NCPD Article

Alcohol Consumption: Discussing Potential Risks for Informed Decisions in Breast Cancer Survivors

Katherine Terry

Deborah K. Mayer

Kimberly Wehner

alcohol consumption, breast cancer, survivorship, recurrence
CJON 2021, 25(6), 672-679. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.672-679

Background: Alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for breast cancer. Because breast cancer survivors are already at risk for recurrence, it is important to understand whether these survivors could benefit from survivor-specific recommendations for alcohol consumption.

Objectives: The purpose of this article was to review primary research specific to alcohol and breast cancer survivors to see whether those who consume alcohol experience more adverse effects.

Methods: This literature review examined nine cohort studies specific to breast cancer survivors, alcohol consumption, and risks for breast cancer recurrence, breast cancer–specific mortality, and second primary breast cancers.

Findings: Current guideline recommendations of a safe limit of one drink per day or less may not protect breast cancer survivors from cancer- related adverse events. The authors recommend that breast cancer survivors be educated about the associated risks of alcohol consumption so that they can make informed decisions about usage.

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