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Alternative/complementary therapy - Asking for suggestions


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I’m trying to find medicines that might help in the cancer fight that are not heavy conventional types of chemo-therapy – I want to hold the conventional chemo-therapy in reserve for the day I really need it again. I’m currently taking the following hoping it might help prolong life:

1. Celebrex, 400 mg per day (COX 2 inhibitor – I don’t care about the heart risk).

2. Ranitidine (150 mg) occasional for heartburn (I heard that in a clinical study people taking this along with chemo had increased survival rates.)

3. Omega 3 Fish Oil – 8000 mg. each day

4. Centrum Silver multivitamin/multimineral – once a day.

5. Grape seed extract, 100 mg for antioxidant benefit – once a day

6. Melatonin – 3 mg. each night

7. Coral calcium – 200 mg. magnesium, 200 iu Vitamin D & 400 mg. calcium 1 per day.

8. Selenium – 200 mcg per day

9. Vitamin “A” – 8000 iu per day (1 tablet)

10. Vitamin “C” – 2000 mg per day cancer (2 1000 mg. per day)

11. Vitamin “E” – 400 iu per day

12. Vitamin B-6 – 100 mg. per day

13. Zink 100 mg. total (interferes with metabolism of calcium – take at different times)

14. Folic Acid – 800 mcg per day

15. Astragalus (Chinese herb) – (1@ morning & 1 @ night) builds immune system?


1. Bolthouse Farms “Green Goodness” (fresh juice with bunch of good stuff) 1 - 2 glasses each day – not enough time to do the juicing thing.

2. Little raw sugar (use Steevia)

3. Lots of salads, fruits & vegetables

4. Green tea/herb tea during day (I also have a “Red Clover” and a “Paul D’Arco” tea that is inexpensive at the health food store almost everyday.)

5. Filtered & ionized water for drinking

6. My oncologist is into fitness and suggested I go on the Atkins diet (I need to loose about 20 pounds). I’ve cut out the carbohydrates but still get some in the green & leafy vegetables and fruit I "pig out" on.

I’ve read in small limited studies using conventional western methods (except for the Astragalus grape seed extract and ionized water) where the above have been mentioned as maybe doing some good in the cancer battle. When I run out of the Astragalus and Grape seed extract, I’ll probably quit taking them. There are so many other unconventional things like extreme diets, IP-6, Artemisinin, CoQ-10, Curcumin, Beta Glucan, Wobenzym, Flor-Essence (improved Issiac tea?) etc. that I don’t know what I should do or if I should take any of these. I honestly wonder how many of these unconventional “medicines” are nothing but snake oil that are hyped up with poor unconventional studies. Some of these are “pricy” and I live on the poor side of town these days, but could probably add a couple of items if the money might be well spent.

I know many of you have really delved into this stuff. Do you have any suggestions about conventional or unconventional drugs (supplements) that have a reasonable probability of contributing to our increased survival? I’m most interested in things that have had at least a limited western type study (or close to valid study) that an oncologist might give some credence to. I would really appreciate any and all comments (please no salesmen). Thank you!

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I think that the supplements you are taking are good -- I take many of the same.

The only advice I would give is not to cut out carbs TOTALLY. While it is true that "bad carbs" (white flour, refined carbs) are not good for us, WHOLE GRAIN carbs ARE very good for us, and necessary for our bodies as well. The carbs you are getting from fruits/veggies are perfectly fine and will not add any weight to your system. We need those veggies/fruits for their antioxidant properties!!!

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I also take a lot of the same things you take, along with trying to eat a healthy diet, which is what my oncologist says will be the most beneficial in the long run.

I take CoQ10 too....it's supposed to be good for reducing inflammation in terms of cardiac risk, and I've also read about some cancer fighting benefits in it too.

I don't take any beta glucans because I try to get them naturally, but I know they help boost immune system. The integrative clinic I went to last year said that an important immune system builder is oats, so I try to eat them as much as possible. Also, exotic mushrooms are good for that, so I take a supp that's made up of a variety of exotic mushrooms.

One caution though, when I went to this integrative clinic, they did a lot of unusual bloodwork, and one thing that came out of it was that I was overdosed in vitamin A. So, you might want to watch your total intake of A every day between the multivitamin and the Vit A supplement. All I was doing was taking a multi and a combination anti-oxidant supplement, and it was too much for me.

I was on Vioxx for a cox2 inhibitor, and then when it went off the market, I was going to switch to bextra, but never filled the prescription, and with all the bad news about that, I don't ever plan to fill it. I'm allergic to sulfa or I would have been taking Celebrex, and probably would have continued on it if possible. I did get a bottle of zyflamed, which is a natural ingredient cox 2 inhibitor at the health food store and took that. Just haven't decided whether I will buy another bottle or not....

Congratulations on cutting out the unhealthy carbs, but Heather is right, we do need whole grains for all kinds of reasons. It's all that white stuff that's not good.

Overall, I think you're doing fine.


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I also see a doctor who practices traditional chinese medicine. He is also an M.D. who worked in major comprehensive cancer centers, including Memorial Sloan Kettering.

He told me to stay away from B1 (thiamin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folate). He told me they are really good for cancer prevention, but once you've had cancer, never to take them, because cancer cells feed off of them (something like that).

I take a lot of the same supplements you take, but my dr. also told me to take 20 mg melatonin, for the anti-cancer affect (but I can only handle 15 mg).

Another thing I've learned (through my dr. and my own research) is that coral calcium is a waste of money and Centrum Silver is 74% chalk (that's the filler).

So, this is just my 2 cents. I am constantly researching these things and I also go over them with my herbologist all the time. People from all over the world consult with him also. I go to many health seminars and trainings. I only wish I did this before my diagnosis.

I get my grape seed extract from OPC (grape seed extract, red wine extract, bilberry and citris extract bioflavinoids). I would stick with that if I were you.

Take care and continue to feel good!

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Hi Alisa,

You’ve told me about those B vitamins before. I’m kind of a lazy guy and take the multi-vitamin with minerals (Centrum Silver) to get all the little goodies I might need. Do you have a suggestion on what to take to get the goodies and avoid the bad B’s?

Thank you for mentioning the melatonin dose too. My doctor said to take more -- I think he said something like 8 or 10 mg, whatever you want and I just figured that was too many. I’ve got to stop “out-thinking” him, he is usually on target. I’m going to up my dose, thank you.

Why is Coral Calcium a waste of money? I thought calcium was good for the cancer fight.

I guess the grape seed is good as an antioxidant. Any other thoughts on what else grape seed extract does?

Thank you too Cindy and Heather. Your thoughts were noted. Diet also modified!

I did a search on CoQ10 and see Heather also commented on CoQ10 in Feb. ’04. One of the things I saw about CoQ10 was large doses for a cancer fight, but they didn’t specify how much. . . ideas?

Thank you all.

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On the CoQ10, I take 50 mg per day....I don't know if that's right or not, but that's just what I've decided to do. When I went to the alternative med clinic last year, they tested my CoQ10 levels, and they were within the good range, so I'm just keeping it up. Hope this helps.


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Hi Surveyor. If you search the archives under my name, I listed everything I take also. As for CoQ10, I take 100 mg/day. I haven't been taking any B vitamins, but my herbologist/dr. wants me to start taking B-12. Most of the vitamin shops have B-12 with other B vitamins in it, so I decided to just get B-12 shots. If that is too much for me to go back and forth to get, then I will seek B-12 alone, probably sublingual, as I'm afraid I might not measure liquid drops correctly. My herbologist's credentials are phenominal, as he is a western dr. also. Truly integrative/complementary. You can check out his website and read his bio. Also, you can look up cancer under his "Treatment" section.

www.meridianmedical.org. Keep in touch.



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I wanted to second the advise about being careful with the dosages of vitamin A... My doctor has advised to try to get most vitamin A through diet. I also agree with Hebbie about not cutting out healthy fruits and vegetables! I also take Tagamet, there have been studies on the anticancer properties with Tagamet (cimetadine) and melanoma and some other cancers for years but one must be careful about interactions with timing of other drugs. Also an awareness of all warnings that go along with medications like Celebrex (again, I am on this as well) is important).

It goes without saying that if you do decide to go on chemotherapy, your physician will need to know all of the supplements that you take as they may interact.

Good luck!

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Oh yeah. I also wanted to mention Vit A. Studies have shown that the synthetic form of Vit A (as beta carotene) can contribute to lung cancer in smokers and ex-smokers. Natural form from food is ok.

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Okay, okay, I’ll cut out the Vitamin A. Thank you for taking the time to add a few more great days to the ol’ run here on earth. Still don’t know what to do about vitamin B-1, B-3 & B-9 being bad for the cancer battle. Wish I could find some articles/solid evidence on the web.

Lisa O – Tagamet – interesting. When I was taking chemo, they prescribed ranitidine (which a quick web search said) it is very similar to Tagamet (cimetadine). I had read that it had some benefits as an adjunct therapy, but I only took it when my stomach was upset. My old prescription was 150 mg. twice a day. Did your doctor tell you to take it everyday, “can’t hurt you and may help you” sort of thing?

The following is a good website with an interesting book on line about cancer, nutrition, etc. http://www.positivehealth.com/permit/Ar ... /good5.htm

You ladies all sound like strong survivors. I appreciate any and all information.

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Re: folic acid/folate: My dr. told me it's catch 22. My body needs it to keep homosysteine levels down, but I shouldn't take it because of having had cancer already. I found one article supporting this (I think in PubMed), but I can't find it again. Since this is my Dr.'s speciality, and he's so well-known in the field (comprehensive cancer centers have him on board for consultations on all their complementary/integrative issues), I will just listen to him on this issue.

I'd appreciate any information on this subject from anyone who may have it.

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