Dietary supplements (Salem Health: Cancer)
Cancers treated or prevented: Dietary supplements are often taken, in an adjuvant mode, to help fight many types of cancer, although their effectiveness is rarely proven. Perhaps even more often, supplements are taken for cancer prevention or to boost the immune system.
Delivery routes: Oral in the form of tablets, caplets, capsules, powders, and liquids such as extracts and teas.
How these agents work: In the United States in 2007, dietary supplements were estimated to be a $22 billion industry. Supplements range from familiar multivitamin tablets to unusual substances such as snake venom. Some dietary supplements (such as vitamins and minerals) have accepted roles in conventional medicine as well as complementary and alternative uses. Other dietary supplements, including most botanicals, are used almost exclusively in complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary medicine supplements traditional Western medical care, while alternative medicine seeks to replace traditional Western medical care.
Some dietary supplements, especially vitamins and minerals, are embraced by traditional Western medicine and play an important role in maintaining health, especially among individuals with cancer or other diseases that affect the body’s metabolism. Thirteen different vitamins are essential to human health. The body cannot make these compounds; they must be obtained either...
(The entire section is 1258 words.)
For Further Information (Salem Health: Cancer)
Alschuler, Lise, and Karolyn A. Gazella. Alternative Medicine Magazine’s Definitive Guide to Cancer: An Integrated Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing. Berkeley, Calif.: Celestial Arts, 2007.
Davis, W. Martin. Consumer’s Guide to Dietary Supplements and Alternative Medicines. Binghamton, N.Y.: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 2006.
Micozzi, Marc S., ed. Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Cancer Care and Prevention: Foundation and Evidence-Based Interventions. New York: Springer, 2007.
Quillin, Patrick. Beating Cancer with Nutrition. 4th ed. Tulsa, Okla.: Nutrition Times Press, 2005.
(The entire section is 77 words.)
Other Resources (Salem Health: Cancer)
American Cancer Society. How to Know What Is Safe: Choosing and Using Dietary Supplements. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/
MedlinePlus. Dietary Supplements. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dietarysupplements.html
National Cancer Institute. Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://www.cancer.gov/cam/
National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplements: Background Information. http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/dietarysupplements
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dietary Supplements Overview. http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/supplmnt.html
(The entire section is 83 words.)