Quiz: The Alcohol-Cancer Connection

Laura A. Stokowski, RN, MS


November 23, 2015

Alcohol consumption carries a risk for breast cancer in a dose-dependent manner without a lower threshold.[3] Up to 10% of cases of breast cancer in the United States are attributable to alcohol.[5] Evidence suggests that the risk is elevated for both hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative breast tumors and is stronger among women who start drinking before their first full-term pregnancy.[6] Breast cancer risk accumulates across a woman's lifetime; however, the most rapid accumulation occurs from menarche to first pregnancy.[5] Although the mechanisms of alcohol-related breast cancer are not fully understood, alcohol consumed during adolescence and early adulthood is believed to play a role in breast cancer development.[5] Therefore, breast cancer prevention efforts should not only target midlife and older women but should also include adolescent girls and young women.[5]


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