• WHAT HAPPENS TO CANCER PATIENTS WHO HAVE ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUG PROBLEMS?

    Asked by Kitsaplakegirl on Sunday, November 25, 2012

    WHAT HAPPENS TO CANCER PATIENTS WHO HAVE ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUG PROBLEMS?

    YOU NEVER SEE THEM AT AAA OR NA. DO THEY JUST SUFFER IN SILENCE,AND DIE?

    2 Answers from the Community

    • carm's Avatar
      carm (Best Answer!)

      Kitsaplakegirl, ill try to answer both your questions here. My name is Carm and I am an oncology nurse. Technically, alcohol really doesn't affect the chemo all that much but you have to consider a few things. First, it does dehydrate you and so does chemo as well. While it doesn't affect chemo much, alcohol or other drugs might affect the nausea meds and of course the pain meds. A narcotic mixed with alcohol can be a deadly combination. Then there is the liver to consider. The function of the liver is to rid the body of toxins. Chemo is a toxins and so if your liver is affected by too much alcohol intake, drugs like chemo or opioids can build up to toxic levels. Some oncologists will give chemo in fractionated doses to addicts to lessen the chances of any serious reaction assosiated with the combination an addictive element with chemo. It just becomes a safety issue. As for hydrating with milk, it is acceptable but more so with skim milk because of the fat content in regular milk. When you rehydrate you are replacing a volume that has decreased and that includes the plasma in the blood. You don't need a high fat content in your vessels so if you prefer hydrating with dairy, choose skim milk. And by the way, my caps off to you for two great questions. Cancer patients do see counselors often and some do have addictions but they deal with them in support groups or with the social workers or oncologists they work with. Still, you ask questions that I'm sure many have pondered, good for you! I hope I have answered your questions, Carm.

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      The same thing that happens to people who have alcohol and/or drug problems that don't have cancer. I'm sure there are many cancer patients who attend AA or NA just as there are AA or NA members that have heart disease, diabetes or other medical conditions. As I understand it, the purpose of AA or NA is to address substance abuse and it's impacts, so cancer wouldn't be a relevant topic any more than going bowling or whatever.

      almost 5 years ago

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