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Vitamins/Minerals/Supplements during Radiation/Chemo

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2008


My mom was recently diagnosed with a Stage 4 GBM. She is starting standard treatment of Temodar and Radiation this weekend. It has been over 5 weeks since the surgery, which removed most of the tumor, although residual tumor remains.

We have heard contradictory things about taking Vitamins/Minerals/Supplements during Radiation/Chemo. In general, doctors have told us to stay away from this alternative type of medicine during treatment, radiation especially, and specifically anti-oxidants.

On one hand, most of our research shows that taking these, in some ways "help" slow down brain tumor growth. We have done research showing that many of these may enhance chemo's effect on the body as well.

On the other hand, many doctors have told us to stay away from Vitamins/Minerals/Supplements during treatment, as the effects can interfere with treatment and MAY also help the tumor recover after treatment.

Radiation has been more controversial than chemo. It seems like it is recommended to stay away from alternative meds during radiation, but during chemo, some may be allowed.

Has anyone had experience with taking Vitamins/Minerals/Supplements during treatment, especially radiation?

Here is a quick list of the vitamins/minerals/supplements we have my mom taking:

-MedOmega Fish Oil 2800 mg- Balanced Concentrate DHA 1200mg and EP 1200mg
-Vitamin D
-ImmPower (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) made from Hybridized mushrooms, particularly mushroom mycelia extract, candelila wax, cyclodextrin, microcrystalline cellulose)
-IP 6 Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP 6, calcium, magnesium)
-Maximized Turmeric Curcuminoids
-Zyflamend softgels (rosemary, turmeric, ginger, holy basil, green tea, hu zhang, chinese goldthread, barberry, oregano, baikal skullcap)
-EGCg Green Tea Extract
-Vitamin K2
-Natural Resveratrol
-Vitamin D3
-N oni Juice
-Mangosteen Juice

Anything will help. Good luck to everyone on their journey.


Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2009

I borrowed lots of books from the library, and asked each of the doctors. The radiologist said dont take anything starting with G with radiotherapy. The chemo person said just take lots of healthy food with has a lot of the supplement in it. What I find so frustrating is that you need to do so much research. I guess this is due to a lack of a cure.

Posts: 52
Joined: Oct 2008

Things are always so confusing at first and everyone wants to do everything perfect but that's insane, honestly. I live near Pittsburgh, and there's a book called Anti-cancer: A New Way Of Life that people out here read and not just because the author is a medical doctor at the University of Pittsburgh (a local celebrity I guess) who had brain cancer twice. I haven't read the book. My oncologist said that they don't do homeopathic things and couldn't give advice to me. When I was 1st diagnosed, which wasn't too long ago at all. Processed sugars will make cancer grow. Cancer uses sugar as food. That's been proven.

I can give you my personal feelings about taking that many vitamins though, if it's all in pill form will really make her dread taking them at some point. I take 3-5 multi-vitamins a day, omega-3s, B vitamins, and 50,000 mcgs Vit-D (I'm vitamin D deficient from wear and tear), green tea. Green tea has been proven to kill cancer. I eat a ton of things in the allium family (onions/garlic). I take C0Q10 because I'm asthmatic and it's supposed to do help with cancer too. If she's taking steroids I would take calcium but honestly, taking too many pills will make her not want to take any vitamins. I kept my pills and vitamins next to my window in case I felt the urge to throw them out the window; I never did throw them out though. I did really well through out all my treatments, I kept my energy up really well, my hair grew exceptionally well and even grew when it wasn't supposed to be growing back yet (that's selenium and multi-vitamins), I looked healthy, and laughed. Oh, and during all of this I was a single mom taking care of my then 15 month old baby.

If she has a GBM who cares what she takes, any little bit of nourishment will help her body fight the cancer. Cancer is an immune thing, that's what this doctor's book talks about. I've heard all about the book from a lot of different people and keep trying to find time to read it. I cannot stand when doctors tell you to take a ton of medications that are toxic but not to take something that has the nutrition to save a person and are equal to a plateful of carrots. I hope that makes my point of view about vitamins very clear cut for you.


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We just wanted to remind everyone that you can contact the American Cancer Society 24 hours a day for assistance with questions you may have about risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment (including alternative and complementary treatments). Cancer Information Specialists are available at 1-800-227-2345.

Kind regards,

Your CSN Staff

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