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Thread: Anti-Oxidant Supplements and Chemo/Radiation therapy

  1. #1

    Anti-Oxidant Supplements and Chemo/Radiation therapy

    I am curious about when it is ok to take anti oxidant supplements. They say you should not take them during chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I wonder does that mean that once you discontinue the Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy it is then ok to take such supplements.
    Does anyone have any info regarding this other than the default " Ask Your Oncologist " answer?

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gartist View Post
    I am curious about when it is ok to take anti oxidant supplements. They say you should not take them during chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I wonder does that mean that once you discontinue the Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy it is then ok to take such supplements.
    Does anyone have any info regarding this other than the default " Ask Your Oncologist " answer?
    Knock yourself out...take what you want, if your treatment is over there will be no issues.

    One thing though. Supplements are expesive. Good food is cheap. Try improving your diet and then the need for supplements is eliminated. Supplements are no substitue for a good diet
    Age 60
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011

    NED AND DECLARED CURED on the 2/01/2013

    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
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  3. #3
    I haven't seen any info on this, G.

    I'd say if you're done with chemo/radiation, you should be good to go on resuming the antioxidants. I don't know how long it takes antioxidants to clear your system, in the event you'd need to resume chemo.

    Does Sloan Kettering have a nutritionist on staff, who's available to oncology patients? (The hospital where Lovey receives treatment offers that service to its patients, altho' neither he nor I were overly impressed with the service.) That person might know.

    I found, but did not purchase, a cookbook/nutrition guide from Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I seem to recall seeing something about nutrition & dietary supplements for cancer patients at either the NIH, American Cancer Society or Mayo Clinic site. There's a lot of info about antioxidants & juicing; maybe one of the juicing "bibles" has something on this point.

    It makes sense to me that nutrient dense calories are better for you than shoveling in whatever form of "empty" calorie you can take, just for the sake of getting energy into your body.

    MM
    Caregiver to my significant other.
    May 2008: transrectal procedure for Stage I CRC. Age 59
    April 2013: Finally "sick enough" to go to the Dr. CAT scan.
    May 2013: PET scan, surgical biopsy. DX'd terminal, inoperable, recurrent, metastatic, hypermetabolic StageIV CRC w/mets to liver & lymph node in neck
    June 2013: Port placement. Oxaliplatin, Erbitux, Xeloda
    August 2013: PET scan; NED
    September 2013: surgical repair of inguinal hernia
    November 2013: PET scan; NED
    January 2014: Changed out oxi for Irinotecan; continue Erbitux, Xeloda
    March 2014: PET scan; NED

  4. #4
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    Yep, take what you want that your wallet can afford after treatment is over.
    I also would be looking into a balanced diet before shelling out the big bucks for supplements that probably aren't needed but can make us feel like we are doing something proactive.
    Aussie, age 61
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Years of pain, bleeding, women's plumbing problems. TV ultrasound, tests, eventual hysterectomy 2007, fibroids in lining of Uterus.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011. Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.Still NED Nov 2012.
    Discharged Nov 2014.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma.

    Relapse Apr 2016. AITL. Some chemos then on to allo transplant. Onc says long remission was good. Still very fixable.

    SCT Aug 2016

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ChemoMan View Post
    Knock yourself out...take what you want, if your treatment is over there will be no issues.

    One thing though. Supplements are expesive. Good food is cheap. Try improving your diet and then the need for supplements is eliminated. Supplements are no substitue for a good diet
    THanks .. was very curious about that. Actually, I do eat a pretty good, NON-GMO , organic diet of vegetables , a little meat , lots of fish ... sort of diet. HOwever, there are certain supplements that appear to be very good for one's overall health; it is just that some of the supplements are also anti-oxidants which , supposedly , contraindicate chemo and radia therapy --- though --- that has not actually been proven.
    Nonetheless, since most oncologist will tell you not to take supplements that are heavy anti-oxidants , I was wondering if it were ok to do so once you stop the radiation/chem treatment:
    For example.
    Say I am on radiation of 6 weeks, 5 days a week plus some form of chemo therapy ... which seems to be a popular approach right now. At the end of the 6 weeks .. is it ok to take the supplements .. or .. maybe I should wait a week or two to be sure that all residual radiation/chemo is out of my system and no longer doing its thing.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuffins View Post
    I haven't seen any info on this, G.

    I'd say if you're done with chemo/radiation, you should be good to go on resuming the antioxidants. I don't know how long it takes antioxidants to clear your system, in the event you'd need to resume chemo.

    Does Sloan Kettering have a nutritionist on staff, who's available to oncology patients? (The hospital where Lovey receives treatment offers that service to its patients, altho' neither he nor I were overly impressed with the service.) That person might know.

    I found, but did not purchase, a cookbook/nutrition guide from Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I seem to recall seeing something about nutrition & dietary supplements for cancer patients at either the NIH, American Cancer Society or Mayo Clinic site. There's a lot of info about antioxidants & juicing; maybe one of the juicing "bibles" has something on this point.

    It makes sense to me that nutrient dense calories are better for you than shoveling in whatever form of "empty" calorie you can take, just for the sake of getting energy into your body.

    MM
    There are a couple of supplements that I think are very good for you .. irregardless of whether you have cancer or not. I would like to resume taking them but did not want to interfere with the chem/radio treatments.
    The supplements are:
    1. grape seed extract
    2. papaya extract
    3. Omega-3 fish oil

    In particular the grape seed extract ... These supplements are good for you no matter what your condition happens to be. The bad thing about the radiation and chemotherapy is that
    the oncologists do not want you to take such things during the actual radiation/chemotherapy. I just wanted to here a few opinions on the matter as to when one could start taking these supplements.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Didee View Post
    Yep, take what you want that your wallet can afford after treatment is over.
    I also would be looking into a balanced diet before shelling out the big bucks for supplements that probably aren't needed but can make us feel like we are doing something proactive.
    Has nothing really to do with a balanced diet. I actually studied nutrition during my younger years. I have a very good diet when it comes to what I eat; in fact, I more than likely know more about nutrition
    that the oncologists; many of which seem to know very little about nutrition.
    However, my mind is not closed to the possibility that certain supplements can enhance an already good diet.

  8. #8
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    It isn't a bad thing that they don't want you to take anti oxidents whilst having chemo. It has been proved that they can fight against its effectiveness.
    Aussie, age 61
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Years of pain, bleeding, women's plumbing problems. TV ultrasound, tests, eventual hysterectomy 2007, fibroids in lining of Uterus.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011. Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.Still NED Nov 2012.
    Discharged Nov 2014.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma.

    Relapse Apr 2016. AITL. Some chemos then on to allo transplant. Onc says long remission was good. Still very fixable.

    SCT Aug 2016

  9. #9

    not sure about whether it has been proven thru clinical trials

    Quote Originally Posted by Didee View Post
    It isn't a bad thing that they don't want you to take anti oxidents whilst having chemo. It has been proved that they can fight against its effectiveness.
    Yes the oncologists do tell you not to take anti-oxidants during the therapy. And, being a good patient, I did not take any thing that my Oncologist did not ok before hand.
    HOWEVER ...
    I am starting to question whether or not it has been proven that taking anti-oxidants will contraindicate radiation/chemo therapy.
    -------
    I think it is mostly just a theory thrown out in medical school but not actually proven. The fact that certain nutritious and powerful food supplements are also heavy anti-oxidants seems to logically imply that such foods/supplements will kill free radicals .. which is what the cancer therapy is spreading thru your body to kill off the cancer cells.
    ------
    But .. this is a a potentially unproven theory without any clinical trial to back it up. It is possible that down the road a few years those same oncologist will tell you that it is good to take anti-oxidants during the therapy for cancer ..
    ------
    Who knows ...

  10. #10
    This is such a great question and I really wish there was some good info out there.

    Like you Gartist I try to figure out best times to - for example - flush my liver out with green antioxidant drinks - more blueberries - foods etc, since I just got the news that my cancer how now spread to my liver, I am somewhat bummed.

    But as my daughter says, it may have sooner, or been bigger lesions if I had done nothing.

    I also bounce on a trampoline as this is supposed to flush your lymph system better...the up and down motion opens the lymph nodes and flushes them out where forward motion of say running or walking does not. At least that is what all the proponents of bouncing say.....and I like to do it, it's fun in front of the TV and makes me feel like I'm helping myself....
    I even do it when on the chemo pack...figuring its flushing the chemo through the lymph system.but this is just my logic...no info can I find on this approach!

    I take bee pollen every day....and do dry skin brushing....so yes I am interested in everything that will help. Now that I have three hot spots, liver, abdomen and lungs I would love to get some real solid info on this anti-oxidant question. My Doc and I went over a list of things a while back and I need to revisit it. In general I think there's much to be learned still about diets and antioxidants for us cancer patients.

    My daughter read the China Syndrome last year and is now basically mostly vegan. Much in there about meat and dairy that is scary. My father died from cancer and now I have all over so she is MOST interested in keeping herself healthy with diet and exercise.

    I'm rambling now....need to go to bed.
    If you find out more please share!
    Cheers
    Dulce
    Rectal Cancer diagnosed Valentines Day 2008 - stage 3
    Finished 6 weeks of radiation and chemo 4/23/08
    Surgery to remove tumor - June 18th 2008
    Colostomy Reversal August 20th 2008
    Chemotherapy 5 months (Xeloda) finished Christmas 2008
    Local recurrence found May 2011
    Permanent colostomy and salvage APR surgery June 3rd 2011
    Stage 3C - 4 of 12 lymph nodes involved
    Finished 12 treatments of FOLFOX 6 - January 17th 2012 - Happy Dance!
    March 2012 - clean CAT Scan
    August 2012 - Cancer moves to stage 4
    CAT shows cancer cells implanted in pelvis/abdomen
    September - PET shows lung lesion 1.4 x 1 cm
    October - begin sessions of Folfiri.3 - Avastin, Irotecan, 5fu
    February 2013 - tumors shrinking, continuing biweekly chemo
    April 2013 finished all 12 Folfiri treatments, scan shows only lung lesions
    May - October Blessed chemo break!
    October 2013, scan shows more growth in pelvis and lungs
    Continue with biweekly Folfiri.3 - Avastin, Irotecan, leucovorin, 5fu
    April 2014 CAT scan shows tumors in liver
    June 2014 More tumor growth, stop Irinotecan cocktail after two years
    June 2014 Begin Regorafenib (Stivarga)

 

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