Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many Breast Cancer Patients Take High Doses Of Antioxidants Despite Possible Consequences

Date:
June 10, 2009
Source:
American Cancer Society
Summary:
A new study finds that many women with breast cancer take antioxidant supplements while undergoing cancer treatment, even though the consequences of doing so are unknown.

A new study finds that many women with breast cancer take antioxidant supplements while undergoing cancer treatment, even though the consequences of doing so are unknown. The study indicates that additional research should be undertaken to determine the effects of antioxidant supplementation on the health and survival of breast cancer patients.

Antioxidant supplements include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and selenium. They are found in individual supplements as well as in many multivitamins. Many breast cancer patients believe that antioxidant supplements will protect them from the side effects of breast cancer treatment, help prevent breast cancer recurrence, and improve their overall health. However, the actual effects of taking antioxidants during cancer treatment are poorly understood and the findings to date are mixed. Some physicians believe antioxidants may in fact interfere with radiation and some types of chemotherapy, which often attacks tumor cells by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS), very small molecules that play a role in cell development.

Researchers led by Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Oncology (in Medicine) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York, investigated the prevalence of antioxidant use in women with breast cancer who participated in the population-based Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project (LIBCSP). LIBCSP, which included more than 1,500 breast cancer patients, began as a federally mandated study that investigated whether breast cancer risk was associated with environmental exposures among women in Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York State. Dr. Greenlee's study is based on the 764 patients who completed a follow-up interview and provided information on antioxidant supplement use.

Among the 764 patients studied, 663 women (86.8 percent) reported receiving chemotherapy, radiation, or hormone therapy for breast cancer. Of these 663 women, six in ten (60.5 percent) reported using antioxidants during breast cancer treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiation, and tamoxifen (anti-estrogen) therapy.

About seven in ten antioxidant users (69.3 percent) used high doses, defined as higher than the dose contained in a Centrum multivitamin. Women who took high doses of antioxidants during treatment were more likely to be using tamoxifen and to have a history of eating more fruits and vegetables, using herbal products, and engaging in mind-body practices.

"Given the common use of antioxidant supplements during breast cancer treatment, often at high doses and in conjunction with other complementary therapies, future research should address the effects of antioxidant supplementation on breast cancer outcomes," including whether antioxidants affect treatment toxicities, treatment efficacy, cancer recurrence, and survival, say the authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Cancer Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Heather Greenlee, Marilie D. Gammon, Page E. Abrahamson, Mia M. Gaudet, Mary Beth Terry, Dawn L. Hershman, Manisha Desai, Susan L. Teitelbaum Alfred I. Neugut, and Judith S. Jacobson. Prevalence and predictors of antioxidant supplement use during breast cancer treatment: The Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project. Cancer, Published Online: June 08, 2009; Print Issue Date: July 15, 2009 DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24378

Cite This Page:

American Cancer Society. "Many Breast Cancer Patients Take High Doses Of Antioxidants Despite Possible Consequences." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608071943.htm>.
American Cancer Society. (2009, June 10). Many Breast Cancer Patients Take High Doses Of Antioxidants Despite Possible Consequences. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608071943.htm
American Cancer Society. "Many Breast Cancer Patients Take High Doses Of Antioxidants Despite Possible Consequences." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608071943.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins