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Chemotherapy and Drinking Water: What to do?

Hatshepsut's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Because his recent November 2009 surgery didn't remove all the cancer from my husband's body, he has begun a course of Xeloda chemotherapy.

The Xeloda prescription bottle says to drink a lot of water when taking the drug. He does that and I'm assuming that the large glass of water consumed with the pill is supposed to dissolve the drug in my husband's system.

I'm writing this post because I've always had a broader question about water consumption and chemotherapy. Do you want to take the drug and leave as much of it (undiluted) in your system for as long as you can to enhance its ability to kill cancer cells? Or, does the drug make a fast kill of the cancer cells after which you want to flush it out of your system as soon as you can?

Thanks in advance for sharing what your doctors have told you.


PamPam2's picture
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Hat
I think it is important to have the water, liquid, and food in you with the chemo. As the colorectal chemo drugs target all of the digestive system and mucus membranes, you need to keep it diluted enough so it doesn't eat away too much at you throat, mouth, stomach and so on, as it works on your healthy cells as well as the cancer cells. I know I had a terrible time with upper stomach pain from the chemo and nexium was the only thing that helped. I believe it is very important to stay well hydrated at all times, and especially when on chemo.

Posts: 1933
Joined: Oct 2009

Xeloda pills.As far as chemo in general, you are supposed to stay hydrated..Wishing your husband success with his treatment.....steve

msccolon's picture
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I believe the chemicals all have life spans and the reason for the Leucovorin is to encourage the drugs to stay in your system longer. Generally you increase your fluid consumption to be sure the toxins are flushed out of your body and don't languish in your kidneys too long where they can cause a lot of additional damage.

victory10's picture
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2009

its important to stay hydrated or you'll end up in the hospital getting rehydrated. I experienced it last week. I had to go to the hospital for a sodiam solution infusion to get fluids in my system...It wasn't a bad experience but I'm gonna try to drink more fluids during this 8th round!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4837
Joined: May 2005

Hatshepsut, I've never been very clear about this either. I know when I get a scan that they want me to drink a lot of water to help get rid of the contrast they use. I don't think that keeping the chemo in your system longer is achieved by drinking less though. I've always been under the impression that one should drink plenty of water every day. I did hear that they old 8 glasses a day rule is not accurate and that drinking less was fine but it may be like coffee or eggs. One day it's bad for you the next day it's the wonder food/beverage.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008


I don't know that staying dehydrated gets the chemo to work better just because it might be more concentrated. Actually, I would think drinking more would disperse it throughout the body better, even better helping to zap those loose floating cancer cells, if there are any.
Another thought on drinking water, though. I have just started in the past two weeks drinking alkaline water- bottled water with a lower ph balance. I don't honestly know how much merit I give to the idea that I've heard on this or not, but I figure that it certainly can't hurt! Supposedly, they say cancer thrives in acidic environments, so it will help the cancer to die off or at least not thrive anymore if the body environment is made to be more alkaline. I've also read opposing views saying that drinking alkaline water isn't effective in changing the body's ph system- that the stomach acid just adjusts and produces more acid if what's introduced in the stomach is alkaline. I don't know- but I've read the claims of the people behind the alkaline water theory, too. There are claims of tumors shrinking. If nothing else, I feel like it might be considered more pure water & at the very least, it's supposed to be very good for your skin. So, it's been two weeks & I'm trying to use it in everything I drink (like tea, the water I cook with, etc.
The jury's still out. I haven't yet looked into the converter that changes all the tap water in the house to this. My husband thinks it's nonsense & so wouldn't spend the money to change our tap system. Maybe he would if I added up what I'm spending on buying the individual low ph water vs. possible long term savings and benefits if we put the system in our house. Just some thoughts...

Take care,

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

Your husband will expel a lot of moisture due to the diarrhea. He will need to consume more fluids to overcome the loss of fluids.

Best Always, mike

Posts: 11
Joined: Mar 2011

drink lots so it all through your system and not just sits . ask the nurse's they will tell you lots of info and if nessary have the doc. talk to you.

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Out of respect for those that have passed, understandably a mistake....Thank you...my sincere apologies Hatshepsut.

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