|Enjoying my glass of wine - June 2012|
When I was first diagnosed, I went out and bought a Breville Juicer just like Kris Carr and read her books "Crazy Sexy Diet" and "Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor." I learned how important it is to create an alkaline environment in your body. Cancer doesn't like alkalinity. Cancer LOVES acidic environments. And what contributes to acidity? Well, all the good stuff I love to eat and drink - of course! The list includes animal products (especially red meat), sugary foods (including white starches), caffeine and alcohol.
But alcohol is the topic that really caught my attention in Debbie's post. She enjoys her wine -- just like me. And what's the problem with a little red wine in the evening? It's good for your heart, right?
Well, if you have (or had) ER+ breast cancer like me (and like Debbie), alcohol increases the risk of recurrence by 90%! And if you have not had breast cancer, it increases your chances of one day developing breast cancer by 40%.
Those are some big numbers.
I was never what I would call a "heavy" or "regular" drinker in my 20's and 30's. I used to drink beer and only on the weekends. I never had issues with breast health. My mammograms were clear. I never had any lumps or cysts.
That all changed in my 40's. Somewhere along my journey through life, I started drinking wine and enjoying it very much. I would routinely have one or two glasses at least four nights a week. Suddenly my mammograms would come back abnormal. I developed cysts including one large fibroadenoma when I was 42. And then I developed breast cancer.
No one can say for sure what caused my breast cancer. But I am sure about one thing -- I need to give up wine if I want the best chance possible for avoiding a recurrence.
Want more information about the dangers of ER+ breast cancer and alcohol? Read Recipe for Disaster: Alcohol and Estrogen-Positive Breast Cancer by Dr. Kathleen Ruddy, a breast cancer surgeon and leading advocate for eradicating breast cancer.
Comments on Comments:
Mandi - Lately I have been focusing on "getting my life back" and that includes eating and drinking the same way I did before my cancer diagnosis. I agree with you - life is short and we should definitely enjoy it. But I just won't enjoy my wine the way I used to before breast cancer and before reading Dr. Ruddy's article. A 90% chance of recurrence? No glass of wine is worth it (JMHO).
Catherine - I was planning to blog about this very eye-opening article when I read it on Debbie's blog a few days ago. You bring up a really good point about how many women did not follow through with taking their hormone therapy (tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitor) for five years. After all we have been through, what's one little pill once a day? I am not having any major side effects from tamoxifen so it makes it a lot easier for me to take it every day. I suppose if I was having bone and joint pain, I might not feel the same way.