Breast cancer survivors who drink three to four drinks a week have a 34% higher chance of recurrence, says a new study from the Kaiser Permanante. All types of alcohol - beer, liquor, wine - pose the same risk with a greater risk among overweight women.
"It has been suggested that alcohol could increase the risk of breast cancer by increasing estrogen metabolism and circulating levels of estrogen, thus promoting growth of the tumor," said lead researcher Marilyn Kwan Ph.D. during her presentation at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium this week.
Dr. Kwan acknowledged that more studies need to be conducted but did advise lessening alcohol intake is "one modifiable lifestyle factors that women with breast cancer should consider."
Between 2002 and 2006, 117.7 out of every 100,000 African American women were diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the U.S. Department of Health.