Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer can be associated with many side effects such as pain, fatigue and tiredness , low Mood and Depression. These side effects are not linked to certain chemotherapy regimens for Breast Cancer, patient’s age or general condition. One of the main side effects of Adjuvant Chemotherapy is Sleep Deprivation, which results in a significant decline in the descending Pain-Inhibitory pathway, which results in an exaggerated response to painful and noxious stimuli. Melatonin, a naturally secreted Hormone from the Pineal Gland that can help improving Sleep Quality and so improving this Pain-Inhibitory pathway and so reducing Pains associated with Chemotherapy. Furthermore, Melatonin has an anti-inflammatory properties that inhibits NF-Kb that damages brain neurones and this results in improved brain functions and reduces brain fogginess and memory loss (Chemo Brain).
This Recent Research https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6883914/pdf/fphar-10-01382.pdf was published in the Frontiers of Pharmacology Journal in November 2019 and it was conducted on 36 women scheduled to receive their first cycle of an Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer, and were randomized to either study group (who received a daily dose 20 mg of Melatonin ) or Control Group who received a daily dose of Placebo.
Multivariate Covariance Analysis revealed that, the Melatonin Group Achieved Better Pain-Inhibitory pathway function, and so had less pain and depression as compared to the control group who didn’t receive Melatonin
Although this study demonstrates a clearly the superior effects of Melatonin over Placebo alone in patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for Breast Cancer, however, more studies are needed to support these results and confirm the validity of these findings.
Role of Natural Health Products in Breast Cancer
As you see from this article, there are many Natural Health Products that can help mitigate the toxic effects of Chemotherapy such as Melatonin, there are other products that help reducing the Toxicity of Chemotherapy such as Curcumin and Ginger. The use of Natural Health Products during and after Chemotherapy Needs Clinical Research with a statistical evidence of not only the efficacy but also the safety during Chemotherapy use. Always Consult your Healthcare Professional if you want to take natural health products during chemotherapy.
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