Hi Ladies

I had a meeting with my Oncologist today, starting chemo this week or next (depends on bloods as am anaemic after my surgeries). Anyway! My question is to do with drinking! I suppose I am a heavy drinker. It’s normal for me to drink a bottle of wine each night. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I stopped smoking immediately (only smoked 2 or 3 a day so wasn’t too difficult to stop). Soon as I heard the word ‘cancer’ I knew the fags had to go. Have known for a while that I drink too much but never thought about it in relation to breast cancer. So today my oncologist told me that I should give up alcohol completely for my best possible outcome, and if I do have to drink I can only have 1 or 2 units a week!!! Bit of a blow! No alcohol for the rest of my life!!! I’m only 35!

So I just wondered if anyone else had been given the same advice? Anyone else out there that likes the wine? I know it seems daft to care so much about that when I should be worrying about getting better, but this is one of the most difficult things I have had to deal with since being diagnosed! :frowning:

Would appreciate any advice, thanks, Lynne :smiley:

I love a glass too. Maybe a big incentive for you will be your taste buds going crazy on the chemo! A sip of wine was like pouring acid down my throat.
Everything in moderation is a sensible rule. But it’s a rule I allow myself to break occassionally without beating myself up. Not to be dependent on anything - fags, booze, men, is liberating. So much of what happens to us with BC is about losing control - so now’s the time to start being in charge of your body. Eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise.
Maybe one nice bottle a week? The money you save can go in a collection box for a lovely break at the end of it all.
good luck

Hi there sorry to read about your recent diagnosis. My onc never mentioned alcohol at all + I never gave it up completely dring chemo. I’m not a regular drinker but did enjoy a few beers on my ‘good’ weekends in the sunshine. I would also drink when I was well enough to have a night out. You will probably find you don’t want to drink as much as usual once you start chemo- I would only really consider It one week out of 3 as chemo made me feel a bit nauseus.
I don’t think it would be a good idea at all to continue to drink a bottle of wine every night whilst on chemo but I’m sure a little bit of what you fancy on the odd occasion, when you feel well enough to indulge, wouldn’t be completely off limts? Maybe have another chat with your onc/ bcn?
All the best with your treatment :slight_smile:
tina x

Hi, I’ve never considered myself a big drinker, even back in my twenties (the party years - lol) I wasn’t that bothered about drink. However now aged 36 (34 with original dx 35 recurrence) and going through Chemo for the 2nd time, I’ve not wanted to drink, for me it’s listening to your body & if you fancy a glass of vino go for it. I’ve had the odd glass of bubbles but as time goes on I’m not missing it all, as the previous replies have already said it’s probably best to avoid a bottle if you can.

Best of luck with your treatment and remember there is always CAKE & CHOCOLATE!!


Hi Lynne

Did you tell your ONC you liked a drink ? He is most prob thinking of your liver, it takes one hell of a battering with chemo, I know lots of ladies who continued to have the odd glass or two during chemo , me included, it kept me sane but i think cutting back is good advice. Like other there were periods throughout chemo i simply couldn’t taste wine so there was no point.


Hi Lynne,

you will find it difficult i should imagine to just stop drinking at all after drinking a bottle a night lol.

However, i must admit (depending on what chemo you are having, and what side effects you get), you may very well not feel able to drink;

I am on a 6 regime of docetaxel, and carboplatin, given 3 weekly intervals and for at least 2 weeks feel really ill, and would be unable to drink even if i wanted to lol.

anyway all the best Lynne and anyhow you have an excuse now to drink as much as you can before you start the poisoning,

liz xxxxxx

I also like the odd glass of wine, but since chemo I haven’t fancied it and when I do I often can’t finish a glass. Also as said before chemo damages the liver so extra poison on top ain’t good. Good luck with what ever you decide to do
BD x

I’ve had the occasional drink through chemo but as others have said for a lot of the time it tastes horrible, so there’s no point.

I’ve also found now I’m on Taxotere that even the smallest amount of alcohol brings on the most awful hot flushes so it’s more punishment than pleasure!

Jane xxx

Hi Lynne,
I like wine too, but have cut down a lot since my early 30s as I used to drink way too much. I’ve no experience of chemo, but there is research linking alcohol to a range of cancers including bc, see link below. Of course it also gives your liver a bashing as has been pointed out already.

I personally like the odd glass of wine now, and am drinking less than I was before my surgery (around 3-4 glasses a month). I think there are valid reasons to drink less if you can; anything that can enhance your chances is worth doing especially since you’re young, but in the end it’s your body and your choice!
Best wishes xx

The thing about being in the habit of a bottle a night is that it’s a habit, and habits, although they can be hard to break, can be broken.

So many things in your life change with chemo you might find that there’s enough difference that you won’t find it too hard to change your habits. It may be that you just don’t feel well enough to have a glass or two, or that you’re already tucked up in bed asleep and just don’t have TIME because you just - have - to - sleep. And some people find that their taste changes so what they used to really enjoy they just can’t stand.

As for “No alcohol for the rest of my life”, I thought when I gave up smoking that I’d always feel deprived, but that was 25 years ago and I don’t smoke now and am very happy to be an ex-smoker. I know several people who gave up alcohol and have changed their habits but still enjoy a lively and active social life, so drastically reducing your drinking doesn’t have to mean the end of life as you know it.

Good luck with your chemo. It’s not easy, but there are enough of us who do get through it so show that it can be done.


Hi Lynn
I love my wine nearly as much as you n tht was one of Th things Th first time I asked. N my onc said no problem if you want wine I don’t hav a problem with it ( in fact it was my boyfriend tht asked think he was hoping he’d say I couldn’t. ) I’m 8 months since treatment finished but I hav t say Th wine kept me sane. I think I was drinkin tht most nights. Obviously first couple of nights after chemo was sickly so no but other thn tht I did actually I read tht Th fizz was good if stomach a bit dodgy n I found this true. I think you hav a long fight ahead of you and watever it takes t help you thru I’m trying for 3 nights off now. N still struggle wen I get stressed over this bloody disease. I think it’s what you know and is better thn going down Th drug route or being really depressed which is very easy. So you take care thinking of you it does come to an end and some normality returns Rozita xx

Hello, I wish you well and like the others say, you will get through all this stuff. I was 55 when diagnosed. Prior to that had eqivilant of 1 bottle wine in my entire life! Not so since last 5 years, now maybe 3/4 bottles per week.I enjoy it and will continue.I was told anything/everything in moderation,in all probability makes no difference in the scheme of things. Just try to go with what feels right with/for you.

Hi Lynne,

I love a glass or two, or three… and like you, I could polish off a bottle in a night. I’d always start with a glass when getting home from work and cooking dinner. I asked my nurse if I could still have a drink and she said ‘We don’t expect you to live like a nun’. I’ve had 3 chemo’s and still have a glass most evenings. I don’t do a bottle any more though! Cava is expecially good as it helps settle the tummy. I think a little of what you fancy does you good! Well, that’s my excuse and it helps me relax!

Take care,


cava mmmmmmmmm yum :slight_smile:

the other option is spritzers, (soda for me but lemoade works too) I found white wine too watery but now enjoy red as a spritzer, i even put ice in it …lord I can hear groans now :slight_smile:

Aldi have a ‘house Rose’ which is only 8 per cent

oh dear the woman that comes along with lot of drinking alternatives …maybe I have a problem too

Seriously cutting down is for the best, and as has been said you do go off it , and giving your liver all the help it can helps too


Hi there
I too drank most nights and my other half and I merrily enjoyed a bottle a night, if not more. My Oncologist did say to me though that alcohol was linked with an increased risk of breast cancer, and as I have been diagnosed as triple negative which is fairly aggressive, I have tried to refrain for the past week since he told me that. I start chemo on 3rd May so figure it will be good practice, as like some of the other ladies have said, I think I will be too tired or just wont miss it for a while, but I dont expect to never drink again and will enjoy a glass or two when I feel like it. I think all they are saying is that downing a load of wine every night is obviously just another factor that can accelerate breast cancer. I am just glad I no longer work for a wine company where I used to get staff discount!!
Hope all goes well.

Hi Lynne, When my husband and and I were still working we could polish off the wine most night…used it to help with the stress of life.
Whenever I have been on chemo I have gone completely off wine ( and food). Now that we have both retired and not working our day to day life is much less stressful and we consume less wine BUT we still drink it. I now find that everything in moderation works for me now. But when I have friends round or go out visiting I drink what I want to drink…sometimes I do not want anything…but there are times when I am in the mood and just let my hair down. Go with the flow and listen to your body and I am sure you will sort it our for yourself. Good luck. Val

I think it’s a good idea to have a dry day - preferably two days - without alcohol, per week. If you drink a reasonable amount of water every day your liver should eliminate any toxins and this break gives it time to recover from any alcohol damage. This is simplistic, I know. You have to trust your innards to do get on with the job. I drink moderate amounts of beer and wine and very rarely, a spirit. Alcoholic drinks are food, after all, meant to be enjoyed and your senses are supposed to help you decide what is good to eat or drink. Sometimes just a sniff, or a sip of a favourite wine and I don’t want it! Very annoying - but probably just as well. Chemotherapy messed up my taste sensations quite badly, put me off some foods permanently.

Nonsense alert — Wild water swimmers could have taken a dip in the EU wine lake… And then there’s the mountains of stuff we’re not supposed to eat any more, beef, butter, etc… bah humbug (oops, refined sugar).

I’ve been lurking on these boards for several years, before and after diagnosis. Reading about other people’s experiences has helped me a lot. I often feel like posting my 2 cents worth but I haven’t the knack of fluency in print - what I mean is, I guess I want to write something useful, relevant, entertaining but the editing… oh the endless editing, takes too much time. That’s it - it’ll have to do. Think I’ll go and sit in the garden with a beer, and some nuts, while we’re on the subject…


I was ok drinking when I was on FEc, but cannot manage it on weekly tax 8-(. I hace fancied a glass of vino every now and then but last time I had a very small glass of wine, with a meal i might add, I felt like i had downed the whole bottle the next day. 4 weeks and then I can resume normal service. lol
x sarah

hi i use to share a bottle of wine every night with my husband. since i was dx october 2009 only drink friday and saturday night. hey ho life is too short to worry about lifes ifs and buts. enjoy it while we can x