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Herbs and Supplements

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

Does anybody use herbs and supplements? if so what and how much?

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I wish that herbs and supplements were proven to be the cure for cancer. Some have been associated with less lung cancer occurance, but none that I know are proven by research to prevent reoccurance. For instance, in parts of the United States where selenium is highest, folks come down with less lung cancer. Trials to "prove" that selenium prevent reoccurance have been disappointing. They were checking it out at the teaching hospital I was going to when I was diagnosed about 2 1/2 years ago. I could not be part of the research as I had 2 kinds of cancer, but the pulmonary oncologist that I saw said that it wouldn't hurt to take 2 selenium pills a day. An overdose can make your hair fall out and cause other problems, but she said that would be safe, though not proven to be effective. In other words, she wouldn't give me the hope I was looking for. The research I've read since suggests it might have helped some men, but not women. I'm female, but I'm still buying the $3.50 bottle at Walmart in case I'm the one woman it might help! The active ingredient in Tumeric is also known to be associated with lower cancer rates although I don't know how well it works against lung cancer. It is definately being looked at for breast cancer. It is very commonly used in Indian cooking. My family only uses it in some pickle recipes. But guess what? Pickles like things with nitrates (hot dogs and ham and other cold cuts)are associated with high rates of cancer! I couldn't eat the whole recipe of my mom's bread and butter pickles every day anyhow to get the dose suggested (which I've forgotten, sorry!). You can get tumeric in capsules if you want to be a research group of one, but if it really worked we would all be told to be on it. That's the problem. I keep asking my oncologist what I can do or take to stop this stuff from coming back. He always goes back to the research. He says it really helps to take a generic multivitamin, exercise at least 30-60 minutes every day (mix of strength, cardio, and flexibity each week), and keep my weight in line. Cancer survivors also live longer if they will do what it takes to treat coexisting problems like diabetes and heart disease. Treating infections aggressively and getting your flu shot every year and your pneumonia shot help tremendously. But my oncologist keeps telling me not to make myself poor and miserable by spending a lot of unproven stuff and trying to swallow it.

That said, I take 1 calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis and make the weekly fosamax work better, 2 vitamin D to prevent joint inflamation caused by the anti-estrogen exemestane I take that is proven to reduce reoccurance of breast cancer (I have both kinds of cancer and breast cancer research is years ahead of lung cancer research), 1 vitamin B-12 because it seemed to help me feel better last year and it tastes too good to quit before the jar runs out (great medical reason huh!) and 2 Selenium pills a day spaced out. I use lots of cinnamon on toast and in tea and drink a lot of tea(especially green tea)and coffee. And I take a Centrum Silver daily too.

Don't you wish we could do more and know it worked!

amelia418
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2009

I read your comments about diet and I have just been diagnosed with bi-lateral lung cancer and also have something in the liver. I haven't seen the oncologist yet so, I started a juice diet. I have researched online and with friends about it and it does sound promising and there are a lot of testimonies out there and with my network of friends of cures with this. It is a lot of work and has to be a commitment for at lease 4-6 wks. I juice carrots and add a small amt. of celery, one beet and a few spinach leaves and a tsp. of tumeric. I drink 2 qts of juice and a gallon of water daily. That, and Chai green tea, is all you get.
It must be organic vegetables and washed with bottled water or just not tap unless it is purified water. You have to get off all sweetners and junk food and food in general to rest the body. It is supposed to be the carrots (beta-carotene)that are the key. Beets also help detoxify the liver. Anyway, that is what I am doing. I just hope I can do it for 4 wks. I had 3 biopsies then a thoracotomy to remove a golf ball size tumor in my right lung. I feel pretty good and had my surgery on Jan 20, 2009. If anyone out there is doing this please let me know how it's going. God Bless

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

The renowned MD Anderson facility in Houston, Texas is doing extensive research regarding the effectiveness of ageless Chinese treatments such as herbal remedies, acupuncture, and so forth, in conjunction with what we would call more modern treatments.

Apparently there is promise with some of these avenues. Even so, the Chinese doctors involved in the research join their American counterparts in stressing that you continue to follow the advice of your doctors, and that if surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation are recommended, you accept that professional advice.

For now, at least, they are looking at such holistic remedies not as cures but as positive treatment additives, if you will.

Take care,

Joe

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

Yeah, I wish they would come up with something. I saw studies on selenium. They are still being done. another one is astragalus, a chinese herb. I don't have an oncologist yet. I will be meeting one on monday, due to BRAC 1 mutation. It hasn't caused me any problems yet, but because of all the xrays and stuff they want to keep an eye on it. Did you have breast cancer first?

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I was discovered to have breast cancer 6 years ago and they diagnosed lung cancer (not a met) 2 1/2 years ago. I don't smoke or have any family history of cancer. When a first cousin developed breast cancer about 3 years ago, she was tested because of her youth (you probably know that cousins don't really count as family risk factors), she was negative for BRCA 1 & 2. Tamoxifen is sometimes used as a preventitive for BRCA breast cancer, but there are other surgical preventitives folks do if the family history is severe enough. Keeping a close eye on things is another good route to take. Of the two, breast cancer has a lot more options. Biopsies are easier, operations are easier (I'm speaking from experience here. I've had about all of them but the bilateral biggie and reconstruction!), and the medicines are more effective. Part of that is what area of the body is involved, but a lot of that is money. Good luck! Let me know if you read any interesting research I need to check out on herbs and supplements (or anything else you think I should read). Knowledge is power.

C. Abbott

MadelynJoe's picture
MadelynJoe
Posts: 96
Joined: Sep 2003

A word of caution regarding herbs and supplements. Please notify your oncologist of any you plan to take since some of them can interfere with the other drugs used in your treatment. Just want you to be safe.

All the best,

Madelyn

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

thanks but I don't have an oncologist. They said I don't need chemo. Caught the lung cancer early. Cabbot how much selenium do you take. Just wondering because there is a large study being done with selenium and lung cancer patients. I don't qualify for it. I haven't had lung cancer long enough. But I understand you can take too much

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

The pulmonary oncologist only saw me once because I too did not need chemo. She told me I could take 1 pill of 200 mcg of Selenium each morning and each evening like the target group in her research project but should space it out that way so I did not get too much at once. She also pointed out that there was absolutely no proof that it would work and that was why research was being done. The stuff is found in root vegetables, but the amount depends on the soil it is grown in. The idea that it may be helpful comes from studies that show that folks in the mid-west experience lower rates of lung cancer and the selenium content of the soil there is higher. Most generic vitamins have selenium now in their mix. 400 mcg was the safe limit, but again, I caution that there is no proof that it works. Vitamin A supplements were researched because folks that eat more carrots and Vitamin A rich foods get less lung cancer. However, supplements given to smokers resulted in MORE cancer, not less. It has taken a few years to figure out why (has something to do with cell interactions with the form of vitamin A pills vs. all the stuff found in broccoli and carrots. Selenium pills are cheap. 400 mcg may not hurt you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if anything else you have or are taking might be affected of course to be sure they are safe for you. They look the same as the vitamin C pill I take daily. However vitamin C tastes like oranges and selenium pills taste like dirt. Don't chew them! And keep an eye on the research. If they turn out to hurt women instead of help them, they need to stay on the shelves in Walmart!

nanaof7
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2009

what type and stage of cancer this is the first time I have heard of just surgery and there was someone else that olnly had surgery. I have been told I will have chemo then surgery. this is new to me any reply will help

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Staging lung cancer is the business of doctors that know way more than me. If you have a very small tumor of a non-aggressive kind of cancer, sometimes surgery only is curative. There are a lot of factors they weight to decide what to do. One is the kind of cancer. If it is BAC adenocarcinoma stage 1-A, the gold standard of treatment is to do only surgery. That kind does not respond better to the addition of the usual kinds of chemo and removing the lobe(s) is often all they recommend. I have a 1 centimeter tumor that is BAC-related and surgery is all they are currently recommending for me. It is the kind of cancer that can come back in either lung but rarely moves outside the lung. It grows slowly doubling about every 200+ days. It does not respond much to the heavy chemos out there, perhaps because it grows so slowly. Tarceva works with some folks, but not all. They will have to monitor me longer than most lung cancer patients because of the slow doubling rate. I will be treated with surgery until I am down to 1 lung total (they add the lobes up apparently on the right and left... well, maybe you get the picture). Then they will add in Tarceva or whatever miracle drug is available at that time. The term "aggressive" in cancer means it doubles quickly. Even a 1-A aggressive tumor is usually treated with chemo as well as surgery. The benefit of chemo first is that you can see immediately if the tumor is going to respond to the chemo. Then you can remove it and continue treatment. But if the tumor is life-threatening, it may need to come out before chemo. And in stage 4, they often will not do any surgery and only do chemo. I have seen posts here, though, of stage 4 folks that had chemo until the tumor had shrunk and then had surgery to clean up the last of it. So we are all individuals with our own kind of cancers and our own plans to fight it. If you question why you are getting what you are getting, ask the doctors questions. Get a second opinion if you think they are not being aggressive enough or if you just need confirmation that they are doing what they should. Reading the ACS website on cancter treatment can also answer a lot of questions. The cool thing about reading websites is that they don't have a time limit like the doctors do. Just be sure to read medically sponsered sites like American Cancer Society, or Lung Cancer Association, or the equivalent. There are lots of crazies out there waiting to sell you some snake oil or play with your mind in some power-crazy game of theirs to play doctor. Cancer is too serious to be misled by the wrong information. Good luck!

C. Abbott

sheilake
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2008

The book Anti-Cancer is great in answering your question about vitamins and supplements. Anyone who has cancer or who knows someone who has cancer needs to read it. The author, Dr. Schreiber, provides easy to read research on anti-cancer foods and supplements. He talks about how sugar feeds cancer and how foods/spices like broccoli and tumeric act as a non-toxic drugstore. I have stage IV lung cancer and am responding in a very miraculous way to the Tarceva (targeted drug) I am taking. The 5X6 tumor in my right lung is practically gone afer a month. Can't help but think that the nutrition focus I am doing is helping as well. Vitamin D and Melatonin are the two supplements I am doing. I will be going to Block Medical Center in Evanston, Illinois for a customized evaluation (blood/saliva/urine) to see what other deficiencies are in my body and what else is needed. Everyone is different.

nubis's picture
nubis
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2008

What type of cancer you have? I bought a book that promise the cure for cancer. But it is fake. Also what is tumeric???? I never heard about it.

Good luck with your evaluation, let us know.

Thank you,

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

nubis - turmeric is a spice used in Asian and Indian cooking - it comes from the underground stem of the plant (like ginger, which it's related to), and tastes, well, interesting :) If you've ever had packaged yellow rice you've had turmeric (and not the saffron that people think) - it gives the rice its yellow color. It's also used in curries. Its the curcumin in the turmeric that some people think is active against cancers of various types, but it has yet to be proven, like most herbal remedies.

Turmeric at Wikipedia

Please make sure you clear any herbal remedies with your oncologist, first - some things don't mix well with chemo or may be all wrong for your husband!

cabbott
Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Tmeric is used extensively in Indian cooking but rarely here in the US. My mom made bread and butter pickles with tumeric in them. However, I would have to eat two batches to get a day's dose. I like her pickles, but that's not going to happen. Fortunately tumeric is sold in a capsule at places like Wal-mart and on the internet if you decide to try it. You want to get it as fresh as possible. After a year or two on the shelf it is not as good for you, so check the dates.

burg
Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2008

My daughter recently sent me a book HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT CANCER WITH NATURAL MEDICINE
Endorsed by the Cancer Treatment Center of America. Its an awesome book. Not only does it tell you what to take and what to do it tells you why. Everyone cancer or no cancer should read this book.

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 398
Joined: Aug 2008

How did you get the book. You know that Harvard Medical School now has a department dealing with natural medicine. Anyone ever hear of Astragalus.
A chinese herb the internet said it kills lung cancer cells. But I'm not sure they sometimes they don't prey on people looking for a cure.

burg
Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2008

My daughter bought it on amazon.com You can get a used one for about $3.00. My daughter is on her 12th year of schooling to become a doctor she specializes in natural healing. She is VERY health conscious. This book explains it so so well and really does make sense. I do believe we get sick because of the things we eat and breathe. We let our bodies defences down and everything goes haywire. This book is a must for everyone. It not only talks about helping to prevent cancer of ALL KINDS it also goes into depth about stages, chemo, radiation, hands on healing. Which by the way does work! I tried it on my boyfriend he's 51, a white collar worker, that suffers from allergies BAD. The next day he said he had'nt slept that good in as long as he could remember. It DOES MENTION that all must be mentioned to your doctor before taking. It tells you exactly what vit,minerals ect.and the dose and for what cancer. Its well worth the money.

Let me know what you think after you get it
Cindy

burg
Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2008

Astragalus is a good source of Selenium, which the book does mention, but it mentions that in order for one thing to help it must be used with another. Like Vit. C, Selenium, carotenes ect. I really don't think Selenium alone can do it.
Cindy

mono5
Posts: 98
Joined: Jan 2009

Someone in one of the threads posted they were having good results with the medicinal herbs with AHCC. Researching the subject I found this article from the Health Science Institute.

http://form.hsibaltimore.com/reports/mushroom_cancer.pdf

I found extensive research and actual human trials that yealded remarkable results, even when taken with chemotherapy. This all from Japan where there used in over 700 hospitals and as a preventive against recorrence of cancer in Japan and now in the U.S. A free booklet on medicinal mushroom with AHCC can be had at www.iherb.co. I ordered three and recieved them last week. Everone should read this free booklet...
Wow! this supplement can be a knock out punch against cancer.

AHCC Published Research

Natural Killer Cell Enhancement And Anti-Cancer Effects Of Proprietary Japanese Mushroom Extract, Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC®).

There is a bewildering choice of immune enhancing natural supplements available. Unfortunately, the proof for most of these fall short of true consumer use conditions.

For example, there are numerous mouse and rat studies. From this animal research we are supposed to infer results in humans. In other studies involving humans the researchers may use an intravenous route of administration, whereas in the "real world," users will be expected to take it orally. In some instances, results are from one researcher only, without independent confirmation. Therefore, one of the most important attributes of AHCC may be the strength and extent of the research that demonstrate its beneficial effects. It is supported by multiple studies reviewed for publication in professional peer journals, involving hundreds of human patients, all taking the product by mouth, and using many groups of scientific investigators who independently verify and validate one another's results. This gives doctors and patients a confident, reliable profile of this supplement's mechanism of action, scope of effect and safety profile.

There are many studies that show the benefits of Active Hexose Correlated Compound, but the most impressive is also the most recent, a study of patients with liver cancer presented at the XXXIII Congress Of The European Society for Surgical Research. The study design tracked 151 consecutive patients following "curative" surgery for primary liver cancer from February 1992 to September 1999. A treatment group consisting of 70 patients received 3 grams of AHCC per day; the balance were a matched "control" group that had surgery only. The object of the study was to see how AHCC would effect the over-all survival of patients with liver cancer and the pattern of reoccurrence.

The results were remarkable:

Fewer patients reoccurred in the Active Hexose Correlated Compound group, 49%, versus 67% in the control group.
Average survival was 23 months longer among patients who took Active Hexose Correlated Compound versus those who didn't.
Overall survival was improved in the Active Hexose Correlated Compound group. At the end of the study, 79% of the Active Hexose Correlated Compound patients were still alive, versus only 51% of those who didn't take it.
No undesirable side effects were reported with the use of AHCC.

How AHCC works

AHCC is not battling cancer or a cancerous tumor directly. It is strengthening the immune system, so it can do what it is supposed to do - destroy cancer cells! This helps explain why the compound is effective for more than just liver cancer. A 1995 study published in the International Journal of Immunology showed that AHCC's beneficial effects are not cancer type specific. Three prostate, three ovarian, two multiple myeloma and three breast cancer patients had their tumor associated antigen (TAA) markers measured before, during and after taking AHCC.
Other important data to come from this trial includes the Natural Killer Cell activity level. Nine of the eleven patients had dramatic increase in the NK cell activity level as well as their T and B cell activity level. In other words, the patient's reduction in tumor markers correlated with the increases in strength of their immune systems, validating the notion that a strong immune system can help fight cancer. It is worth repeating that none of the patients participating in any of the clinical trials, where Active Hexose Correlated Compound was administered at the therapeutic dose, observed any side effects or toxicity. Remember, there are many chemicals available that have the ability to shrink tumors, but at what price? There is a big "risk-reward relationship" in cancer therapy and finding nontoxic compounds like AHCC, which carries virtually no risk, with the possibility of a great reward, is a long sought goal of cancer research.

Most cancer patients use natural therapies to complement conventional anti-cancer therapies, so a study published in 1998 in the prestigious journal Anti-Cancer Drugs showing how AHCC worked in combination with a widely used form of oral chemotherapy is particularly important. This study demonstrated that AHCC enhanced the beneficial effects of the chemotherapy, while reducing detrimental side effects. This study's findings showed that AHCC combined with UFT (an oral form of 5-FU):

To read the rest of research go to:

http://www.ahccpublishedresearch.com/wwwroot-ahcc/studies/AHCC_02_1002.html

Winning The Battle Against Cancer Therapy Side Effects
http://www.ahccpublishedresearch.com/wwwroot-ahcc/studies/AHCC_03_1002.html

Your CSN Support Team's picture
Your CSN Suppor...
Posts: 200
Joined: May 2008

Hello everyone,

We just wanted to make everyone aware of information that is available through the American Cancer Society on mushrooms. We encourage you to learn more about this supplement.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Shiitake_Mushroom.asp?sitearea=ETO

Kind regards,
Your CSN Staff

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