Cancer patients taking herbal remedies to help fight the disease or curtail treatment side-effects may unwittingly reduce the effectiveness of radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Dr Conleth Murphy, consultant medical oncologist at Bon Secours Hospital in Cork, said alternative therapies posed “potential harm” because patients tended to regard them as “a natural product rather than a drug”.
However herbal remedies had to be eliminated from the body through the liver in the same manner as conventional medicine and because they “compete for the liver’s attention with other drugs”, they could “potentially slow down the elimination of conventional cancer drugs which may increase side effects”, Dr Murphy said.
Alternatively, they could have the effect of speeding up the liver’s processing of conventional drugs and therefore reduce the efficacy of chemotherapy treatment, Dr Murphy said.
“We know that many of these herbs and drugs interact with each other and can potentially interfere with cancer treatment so the most important thing is that doctors and nurses are made aware if a patient is taking them and that we aren’t judgemental about it,” Dr Murphy said.Examples of negative interactions included a supplement women sometimes took to curtail hot flushes when fighting hormone-induced breast cancer. However the hormone in question, oestrogen, is contained in the supplement as a naturally occurring plant nutrient.
“The concern is that the supplement could actually be stimulating breast cancer cells to grow when women are trying to achieve the exact opposite,” Dr Murphy said. He said patients should also be aware that certain juices such as grapefruit juice, Seville orange juice and starfruit juice 11 could affect the amount of cancer drug a patient absorbs because of the manner in which they interact with the liver’s enzyme system. This could increase or decrease the potency of the cancer drug. Dr Murphy said that for the vast majority, these juices were not a problem, but patients needed to be aware.
Similarly taking a very concentrated extract of green tea could アトピー、敏感肌に悩む方に potentially interact negatively with cancer drugs.
“I am not saying a cup of green tea a day will put you at risk, it’s when people start taking megadoses [supplements],” Dr Murphy said.The bottom line was patients were entitled to try alternative therapies but should make their doctors aware of it, Dr Murphy said.
He said Falafel given the popularity of supplements, they should be put through the same cheap nba jerseys tight controls as conventional drugs before coming to the market.“Because they have their roots in the food industry, the same stringent standards are not applied as are applied to clinical trials. We need to demand a similar standard of evidence for alternative therapies and OR where that is provided, we can accept their use within the appropriate framework.”
He is happy to consider alternative therapies which have supporting evidence from clinical trials, such as acupuncture, which has a proven role in reducing the severity and incidence of hot flushes in women on anti-hormonal treatment for breast cancer. Dr Murphy commonly recommends this approach to his patients.
Separately, the Irish Cancer Society’s annual fundraiser, Jerseys Daffodil Day, takes place across the country today with the exception of Cork, where it will take place tomorrow due to an issue with permits.
Also taking place tomorrow is University College Cork’s Cancer Conference which runs from 9.30am 野生咖啡豆(豆鬼) to 4.30pm in Boole 1. Admission is free and all are welcome.