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Alcohol consumption and tonsil cancer?

needhope1
Posts: 29
Joined: May 2009

Hi friends,

My husband was diagnosed with Stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil and lymph nodes last year. He has gone through surgery & treatment and has had his first round of post diagnosis/treatment scans a few months ago which thankfully all showed he was "free" of the cancer.

One of the "causes" of tonsil cancer is from alcohol consumption. My husband has always been a social drinker. He didn't drink during his treatment. But after treatment he has resumed this social drinking. I don't believe I heard his oncologist say he had to stop drinking altogether.

Those of you post treatment, do you drink alcohol? Has your doctors told you to stop drinking alcohol? I don't want to take away something that my husband finds pleasure in, and I certainly don't want to be a nagging wife, but if he shouldn't be doing it I would like to know. I probably should check with his oncologist.

Thanks for any info and bless you all.

Fire34
Posts: 351
Joined: Feb 2010

Needhope
I was asked about 100 times if I drank or smoked prior to my treatment. Almost drove my wife & I crazy. The Doctors never did say how much alcohol was too much or if I had to stop. I only had the occasional drink going out to eat.
I was HPV+ which was probably part of my cause. I had SCC of the right side of my neck with unknown primary. 6 months post treatment my first scan came back negative.
I know this probalby hasn't answered your question but that was all we were told and that was not much. Sorry

Landranger25's picture
Landranger25
Posts: 207
Joined: Nov 2009

Mine was SCC BOT with mets to one lymph. No surgery but chemo and radiation. I just had my 6 month PET a week ago Wednesday and saw Onco 2 days ago. Everything was good, scan was clear. In the last year I had some Champagne on New Years, A Gin/Tonic in March and a Guinness about 3 weeks ago. I asked Onco what he thought was prudent and his response was that as far as he's concerned I am a normal person. Don't go crazy but certainly enjoy yourself. I think it is a decision you have to make for yourself. I'll probably continue to have a drink few and far between but that is just me. When I do have one, I will enjoy. Good luck.

Mike

fishingirl's picture
fishingirl
Posts: 188
Joined: Nov 2009

Congratulations on your clean PET scan!! Continue good health!!
Cindy

rozaroo
Posts: 667
Joined: Apr 2010

I just inquired about being able to enjoy the odd social drink with the dietician from our
cancer centre. Apparently not a problem. I suppose the key is everything in moderation.
Congratulation's on your pet scan!

wifeforlife
Posts: 189
Joined: Feb 2010

My husband is two months post treatment... tasted a beer the other day and he said it tasted better than it had his entire life!..heheh. good to see him enjoy himself!... FYI he also went turkey hunting yesterday!... life is good!

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2288
Joined: Jan 2010

WONDERFUL!!! I pray he keeps up the good work. God bless you both!
God Bless,
Debbie

needhope1
Posts: 29
Joined: May 2009

Thanks Fire!

My husband is also HPV+ which I believe was most of his cause...but I am sure the drinking didnt help....

So glad to hear your scan is negative!

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5655
Joined: Apr 2009

I don’t want to be the negative one here but Google Alcohol and Cancer. I don’t want to do anything to increase the risk of me getting this stuff again.

According to a report from the American Institute for Cancer Research, Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, there is convincing evidence that alcohol increase the risk of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus, please see the attached link below.

http://www.healthcastle.com/alcoholandcancer.shtml

Take care

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 2009

I smoked from age 18 to 38, and drank from about age 19 to, well, today. My tonsil cancer was HPV-derived. I still drink: a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, or maybe a microbrew or two depending on what we're eating. I pretty much save the hard stuff for a once-a-week treat, and then only one glass.
My doctor did not tell me not to drink after treatment. I think the key here is moderation -- in all that we do.

--Jim in Delaware

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Needhope,

Curious how social your husband is. Can you say exactly how much he drinks ??

Hondo is right. Alcohol is generally not good for us though not a great danger for small amounts. Alcohol puts stress on most vital organs and hence can compromise their function. I am 7 months out and have maybe one or 2 good quality beers a week. Sometimes none, sometime 3. That is what I would consider 'social' If he is drinking everyday, then I would say that is not so good.

We all have different bodies and as you know, some people can smoke 2 packs of cigarettes all their life an live to 80, while next door some guy dies of lung cancer at 50 who has never smoked.

Aside from 'possibilities', the 'probability' that drink harms you are certainly there and a definite fact, so the less the better. It's probably a hard one for you to convey to him if he is stubborn. I have a dear friend who went through this, having half her tongue removed, radiation, chemo etc. She immediately continued to drink and has never fully recovered and has many other complications now and is never well. It is clear the alcohol is to blame.

As you know he has to discover this and decide for himself. it can be a tough nut to crack. Don't be too hard on yourself as you are obviously doing your best. Maybe steer him to these pages or talk to his doctor and have him spell out the consequences.

Wishing you all the best.

Scam

Norton
Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009

I'm a social drinker and I asked my doctors the same question. One said the regular answer, it is a risk factor the other said
it is Ok because I would have to have to been in AA and drinking hard everyday. I'm 8 weeks out of radiation and beer taste like
sewer water, maybe someday it will taste good again.

My doctor said 50% of all new cases of neck cancer he sees are HPV maker 16 positive, just like me. Many doctors are not testing for HPV
My doctor said over 90% of the population have the HPV virus. My cancer was caused by the HPV virus and my doctors were glad
because it is not from smoking or alcohol.

janymac
Posts: 31
Joined: Feb 2010

Personally, eight years on, alcohol genrqally doesn't taste like it used to and burns my insides. But even if it tasted good, I would strear clear from it as a regualar - an occassional galss of something at a wedding, or christmas, is not a prblems - gping out regularly having a drink most evenings is not a good idea.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

My cancer was HPV derived as well. My ENT was very up on the virus possibility especially as I'm not a tobacco use and drink very little.

As far as I know there isn't a test that you can do prior to contracting HPV. There also a lot of different opinions or summations on how it is derived. Again, from my understanding and talikng to the doctors, the type we have is not passed from or to our mates, spouces, kids, etc....

On another note, I do drink a beer once or twice a week. It does eventually taste good again, at least to me it does.

The one side that I do notice is that the alcohol tends to make my mouth dry out. So I don't drink a beer in the evening. Nights are the time that I still tend to get dry mouth (when sleeping).

John

MarineE5
Posts: 747
Joined: Dec 2005

When I first met my ENT Surgeon, he asked me how many Cigarettes I smoked each day, I told him I never smoked. He then asked how many cases of beer I drink each week. I told him I'm a non-drinker. He shook his head and asked " why are you in my office? ". He then told me that roughly 95% of his patients are drinkers and smokers.

I know it is hard to believe a Marine doesn't do these things, but there are some of us out there that don't. I would drink orange juice and say that I was drinking screw drivers. : )

I talked to my Radiation Oncologist when I was going through the radiation and he told me to not use mouthwash with alcohol, as it will burn my mouth and throat. He was right, while at the Dentist, I tried a small amount prior to the Dentist coming into the exam room, brought instant tears to my eyes.

The RO also told me that the radiation changes the DNA in our tissue radiated and that alcohol can be absorb easier into our tissue causing more problems down the road. So, I use the Biotene mouthwash and toothpaste.

But, as it has already been mentioned, each one of us reacts differently. I'll take the path of caution.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

stevenl's picture
stevenl
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi everyone,

I am 3 weeks out of treatment now, and I am trying to probably do things I should not.
Just trying the only way I know how to get some strength back, working on projects. I am building a wooden swing set/ play area for my grand kids right now. Pretty physically trying as I feel like I have been given an extra 20 years in 2 months. The last couple of days I have had a beer or two each day. Not whole ones, I can't get em down before they get too hot. Yea, they burn a little, but they taste pretty good, and they help with the pain.

Now remember, I smoked for 40 years and drank for 37 years, and 2 days after I was told I had cancer I quit both cold turkey. I was also HPV positive. I will never consume beer like I used to, but I will probably have a couple a day when I feel like it. I have to drink water after every drink of beer.

Best,
Steve

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 701
Joined: Jan 2010

My tumor was HPV + as well. Which makes me wonder about screening persons for HPV and then oral screens for those who are positive. I never knew about the HPV, and as you ALL know too well, NPC does not always show up early..Has anyone heard about planned screening. Has anyone wondered if their children should be screened for NPC and how?
Thanks
Stacey

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

I love this post regarding alcohol consumption. One of Marks's pleasures, in addition to eating, is being able to have a drink. So all the feedback on this post is very interesting to me.

Regarding HPV: I have a tremendous amount of questions. Someone wrote in another post it is believed 90% of people walk around with HPV. HPV causes cervical cancer in women. I know a lot of factors go into contracting any cancer and that includes HPV+ oral cancer...but HPV is a virus that never leaves the body. Can someone who has cancer in thier left tonsil, then get it in their right because the HPV is always there? And yes, what about screening? If one family memberis susceptible would another family member have an increased chance? HPV is transmitted sexually, dare I ask, what does that mean for that activity? I plan on doing some investigating in this area...but if anyone out there can enlighten me, that would be great!.

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 701
Joined: Jan 2010

Kimba--we have the same questions..All we need are answers!
Stacey

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

I think blaming HPV for your getting cancer is an error.

I believe it may be a 'contributing factor', as is smoking, alcohol, poor lifestyle and poor diet as well a genetic predisposition.

If your body is working perfectly, you don't get cancer. As we all inherit genes and hence certain physical (and medical) attributes and weaknesses, we may be more susceptible to certain illnesses and conditions (predisposition).

As for how we treat our bodies, for each bad thing you do to your body, you compromise your health and well-being. If you are serious about being well, then you should avoid all bad things. Right ??

As we 'are' human, we take risks as our incentive for short term enjoyment often overrides our any incentive to avoid future illness (Smoking is the classic example). You are gambling every time you do something bad to your body, that your body will overcome the negative input whether it be bad food, smoking, booze, lack of exercise, stress, medication etc.

Think of your body management (which is really your health) as two (2) columns, a bit like a 'Profit and Loss sheet' or 'T' Chart.
In one column you have positive things, the other - bad things. For each input (good or bad) you put a tick - or maybe several ticks, for every input in either column. We must note that while many good inputs are in fact 'good', they don't necessarily cancel out the 'bad' things you might do.

By doing this you may get a better idea of how well you are doing at looking after yourself, and hopefully recognize the amount of bad things you may be doing, which of course, are not helping to: 1. Recover from this horrid disease, and 2. Stay Cancer free.

I think we all agree that option 2. is our desire, to stay FREE of cancer, right ?? RIGHT ! The rest is up to all of us, not our Doctors, not our HPV, not our chefs, spouses or scientists - just us.

Regds to all,
Scambuster.

stevenl's picture
stevenl
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Scam.

I have said it before and will say it again, my smoking and drinking caused my cancer.
No 2 ways about it.

Steve

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm by no means an expert nor medical professional. I have read a lot of theories on contraction of HPV. Some do feel that it's sexually related, others don't. Some feel that everyone has HPV cells and cancer cells in your body. It's just luck of the draw, stress, weight, who knows exactly what triggers them to become active.

I asked some of your questions to my Chemo Doctor. My wife asked them of her Gynecologist, my son asked his General Physician.

All that I can really derive is that basically anyone that has had sex has had the potential to have been infected with HPV. Most that have been exposed can become infected and it go away never progressing to cancer, sometime it does.

Also, you might carry it for several years and it never show up.

In my case I know that neither myself or my wife have been with anyone else for over 20 years and I was diagnosed with HPV derived throat cancer.

Here is a pretty good site with a lot of interesting reading. Does it really tell me anything for sure on how I got HPV derived throat cancer, I don't really think so;

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/HPV

Here's another, especially read the last paragraph;

"The important concept with HPV is not to become overly concerned about having manifestations of the virus. There is no way that a reasonable person in this day and age should have a cervical cancer develop. they just need to have periodic Pap smears and pelvic exams. Because you have just found out you have HPV cervical changes does not mean your partner has been unfaithful. You could have contracted the virus at any time you ever had sexual relations or so could your partner before meeting you. You or your partner may even have been part of the 3% of people who were positive for HPV from childhood. Try not to despair and panic about this. There are hundreds, if not more, of "incurable" viruses you have been exposed to during your life up to this point and more yet to come. So just be careful and vigilant."

http://www.wdxcyber.com/nvulva04.htm

John

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 701
Joined: Jan 2010

What do you think about HPV screening as a start to find Head and Neck cancer earlier?
For people with HPV head and neck cancer, do our children have a higher risk?
Kind of curious
Stacey

CajunEagle's picture
CajunEagle
Posts: 357
Joined: Oct 2009

Guinness draft (in black bottle) seems to be the ONLY beer/ale that I can tolerate without the extreme burning sensation. Of course it's one of the more expensive brews on the market at 10.25 a six pack. So, not alot of guzzling going on with that stuff. :)

Larry

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

Dang Larry where do you live Guinness is only about $7.50 here in Florida....LOL. I kind of prefer Corona Light myself, but a cold Guinness is pretty smooth as well.

needhope1
Posts: 29
Joined: May 2009

Hi,

First of all, I don't recall my husband's oncologist warning me of contracting HPV from him...but I just had my annual gyne appointment and asked her opinion on HPV. When I told her of my husband's cancer and him being HPV+, she was shocked as this was the 4th male she had heard of in contracting throat cancer and HPV+ so she agreed this connection is on the rise.

Because of my husband being HPV+ she tested me for HPV (something they don't test on normal pap exams which shocked me) She said if I test positive either my husband gave it to me or if I am positive I gave it to him...and in my mind I thought possibly caused his cancer?!

My test results came back negative for HPV---which kinda perplexed me---my husband and I have been together for 12 years...so I guess I cannot or at least at this point have not contracted this virus from my husband? I havent had a chance to talk further to my gyne about this confusing results..but hope to soon and will let you know what she says.

My gyne said my daughter does not have a higher risk of getting HPV, but she said she is getting her 2 girls vaccinated with Gardasil as well as her son (as this has recently been approved for boys) because of this recent surge of throat cancers linked to HPV in men.

I shudder to think that if my dh had had the Gardasil vaccine in his day, would this have stopped his cancer from appearing?

So, this is what I have been told...seems like all of this is so new there isnt too much concrete evidence on it?

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

I appreciate everyone's input on the HPV factor of oral cancers. There are still many questions tht remain, and "needhope1" your situation of your husband being positive and you being negative is perplexing. Why wouldn't you have it, if he does and you have been exposed? I have also read in the literature that HVP16 oral cancers are on the rise in young men due to the increase in oral sex as a means of avoiding other STDs, pregnacy, and a value to wait to have "sex".
I also appreciate "Scambuster's" input to not put blame on anyone for "causing" this in our partner and take responsibility for our health. I would say that it is much easier to put smoking in the bad column than it is to put a monogomous, healthy, sexual relationship there. Smoking, one can quit...if someone is HPV positive, there is no patch or gum for that.

John, I am definitely visiting the sites you mentioned!

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

As a side not since you mentioned it.

My wife and I have been together 20+ years and both faithful. I contracted throat cancer HPV+, she was tested as a precaution after finding out that I had been exposed. She doesn't have it either. So if I did catch it through sexual transference, it had to be more than 20+ years ago, and just now became active....

If you read the articles, it leaves a lot of speculation on transference of the many, many HPV types..and mere skin to skin contact is referenced as a possibility as well....how do you protect yourself from that, stay in a bubble?

John

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 701
Joined: Jan 2010

Is there any increased risk for our children, or would they be the same as the general population. I am thinking of getting the vaccine for my somewhat too old children..
Stacey

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

My son who is 30 asked his doctor if there was any testing that he should have and was told basically that there really isn't any indicators in males to test for (unless your having symptoms). So other than younger girls being offered Guardasil and I'm not even sure if that's available for boys (from what I read it's not), but that could be old information. I thought that it was part of the annual female exams, but guess it's not tested for until you are past the age of 35 from what my wifes doctor told her.

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 701
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks for the info!
stacey

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

John & Stacy,

They can test if you have had HPV and most other viruses by testing for Antibodies of particular strains. If you've had the virus, you will most certainly have the AB's.

There are supposed links with HPV as well a few others like EBV (Epstein Barr Virus = Glandular Fever), = some others in causing or more correctly being a precursor to some cancers. I gather there are opposing views as well.

https://louisville.edu/medschool/med-peds/residents/journal-club/11-07%20Article.pdf

Basically we ALL get viruses all the time. Our immune system goes to work, and produces Antibodies which attack and kill the virus cells before they get a hold. If our immune system is not working right, then the Viruses can get a grip and they multiply and then can create havoc in many ways. HIV is a good example. The key in my view is make sure you do all you can to build and maintain you immune system.

There is no point running around being worried about catching viruses as said, you would need to live in a bubble. Sensible behavior (ie safe sex) to avoid the nastier ones like HIV, and Herpes is of course a good idea. keeping your immune system strong is even better. That fixes a LOT of our problems.

Cheers
Scam

needhope1
Posts: 29
Joined: May 2009

Here is the response from my gyne when I asked her why I wasnt HPV+ when my husband is:

"Most women (i take care of women only so I can comment on this population) who get infected with the HPV virus will CLEAR itWhy do some women NOT clear it? Uncertain. In my experience this is more common in women who have some medical problems and possibly an abnormal immune systemI don't think you need an HPV test yearlyIt is not recommended and, in fact, with nl pap and nl HPV the rec is to repeat in 3 yrsEven if you were to contract HPV there is no remedyThe KEY to HPV is whether it may affect the CELLS (which is what the pap looks at)"

Also, here is the link to Gardasil, it can be given to boys--but from what I have read on the site it is only to protect against genital warts...I didn't see the connection to cancer.

http://www.gardasil.com/

Interesting.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

Also, from what I have read, the type of HPV for genital warts is not HPV 16 (cervical and throat), genital warts are of a different strain primarily HPV 6 & 11, which I believe rarely leads to cancer.

Irishgypsie's picture
Irishgypsie
Posts: 331
Joined: May 2010

Hello, I am new to this so I am taking in as much information as I can plus trying to make immediate tx decisions.

1. I 1st want to say how much I appreciate the friendliness everyone is on this blog; I've found the information to be very supportive.

2. I understand that that drinking and smoking may increase the risk for HPV+ cancer; but I don't smoke and yes I do drink mainly on the weekends; unless I took a vacation to to Cancun and then it was week long thing! :) But I'm sorry you just don't get cancer at age 38 from social drinking; even if it's occasional weekend binge drinking! I think a lot is going to develop over the next 5-10 about viruses and the effects they have on the body and causing cancer!! In addition I also agree that stress has a lot to do with it. Most people do pass the virus through there system and fight. My understanding as a nurse is that HPV can lie dormant much like the herpes virus. So maybe if a person is under a lot of stress and has HPV they can have frequent outbreaks which can cause the cells to change over time? Who knows! All I know is I have cancer and it sucks!! I have alot of military/college bodies who have had pretty much the same lifestyle as me several different girlfriends; drank moderately, never smoked, exercised, ate healthy, etc and there not getting this so I guess it's random BAD luck!

3. The vaccine wasn't developed to prevent genital warts!!! It was developed to prevent cervical cancer which is caused by HPV 16-18. So yes it would make a lot of sense to give it too boys!!

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

Charles,

Another avenue to look at is Diet. Man studies have shown that to be a primary cause to many of our health problems in this 21st Century. If you don;t get the right nutrition, your body doesn't work properly, your immune system get compromised and all these normally benign things then get the upper hand (HPV,EBV, HIV etc).

We all have cancer cells in our bodies all the time. Why do some of us get it manifesting as a major threat ?? My view now is nutrition, diet and lifestyle (including stress factors). If all these things are fixed up properly, we should be in better shape to ward off the attack from Cancer. Some of are maybe more prone or sensitive, but we still have to be compromised in some way for this to have happened.

From the nutrition side, the blame seems to go heavily onto consuming Animal proteins, processed foods and too much processed sugar. In it's place we should be doing high volumes of raw foods - Veges, fruits and nuts. There is a lot of information out about this so it may be worth your while to investigate further and incorporate diet into your recovery plan.

Scam

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

Yesterday we met with the radiologist onocologist. And while I asked about HPV and got some information, he suggested I go to oncolink and Univ. at Penn. (google it). One question I asked and was answered was, if you get HPV16 oral cancer and have it treated, and the virus stays in your body, what is the liklihood you can get it again. He said "small" if even possilbe. This may have something to do with the anti-bodies Scam was talking about...but I could not get into a deeper discussion because really we were there to talk about my partner's treatment plan, not my pursuit of the HPV16 mystery.

I went to onco link, where you can ask questions. Below is a question and answer copied from that site. The doctor responding to the question, is the doctor we met with yesterday.

Does the same HPV cause oral & cervical cancer and does the vaccine protect you against oral HPV?

Harry Quon, MD, MS (CRM), Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

There are many subtypes of HPV viruses much like the flu virus. The answer is that the subtypes that cause cervical cancer has also been the same ones that are strongly associated with oropharynx cancer. We don't know how effective the vaccines that have been used for cervix cancer are against oropharyngeal cancers right now.

(Mark has his robotic surgery tomorrow...here we go!)

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

I think it can be a combination of things that we can get cancer. Also a big factor, as in my case is genetics. I did smoke in the past (not a heavy smoker. special occasion drinker), but I strongly feel that based on the literature I have read, I would have gotten HNC because of my Fanconis Anemia even if I did not smoke. After speaking to the leader in this field, I learned of other women with FA that have HNC in their early 30's who never smoke or drank. They were diagnosed at birth or very early with FA. I was like 24 when diagnosed and stopped smoking then.

My brother who had FA died just shy of 21. This disease is worse in boys than girls usually. His FA manifested as aplastic anemia. He struggled with his bone marrow and blood counts from around 8 years old, on. He was becoming pre leukimic and had a bone marrow transplant but did not make it.

I never had a problem with my blood counts. There are differnt levels of FA in a way. They believe I am a somatic mosaic. For some reason they believe that my DNA righted itself for some reason, and my bone marrow and blood counts will probably be okay. (just as dna can spontaneously go wrong and cause disease, mine righted itself) But my mucosa and that type of tissue DID NOT right itself, thus the HNC.

The human body is so complex, it is hard to say what can trip a trigger.

Norton
Posts: 8
Joined: Nov 2009

My neck cancer was HPV marker 16
Doctor informed me 50% of his patients with neck cancer are from HPV

He told me it was good news to be HPV positive. I have a 95 chance of survival.
If it was not from HPV it would be much lower 65% to 70%

Mb731
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2010

I guess the way I look at things, you can't live in a bubble and be afraid of everything. We all make choices and you live by it. My husband's surgeon told me that he has never in all his years of practice seen a tonsil cancer patient due to alcohol consumption alone. If you have SCC due to smoking, yes alcohol increases the risks. HPV- it may also. But if you have the virus, you have it so it in itself causes the problem.

Norton you are right- if you have to get SCC - HPV related has a higher cure rate. I have not seen any studies out there about alcohol and HPV together. Maybe they are out there. The surgeon also told me that HPV is new enough that they don't know everything about it yet. So- with that being said. Live life don't be afraid of it, it my motto. I think there are things that can get you to that eternal place quicker but I could also get hit by a car tomorrow and be killed. I choose to live it.

One day at a time....

Marybeth

MGC
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2010

Hopefully you already made treatment decisions. I used to drink socially but after being diagnoses with SCC I will likely never drink again. I also used Listerine (26.7% alcohol) twice a day for 30 years. I am only just 1 week out of radiation and still have one chemo dose to go. I will miss drinking but living through this nightmare will make anyone quit.
The doctors don’t honestly know the cause regardless of if you smoked or drank or any of that crap. Personally I used smokeless tobacco on and off for 15 - 20 years which I am sure didn’t help but I know a few friends who have the exact same cancer and never used alcohol or tobacco ever in their life. I am not 38 but I am only 49 and don’t quite understand it all. I referred myself to Stanford University for treatment where I brought them my original biopsies. They tested them and they were positive for HPV.

Mb731
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2010

I think a lot depends on what was the cause of the tonsil cancer. Is HPV involved? Smoking? Studies have shown that people who smoke and get SCC and drink on top of it- the drinking is most probably a great idea.

I am a firm believer - everything in moderation. I wouldn't smoke if I had SCC but I think a social drinker is a personal decision. I would ask the doctor and see what they say.

Marybeth

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

That is correct, you make the choice whether to increase your chance of another round of cancer or not.

Diet and Cancer Prevention

'Alcohol Consumption Increases Cancer Risk',

Extract from The Cancer project -http://www.cancerproject.org/

A review of the contribution of alcohol consumption to cancer risk showed an especially strong relationship for liver, breast, and colorectal cancer. Possible mechanisms by which alcohol may exert its cancer-causing effects include the toxic effect of alcohol metabolites, its ability to transport tobacco carcinogens, the production of free radicals, and disruption of folic acid’s protective mechanisms.

In addition, alcohol consumption may lead to nutritional deficiencies, affecting the absorption of cancer-fighting nutrients. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are known carcinogens, have also been found in alcoholic beverages. Although we often hear of the supposed benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, even one drink per day increases cancer risk.

Boffetta P, Hashibe M. Alcohol and cancer. Lancet Oncol. 2006; 72:149-56.

friend of Bill
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar 2010

I don't know if alcohol contributed to my cancer diagnosed two years ago. I know this: I drank my way into AA 23 years ago and still attend. If anyone ever wants to e-share, send me a private message. It would help me. Ironclad promise: no preaching, no recruiting, no nothing like that. Ever.

Vince

delnative's picture
delnative
Posts: 452
Joined: Aug 2009

While I'm not an alcoholic, my dear departed mother-in-law was. She also was a Friend of Bill for something like 30 years -- 30 years that she wouldn't have had were it not for AA. And, she helped a whole lot of people like her along the way.
As you well know, AA works.

--Jim in Delaware

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