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What about alcohol if you have cancer?

It is important to note that messages aimed at preventing cancer aren’t always the same for those going through or recovering from cancer treatment. 

Should you drink alcohol while undergoing cancer treatment?

It is best to check with your health care team, including your doctor and nurses, about whether it is safe to drink alcohol during or immediately following chemotherapy  or other cancer treatments.

Alcohol advice for cancer survivors

Limiting alcohol may decrease the risk of cancer recurrence. This is because alcohol is a risk factor for seven types of cancer, including breast and bowel. Alcohol also contains a lot of energy (kilojoules or calories) so it can also contribute to weight gain – another risk factor for some cancers. Check out our tips to reduce your drinking.

Cancer education and support programs

We offer face-to-face, free education programs to assist people affected by cancer. Whether you are  living with cancer, or hoping to learn more about  wellness and life after cancer, these programs aim to provide you with simple, easy-to-implement information and support, and to help you connect with others in a similar situation. 

Cancer Council Victoria offers many other services support people affected by cancer, including their family, friends and carers. You can:

  • find the right support for when you need it most
  • contact an experienced cancer nurse
  • call 13 11 20 for information and support (from Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, for the cost of a local call).

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Questions about cancer?

Call or email our experienced cancer nurses for information and support.

Contact a cancer nurse