Cancer Patients Should Talk to Doctors about Supplements

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Though such products have very mixed results overall, many patients who are concerned about cancer may talk to doctors about supplements. Many health experts will say that supplements are simply not proven to be helpful, but that’s not a general consensus. The biggest problem is that most supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so their true makeup and effectiveness are not proven. Though this may be true, many will say that, when it comes to treating cancer or even the symptoms that a patient may suffer, there is nothing to lose by trying. So it’s well worth looking at as a helpful measure.


The first thing that patients with cancer should do when they talk to doctors about supplements is to go in with an open mind. If supplements are something that a patient wishes to try because they could offer some help, then any of several different options may be worth a shot. Say that a patient were to turn to a ginger supplement, for example. Though it isn’t proven, per se, ginger has some natural properties in helping with stomach upsetness and gastrointestinal problems overall. So if a patient were suffering from any of these symptoms from his or her chemotherapy treatment, or just due to the cancer itself, then ginger supplements could be useful.


Can supplements be used successfully as a proactive measure in preventing cancer? Probably not, but along the way they may help.


If It Can Only Help, Then It’s Worth a Try


Another thing for cancer patients to think about as they talk to doctors about supplements is what will help to protect their short-term and long-term health. So take echinacea, for example, which may help with naturally boosting the immune system as a short-term measure. This could help patients, particularly if you add in supplements with cinnamon or garlic. They have antiviral and antifungal properties that may help to keep you healthy in the short term and may even help to boost the immune system for the long term. These are measures that can’t hurt but may help, particularly when used to support the treatment plan that is already in place.


Patients want to be sure that, when they talk to doctors about supplements, they recognize that nothing is proven. Though there may be some relief or it may help with the long-term prognosis, these are measures that are still being evaluated for their effectiveness. Professional decisions on a treatment plan are up to the doctor, but the patient can work with his or her doctor to see what sort of complementary medicine may be of help. It’s always good to keep an open mind and to see what may be helpful; then the rest is up to you and your doctor as far as developing a treatment program and working toward a better long-term prognosis.