Women with breast cancer who undergo radiation therapy may have a new friend on their side. Red wine, when consumed in moderation, can reduce the toxic effect of the therapy on their skin.
Radiation therapy is known to leave the skin red and irritated. The effect can take up to three weeks to appear, but as many as six weeks to heal.
Researchers have found that consuming just one glass of red wine before therapy can block some of these skin burns, according to the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics as published by Reuters
Dr. Gabriella Macchia of Catholic University in Italy, believes the test results may provide more benefit than meets the eye. According to Macchia, "If wine can prevent (radiation)-induced toxicity...it also has the potential to enhance the therapeutic benefit."
The study involved 348 women being treated with radiation therapy after surgery for breast cancer. The effects of red wine in men or with other forms of cancer has yet to be determined.