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Alcohol consumption and breast cancer

Examining the causal biological links between alcohol intake and the development of breast cancer. 
Alcohol consumption

Examining the causal biological links between alcohol intake and the development of breast cancer

While the biological mechanism may not yet be fully elucidated, moderate alcohol consumption equivalent to one or more drinks per day is recognised as a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.

This American study examined the hypothesis that the causal biological mechanisms between alcohol intake and breast cancer varied by the tumour oestrogen receptor status and expression.

Using data from participants in the large prospective Nurses Health Study, which followed a cohort of female registered nurses for four decades, researchers undertook gene analysis of samples from invasive breast tumours and tumour-adjacent normal tissues.

The findings suggested even a modest daily number of drinks (equal to or more than 10g alcohol over a 24-hour period) was associated with potentially detrimental effects of promoting cellular proliferation

...

Examining the causal biological links between alcohol intake and the development of breast cancer


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While the biological mechanism may not yet be fully elucidated, moderate alcohol consumption equivalent to one or more drinks per day is recognised as a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.

This American study examined the hypothesis that the causal biological mechanisms between alcohol intake and breast cancer varied by the tumour oestrogen receptor status and expression.

Using data from participants in the large prospective Nurses’ Health Study, which followed a cohort of female registered nurses for four decades, researchers undertook gene analysis of samples from invasive breast tumours and tumour-adjacent normal tissues.

The findings suggested even a modest daily number of drinks (equal to or more than 10g alcohol over a 24-hour period) was associated with potentially detrimental effects of promoting cellular proliferation pathways. Specifically, consumption of alcoholic beverages was associated with upregulation and increased proliferation in oestrogen receptor positive tumours, and an upregulation in the interferon and transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) cell signalling cytokine pathways in the oestrogen receptor negative tumours.

Wang J, Yujing J, Heng A et al (2017) Alcohol and breast tumor gene expression. Breast Cancer Research. doi: 10.1186/s13058-017-0901-y


Compiled by Dion Smyth, lecturer practitioner in cancer and palliative care, Birmingham City University
 

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