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Lhearn

Lhearn

Total Messages 104

Subject:Alcohol and Chemo

Question:

 

I am being treated with Decitabine for leukemia 5 days each month; does it negatively affect the chemo treatment if during those 5 days or during the remaining 25 days in the month, if I drink wine or other spirits in moderation?

 

Thomas


Posted: 04 Oct 2010 09:40 AM
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Lhearn

Lhearn

Total Messages 104

Subject:Alcohol and Chemo

Thomas:

1.        Alcohol is a human carcinogen and is on that list since 2000 (DHHS:Toxicology Report).  If you already have cancer, drinking may put you at higher risk for relapse or developing another cancer.  It is dependent on quantity/frequency measures.  While in treatment I would abstain if I were you.

2.       Alcohol interacts with so many medications, either minimizing the effect of the medication or embellishing the effect of the medicine.  Another reason to abstain or drink non-alcoholic wine or beer.

3.       Alcohol is a diuretic and may contribute to dehydration which can cause electrolyte imbalance.

4.       Alcohol can irritate mouth and esophageal sores; painful to drink.

5.       Alcohol is metabolized by the liver as is chemo and other medications.  Drinking can be an added burden on the liver while undergoing chemo and taking certain medications.

In my opinion, these are good reasons to abstain from drinking alcohol now.  There are good-tasting non-alcoholic wines and beers.  There are better tasting fruit-juices and herbal teas when mixed with tonic or bubbly waters , are healthy and delicious.  There is NO nutritional advantage to drinking alcohol.

Best of luck with your treatment.

 

Kathie Rickman, DrPH, RN, CNS, LCDC


Posted: 04 Oct 2010 09:40 AM
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