I remember when a friend of mine got cancer, her oncologist told her to stop taking vitamins. They might protect the cancer cells and get in the way of your treatment, he warned. But that‘s a bunch of baloney. Antioxidants help to battle breast cancer. So take your vitamins, especially if you're fighting breast cancer.
A recent study found that women with breast cancer who took two key antioxidants following their diagnosis significantly cut their risk of recurrence.
For this study, researchers recruited about 5,000 women with invasive breast cancer. About six months after surgery, the women answered questions about their vitamin usage. Then, the researchers followed the women over the next four years to examine how antioxidants help battle breast cancer.
Here's what they found...
Unfortunately, the cancer returned in 532 of the women. But the women who took two key antioxidants during the first six months following their diagnosis slashed their recurrence risk.
In fact, women who used vitamin C for more than three months had a 38 percent lower risk of recurrence. Plus, they had a 44 percent lower mortality risk (compared to those who didn‘t use the vitamin).
The benefits for taking vitamin E were even greater. Researchers found that women who took vitamin E for three months or more reduced their recurrence risk by 48 percent. Plus, they reduced their mortality risk by 43 percent compared to non-vitamin takers.
According to the study's authors: "There is a widespread concern that the use of antioxidant supplements during cancer treatment may protect tumor cells from the oxidative damage induced by cancer therapies, thereby reducing the effectiveness of treatment and increasing risk of mortality. We found no evidence that vitamin use during the first six months following diagnosis had a detrimental effect on breast cancer outcomes."
That's putting it lightly. I'd say a 38 to 48 percent reduction in recurrence rates is huge news! Every oncologist should give these vitamins to their breast cancer patients and explain how the antioxidants help battle breast cancer.
But it will never happen.
Most oncologists only want to tell you about drugs. Drugs like Avastin.
Avastin is mainly used to treat lung and colon cancer. But the FDA approved its use for breast cancer back in 2008 based on evidence that it could add up to five months to a woman‘s lifespan. It works by cutting off the supply of blood vessels to a tumor.
But since 2008, study after study has shown that Avastin does not extend the lifespan of a woman battling metastic breast cancer. Yet oncologists, Big Pharma, and patients groups want to keep it on the market. Tragically, this may do more harm than good.
The FDA will make the call about Avastin‘s sometime in June. I‘ll keep youposted. But in the meantime, if you want to keep cancer out of your life forgood, keep taking your vitamin C and vitamin E and encourage others to discover how antioxidants help fight breast cancer.