What happens when you drink alcohol?

Although alcohol affects different people in different ways, in general, it is quickly absorbed from your digestive system into your blood. The amount alcohol in your blood peaks within 30 to 45 minutes.

Guys generally can drink more alcohol than girls of the same size before they show its effects. This is because girls have less body water than guys of similar body weight. Because alcohol mixes with water, girls tend to have a higher concentration of alcohol than guys of the same weight after drinking the same amount of alcohol. Women also have lower levels of one of the enzymes that metabolize alcohol, so the alcohol they drink stays in their bodies for a longer time. Therefore, with the same amount of consumption, a woman’s brain and other organs are exposed to more alcohol and more of its toxic byproducts.

*It is very important to know speak with your doctor about the effects of drinking alcohol with any of the medications you may be taking for your treatment.*

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.

Cancer and Drinking

Being diagnosed with cancer is tough. You probably feel confused, angry and overwhelmed with questions. You may turn to drinking alcohol to help relieve the physical and emotional pain that you experience or may want to continue drinking with friends as you’ve done in the past.