In the face of a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, or of any other type of cancer, it is only natural for patients to try to improve their health in any and every way they can. In addition to the medical treatments ordered by their physician, many people turn to improving their diets, either through the actual food that they are eating or through supplements. But a pair of studies published in the medical journal Cell warns that taking antioxidant supplements may do more harm than good.
Study Examines Impact of Antioxidant Supplements on Lung Cancer Patients
Though the studies published in Cell did not specifically address malignant mesothelioma, the rare and fatal asbestos-related cancer shares many characteristics with lung cancer, and as a result information gathered from patients diagnosed with lung cancer is often highly relevant to mesothelioma patients.
These recent studies have physicians considering warning mesothelioma patients against their natural tendency to try to improve their nutritional intake with antioxidants out of concern that they may have the reverse effect of what they are trying to accomplish. Instead of serving as powerful anti-cancer forces within the body, studies show that the supplements may be acting as a catalyst for faster growth and metastases of their cancer.
Nutrition is a Common Concern for Cancer Patients
Whether they are suffering from malignant mesothelioma or any other type of cancer, patients being treated with chemotherapeutic drugs often have nutritional challenges. Both the medication and their illness robs them of appetite, and as a result many turn to supplements. Antioxidant supplements are particularly popular because it is widely known that the vitamins found in fruits and vegetables help repair damage done to the body. They are known as cancer fighting foods and vitamins.
Unfortunately, when it comes to already existing cancer cells, those antioxidants may actually help malignant tumors to protect themselves from the body’s cells that would weaken them. A study conducted by Martin Bergo, professor of Biosciences and Nutrition at Karolinska Insitutet has shown that the supplements may enhance cancer cells’ ability to accumulate a protein that allows it to spread, thus exacerbating the patient’s illness. As a result, many oncologists are reminding their mesothelioma patients that they should consult with them before taking any kind of alternative medicine or dietary supplements.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you stay up to date on the latest information. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to help you with that effort. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.