Drinking Alcohol During or After Cancer

by GregP_WN

Can You Drink Alcohol After Cancer Treatment?

Soking And Alcohol

The number of people surviving cancer is expected to continue to rise in the US in the following years. This is largely thanks to early detection and effective treatment. When people undergo cancer treatment, they can often feel that their life is on hold and cannot do the simple things they enjoy, such as enjoying a glass of wine with friends. Alcohol can interact with chemotherapy drugs, while also worsen some of the side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, vomiting, dehydration and fatigue. Therefore, it’s recommended that alcohol is avoided during cancer treatment. But once treatment is over, cancer survivors can enjoy alcohol again, although this should be done in moderation.

Alcohol In Moderation

Alcohol can have health benefits for some people, such as reducing the risk of heart disease. But it can also increase your risk of developing particular cancers, such as mouth and throat cancer. It isn’t entirely clear whether drinking alcohol can cause cancer to come back, but it can increase your risk of developing a second primary cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. It’s best to weigh up the benefits and risks of drinking alcohol after treatment, and also speak to your doctor about it first. However, if you do choose to drink, then make sure you do it moderation. It is recommended that women and men over 65 drink up to one alcoholic drink a day, while men aged under 65 can drink up to two drinks a day.

Enjoy The Taste Without The Alcohol

For anyone, whether they are a cancer survivor or not, drinking less alcohol is good for maintaining overall health. To help you drink less but still enjoy the flavors you like, you can switch to low or zero alcohol. Light beers and alcohol-free cocktails, or ‘mocktails,’ can help you reduce your intake. Today’s alcohol-free wine, for instance, compares very favorably with the real thing. There has been real progress in developing no and low alcohol wines that offer a real alternative. You can serve most types of wine with food as long as one doesn't overpower the other. After all, there are no hard and fast rules for food and wine pairing. However, a full-bodied wine such as a Shiraz will really bring out the flavors of rich and heavy foods, such as red meat casseroles, while Chardonnay and prawns are more rich and medium weight, and complement each other really well. Non-alcoholic variations will allow you to enjoy meals with family and friends without missing out on all the details of a meal.

Alcohol Tobacco Risk Factors

Alcohol And Tobacco

Around 36 million Americans continue to smoke, despite the health warnings and widespread knowledge that smoking can cause cancer and a number of other diseases, including pulmonary disease and cardiovascular disease. But smoking can be even more dangerous for your health if you combine it with alcohol. It’s therefore imperative that if you do choose to drink alcohol after your cancer treatment, you cut out smoking. While smoking is already harmful, the combination of smoking with alcohol is even more damaging to your health. Research has found that people who drink alcohol and smoke have a greater risk of developing cancers of the throat, oral cavity, larynx and esophagus.

The end of cancer treatment marks the start of a new chapter as a cancer survivor. The key to being able to look forward to a healthy and fulfilling future as a survivor is looking after yourself today. So cutting down on your alcohol intake, cutting out smoking and generally maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you to get the most of life.

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