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kayaker

Supplement Survivors?

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Are there any survivors who attribute their success to any supplement of ANY kind?

I can find dozens of studies for dozens of supplements that all say it retards lung cancer growth. But so far I haven't found any strong forum testimonials for any.

For example, if EGCG is really as effective as the studies say, someone here should be seeing good results by pounding 10-20 grams a day. Liver toxicity aside.

I assume that when people here are taking supplements, they are overdoing it. I know I sure as heck would. One capsule a day ... to heck with that. I'd be trying like, 20.

My father is having a biopsy to confirm stage 3+, next week, and we're not expecting good news.

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Hi Kayaker,

I take several supplements, all of which were recommended by a naturopath and none of which are in really high doses.She also gave dietary advice, some of which I'v followed some of the time.  I've had 3 different primary cancers and I've been taking supplements since my first one ten years ago. I'm NED on all three cancers. I have no idea about whether any of the supplements have helped, but I don't think they've done any harm, so I keep taking them. 

If your father wants to take supplements, here are some things I recommend:

  • Get advice from somebody who knows what they're doing. You have naturopaths in Washington, I think I recommend finding one who is experienced with cancer and who is knowledgeable and comfortable with conventional medicine.
  • Use supplements only as a supplement and don't expect them to be curative or to replace conventional treatment
  • Especially if in active treatment, run your supplements by your medical oncologist or oncology pharmacist to be sure that nothing is going to interfere with your treatment. (I needed to suspend some things during chemo and before surgery).
  • Pass on anything that's really expensive or hyped as a miracle cure. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

By the way, I found acupuncture helpful with side effects of treatment and with anxiety.

Good luck to you and your father.

Bridget O

 

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I delayed responding to your interest in what supplements I'm  taking, because I didn't want anybody to think Im recommending any supplement in particular, which I'm not. That being said, I'll go ahead and list them generally. Nothing too expensive or exotic in my list.

  • A mineral and vitamin supplement.
  • An antioxidant combination.
  • Vitamin D3
  • DIM (This affects estrogen metablolism)
  • Probiotics
  • Fish oil
  • Low dose aspirin ( I guess this isn't really a supplement)
  • Glucosamine with chondroitin. This is for arthritis and it's really the only one that I'm pretty sure works, because if I don't take it for a couple of weeks, my knees hurt. This one was recommended by an MD. The rest were recommended by my naturopath who has also recommended various other things at specific times. I can't remember what they all were. The above is my maintenance regimen. Even though I do take them really regularly,, as I said in my previous post l'm not sure whether they help or not, but I'm a bit too superstitious to quit any of them, since I'm doing well. If I were to have a recurrence, I'd probably go back to the naturopath for other recommnedations.

Again, I recommend consulting with someone who knows about this stuff and also running it by the treating  MD or oncology pharmacist,  especially if in treatment. 

Briddget O

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On 2/23/2018 at 8:39 PM, BridgetO said:

I delayed responding to your interest in what supplements I'm  taking, because I didn't want anybody to think Im recommending any supplement in particular, which I'm not. That being said, I'll go ahead and list them generally. Nothing too expensive or exotic in my list.

  • A mineral and vitamin supplement.
  • An antioxidant combination.
  • Vitamin D3
  • DIM (This affects estrogen metablolism)
  • Probiotics
  • Fish oil
  • Low dose aspirin ( I guess this isn't really a supplement)
  • Glucosamine with chondroitin. This is for arthritis and it's really the only one that I'm pretty sure works, because if I don't take it for a couple of weeks, my knees hurt. This one was recommended by an MD. The rest were recommended by my naturopath who has also recommended various other things at specific times. I can't remember what they all were. The above is my maintenance regimen. Even though I do take them really regularly,, as I said in my previous post l'm not sure whether they help or not, but I'm a bit too superstitious to quit any of them, since I'm doing well. If I were to have a recurrence, I'd probably go back to the naturopath for other recommnedations.

Again, I recommend consulting with someone who knows about this stuff and also running it by the treating  MD or oncology pharmacist,  especially if in treatment. 

Briddget O

That’s the exact supplements I take except for the DIM.

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Many studies conclude that D3 improves LC survival.

from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690785/

"In the current, meta-analysis was based on 17 prospective cohort studies, with 138,858 participants with 4368 incident cases. Thus, this meta-analysis provides the most up-to-date epidemiological evidence supporting higher circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D is helpful for lung cancer. A dose–response analysis revealed that increasing 10 nmol/L dose of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D was associated with an 8% reduction in the risk of lung cancer risk and a 7% reduction in the risk of lung cancer mortality. Subgroup meta-analyses in study quality, number of participants, and number of cases showed consistent with the primary findings.

Several plausible pathways may reasonable for the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and lung cancer. Vitamin D metabolites play a cytostatic effect most dependent on vitamin D receptor. Previous study found that 25-hydroxyvitamin D plays the role of inhibiting lung cancer cells growth in mouse epidermal cells formation.[34] The immunomodulatory function of vitamin D metabolites may be an important mechanism for vitamin D in prevent lung cancer; 25-hydroxyvitamin D can inhibit the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin in lung cancer cells and raise the level of protein expression, which can promote the autophagy of tumor cells.[35] Meanwhile, 25-hydroxyvitamin can induce the expression of major antioxidant protein–superoxide dismutase SOD1 and SOD2, thereby inhibiting the formation of lung cancer to some extent.[36] In addition, vitamin D can regulate immunological function of lung epithelial cells and inhibit cellular proliferation and angiogenesis while promoting cellular differentiation and apoptosis."

 

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Thanks for the link. Interesting! My PCP agreed to order a Vitamin D level blood test (so it could get paid for by insurance) to see if I was at the level recommended by my naturopath.

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Kayaker,

I'm certainly not a doctor nor do I have any expertise in pharmacology.  Statistics, however, is a subject I know quite well.  I say this because you refer to a meta-analysis finding as suggestive that vitamin D maybe helpful for lung cancer.  It may be but we should all be wary of the limits of meta-analysis generated data and the strength of conclusions suggested by meta-analysis.  A meta-analysis is a study of data generated by a number of experiments (related or unrelated).  In order for one to rely on the meta-analysis suggestion, one must ensure the accuracy and applicability of each of the foundation experiments (both scientific and statistical data) to draw a conclusion that is statistically predictive and sound. 

Without getting too deep in statistics, re-read paragraphs of 2.4 in your cited reference. This contains the statistical underpinnings of the meta-analysis.  There are a lot of qualifying words that detract from the idea that there is clinically significant proof that vitamin D either reduces risk or mortality.  One more important point on all clinical study reports.  While there is peer review prior to publishing, some studies get published without much review, especially meta-analysis studies.  Moreover, studies continue to be critiqued well after they are published.

There indeed may be a positive effect of vitamin D on preventing lung cancer or reducing mortality of lung cancer.  In my opinion, the suggested study does little more than say there may be an effect with high uncertainty ("P less than or equal to .10"; a high confidence P value would be .0001).

Bridget's advice on supplements and conventional treatment is sound indeed.  I don't know that supplements or neuropathic remedies have an effect on preventing or treating lung cancer.  I do know for certain that conventional medicine (surgery, oncology, radiology and pharmacology) works and I am the proof.

Stay the course.

Tom

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I don't take any supplements related to my lung cancer.  I'm a bit concerned about your suggestion that 20 times the recommended dose of anything would be a good idea, even for something proven to be beneficial.  Liver toxicity is no joke. Many, many supplements are dangerous when taken in large quantities--even those that are healthy for you at the recommended dosage.  It's also important for your doctor to be aware of any supplements you take on a regular basis--some of them can cause symptoms that might cause a misdiagnosis, and others might interfere with (or cause problems when combined with) prescribed medications (or even other supplements)

I do take a few supplements suggested by my doctor.  I take a multivitamin, fish oil, D3 and a calcium/magnesium supplement (for osteopenia and diagnosed Vitamin D deficiency), an eye supplement (at-risk for macular degeneration), a probiotic (mild irritable bowel syndrome), and a couple of extra Vitamin Cs (get a lot of minor skin infections).  

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I  just remembered another supplement that I take- because it's at bedtime I don't parcel it out in the pillboxes with the others. It's melatonin, and my naturopath specifically recommended it as a supplement and not just for sleep, although it does help with sleep, too. 

I agree with LexieCat about toxicity issues. That's why I recommend getting advice from someone who knows what they're doing.

Bridget O

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Thanks all. This topic is for for folks that are *convinced* that one or more specific supplements have contributed to their success. It's lovely to hear from everyone, and I do find the supplement regimens interesting, but I'm looking for conviction. And if no one chimes in with conviction, that's okay too.

Tom, thank you for the statistics insight. I could post the other 7 studies I have advocating for D3, or the 2 that says D3 does nothing. I don't particularly trust studies, as I said in my initial post. I can find tons of studies demonstrating that any given supplement has an effect, but in real life, I rarely find a benefit from taking anything. I should stop posting study links, since I'm getting more and more anti-study. More interested in user testimonials.

Just for the record, I'm pro standard solutions (surgery, etc). Start there, then add other things into the mix, and of course consult your oncologist about it. 

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