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Chemotherapy & anti oxidants

mia
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2008

My mum 78y.o has recently been diagnosed with stage 3b lung cancer & still being a full time carer for my dad who has alzheimers. Surgery/radiation werent options. She is undergoing her 4th cycle of chemo (carboplatin & navalbine)which has kept cancer stable, as well as being on complementary medicines which include high levels of antioxidants. Do antioxidants & curcumin interfere with chemo?

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

You need to check with the doctors about what she is ingesting and how exactly it will affect the chemo. Chemo works by killing cells. Mostly it kills the cancer cells. But cancer cells are just normal cells gone "crazy". From what I've read, the same antitoxicants that protect normal cells from damage can also sometimes protect cancer cells from damage. In other words, the antitoxicants she is taking just may negate or cancel the good that chemo can do. That would be a shame. Eating a balanced diet (when you can eat!) doesn't seem to do the harm that extra vitamin C and other supplements seem to do. Extra vitamin supplements and herbs are medicines that affect the body whenever you take them, so they need to be checked out by the oncologist so that your mom doesn't get unintended side effects(or worse yet, no good effects). So check them out with the oncologist right away. Good luck!

Carol Abbott

PS By the way, while it is great to eat a balanced diet and take things that strengthen the immune system and protect normal tissue BEFORE you get cancer, there is no research to support that taking all these precautions after you get cancer will lengthen your life or stop cancer from doing its nasty thing. All my oncologist will recommend I spend my money on is one generic multi a day (I'm not on chemo) and eating right. Daily exercise, keeping my weight right, and taking the meds he prescribes is the only things research points out as effective to stopping or at least slowing up cancer. Treating all other medical problems that come up with age also helps lengthen life. But that's all he will recommend. I wish there was more I could do, but wishing things worked better doesn't make them effective.

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