Post #3: Anti-oxidants and Detoxification in Cancer Patients


Highlights from the International Integrative Oncology Conference – San Diego, April 2016

Kyle Hilsabeck, PharmD

This lecture focused on efficacy of using supplementary anti-oxidants with traditional cancer treatment protocols. Benefits of anti-oxidants include:
• anti-cancer properties
• synergy with traditional therapies
• mitigation of side effects of chemo and radiation
• correction of nutritional deficiencies
• prevention/remission maintenance
• detoxification of free radicals
• palliative relief

Substances high in anti-oxidants:
• Curcumin
• Grapes, berries, nuts
• Melatonin
• Olives
• Broccoli, cabbage, kale
• Green tea

My note
Many studies were shown demonstrating these claims and I think there are no surprises to us as the media has covered them frequently. What I did find surprising was the body of work showing the synergy with traditional therapies such as chemo and radiation. In many cases, anti-oxidants increase the efficacy of chemotherapies. For example, melatonin increases the efficacy of Tamoxifen and mitigates side effects. Many oncologists tell you they don’t want you taking anti-oxidants while receiving treatment because they can amplify the effects of chemo. My own oncologist said she didn’t want me taking high-dose anti-oxidant supplements but encouraged me to get as much as I wanted from natural food sources. After seeing the research presented, I think it makes more sense to reduce the dosage of the chemo and increase the use of anti-oxidants because what it amplifies is the efficacy of the treatment. If you can get the same benefit with a lower dosage, then side effects would be reduced. It will be interesting to see what further study reveals.

This post is part of a series covering the Highlights of the International Integrative Oncology Conference – San Diego, April 2016. Click for more posts.

I attended the 14th annual International Integrative Oncology Conference in San Diego as well as the accompanying Answers for Cancer Summit. The former is directed towards integrative oncologists and other cancer care professionals and the latter is for patients, caregivers, and other “laymen” interested in integrative therapies. It is put on by Annie Brandt, a 15-year cancer survivor and founder of the Best Answer for Cancer Foundation (www.thebestanswerforcancer.org) and I was truly impressed by the credentials of the presenters and the quality of the information presented. Truthfully I was a little over my head at times during the professionals conference as they bandied about acronyms faster than I could Google. Although they presented slide upon slide on medical research, I am not including the complete references for the most part because of the time required. I am only providing highlights, and only of subjects I deemed relevant to our day-to-day lives as cancer patients. I have tried to translate into laymen’s terms and provide just enough information so that you can research more fully on subjects that interest you. I encourage you to discuss these subjects with your oncologist. It was very comforting and refreshing to be surrounded by doctors and health professionals who absolutely understand the role of diet and lifestyle in fighting this devastating disease and incorporate this knowledge into their oncology practices.

Disclaimer: Nothing contained on this website should be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor. I am a Stage IV breast cancer thriver who is currently NED/NAD and simply sharing what I did, and do, and why. Please research anything I share to determine if it is a good path for you. Bless you all on the path you choose.



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