Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are two common treatments for cancer. Without a doubt, radiation and chemo are both hard on the body. Often, patients will be prescribed supplements to take during treatment.
However, not all supplements are safe to take while undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In this blog post, we will discuss what supplements are safe to take and how they can help fortify your healthy tissues whether cancer is present or not.
When I first started working with patients, they fell into one of two categories.
1. They’re either searching “Dr. Google” or have a long list of supplements. They’ve learned they should probably be taking these based on other people’s stories. Some may take advice from family members about which ones to take.
Or 2. Their oncologist has said they shouldn’t take anything as it would prevent treatment from working or it’s unsafe and not FDA approved.
Neither of those two scenarios is helpful.
This is where evidence-based integrative oncology recommendations can help.
Radiation and chemo are very much the standard therapies and that’s what people usually think about when it comes to cancer treatment.
I feel it’s important to work with someone who knows the specific potential side effects of each treatment you’re receiving. The particular chemotherapy drugs or immunotherapy drugs or radiation in its various forms all work differently and affect our bodies differently as a result. They each have different side effects, and each drug breaks down differently in the body.
If you are going to have radiation treatment, it is important to have a doctor who understands how to use herbs, nutrients, and extracts safely alongside radiation. They can help prevent the burning and damage to other organs and healthy tissues of the body. There are also certain nutrients known to have a synergistic effect with chemo and/or radiation so you get more tumor kill from your treatment when used simultaneously.
There is great research supporting certain plants and extracts of plants to prevent and heal tissue damage both during and after treatment. After all, one doesn’t want bladder incontinence or diarrhea as a side effect of nearby tissue being radiated.
There are some things that your doctor might not tell you. This is because they might not be aware of the supplements that are important to take to protect your body from damage after treatment. Examples of damage can include immune, digestive and hormonal disruption. Because the after-effects of treatment are not as serious as having cancer, many people are often told by their doctors, “It is not a big deal. Just take this antacid or this laxative. At least you don’t have cancer anymore.”
These medications may not negatively impact the conventional cancer treatments that you’re taking at the time but will greatly increase inflammation, reduce nutrition and impact your likelihood of having heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes down the road. There are supplements you can safely take instead that will prevent the long-term side effects from radiation if taken conjunctively or at the least, right after treatment is over.
A doctor who specializes in using these integrative therapies and their supporting research can help you with this. Contact us today to schedule a free discovery call so we can discuss your specific situation in more detail. Together, we can create a treatment plan that will protect your body from potential damage while helping you fight cancer.
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