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Chemotherapy & High Doses of Vitamins

VanKelly
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2006

Hello,

I recently saw a Holistic doctor who perscribed a lot of different vitamins in high doses. My gyne onocologist said i should only take the FDA reccommended dosage because she doesn't know if taking mega vitamins will increase the growth of the cancer. I feel very much at a loss...cancer has spread to my lymph nodes and the doc said it's 50/50 if the chemo works. I prviously had 8 rounds of carbo and taxil and don't like what my doc is saying. Have any of you had good luck with mega vitamins or do any of you have any advice for me? I feel like if the chemo doesn't work i need to be doing something to help myself. Thanks!

mopar
Posts: 1948
Joined: May 2003

I can really appreciate your dilemma. This has always been a big pet peeve of mine - the medical and holistic professions need to have a meeting of the minds so that we can have the best of both worlds. In the meantime, we have always been 'holistic' as much as possible. And when someone is in a situation like this, I say do whatever you can for yourself. Of course, it's best that you educate yourself as much as you can. You will get TONS of information on the internet, but you have to sift through and really check it out thoroughly. Most often, if a particular site is promoting a certain vitamin or herb, just be sure they're not actually trying to sell a product. If your holistic doctor is good (some can also be too radical), he/she should be able to inform you as well.

I had OVCA in 2000 (surgery and chemo) and added a couple of items to my 'natural' regimine. I changed my workout program to boost my testosterone (as estrogen is a no-no for OVCA patients). I also started taking Flor-Essence Tea which has cleansing and healing properties. I increased my Vitamin C and also started taking mushroom extract. I just had a recurance in February (more surgery and chemo), but I am hopeful. My doctor (although I would never go to anyone else for the world) says I've been throwing my money away. The way I see it, the cancer could have come back much, much sooner or been much worse had I NOT taken/done everything I have been. He couldn't argue the point.

In the meantime the main thing (especially with the lymph nodes being affected) is to maintain your immune system. Vitamin C, Zinc, good sources of protein, pure water, lots of rest, raw fruits and veges are some helpful hints. But I'd love to hear from you again. Take care and you've come to the right place for lots of advice and lots of HUGS.
Prayers to you.
Monika

I can get more specific if you'd like, about my particular regimine. I'm not a doctor nor a naturpath - will just tell you what has helped me. Just e-mail me anytime.

VanKelly
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2006

Thank you Monika. I hope everything is going well with your treatment... 6 years without a reoccurance is good to hear, however i hate that you(we all) have to go through this again. My first reoccurance was 9months later then this last time only 6months.

That has been a problem for me....searching the Internet i find both - articles that promote vitamins and articles that don't. My side effects to the chemo are much less on the vitamins but then i worry is it making the chemo less effective.

I try to drink a lot of Green Tea and will try the Flor-Essence Tea that you suggested. Mushroom extract, that is one i haven't heard of before. Anything else you would like to tell me about your regiment would be good. Thanks so much.

Take Care,
Kelly

MichaelaMarie
Posts: 163
Joined: Aug 2005

Hello VanKelly. Like Monika, I know what you mean. There is experts on each side of this controversy. It is soooooo frustrating. The first time I did chemo, my oncologist told my nutritionist, "absolutely not." This time we haven't spoke about it, but the list of all of the things I take is written down in my file, so he must know. Like Monika, I am taking alot of different vitamins and minerals, SeaVegg, green tea, Essiac tea (comparable to Flor-Essence), etc. The time before last when I took my chemo, I didn't take my supplements for several days before, and then several days afterwards. It didn't seem to make a difference, so this last time, I'm just continuing on. Too bad they don't do a clinical trial on the subject. I know that I have tolerated chemo very well, compared to what some have been through. Anyway, for what it is worth, here is another cancer patient taking supplements with the chemo. I hope and pray that whatever you do works for you. Take good care of yourself, MM

mopar
Posts: 1948
Joined: May 2003

Kelly:
I thought as you did, 'are these supplements making the chemo less effective?' But I believe the opposite may be true - the chemo is so strong and toxic, killing even good cells, that most likely it's hard to keep up the pace with nutrients, etc. and makes the supplements less effective, at least during the first days of the treatments. Nonetheless, I tried to take everything I normally did. Of course, I had my days where I couldn't ingest anything, but on my good days I tried to be sure to support my immune system and build up my strength. I ended up buying a liquid multi-vitamin for the times I could barely get liquids down - but at least I got something. On some days I switched to the new chewable calcium that's available, the yummy chocolate kind. I lost my taste completely, had mouth sores, and a very sore tongue much of the 6 months of chemo, so I bought a snow cone machine. The only thing that satisfied me was ice chips melting in my mouth. As my tongue got better I mixed in some flavor with the ice chips - maybe a bit of juice or even some sugar free koolaid that I had mixed with the powder Vitamin C. I would sit with the cup and spoon for a long time, just spooning in my mouth nonstop. At least I got some fluids in me. The mushroom extract I'm referring to is by Solaray, and is a blend of Maitake, Shitake and Reishi mushrooms in a capsule. Mushrooms have long been known for their anti-cancer benefits.

The first time (and even this last time) I also relied a lot on protein drinks. The kind I took was in powder form and I would make milk shakes with it. The protein is an efficient, quality protein (Metamysin) in MetRx products. This particular type of protein has been used for burn victims and has enabled them to heal much more quickly, as well as cancer patients.

I am so sorry you must endure this beast again. But nothing is hopeless. We have so much more available to us nowadays and we know so much more. And the things we do for ourselves can make the road a little easier to travel.

I'm so glad we can share these ideas. Even if one thing helps you I'm glad. Until later, lots of prayers and hugs coming your way. Keep us informed.

Monika

bebo
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2006

I know how you feel. I have been eating the anti-cancer diet for 30 years, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good fats,etc. I have always taken vitamins. When I got this dx, I started taking Essiac tea and upped the amount of certain vitamins and minerals. The second gyn/onco I saw after initial treatment suggested the book "Beating Cancer with Nutrition" by Patrick Quillin, PhD. It will help you with wade through all of the information out there. You might want to do a search on the web and read about glyconutrients. It is something that several of my friends have taken during treatment and recovery. There are some testimonials from cancer survivors, several doctors are included. If you don't find what you need "private message" me and I will get you some info.

Good Luck and Hugs,

Debbie

VanKelly
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2006

Dear Monika, MichaelMarie and Debbie,
Thank you all for your responses and advice. I feel much better now about taking the vitamins and it is good to get my worries off my chest.

I just recently bought the book "Beating cancer with Nutrition" but have mostly just skimmed it. I think i will really like it though.

Monika - i'm curious as to what chemo drug you were on when you had such terrible mouth sores? That just sounds awful.

Take care everyone,

Kelly

mopar
Posts: 1948
Joined: May 2003

Hi Kelly:
I have that book also. It does have some valuable information.

As to my chemo treatments, I had Carboplatin/Taxol the first time (in 2000). I started with the same regimine this past February, but ended up having an allergic reaction to the Taxol on the second treatment. So they switched to Taxotere. I had the mouth sores both times, so it might have been more of a side effect from the Carbo.

So glad we could all be of help. Just curious - did you have surgery, what stage were you? I was Stage 1C, had total hysterectomy, lymph notes, omentum removal. This time around had a pelvic mass which was removed, along with somemore lymph nodes and my appendix. I have three daughters so I'm anxiously awaiting the results from my genetic testing.

Have a wonderful weekend.
Monika

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