Vitamins and other natural remedies are one way to fight cancer, but they don’t come without their fair share of risks and warnings.
Sarcoma is a rare cancer that affects connective tissue and accounts for 1 percent of all cancer cases.
In the United States, around 15,000 people find out that they have sarcoma each year.
Recently, researchers from University Hospital Mannheim in Germany zoomed in on this form of cancer to investigate whether people who have it use any complementary or alternative medicines (CAMs).
Prof. Peter Hohenberger supervised the team.
Another study that was led by Dr. Audrey Bellesoeur — of the University Paris Descartes in France — complements these findings by examining the drug-to-drug interactions between CAMs and conventional cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy or tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Both of these studies were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2018 Congress, held in Munich, Germany.
Alternative therapies ‘not without risk’
In the first study, Prof. Hohenberger and team surveyed 152 people who had been diagnosed with sarcoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), and desmoid tumors — which are both types of sarcoma — over the 4 months between January and April 2018.
The survey revealed that 51 percent of the study participants had used CAMs in their lives. These alternative medicines and practices included: taking vitamin supplements, minerals, or healing herbs; practicing homeopathy, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, or tai chi; and eating either a ketogenic or a vegan diet.
Importantly, their survey revealed that 15 percent of the participants used CAMs to complement cancer therapy after they were diagnosed with sarcoma. Forty-four percent of the participants weren’t interested in CAMs before receiving the diagnosis.
|Read on: Cancer: Alternative therapies are popular but risky|