the chemotherapy conundrum...

How To Stay Healthy When Robbed Of Essential Nutrients

"Most people don’t realise that 40% or more of cancer patients actually die from malnutrition", says Dr Patrick Quillin, an internationally recognised expert in the area of nutrition and cancer from California. Good nutrition and supplements can help combat this, but unfortunately many oncologists cling to an old mindset that rejects supplements out of concern that they will interfere with treatment.

Dr Charles B Simone, medical oncologist, immunologist and radiation oncologist at the Simone Protective Cancer Centre, New Jersey, did a recent survey of 280 peer-reviewed studies that should put most of these fears to rest. Most of the studies found that dietary supplements did not interact negatively with treatments. Along with supplying much-needed nutrients, many of them actually improved the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation, reduced appetite-suppressing side-effects, and even increased the chances of survival. 

His conclusion - include a cancer nutrition expert as part of your health care team. Based on your type of cancer, your dietary habits and blood tests to determine your vitamin levels, heavy metal toxicity and immune function, nutrition experts can customise a strategy to keep you well nourished.

In addition, supplements can make the body’s internal environment less hospitable to new tumour growth.

A natural sleep remedy, a tea extract and a good multi-vitamin can help alleviate fatigue and pain among cancer patients, new research suggests. The study by researchers at Cancer Treatment Centres of America looked at 50 pancreatic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. All were taking pain medication, but 36 also took green tea extract, melatonin and multivitamins. Taking supplements may help pain meds work longer and lift the haze that accompanies analgesics. The recommendation is 1000mg of green tea extract a day, 20mg of melatonin at bedtime, and a daily multivitamin with 1000mg of vitamin C. 

Just remember to keep your oncologist in the loop about your supplement use.

Cancer Nutrition Info ( provides a wealth of information about nutrition and dietary supplements for cancer patients and survivors.

» Other Recommended Supplements: Beres Drops, Essiac Tea, Salvesterols.
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