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Health Concerns

Complementary Alternative Cancer Therapies

Life Extension Suggestions

Natural Strategies for Counteracting Adverse Effects from Conventional Cancer Treatment

Nutritional supplements known to counteract some of the negative side effects of conventional treatments are summarized in Table 2. In addition to these nutrients, physical and psychological therapies—including acupuncture, breathing exercises, massage and aromatherapy—can also improve these negative side effects (Fellowes D et al 2004; Kim SD et al 2005; Samuels N 2002). For more information, refer to the chapters on Cancer Surgery, Cancer Chemotherapy, and Cancer Radiation Therapy. and

Table 2: Nutritional supplements known to alleviate negative side effects of conventional cancer treatment


Cancer Treatment-Related Adverse Effects

Nutritional Supplement


Diarrhea, neuropathy, heart complications, mucositis


(Daniele B et al 2001; Savarese DM et al 2003)

Mucositis, fibrosis, cardiovascular complications


(Borek C 2004; Wattanapitayakul SK et al 2005)

Mucositis, anemia, cardiovascular complications


(Majsterek I et al 2005; Ahmed HH et al 2005; Balli E et al 2004)

Radiation-induced cell damage

Vitamin A

(Levitsky J et al 2003; Vorotnikova E et al 2004).

Neuropathy (nerve damage)

Vitamin E

(Argyriou AA et al 2005; Pace A et al 2003)

Nausea and vomiting


(Boon H et al 2004; Sharma SS et al 1998; Manusirivithaya S et al 2004).

Nephrotoxicity (kidney damage)


(Bokemeyer C et al 1996)


Herbal Remedies

(Mori K et al 2003; Taixiang W et al 2005)

Heart damage


(Portakal O et al 2000; Bandy B et al 1990; Iarussi D et al 1994).