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You guys have all been so great about answering my questions. It has really been very comforting in this very scary time. Here's one more though. Is it ok for my mom to take a regular dose multi-vitamin..nothing outrageous or over 100% dv? Will this interfere with the chemo or radiation?

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You'd probably be better off asking the docs about that. Although we sometimes receive the same chemo and are in the same or similar protocols for treatment, we don't all react the same way, and don't all take the same medications. Some people may need these, some may not.

My advice would be for you to write down all these questions and take them with you to one of your mom's appointments with her doctor. If you don't go with her, then see if she'll take them, ask them, and let you know.

There are 1001 questions that come up just in the first days/weeks. I think it helps to write them down in advance.


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I think most Dr's don't mind a multi-vitamin during chemo at normal dosages.

There is a researcher Kumar Prasad whose research aim is to show the benefits of vitimins during chemo and he attempting to come up with the best dosage, timing, etc.



On the other hand from sloan ...

Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Many patients being treated for cancer use dietary supplements, particularly antioxidants, in the hope of reducing the toxicity of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Some researchers have claimed, furthermore, that antioxidants also increase the effectiveness of cytotoxic therapy and have explicitly recommended their use. However, mechanistic considerations suggest that antioxidants might reduce the effects of conventional cytotoxic therapies. Preclinical data are currently inconclusive and a limited number of clinical studies have not found any benefit. Clinicians should advise their patients against the use of antioxidant dietary supplements during chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Such caution should be seen as the standard approach for any unproven agent that may be harmful


Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA. jatoi.aminah@mayo.edu

Previous laboratory and pilot clinical trial data suggest that vitamin and/or mineral supplementation may prevent tumor growth in small cell lung cancer. However, rates of supplementation and their major purported clinical effects have never before been studied in patients with small cell lung cancer. This study was undertaken to explore associations between vitamin/mineral supplementation and survival and quality of life within a cohort of small cell lung cancer patients. This study focused on a small cell lung cancer patient cohort from a tertiary care medical center. Small cell lung cancer patients who responded to a follow-up questionnaire on vitamin/mineral use were included. Associations between vitamin/mineral use and both survival and quality of life (Lung Cancer Symptom Scale) were assessed. A total of 178 patients or their proxies responded to one or more vitamin/mineral questionnaires. One hundred seven (60%) were vitamin/mineral users of either multivitamins or other more specific vitamin/mineral supplements, and the rest were nonusers. Two different survival analyses were performed. In the first, median survival was 1.8 vs. 1.3 yr for vitamin/mineral users and nonusers, respectively. The relative risk of death was 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.43, 0.92; P = 0.02) in favor of vitamin/mineral use. After adjustment for multiple prognostic factors, including tumor stage, the relative risk for death was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.43, 1.00; P = 0.05). The second analysis was based on an alternative definition of vitamin/mineral use and showed only a trend to suggest an association between vitamin/mineral use and improved survival (P = 0.09). There were no significant improvements in quality of life in any of the analyses. Vitamin/mineral supplementation is common within this cohort of small cell lung cancer patients. These data suggest an association between vitamin/mineral supplementation and improved survival and point to a need for future studies on vitamin and mineral supplementation in small cell lung cancer patients.


The previous study is not "statiscally significant", though it showed a trend toward a slightly longer survival

The bottom line is that no one really knows because there is not enough research as to whether antioxidants lessen the affect of chemo/radiation.

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When Dennis was ill, his oncologist encouraged the use of a multi vitamin and some supplements. I would definitely check with your mom's doctor to make sure it is in line with his course of treatment. I would take Dianne's advice and write down all of the questions you would like answered at the next office visit. It's very hard to comprehend everything you are hearing and remember what questions to ask. I'm keeping you and your mom in my prayers.

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It is a hot debate / controversial topic. Some said vitamins do good, some said some vitamins do bad to cancer patients. But I think multi-vitamins won't harm as all vitamins in one tablet won't contain high dosge of each vitamin. It will be better for you to consult the oncologist.

My dad was taken multivitamins, but we can't tell how it affected my dad in either good way / bad way.

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