New Guidelines Link Lifestyle to Cancer Survival
Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise Can Improve Odds, Report Confirms
WebMD News Archive
Supplements Not Recommended
The report recommends that cancer survivors obtain the nutrients they need from foods instead of supplements, noting that "a concern exists that supplements may do more harm than good" following the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Doyle says a specific concern is that certain high-dose antioxidant supplements may reduce the effectiveness of cancer treatments and promote the recurrence of some cancers.
There is some evidence, for example, that vitamin E supplements may increase the risk of death in head and neck cancer patients and those with prostate cancer.
"There is no good evidence that supplements reduce recurrence risk and increasing evidence that they may be harmful in some cases," Doyle says. "Before taking a supplement, cancer patients and survivors should definitely discuss it with someone on their health care team."
The report appears online in the American Cancer Society publication CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.