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Cancer Treatment and Over the Counter Supplements

With the number of people with cancer continuing to rise in America, people are looking to traditional medicine, supplements and alternative treatments to help them. Normally in the form of minerals, herbs and vitamins these things are usually fairly widely available in grocery or health food stores and pharmacies.

However, it is important that you do not affect your treatment plan, and there are some things that you need to take into consideration when using these medicines.

While vitamins and minerals offer benefits to the body’s overall health ~ except when taken in excess ~ they can sometimes disrupt certain forms of treatment in cancer patients. It’s also a fact that herbal supplements and certain minerals are not necessarily approved by the FDA, simply because they’re on the pharmacy shelf.

In order for a product to be removed from the shelves, the FDA must show proof that it’s unsafe. What’s more, manufacturers of such products are not required by law to publish any of the possible side effects on the label.

Some minerals and vitamins contain properties that when taken in large doses can have an effect on the efficacy of chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Therefore someone who is undergoing cancer treatment, who has always taken herbal, vitamins and mineral products should be advised to stop taking them until they have made their physician aware. It is important that the doctor directly concerned with the cancer treatment is made aware that the patient is taking this type of supplement so he can approve the supplement and the dosage.

Antioxidants also play a role in diminishing the effects of various forms of cancer treatment. Selenium, beta carotene and other types of antioxidants protect the body’s cells from what are known as ~free radicals~. Since these shouldn’t be taken during cancer treatment, medical experts recommend fruits and vegetables, which contain natural antioxidants. As in the case of other vitamins, minerals and herbs, antioxidants should be discontinued unless approved by your physician.

Medical teams are assigned to work with cancer patients and, if you’re in the habit of enjoying herbal teas or other forms of vitamins, herbs or minerals, this should be discussed with the members of the health care team. Even if a hot cup of herbal tea seems benign to you, that doesn’t mean that it can’t pose a threat to your health. All habits ~ dietary or otherwise ~ should be discussed with the appropriate team members from the inception of the treatment plan.

You can get plenty of information on the interaction of supplements with cancer cures from the American Cancer Society and from your doctor and his or her team. Getting plenty of information is one of the best ways you can help your physician and their team to give you the best possible care plan.

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