Older Women Who Drink Alcohol May Have Higher Risk of Recurrent Breast Cancer

A recent study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggests that older women who have three to four alcoholic beverages a week are more likely to have their breast cancer return.
The study, performed though Kaiser Permanente Northern California Cancer Registry, looked at 1,900 women who had beaten early-stage invasive breast cancer between the years of 1997 and 2000. The women, who self-reported the amount of alcohol they consumed weekly, were followed for eight consecutive years.

The findings revealed that the women who reported drinking less than a half a drink a day had no higher risk of the breast cancer returning. However, women who reported drinking three to four alcoholic beverages a week experienced a 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer recurrence. The more alcohol the women reported drinking, the higher the risk. The study also found the risk to be even higher in the women who were overweight.

Researchers believe the cause of these findings to be linked to estrogen. Many breast cancers are propelled by estrogen, and alcohol has been known to increase the rate in which a women’s body processes estrogen.

While these findings do not mean that if you drink alcohol you will get breast cancer or that your breast cancer will return, it is simply another reason to consume alcohol in moderation and strive to maintain your overall health.

Dr. Whiteman is a board member and serves as medical director for The Sport of Giving, a nonprofit organization that has raised over a million dollars in support of breast cancer care and prevention in the local area. It is progressive research such as this study that will help women to be informed about the disease and allow them to make the healthiest choices possible.

For more about Dr. Whiteman’s involvement in the breast cancer cause and to learn about his breast reconstruction ‘buddy system’ visit our website.

Phew! Cosmetic Surgery Tax Thrown Out, Tanning Bed Tax in its Place

You’ll be glad to hear that proposed cosmetic surgery tax discussed in a previous blog entry has been thrown out! Due to opposition from surgeons, pharmaceutical companies, patients, and the American Medical Association, the proposed 5 percent tax on cosmetic surgery procedures is no longer in the healthcare reform bill. Instead, the Senate announced a .9 percent increase for some American’s Medicare payroll tax and a new 10 percent tax on indoor tanning salons. While this is good news for the cosmetic surgery and medical industry, it is bad news for the tanning industry and opposition to this proposal is expected.

Poll Shows that Majority of Americans Disagree with the Proposed Cosmetic Surgery Tax

The biggest story in the plastic and cosmetic surgery world right now is the proposed cosmetic surgery tax. It is comically referred to as the “Botax” because it would put a government tax on elective cosmetic surgery procedures; but many Americans don’t think that there is anything comical about it.

According to a recent article in Medical News Today, a poll surveying 1,000 Americans found that people oppose the cosmetic tax by a 52 – 43 percent margin. The proposal recommends a 5 percent excise tax to be placed on cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, including popular injectables like Botox® and Juvederm® as well as breast reduction surgery, facelifts, and liposuction. The tax would not apply to any reconstructive procedures and is expected to raise $5.8 billion over the next ten years to help pay for the government’s healthcare reform plan.

Critics of the plan say that the tax would disproportionately affect middle-class women, who are the most likely to opt for these types of procedures. Americans too, according to the poll, were more likely to disagree with the tax once they discovered that 60 percent of potential plastic surgery patients reported a household income of 30K to 90K a year. The poll also found that people the age of 45 or older, were more likely to oppose the tax. This is not surprising, as many people opt for plastic surgery to combat the effects of aging.

Whether you agree with the proposed cosmetic surgery tax or not is a personal decision; but we will continue to follow this story to see if it makes it into the final health care reform bill. More up to date articles are being posted onto Southern Plastic Surgery’s Facebook fan page. Click here to become a fan of Dr. Whiteman and Southern Plastic Surgery.