Research was presented this week from the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre regarding predicted or actual drug interactions from complimentary medicines (CAM) when taken with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or before surgery.

It has been estimated by various research groups that up to 70% of the cancer population are using CAM products.

Excluding vitamins and minerals, the ten most commonly asked about CAM are fish oil, turmeric, co-enzyme Q10, milk thistle, green tea, ginger, lactobacillus, licorice, astagalus and reishi mushroom. All have  potential or actual interactions associated with their use when combined with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy or when taken pre-surgery. The researchers acknowledge that further research is needed regarding the significance of the interactions and on raising awareness regarding the potential interactions.

The products may increase or decrease the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, those containing high levels of antioxidants may interfere with the treatment. It is recommended to discuss the use of any CAM products with the oncologist or surgeon before commencing the CAM.

<- Back to: News