[Tobacco and alcohol consumption in women treated for breast cancer in a department of surgical oncology: Frequent behaviours to consider]

Bull Cancer. 2022 Mar;109(3):307-317. doi: 10.1016/j.bulcan.2021.07.005. Epub 2021 Oct 29.
[Article in French]


Introduction: Tobacco and alcohol represent the two most important risk factors increasing cancer incidence and mortality, particularly among women with breast cancer. However, few researches have focused on the consumption of psychoactive substances in women treated for breast cancer. The present study describes the prevalence of tobacco and alcohol consumption and their relationships with the sociodemographic, medical and psychological variables in a population of women receiving surgery treatment for breast cancer.

Methods: Between October 2014 and August 2015, a group of women receiving breast cancer treatment were recruited to participate to a screening and brief intervention program (SBI) for the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, adapted to the oncology context. Data on tobacco and alcohol consumption were collected using two questionnaires : the smoking status identification (NIDA) and alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C). A questionnaire for socio- demographic data and two for psychological data (Thermometer of psychological distress; ESAS), have been used. The medical data were reported by participants and verified on medical records.

Results: In a total of 11 months, 120 women with breast cancer were included in this study. A large majority of patients were hospitalized for a first-time cancer (80.8%), type invasive ductal carcinoma (70.8%) and were receiving surgery as primary treatment (45%). Furthermore, 30.8% of the women reported tobacco consumption and 38.4% high-risk alcohol consumption. Regarding mental health, 40.8% presented moderate to intense levels of psychological distress. No significant relationships were found between consumption scores and sociodemographic, medical or psychological characteristics. Only the patient's age was negatively associated with tobacco consumption.

Discussion: Tobacco and at-risk alcohol consumption are frequently reported behaviors during breast cancer treatment. Intervention strategies targeting risk behaviors related to addictive consumption should be implemented during the full treatment of breast cancer patients.

Keywords: Alcohol; Alcool; Breast cancer; Cancer du sein; Détresse psychologique; Prevention; Prévention; Psychological distress; Tabac; Tobacco.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Self Report
  • Surgery Department, Hospital
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology*