Supplements or Vitamins to Better Tolerate Chemo and Radiation

OncoLink
Last Modified: January 7, 2013

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Question

Are there supplements or vitamins that can help me better tolerate radiation and chemo for lung cancer?

Answer

Valaree Williams, MS, RD, LDN, Registered Dietician at Penn Medicine responds:

We often receive many questions about herbal, vitamin, and mineral supplements to assist with tolerating treatments. Research on the use of herbal, vitamin, and mineral supplements is not strong and the impact and actions of supplements with radiation and chemotherapy is unknown. To promote safety and efficacy and due to the lack of research regarding the role of supplements and their safety, it is recommended that supplement use is limited during treatment. If you desire to use herbal, vitamin, or mineral supplements, please discuss with your oncologist and registered dietitian before beginning as supplements are not without risk and could interact with treatment. Adequate nutrition to meet your calorie, protein, and fluid needs throughout treatment along with control of an treatment side effects can help you tolerate the treatment.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on Lung Cancer Webchat.