|People with advanced cancer have lots of difficult issues to deal with. Living with cancer, having burdensome treatments and facing the end of life have a significant emotional impact. Alcohol can be used to cope with stress however it is unclear how common alcohol problems are in people with cancer. It is also not known whether alcohol problems are related to other stressors such as pain, physical disability or depression. If we have more information then we can look at ways to support people with these issues.
Caring for a loved one with cancer can be a difficult, stressful and lonely time. Non-professional caregivers of people with long term illness often drink alcohol to cope with the stress of caring. There is not much information about alcohol problems in the caregivers of people with cancer. Carers are generally under-represented and overlooked in studies as well as society. If we can find out if alcohol consumption is a problem in this group then we can offer help and support. It is important to look at how common alcohol problems are in people with advanced cancer and their psychological problems or carer burden.
This is a unique study and would enable us to develop strategies to target and improve quality of life in these groups. People with cancer and caregivers are often overlooked in terms of assessing and targeting strategies to help with alcohol problems.