Can drinking too much alcohol lead to a relapse of Dad's stomach cancer?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 05, 2016
Littleladybug asked...

My Father is an alcoholic and is recovering from stomach cancer, he just finished chemo, and has started drinking again. I feel that it can't be good for his health, but I'm unsure about that, no doctor or specialist has mentioned anything about over drinking being bad when it comes to his stomach cancer. my family have confronted him multiple times about drinking too much can't be good with him recovering from stomach cancer and he just replays with "No doctor told me I shouldn't" Can drinking too much alcohol lead to a relapse of his stomach cancer?

Expert Answers

Andrew Putnam, M.D. is a Palliative Care physician at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University.

There are two parts to the answer about drinking alcohol with stomach cancer. The direct answer is that alcohol is not thought to be a risk factor for stomach cancer and so will not cause the return of his cancer. On the other hand, there are many other effects of alcohol on the body and these can have very bad effects on the liver and other vulnerable organs. So while alcohol should not cause a return of the cancer, drinking more than a small amount can harm other organs of the body and weaken the body in its fight against disease.