Alternative Treatment for Cancer Patients

Dietary supplements continue to grow in popularity, especially among cancer patients. It is estimated each year consumers spend between $10 billion to $12 billion on pills. While many experts say supplements have their benefits, here is one doctor who tells her patients not to rush to the supplement aisle.

It’s shopping day for Bobbie Horne. As a breast cancer patient, her diet is important. “My goal right now is to keep it away and I guess that’s why I’m taking such an interest in everything that I’m putting in my body,” she tells Ivanhoe.

Horne says the diagnosis was no surprise. “In fact,” she says, “I told the doctor that I’ve been waiting 30 some odd years for this.”

Her mom died from breast cancer at 58. Now in remission, Horne is one of 80 percent of cancer patients who hopes supplements will keep her alive.

“Most of all it’s desperation and some sort of taking control of the situation,” clinical nutritionist Nagi Kumar, Ph.D., of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., tells Ivanhoe.

Kumar is from India. As a scientist, she says patients should not take supplements. “The science isn’t there for any of them really,” she says.

For example, one popular alternative treatment for cancer patients is shark cartilage.

Horne says, “I started taking that because I was told and had read somewhere that sharks don’t get cancer.”

Kumar warns against it. she says, “This is not effective in preventing or curing cancer.”

Soy is recommended for women to prevent breast cancer, but Kumar says cancer patients like Horne should avoid soy.

Some stores have set up computers to provide more information about specific supplements. Still, d Kumar says your best bet is to stick to the produce aisle. She also says a big issue is taking mega doses of supplements. She says more isn’t always better. For example, too much garlic or vitamin E can cause bleeding problems.

Source: Ivanhoe News

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