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Lifestyle Factors May Affect Breast Cancer Relapse Risk

Obesity, current smoking, and alcohol consumption may boost risk up to seven-fold

TUESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In women with estrogen receptor-positive invasive breast cancer, three potentially modifiable lifestyle factors -- obesity, current smoking, and alcohol consumption -- may increase the risk of contralateral breast cancer, according to a study published online Sept. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Christopher I. Li, M.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues studied 365 patients with a first primary invasive breast cancer and a second primary contralateral invasive breast cancer and 726 matched controls with only a first primary invasive breast cancer.

The researchers found that obesity, current smoking, and consumption of at least seven alcoholic beverages per week were strongly associated with an increased risk of contralateral breast cancer (odds ratios, 1.4, 2.2, and 1.9, respectively). They also found that the risk was compounded in current smokers who consumed at least seven alcoholic beverages per week (odds ratio, 7.2).

"Data from randomized trials of weight loss and other behavioral interventions after breast cancer diagnosis is needed to determine whether changes in potentially modifiable risk factors in the years after breast cancer diagnosis could help lower risk of second primary breast cancer and other adverse events in breast cancer survivors," states the author of an accompanying editorial.

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