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Wine?

Cindimay77
Cindimay77 Member Posts: 8

I am struggling with this subject. It is a very small problem in the scheme of things, but I really have enjoyed wine in my life, and now I feel like I can’t have it - and when I do I think it will bring my cancer back? My Onco did not say anything about what I can or cannot have anymore, and when I asked about foods and juicing he had no advice...but I found out through good old google that alcohol can increase estrogen?

I google everything I expose my body too now since my diagnosis And I Juice daily, and have stopped birth control pills, I have stopped dairy (ILOVE CHEESE and milk!) I have stopped meat - I am now a vegetarian, I buy organic make up and lotion and Paraben free hair products, I have stopped sugar to the best of my ability, i have gone organic, I threw out all plastic containers and switched to glass - but WINE too? It seems I have to give up so much that I really loved.

I used to have a glass of wine or two quite often Before my diagnosis, and now I am having a glass or two on Friday nights, and maybe saturdays, but I feel incredibly guilty about it...

What is everyone else doing? Google says no drinking AT ALL, or 1 glass per day, or one per week, I am confused!

I was doingnosed With IDC 1.3 cm stage 1A ER/Progesterone positive Onco score was low

I had a lumpectomy March 3 2020 and finished Radiation May 1

I am taking Tamaxofin since 5-5

Cheers ladies and HUGS to all of you - I am so happy we can all lean on each other..


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Comments

  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 206
    edited July 2020

    Hi. I live in wine country and enjoy wine as well. While I was on AC-T (June-Nov 2019), I did not have any alcohol. I cut out most carbs (less than 20 grams a day), ate organic, etc. During radiation (January - March 2020), I would have a glass here and there and like you, I felt incredibly guilty. I started Xeloda in March of 2020 and I do not drink while on chemo, but during my week off (2 weeks on chemo and 1 week off), I enjoy a glass or two of wine. I see it as a treat. Prior to my diagnosis (triple negative BC), I usually had wine with dinner. Now, I have a glass about twice a week during my week off of chemo. It's something that I look forward to and I gave up so much in my diet that I give myself a break on the wine. My doctors do not know much about nutrition and have very little advice on this subject. The ladies on this website seem to know much more and hopefully, one of the wise ones will give us some advice

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited July 2020

    After going through a breast cancer diagnosis, what's important to me is ensuring that I enjoy my life. Breast cancer takes away enough - I am not going to give up life's pleasures.

    That said, of course it's true that maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is smart for overall health. But the relationship between diet and breast cancer risk is not so clear. I love dairy and eat a lot of it - and that's on the advice of my oncologist and PCP, because it's important for my bones (I have osteopenia). Low fat dairy does not increase breast cancer risk - and in fact some studies suggest it lowers risk. High fat dairy is the problem, and I avoid high fat diary, except for the occasional treat of some yummy cheese and butter on fresh bread (nothing better in the world!).

    Meat? Still eat it, but I eat more fish and prefer lean meat like chicken. But steak is another occasional treat. None of my doctors take issue with that either.

    Wine? I love wine. I asked my MO about that. He said that for overall health (not breast cancer specific), his advice is 2-3 drinks per week for women, and 4-5 drinks per week for men (my husband was sitting next to me when I asked the question). I used to have wine with dinner every night, and while I enjoyed that, I've easily cut back by having wine now only on those evenings when I really feel like having a glass - so it ends up being a couple of nights a week, at most.

    If you are happy with the diet changes you've made, that's great. But if some are a struggle or you feel you are forbidding yourself pleasures, why do that? Yes, there are some changes that are necessary and important after a breast cancer diagnosis, such as no birth control pills and no HRT. And maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly have been proven to reduce risk. The rest? Not so much. Make changes you want to make. Make changes you have to make. But when it comes to changes that you think you should make but you really don't want to, well, do your research. You may decide that the small benefit from these changes (if there is any benefit at all - many have little evidence) is not worth depriving yourself.


  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,648
    edited July 2020

    Cindy May,

    I am in a very different situation bc wise. I am stage IV and essentially have been since dx, 9 years ago. I did everything you are doing, diet wise, initially. I got into fights with my dd because she felt she had to monitor my diet/lifestyle. I had a difficult time with restaurants, eating at friends homes, parties etc. I was really unhappy cutting out so much of what gave me pleasure in life and it had some social limitations. Then, I kind of re-evaluated everything. For me it boiled down to living a life minus many things I enjoy vs. possibly living longer minus those things. The irony is that I lived a healthy lifestyle to begin with! I ate meat and dairy in moderation, lots of fruit and veggies etc. I don’t smoke, not overweight and generally active. I have never been much of a drinker but I wanted to be able to enjoy a drink.

    So here I am, 9 years down the road. I eat a nutritious, balanced diet and indulge in anything I want but in moderation. I appreciate each bite and each sip. I am very happy and no longer fighting with anyone over what I eat. Most importantly, I’m happy! My metastasis is to my bone but I have been NEAD since initial t.

    I offer no advice as we all have to deal with bc in our own way. I simply decided that my diet was already decent and if I was going to live I wasn’t going to cut out some many wonderful things. A healthy diet is good for all of us. A restricted, compulsive diet is not a guarantee of preventing recurrence (My sister, the poster child for clean eating for decades before her uterine cancer dx, was dx’ed and dead within 4 months). Stay healthy, treat yourself from time to time and enjoy that wine!

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,521
    edited July 2020

    I was advised to limit alcohol, which I do but almost everything in life is a risk factor for cancer and when it really comes down to it, cells just go bad sometimes. I do what makes me happy, while doing the best I can with lifestyle choices and that includes a couple glasses or wine per week and the occasional margarita.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited July 2020

    Well, alcohol is classified as a carcinogen.

    Otoh, it's a drug that is heavily used and normalized in our culture.

    Some people on this board don't drink at all, others drink a fair bit. I'm in the none crowd but I've never been a big drinker and was essentially teetotal for years before dx so I didn't actually have to give it up, kwim?

    At the end of the day, you just have to make a decision you can live with. Will it make you unhappy to give it up? Or can you let it go? Only you can make that call.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,648
    edited July 2020

    moth, you said it well. Each of us has to decide what something adds or doesn’t add to our lives. Also, if you experience progression, will you blame it on a few glasses of wine, a delicious meal or chocolate cake? If so then total abstinence or a more restricted diet will work for you. If not and you’d like a glass of wine or something else you love, go for it!

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 749
    edited July 2020

    I agree, there's risk with everything. I am a pretty moderate drinker. Former smoker too. The damage is already done, it's probably just a matter of time before something else happens. So, I do what I want, when I want.

    Can't remember but a little while back someone started a topic that read "If I eat this piece of chocolate cake is it going to kill me?" All of us think these things, but I'm committed to not playing the blame game if/when something happens. I'd rather just live life.

    My husband was a heavy smoker and just died of lung cancer. Sure, he was upset about getting that fatal diagnosis, but I told him, hey you lived your life they way you wanted to. He didn't beat himself up too much after that. He was 60. Short but a good life, none the less.

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited July 2020

    Yes, alcohol is a carcinogen. But for some types of cancers more than others. And that's why my MO talked about alcohol consumption in the context of overall health.

    Specifically,

    • For head and neck cancers, where "heavy drinkers have 5-fold higher risks of oral cavity and pharynx cancers and 2.6-fold higher risks of larynx cancers". That's a whopping 500% and 260% increase in risk.
    • For esophageal cancers, where again there is a nearly 500% increase in risk for heavy drinkers.
    • For some types of liver cancer, where risk is increased by approx. 200% among heavy drinkers.
    • For breast cancer, heavy drinkers may face up to a 60% increase in risk, with a 23% increase in risk among moderate drinkers and a 4% increase in risk among light drinkers.

    .

    https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/alcohol/alcohol-fact-sheet

    No one thinks that heavy drinking is a good idea. But light drinking, if it's something you enjoy, is a tiny risk factor when it comes to breast cancer. For the average woman, light drinking increases breast cancer risk from 12.4% to 12.9%. By comparison, having dense breasts post-menopausally (an uncontrollable risk factor) increases risk by 250% (one study actually suggested 600%). So am I going to get fussed about a 4% increase in risk from light drinking (defined as no more than one drink a day)? Nope.

    No one is suggesting that those who don't drink should start. But if it's something you enjoy, you can continue to enjoy it with little concern about breast cancer risk, so long as you stay within the range of light consumption.



  • voraciousreader
    voraciousreader Member Posts: 3,696
    edited July 2020

    Beesie and I have shared each other’s company with a glass of wine. No words for the pleasure...


    Cancer can rob us of many things if you let it....or...


    cancer be damned....life is too short...don’t sweat the simpler stuff....you will be blind sighted enough down the road...

    Cheers!


  • voraciousreader
    voraciousreader Member Posts: 3,696
    edited July 2020

    btw...my internist/cardiologist recently told me....whatever it is you are doing...keep it up! Heart

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited July 2020

    Indeed, VR! 🥂 Cheers!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,648
    edited July 2020

    voraciousreader,

    I love your philosophy! At stage IV QOL was more important than length of survival. By some stroke of dumb luck, I've been given both. I just decided that I didn't want to spend what might be my last years not enjoying food, friends and definitely not using coffee for enemas. So here I am nine years later and still happy.

  • voraciousreader
    voraciousreader Member Posts: 3,696
    edited August 2020

    ex....here’s to your dumb stroke of luck! Cheers! And....as my internist/cardiologist would say...keep it up!

    Heart

  • claire_in_seattle
    claire_in_seattle Member Posts: 2,793
    edited August 2020

    Moderate wine consumption appears to increase one's risk of breast cancer whilst decreasing one's risk of heart of heart disease. Being indifferent as to where my risk comes from, I continue to savor all the amazing wines the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Not to mention, some from other areas of the world. So many amazing wines, so little time.

    Things I am not about to give up:

    • The pleasure of savoring a new vintage from winemaker friends I personally know.
    • Not wine, but planning a stop at a microbrewery with pizzeria next door when doing a Sunday ride of 40 miles with a friend.
    • Something sparkling to celebrate a life milestone, or celebrate a major work ordeal. (Which I have done recently, don't ask.)
    • Hanging out with my "wine drinking broads" friends.
    • Exploring new vintages and other areas of the world through wine.
    • Celebrating life.
    • Making a home-cooked meal extra-special. (I am a gourmet cook.)
    As a point of information, it's a lot more important to exercise than give up wine and other libations. Remember that Julia Child had breast cancer, and lived at least 30 years after she was diagnosed. She was not one to forego good wine, nor amazing food.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Salut! - Claire
  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,550
    edited August 2020

    Well, what is the rate of breast cancer in Italy, France, and other high-producing wine countries? I would suggest it could be a factor but not THE factor.

    My mom had dense breasts (reduction) and I would classify at least a moderate drinker for the past 15 years - no cancer, though she prefers hard alcohol and cocktails in the evening. I was never much of a drinker but had my moments, and dense breasts (reduction) - but I am also 5 inches taller and 50 lbs heavier than my mom. No smoking, no drugs, no family history. My brother isn't a heavy drinker and yet he got head and neck.

    Based on all that to me the statistics are just that - statistics. They can suggest 'hey, maybe you don't wanna down all that beer on a nightly basis' but so much goes into this disease that medicine just can't explain right now. What is "right" anymore when you "did everything right" and still got cancer?

    I figure screw it, live relatively healthy, watch the sugar and junk, including alcohol, and go live life. Living brings joy which helps relieve the stress of daily life, you know, the same stress that could cause cancer :)


  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,050
    edited August 2020

    I really am drawing a line in the sand for lots of things but am hanging on to my nightly glass of wine. Due to hereditary factors I’d have to be born to a different mother to greatly affect my cancer outcomes. Whenever I bring the topic up with my medical team they say, your fall. And it is.

    This said, I respect everyone’s decisions and opinions and have enjoyed reading that diversity here.


  • debal
    debal Member Posts: 600
    edited August 2020

    well I'm no wine expert but I enjoy a glass or 2 every now and then. I like having wine on hand for guests and special occasions. 6 bottles lasts 3 months around here. Check out dryfarmwines.com I'm hooked! Natural, lower alcohol, no preservatives etc. I truly liked every bottle they sent, just like they said. They will replace it if you dont.The taste is slightly different since its not as sweet but it was good and for me it wasn't a problem getting used to it. So thanks to covid I joined a wine club lol

    I enjoy and live a relatively healthy life. If I get a recurrence there is no way to know if it was that glass of wine, because I shorted or skipped a run, or accidentally forgot an arimidex pill. And I don't want to waste my energy worrying.

  • Cindimay77
    Cindimay77 Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2020

    Thank you wonderful ladies for all of your replies and sharing your stories. You have all made me so much more confident with my choices! I also live in CA Wine country so I definitely will enjoy my wine..

    A VERY GOOD audio book I have been listening to is https://www.audible.com/pd/Breasts-The-Owners-Manual-Audiobook/B079M1THV3?source_code=GPAGBSH0508140001&ipRedirectOverride=true&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAjwm_P5BRAhEiwAwRzSO2WaDs0w7Ip9hkrWXiN3XCJZ9VIEQsgLqnewkwlMOaxgpXeX1mRXZBoCaKcQAvD_BwE

    Breasts - The owners Manual by Dr. Kristy Funk

    She is an amazing breast surgeon who opened her own clinic and wrote this fascinating book! She answers ALL questions (that no other of my docs could or would) on what to eat, what not to eat, she touches on drinking alcohol, and so many other factors. She breaks it down and it helps me to know what to do now! She has statistics on the risk factors and benefits of about EVERY question I have had since my diagnosis.

    I have read many other books for knowledge, but i found this one is not only do-able things for us - and I love that it is by a Doctor -Worth a good Read!!! I LOVE THIS BOOK!

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,934
    edited August 2020

    I drink so seldom that I don't worry about indulging, on the rare occasions when I do have wine. And I'm old enough that I get sleepy instead of tipsy, no fair!

  • elderberry
    elderberry Member Posts: 1,037
    edited August 2020

    To all: I have dense breast. I started my first period at 11 and had my last one at 55. I never had children. Lots of ticks on the check list for a candidate for breast cancer. And I liked to have a drink, pretty much on a daily basis. I wouldn't say I was a heavy drinker, it was one or two glasses at most.

    I was abstemious while during chemo and I don't drink for a day or so after infusion. I turned 70 yesterday. I weigh the pros and cons of what alcohol consumption might due to my longevity. I decided,as one getting long in the tooth, that while I am alive i am going to enjoy life. That doesn't mean I am going on boozing binges but I am going to have a martini on a Friday night. I am going to sip a glass of red wine while I cook dinner. My oncologist never said "don't" He assumes I will be sensible. Everything in moderation. If I become a tea-totalling vegan and I have a major recurrence will I say "Damn, I should have had that cabernet with that excellent roast"? I am with you SondraF!!

  • mariadelpilar
    mariadelpilar Member Posts: 36
    edited August 2020

    my oncologist said that there is no definite research on Alcohol consumption and cancer recurrence AFTER diagnosis. As a matter of fact , some research says moderate drinking prolongs survival!!! If he can show me the research that supports that alcohol consumption leads to recurrence or increases chance of recurrence after diagnosis, I’ll stop drinking. Until then, I will enjoy my glass of two of wine daily

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
    edited August 2020

    I have a 93 yr old father who was a heavy drinker till he was about 65. And regular smoker. His liver is still healthy. His lungs as filled with water. He has COPD. He had two consecutive strokes within 30 day period.when he was 90. Had full blown pneumonia two yrs ago on top of that. He lives in his own apartment. What I am trying to say is when your time is up your time is up no matter what.


    I like my red wine. I try to limit three drinks per week regardless of type so far I have been good about self discipline. Those days I feel self guilt I see my father and tell myself screw it. I will have my red wine if and when I want.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,002
    edited August 2020

    When I ask my MO about drinking, he said it's probably not a good idea THE DAY OF CHEMO. Although he had one MD colleague who always went home and had a strong gin & tonic after his infusions & didn't have any bad effects.

    I'm another one who has a glass of wine with dinner pretty much every night. Sometimes I switch that up with a gin & tonic before dinner - but basically I'm having something to drink every night so 7 drinks a week. Cancer & the treatments "gifted" me with lots of fun permanent side effects - like neuropathy and lymphadema. It's my personal choice to make the rest of my life as enjoyable as I can while not going overboard. So I pretty much cut out red meat, but I'm NOT cutting out my wine.

  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 206
    edited August 2020

    I know that there are risk factors that can contribute to getting breast cancer, but based on my experience, it just seems that bad luck plays a part in it too. One of my closest friends developed lung cancer in her early 50’s even though she doesn’t smoke and has not lived with anyone who smokes for over 30 years. She has very healthy habits, exercises daily, doesn’t drink alcohol and eats a very healthy diet (all organic, etc.). Yet she got lung cancer. Prior to my cancer diagnosis at 47 yo, I exercised daily since I was a teenager, ran marathons, ate relatively healthy, didn’t smoke, had wine with my dinner and no family history of cancer. Most of my friends considered me “the healthy one” (ironic). Whereas, my sister-in-law has been a heavy smoker for over 30 years, drinks heavily and doesn’t exercise. She is approaching 70 and no evidence of any health problems. So, I think some of us just drew the short straw

  • beaverntx
    beaverntx Member Posts: 2,962
    edited August 2020

    I'm with MinusTwo, I have limited my intake of red and processed meats but still enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. No problem limiting my consumption, it seems my hormone blocker has increased my sensitivity to alcohol and I get buzzed with more than one glass of wine!

  • Cindimay77
    Cindimay77 Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2020

    Hello Everyone! Check out this link - it is from Pink Lotus - https://pinklotus.com/powerup/breastcancer101/to-d...

    It recommends Red Wine if you are going to drink, because is lowers Estrogen, not raises it like all the other alcohols!

    Also - there is a vitamin (that I have on order) to take to help if you are a moderate drinker.

    I actually have an appointment at the Pink Lotus Center on September 3 - I am so Excited! They not only will do a full breast exam on tumor spot - but it is WHOLE care, like nutrition and EVERYTHING I am not getting at my oncologist.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,002
    edited August 2020

    Cindi - one reason I don't worry much is that I was ER/PR negative both times.

    But still - what is the vitamin?

  • Cindimay77
    Cindimay77 Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2020

    The vitamin seems to be for EVERYONE who drinks moderately - check out the link - it helps with folate, liver, etc...

  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 206
    edited August 2020

    Cindimay,

    I’m excited for you about your appointment with Pink Lotus. Please let us know about your experience after your appointment. I ordered the book, so very interested in their treatment plan

  • Cindimay77
    Cindimay77 Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2020

    NorcalS...I will keep you all posted!

    Let me know what you think of the book...i have read about 6 other books that were VERY extreme with juicing, organic, power lines, cell phones, hair dye...but I never knew what to believe or how far to go...

    This book by Dr. Kristi funk is awesome because it is by a doctor, who has done extensive research on EVERYTHING we put in our bodies and are exposed to- and she breaks it all down. Last weekend I was crying (maybe a stage of mourning my breast cancer) and I was so scared and had so many questions- after reading this book this week I feel strong and empowered with real things I can take action on! And I trust it because it’s written by a doctor..

    And she is actually the doctor i get to seeeeeeee