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Alternative versus Chemotherapy

Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2003

Hi everyone! My husband has read that taking vitamins (anti-oxidants) while having chemo is not a good thing. Does anyone understand this? And why? Also, is there any hope with alternative medicine versus chemo? And how does Chemo help the slow growing cancer cells, if chemo attacks only fast growing cancer cells? Is he just out of luck with the slow growing cells? Viv

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Again Viv,I was never discouraged from taking vitamins during chemo though Iwas one of the lucky ones that didn't need it as my blood counts stayed in the normal range during the 12 mos of my chemo and I was encouraged to follow a regime of good nutrition. Re alternate therapy I was treated with a chemo that basically was developed from mustard gas research enhanced with a cattle drench. The research that worked out that this combo would combat one or two forms of intestinal ca's leads me to believe that if you could cure ca by rubbing vegemite on your forehead we'd all be wearing vegemite by now. As far as the cells are concerned an out of control proliferation of rouge cells is what ca is all about, normal cells reproduce in an orderly fashion, Ca grows like wildfire. Stay positive and stay focused on beating the ca. It's not an easy road ,try to make informed decisions and once made follow through with no regrets . Good luck to your hubby and you Cheers Ron.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2003

Ron. glad you were lucky, but your physician did not give you all the information. I asked the same question about vitamins and NSAIDs, etc. I was told that it is imperative to take nothing without clear permission from the Oncologist. The reason is that antioxidants, etc. thin the blood. The chemo does this as well, and you are enhancing the risk of a bleeding problem. So, do not take any vitamins (Leucovoran is one), without your doc's permission, (likely to be denied). The superb expert I asked at Geogetown told me that the after chemo care can include vitamins, especially the B's, some calcium, NSAIDs, excercies and good diet. Those were his post-chemo recommendations.

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Viv,
I agree with Ron...if fighting cancer was as easy as changing your diet, we'd all be healthy and eat whatever was necessary. However, some people will swear that their cancer was kept at bay by altering their nutrition patterns in lieu of chemo. Cancer isn't meant to be a country club, though. Unfortunately, it is an evil disease whose cure isn't always a smooth path.

Those who refuse chemo and use alternative methods may swear that method worked for them, but will never know if chemo would have prolonged their lives even longer.

I was encouraged to take vitamins while getting chemo. I tend to not eat very well, and maintaining strength is important to chemo success.

Hope I helped, rather than confuse you more!


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi viv,

I am the only one here that may attest to using only alternatives and refusing chemo. There is a fantastic book that can help you on the supplement question: Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Dr. Patrick Quillin. He tells you which supplements can complement which chemos and what to stay away from. Oncologists are not always up on their nutrition for healing cancer. I wonder if the ones who have answered on here about nutrition have even read much on the subject or are answering with ignorance. I am living breathing alternatives after watching my sister die an excruciating death from intestinal cancer. Chemo and rad did her in as did the cancer. I have been cancer free for two years following surgery to remove my tumor. I was stage 3 with lymph pos. There are MANY books out there testifying to healing cancer with nutrition especially after being sent home to die after the medical establishment did everything they could. It is comments like spreading vegimite on your forehead for curing cancer that perpetuates the ignorance that people have for alternative healing practices. At its inception, chemotherapy was considered the medicine of charlatans according to Dr. Ralph Moss who wrote a very informative book called Questioning Chemo. I advise you to research in all camps without closing your mind to alternative healing. the best to you and your husband.
peace, emily

Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Emily,
I am the daughter of a 47 yr old stage IV patient. We were givien the book by Dr. Quillin as a gift when my dad was diagnosed in June/ 03. I have read some amazing stories, and do not doubt that the idea of addressing the root of the problem, i.e. the immune system, is fundamental to my dad's fight. But as I'm sure everyone here knows, cc presents a unique problem with being able to eat, which has been a big struggle for my father. In addition to surgery, he has had oxliplatin and 5 fu now changing over to cpt-11. I have not been able to finish the book just yet, but I wanted to ask, what supplements does he suggest for these types of chemotherapies that my dad has taken? I just bought him liquid vitamins that cover alot of important ground, also got MGN 3, the NK cell supplement derived from potent japanese mushrooms, and liquid fish oil (full of omega 3 fatty acids) Please let me know if you think these will help, and if you have any other suggestions. Thanks- Im new to this (both the struggle and the message board).
all the best to you and everyone going through this,

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Marissa,

It sounds like you are definitely on the right track. I cannot at this second look up your dad's chemo in my book as I am typing this while breastfeeding my toddler....but I wanted to answer you right away. The mushrooms are supposed to be wonderful as is any fishoil. Flax is very good too. I also took Alpha Lipoic Acid, Quercetin with bromalaine, powdered vit c in large quantities...but then again I wasn't doing chemo. I consulted a licensed Naturopath and a practiioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine who added chinese herbs to my protocol. It would be good to find someone to help you along. The thing about Dr. Quillin is that he is directly involved in the healing cancer as I believe it to be....therefore highly knowledgable. A good site to go to is curezone.com. They have many ideas for alternatives....and you're hearing from the ones that know first hand. We are leaving for vacation this week but if I can get to it I will try and consult the book and post here....if not email me on this site okay?

peace, emily

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2003

I hope the alternatives work too, my 22 year old finace has stage d bowel cancer (reached stomach lining) it was surgically removed, she did 2.5 months of chemo then stopped because of side effects, the oncologist said if you stop your chance of surviving is 1 in a million,she is on a multitude of vitamins and alternatives like transfer factor plus and apricot kernels, I hope for the best, her ct scans were clear after surgery and are at the momement, six months later, she worries about death all the time because of the doctors comments, even the immunologist said to her you were probably born with cancer so your immune system wont be able to fight it

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