Many cancer survivors use alcohol to excess, study reports

The jury is still out on how much alcohol is safe to consume for cancer survivors. iStock (2)

(Shari Roan/ Everyday Health) — Almost 35 percent of cancer survivors say they exceed the recommendations for moderate drinking levels, and 21 percent say they have engaged in binge drinking. The statistics emerged from a new study published January 8, 2020, in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The large number of people who drink beyond what is recommended for optimal health surprised researchers and raises questions about helping cancer survivors maintain their long-term health.

“I think our study should serve as a beginning discussion point for future research. At the very least, our study suggests providers should ask about alcohol use and counsel patients engaged in heavy alcohol use to potentially cut down,” said the first author of the study, Nina Niu Sanford, MD, an assistant professor and Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care in the department of radiation and oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. (…)

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