Women who are at increased risk of breast cancer may further increase their risk if they smoke. Smoking was also linked with an increased risk of lung and colon cancers. These findings will be presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Evidence continues to mount of an association between lifestyle factors and health. Commonly investigated behaviors include physical activity, diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
To assess the relationship between these factors and risk of several common cancers in women, researchers evaluated information from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Breast Cancer Prevention Trial. The study enrolled more than 13,000 women who were at increased risk of breast cancer as a result of their personal or family medical history. Women reported their cigarette-smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity.
At the beginning of the study, 13% of women reported current smoking. Alcohol use was reported as follows: 21% reported no daily drinking, 66% reported drinking up to one drink per day, and 13% reported drinking more than one drink per day.
For women who are already at increased risk of breast cancer, this study highlights the importance of avoiding tobacco smoke. Smoking—particularly long-term smoking—was linked with an increased risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. “We’re seeing again that smoking cessation is one of the most effective tools we have for reducing risk of many cancers,” said one researcher on the study.
Reference: Land SR, Christian N, Wickerham DL, et al. Cigarette smoking, fitness, and alcohol use as predictors of cancer outcomes among women in the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT).
To be presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Chicago, IL, 3-7, 2011. Abstract 1505.