Does alcohol affect my cancer?

Alcohol can have a number of negative effects on your body while undergoing cancer treatment.

  • Alcohol can influence medications and how well they work, including many cancer treatments, and antidepressant and antianxiety drugs you may take during your treatment. In fact, it can cause serious, negative reactions or reduce the effectiveness of drugs being used to fight your cancer.
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are common side effects of chemotherapy and can leave you dehydrated. If you add alcohol to the mix, the dehydration is made much worse.

While you are undergoing chemotherapy, your liver is working extra hard to process the extra toxins in your body. Alcohol can interfere with the liver’s ability to effectively break down the toxins. In many cases, your doctor may recommend that you avoid alcohol altogether, especially if you have liver damage or have a cancer affecting the liver.