Many Cancer Patients Think They’ll Help, But Experts Urge Caution

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News Picture: Supplements: Many Cancer Patients Think They'll Help, But Experts Urge CautionBy Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 20, 2021 (HealthDay Information)

Many cancer sufferers take dietary supplements in hopes of retaining their illness at bay, however British researchers say there’s little proof it should repay.

Actually, they add, supplements might not solely be ineffective, however dangerous as effectively.

“We discovered 1 in 5 individuals who had been handled for cancer mistakenly thought that taking vitamins or different supplements would assist scale back the chance of their cancer coming again,” mentioned Rana Conway, a analysis fellow at College Faculty London.

Dietary supplements aren’t beneficial for that objective, she mentioned, as they haven’t been proven to assist.

Individuals who have had cancer are suggested to eat a wholesome diet with loads of fruit and veggies and to keep away from high-calorie meals, Conway mentioned. Staying away from alcohol and being bodily energetic are additionally useful, she added.

It is necessary for cancer sufferers who’re contemplating dietary supplements to talk with their physician first.

“There isn’t a proof that self-prescribed supplements scale back the dangers of cancer coming again, and so they might intrude with therapy,” Conway mentioned. “Most of us discover wholesome consuming and exercise recommendation harder to stay to, however the proof exhibits it gives actual advantages.”

For the research, Conway’s staff collected knowledge on greater than 1,000 adults who had been recognized with breast, prostate or colon cancer and had been a part of a British analysis trial. Members accomplished a questionnaire about their diets and any supplements they took.

The most typical ones they used had been fish oil, taken by 13% of research individuals, and calcium (with or with out vitamin D), taken by 15% of these with breast cancer.

In all, 40% of individuals had been taking dietary dietary supplements, and 19% believed they diminished the percentages of their most cancers returning, the research discovered.

Amongst ladies, those that ate beneficial quantities of vegatables and fruits and who thought dietary supplements would assist preserve most cancers at bay had been extra seemingly to make use of them, researchers mentioned.

Conway’s staff additionally discovered that sufferers who had been obese had been much less seemingly to make use of dietary supplements.

Marji McCullough, senior scientific director for epidemiology analysis and inhabitants science on the American Most cancers Society, reviewed the findings.

“It was attention-grabbing to be taught that such a excessive proportion of most cancers sufferers assume that dietary supplements will decrease their threat of recurrence,” she mentioned.

McCullough suspects people who take dietary supplements have been influenced by what they see on the Web and in advertisements, fairly than their docs.

“I feel folks wish to do what they will to enhance their prognosis,” she mentioned.

Together with the dietary supplements cited within the research, most cancers sufferers are additionally taking multivitamins, thymine, vitamin D, B vitamins and natural dietary supplements, McCullough mentioned.

However some supplements are identified to have an effect on most cancers remedies, she warned.

For instance, folate (a B vitamin) might intrude with sure chemotherapy drugs, and antioxidants like vitamin C and D may make most cancers remedies much less efficient. Vitamin A might contribute to liver toxicity, McCullough mentioned.





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“These are among the ones we learn about,” she mentioned. “There’s so much that we do not learn about.”

Sufferers who use dietary supplements ought to inform their physician which of them they take, and docs ought to ask sufferers in the event that they use dietary supplements, McCullough mentioned. Getting the recommendation of an oncology dietitian can also be a good suggestion, she mentioned.

These dietitians, who concentrate on serving to most cancers sufferers, can assess whether or not a complement is required to deal with low ranges of some vitamins and in addition assist sufferers develop a wholesome diet plan, McCullough mentioned.

“Many most cancers sufferers have distinctive wants as they undergo therapy and past therapy,” she mentioned. “The American Most cancers research recommends that most cancers sufferers ought to at all times talk about dietary complement use with their physician — that is the underside line.”

The findings had been revealed on-line Dec. 20 within the journal Most cancers.

Extra info

For extra on most cancers and dietary dietary supplements, go to the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Rana Conway, PhD, analysis fellow, behavioral science and well being, College Faculty London; Marji McCullough, ScD, RD, senior scientific director, epidemiology analysis, inhabitants science, American Most cancers Society; Most cancers, Dec. 20, 2021, on-line

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