obtained from medical records and population registries. Pre- and postoperative alcohol consumption was analysed in relation to risk for early events.

Median follow-up time was 3.03 years and 100 breast cancer events, 65 distant metastases, and 76 deaths occurred. Compared to no consumption, any preoperative alcohol consumption was weakly associated with lower risk for early events, adjusted HR 0.69 (0.45-1.04), distant metastases, 0.60 (0.36- 1.00) and death, 0.62 (0.38-1.01). In the 572 patients without axillary lymph node involvement, any alcohol consumption was not associated with risk for early events. However, in the 360 patients with axillary lymph node involvement, preoperative alcohol consumption was associated with lower risk for early events (adjusted HR 0.43 (0.24-0.77).

Pre- and postoperative alcohol consumption was weakly associated with lower risk for early breast cancer events. Therefore data does not support recommending that all breast cancer patients abstain from low to moderate alcohol consumption.

Source: Pre- and postoperative alcohol consumption in breast cancer patients: impact on early events. Simonsson M, Markkula A, Bendahl PO, Rose C, Ingvar C, Jernström H. Springerplus. 2014 May 22;3:261.

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