Field Experience Log #2



Title of Event / Sponsors: Women. Alcohol. Health. From Blackouts to Breast Cancer / National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Preparation Steps Taken: Prior to the webinar, Margaret “Maggie” Barchine, APR who is the Director of Communications sent out a registration link for every participant of the webinar.

Place / Date / Time / Length: Online / January 22, 2020 / 2pm / 1 hour

Topic Under Discussion: Women. Alcohol. Health. – From Blackouts to Breast Cancer.

Names of Participants and Their Titles: Aaron White, PhD Senior Advisor to the Director,

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health, Margaret “Maggie” Barchine, APR, Director of Communications

Brief Description of the Testimony / Meeting / Event: Changing patterns of alcohol use by teens, young adults and adults,  Trends in ED visits, hospitalizations and deaths, Sex differences in the effects of alcohol, Trend lines for teen drinking only tell part of the story • Moving forward – Need novel strategies for prevention and to connect more people in need with treatment options




Description and Analysis of the Health Policy Issue and Its Implications for Health Care:

The health Policy issue in this meeting was more focused on the following: Changing patterns of alcohol use by teens, young adults and adults, Trends in ED visits, hospitalizations and deaths and Sex differences in the effects of alcohol.

Alcohol consumption is one of the modifiable risk factors associated with breast cancer. Modifiable risk factors that are not directly associated with hormone expo-sure have been studied and includes alcohol intake. Unfortunately, despite the increase information and research and resources that is available among healthcare yet there is a paucity of research when it comes to addressing and creating awareness on the impact of alcohol intake on the body especially women (Kupsik, M. et al. 2019).

Studies have shown that there is an increased risk of breast cancer with increasing alcohol consumption. According to the webinar, 88,000 women participated in the United States that participated in two cohort studies suggests that for women who have never smoked, drink light to moderate were associated with 1.23 fold higher risk of alcohol-related cancer (Breast cancer).

The rate of occurrence of breast cancer has been continuously on the increase and research have also demonstrated some of the negative effect of alcohol consumption amongst women includes breast cancer. Also, studies have shown that alcohol consumption are associated with the risk of breast cancers. Example is the triple-negative (TN) and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-overexpressing (H2) breast cancer in these population.

Aaron White did express in the webinar how the differences in alcohol use and related harms between women and men have narrowed over the decades. Based on statistics, drinking is more prevalent in young women as young females are now more likely to drink and to report getting drunk than young males. When calculated from emergency department visit among adults, hospitalizations and deaths have increased for women than for men.

Due to the physiological differences in male and female, women tend to reach higher blood alcohol levels rather than men after drinking. Recent studies also suggest that alcohol is a growing women’s health issue and that women face different risks from alcohol consumption. The female organs are then exposed to more alcohol which could potentially result in more severe impairments in brain function and behavior. Hence the reason why women are more likely than men to experience memory blackouts, hangovers and to develop certain cancers including breast cancer.

Doctor Aaron White, who was the speaker did state that adolescent females are slightly more likely to drink than adolescent males aged 12-17. One serving of alcohol per day increases the risk of breast cancer for women by roughly 10%. Additionally, the progression of alcohol use disorders and liver disease is faster in women who drink than in men. This webinar explored recent changes in alcohol use by women and examine the potential risks.

The first goal is education and enlightenment. A major barrier to getting treatment is not knowing what to do or where to go or lack of information and education. When people with Alcohol use disorder (AUD) give reason like they do not know where to go find help.  With the help of policy makers, t he National Institute of health (NIH) created a program called the “Treatment Navigator” this helps to simplify the process and help people understand the options available, and figure out what might be best for them while locating the right providers. This website can be found at




International Journal of Cancer, (2018) Alcohol, smoking, and risk of Her2-overexpressing and triple-negative breast cancer relative to estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. 143(8), 1849–1857.

Kupsik, M., Sulo, S., Katz, A., & Memmel, H. (2019). What do women really think? Patient understanding of breast cancer risk. Breast Journal, 25(6), 1320–1322.

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