Breast cancer is a type of cancer in the tissues of the breast. The cells of the tissue in the breast uncontrollably grow due to mutations in the gene forming a tumor in the breast’s tissue. A tumor can be benign if it is not dangerous to health. Benign tumors grow slowly and do not invade other tissues. However, malignant tumors are cancerous. Malignant tumors have the potential to spread to other tissues of the body causing severe health problems. So the term breast cancer is referred to those cancer types that are malignant.
Breast cancer is among the top causing cancers in women. According to World Cancer Report, breast cancer accounts for 22.9% of all cancers in women. The Breast Cancer Organization reports that 1 in every 8 women will develop a malignant breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2008, breast cancer caused approximately 460,000 deaths worldwide and is expected to increase.
Due to the severity of breast cancers, many researches were done to discover new effective treatments. The Journal of Clinical Oncology published a research article about breast cancer correlation with alcohol. While trying to find the associated risk of alcohol on causing breast cancer, Polly Newcomb, the director of cancer prevention program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that moderate consumption of alcohol helps prevent cardiovascular diseases and the overall survival of breast cancer patients.
The research was conducted by assessing the alcohol intake of 22,890 women with malignant breast cancer for 11 years. During the follow-up of the patients, 7,780 patients died and from them, 3,484 deaths were from breast cancer. After all the research, the results showed that there were no adverse relationship between drinking patterns and breast cancer survivals. In fact, Polly Newcomb states that ” [they] actually found that relative to non-drinker [patients], there were modestly improved survival rates for moderate alcohol intake [patients].” There is 15% more chance of surviving from breast cancer for moderate alcohol consumers than non-consumers.
Another benefit that the researchers found from this research was that moderate alcohol intake reduces that risk of cardiovascular disease in breast cancer patients. It had been considered that one of the largest contributors to the mortality of breast cancer is cardiovascular diseases. Newcomb found through her research that moderate alcohol drinkers were 25% less likely to develop heart diseases.
Therefore, this new information about the possible correlation between moderate alcohol intake and breast cancer survivals is a good news for all the breast cancer patients because it enlarges the choices that patients can take after their diagnosis of the cancer. What people have to remember is that only moderate amount of alcohol intake is important to show improvements in cancer treatment.