2018 Volume 244 Issue 1 Pages 63-73
Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for breast cancer in Western countries, but few studies have evaluated the risk for Japanese women, who have a relatively low alcohol intake. This case-control study investigated the association of alcohol consumption with breast cancer risk according to estrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor (ER/PgR) status in Japanese women. From female patients aged 30 years and over admitted to a single hospital in Japan between 1997 and 2011, 1,256 breast cancer cases (669 ER+/PgR+, 162 ER+/PgR−, 21 ER−/PgR+, 305 ER−/PgR−, and 99 missing) and 2,933 controls were selected. Alcohol-related measures were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was performed. Alcohol-related measures were not associated with breast cancer risk among the women overall. Moreover, no association was observed between ever drinking and the risk of a concordant receptor subtype (ER+/PgR+ or ER−/PgR−). Conversely, ever drinking was inversely associated with the risk of discordant subtype (ER+/PgR−, odds ratio (OR) = 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.41-0.95; ER−/PgR+, OR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.14-1.42). For ER+/PgR−, an inverse association with the amount of alcohol consumed per day was observed (P for trend = 0.04), and this inverse association was limited to premenopausal women. Alcohol consumption may have differential effects on concordant and discordant receptor subtypes of breast cancer. In view of the low frequency of discordant subtype in Japanese women and their relatively low alcohol intake, our findings may provide a clue for elucidating the etiology of breast cancer rather than for preventing discordant subtype.