Antioxidants do not interfere with cancer treatments

       Anti-Oxidants with Radiation



Research Finds Antioxidant Therapies Do Not Interfere With Radiation Treatment
Medical News Today    14 Nov  2006
Cancer patients can get the vital nutritional benefits from taking antioxidants without the 
risk of interfering with radiation treatment, according to research findings presented last 
weekend at the Society of Integrative Oncology's Third International Conference in Boston. 
The Society for Integrative Oncology is a non-profit organization of oncologists and other 
health professionals studying and integrating effective complementary therapies in cancer 
The study, Effect of Concomitant Naturopathic Therapies on Clinical Tumor Response to 
External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer, was conducted by researchers at 
Cancer Treatment Centers of America and reviewed PSA levels of prostate cancer patients 
after receiving radiation therapy. Researchers found no difference between patients taking 
antioxidants and those who did not. Antioxidants used in the study included green tea 
extract, melatonin, high-potency multivitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E. Cancer Treatment 
Centers of America chose this study to address clinical concerns about the use of dietary 
supplements in conjunction with conventional cancer therapies. The study addressed the
concern that antioxidants might interfere with cancer cell oxidation levels that contribute
to tumor killing by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
"This study provides evidence that antioxidants as a complementary therapy 
in cancer treatment do not interfere with external beam radiation therapy," 
said Timothy Birdsall, ND, vice president of integrative medicine for Cancer 
Treatment Centers of America and lead author of the paper. "Antioxidants 
are one of many complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies 
that are crucial in today's fight against cancer."
Treating cancer with advanced radiation, chemotherapy and surgery remains
the best option for patients medically. But the side effects of these treatments 
can devastate a patient physically and emotionally. Through a fully integrated 
whole person care model, combining the best of traditional medicine with 
scientifically supported complementary and alternative therapies, cancer 
patients appear to be living a better quality of life.
"In cancer treatment today, we have to look beyond the traditional focus 
of treating only the tumor," Birdsall said. "Cancer patients will be the first
to tell you that's not enough. The integrated, whole person approach to cancer
 is highly valued, so much so that cancer  patients and their caregivers are 
seeking out complementary or alternative therapies on their own."
More than 80 percent of cancer patients report using some sort of CAM treatments, 
many of them without medical supervision. Taking supplements without supervision, 
however, creates a huge patient safety risk. St. John's Wort, for example, is taken by 
some cancer patients to help lessen feelings of depression. But St. John's Wort can 
interfere with the effectiveness of some forms of chemotherapy, ultimately doing patients 
more harm than good.

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