Nutritional Support and Cancer Care
Over many decades, and up till now, oncology or cancer patients have considered that all the suffering related to the oncology treatments such as fatigue, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness or lack of sleep, poor digestion, skin changes and drop of their immunity are all inevitably happening regardless of the supportive care and medications they get from their oncologists (such as anti emetics, steroids etc).
This fact results in negative look for not only patients but everyone to the chemotherapy or radiation treatments and sometimes creates a barrier between patient’s willingness to treat cancer and pursue an active treatment plans with their oncologists and the dark side of the intervention’s toxicities and not only short term, but also long term consequences. I still remember when I was an oncology resident at Kar El Aini Medical School in Egypt, many patients refused to start chemotherapy based on the side effects and complications of chemotherapy regardless of the anticipated benefits and gains that most medical oncologists advocate for and support.
Now, after more than 20 years practice in the clinical oncology and 5 years in the Naturopathic medicine, I can say that there is an exit of this situation, not by avoiding the chemotherapy which is obviously essential (not in every cancer) but when indicated by your oncologist as this is based on scientific research and data, but by simply working on ameliorating the toxicity profile of these agents and trying to get the benefit from them without much loss from your body nutrition and immune function.
This introduction was essential before I present this intriguing research that was done on patients with different types of cancers who were scheduled to receive chemotherapy, and received multi nutrients in the form of amino acids and were compared to a non cancer patients who received the same types and amounts of these nutrients over the same duration.
At the end of the study, cancer patients who received the nutrients showed markedly better performance both physically and mentally as well a better tolerance of treatment. For more details on this research check this link https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/cbr.2013.1573
In conclusion, supporting cancer patients with essential nutrients during the course of their active treatment (whether chemotherapy, radiation or targeted therapies) can be a game changer in their lives by improving their general wellbeing, physical and mental performance, let alone their willingness to continue on their chemo or radiation therapy with a better tolerance and less side effects.
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