Wine and Cancer. Harm or Help?

There are many questions about interaction between wine and cancer. Does drinking wine contribute to cancer? Or does it help prevent it? Are there any benefits to drinking wine while you are undergoing cancer treatment? Or can it harm you? As in anything related to health, your physician is the person best qualified to answer your questions, but there is an interesting study that you may want to discuss with your doctor.

This article caught my attention because of the devastation that breast cancer has wrought on my family, and the families of several of my friends. I think that anything that can help alleviate some of the effects, both physical and mental, of cancer treatment is a step in the right direction. The problem with wine and health, particularly when it comes to breast cancer, though no all forms of cancer, is that there are contradictory studies. Some studies suggest that drinking alcohol, more than two drinks a day, may increase the incidence of breast cancer, other studies do not confirm this finding. So, always always follow your doctor's advice.

Having said that, there is an interesting study that was conducted in Italy. It appears that patients who are undergoing radiation treatment for their breast cancer, and who drink a glass of wine on the day, reduce their risk of skin toxicity. The beneficial wine components include polyphenols and tannins.

According to the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics, 2009, the study was conducted at Catholic University in Campobasso, Italy. The study participants were 348 women who were undergoing radiation treatment for their breast cancer. The women were divided into three groups: non-drinkers, women who drank one glass of wine a day, and women who drank two glasses of wine a day.

The results were as follow: skin toxicity due to radiation treatment in non-drinkers was 38.4 percent, skin toxicity in subject drinking one glass a day was 13.6 percent, and in those drinking two glasses a day was 35 percent. It appears that moderation is the key element, since drinking one glass a day had better results than drinking two glasses.

More studies will probably be conducted to evaluate the results on men and women who are suffering other forms of cancer, and who are undergoing radiation treatment; but this preliminary study is encouraging.

Patients who are undergoing cancer treatment suffer pain, discomfort, feelings of isolation, and stress. It would be wonderful if a glass of wine could help, not just with the treatment itself, but in reducing mental stress related to the decease and treatment. There are many studies that stress the health benefits of wine. This study adds to our knowledge.

Wine and Cancer, Learn What It Can Mean To You or Your Loved One!

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