26 November 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: We aimed to estimate the effect of alcohol consumption on breast cancer risk and to test whether overweight and obesity modifies this association.

METHODS: We included in the analysis 45,233 women enrolled in the Swedish Women's Lifestyle and Health study between 1991 and 1992. Participants were followed for occurrence of breast cancer and death until December 2009. Poisson regression models were used, and analyses were done for overall breast cancer and for estrogen receptor positive or negative (ER+, ER-) and progesterone receptor positive and negative (PR+, PR-) tumors separately.

RESULTS: A total of 1,385 breast cancer cases were ascertained during the follow-up period. Overall, we found no statistically significant association between alcohol intake and breast cancer risk after adjustment for confounding, with an estimated relative risk (RR) of 1.01 (95 % CI: 0.98-1.04) for an increment in alcohol consumption of 5 g/day. A statistically significant elevated breast cancer risk associated with higher alcohol consumption was found only among women with BMI </=25 (RR 1.03, 95 % CI 1.0-1.05 per 5 g/day increase).

CONCLUSION: An increase in breast cancer risk with higher alcohol consumption was found for breast cancers in women with a BMI </=25 kg/m(2).

16 October 2015 In Cancer

AIMS: Cancers of female breast, upper aero-digestive tract (UADT) (oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus) and colorectum are causally related to alcohol consumption. Although alcohol consumption is likely to vary during life, the few studies that have explicitly measured lifetime consumption or intake over time have not been summarised. We therefore conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis.

METHODS: Studies were identified by searching the Medline, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) and Scopus databases through January 2015 using broad search criteria. Studies reporting relative risks (RR) for quantitatively defined categories of alcohol consumption over time for breast, UADT or colorectal cancer were eligible. A two-stage random-effects meta-analysis was used to estimate a dose-response relationship between alcohol intake and each cancer site. RRs were also calculated for the highest relative to the lowest intake category.

RESULTS: Sixteen articles for breast, 16 for UADT and 7 for colorectal cancer met the eligibility criteria. We observed a weak non-linear dose-response relationship for breast cancer and positive linear dose-response relationships for UADT and colorectal cancer. The pooled RRs were 1.28 (95% confidence interval, CI: 1.07, 1.52) for breast, 2.83 (95% CI: 1.73, 4.62) for UADT, 4.84 (95% CI: 2.51, 9.32) for oral cavity and pharynx, 2.25 (95% CI: 1.49, 3.42) for larynx, 6.71 (95% CI: 4.21, 10.70) for oesophageal and 1.49 (95% CI: 1.27, 1.74) for colorectal cancer.

CONCLUSION: Our findings confirm dose-dependent associations between long-term alcohol intake and breast, UADT and colorectal cancer.

16 October 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer aetiology may differ by estrogen receptor (ER) status. Associations of alcohol and folate intakes with risk of breast cancer defined by ER status were examined in pooled analyses of the primary data from 20 cohorts.

METHODS: During a maximum of 6-18 years of follow-up of 1 089 273 women, 21 624 ER+ and 5113 ER- breast cancers were identified. Study-specific multivariable relative risks (RRs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression models and then combined using a random-effects model.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with risk of ER+ and ER- breast cancer. The pooled multivariable RRs (95% confidence intervals) comparing >/= 30 g/d with 0 g/day of alcohol consumption were 1.35 (1.23-1.48) for ER+ and 1.28 (1.10-1.49) for ER- breast cancer (Ptrend /= 0.26). Dietary (from foods only) and total folate intakes were not associated with risk of overall, ER+ and ER- breast cancer; pooled multivariable RRs ranged from 0.98 to 1.02 comparing extreme quintiles. Following-up US studies through only the period before mandatory folic acid fortification did not change the results. The alcohol and folate associations did not vary by tumour subtypes defined by progesterone receptor status.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with risk of both ER+ and ER- breast cancer, even among women with high folate intake. Folate intake was not associated with breast cancer risk.

16 October 2015 In Cancer

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the proportion and numbers of cancers occurring in Australia in 2010 that are attributable to alcohol consumption.

METHODS: We estimated the population attributable fraction (PAF) of cancers causally associated with alcohol consumption using standard formulae incorporating prevalence of alcohol consumption and relative risks associated with consumption and cancer. We also estimated the proportion change in cancer incidence (potential impact fraction [PIF]) that might have occurred under the hypothetical scenario that an intervention reduced alcohol consumption, so that no-one drank >2 drinks/day.

RESULTS: An estimated 3,208 cancers (2.8% of all cancers) occurring in Australian adults in 2010 could be attributed to alcohol consumption. The greatest numbers were for cancers of the colon (868) and female breast cancer (830). The highest PAFs were for squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity/pharynx (31%) and oesophagus (25%). The incidence of alcohol-associated cancer types could have been reduced by 1,442 cases (4.3%) - from 33,537 to 32,083 - if no Australian adult consumed >2 drinks/day.

CONCLUSIONS: More than 3,000 cancers were attributable to alcohol consumption and thus were potentially preventable.

IMPLICATIONS: Strategies that limit alcohol consumption to guideline levels could prevent a large number of cancers in Australian adults.

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