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Topic: curcumin during radiation?

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Mar 6, 2020 07:58PM

Brooklyn1234 wrote:

Hello,

I'm currently going through radiation and a naturopath who specializes in oncology recommended thera-curcumin to help protect my lungs against any inflammatory effects. There are studies being conducted on whether curcumin helps to prevent skin damage during breast cancer radiation so I know it does get used. But a quick google search shows curcumin shows up on some lists of what not to take during radiation for reasons that are unexplained. This is definitely giving me pause.

I'm asking my rad onc but am prepared for her to say she doesn't know, based on other experience. Anyone here take curcumin through radiation with their RO's blessing?


Thanks!

Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Mar 6, 2020 08:13PM santabarbarian wrote:

You will get multiple answers. In my case my Integrative Onc said feel free to keep taking it (I took during chemo too, which is also debated).

I had proton rads but I think whatever kind of rads his reply would be the same.


pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads. Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 6, 2020 09:35PM - edited Mar 6, 2020 09:35PM by santabarbarian

PS My RO knew about it - he was ok with it after giving me a 'no double blind trial on this' disclaimer

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads. Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 7, 2020 11:09AM Brooklyn1234 wrote:

Thanks for this. One of the things I hate most is having to talk to my doctors about supplements and complementary treatments. It's very easy for them to say no and err on the side of caution, meanwhile for me, caution means doing everything possible to try to mitigate the risk of treatments. I feel like I'm caught in the middle.

Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Mar 7, 2020 03:15PM HeartShapedBox wrote:

Santabarbarian I'm curious if there were other "commonly not approved" supplements or topical things you used as support during radiation? (antioxidants etc)? I echo Brooklyn's sentiments above...

Diagnosed at age 43. Triple + luminal B regional spread to lymph nodes, pathological TNM stage llB after 6 sessions neoadjuvant TCHP (dropped perjeta after 4 doses), initial clinical stage lllA Dx 5/24/2019, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 8/1/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Dx 12/27/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 12/27/2019 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/4/2020 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Mar 7, 2020 04:39PM santabarbarian wrote:

I am in the same boat with both of you.... I had an advanced TNBC and was eager to throw everything at it.

I had a consult with Dr Keith Block of The Block Center, who has a book, Life Over Cancer. He is an Integrative Oncologist near Chicago. he gave me a huge list of things to take but some of them were specific to my case (TNBC) and others were general recommendations. Largely a bunch of antioxidants including curcumin, selenium, quercetin, ALA, etc, Omega 3 fish oil, D3, B6, plus some food based things like reishi mushroom, matcha/EGCG, 'super green' powder. Altogether, about 25 things.

I basically just stayed on the same supplements I had been taking during chemo. I am still on them, though I do skip days here & I am looser about it. My regular MO also said to stay on the supplements.

Initially he was kind of skeptical when I told him what Dr Block recommended but he was ok with me doing it and making the risk benefit analysis on my own. (He looked up everything and found nothing was contraindicated.) I had a phenomenal response to chemo, my tumors had melted to non-palpable size by halfway through chemo, and I have no serious or long term SEs. Other than a numb armpit, I feel VERY good.

At my 1 year visit my MO told me that he would NEVER have predicted I would have a pCR when I walked in to his office the first day what is now considered a stage 3C TNBC (I had a 3.8 cm multifocal tumor, and a 3 cm tumor in my axilla as well). He told me 'I think those extras and supplements you did helped you enormously." Which I found VERY decent of him as he has definitely changed his tune and few docs are that humble.

If you can find a Naturopathic physician who works w cancer patients, they have a lot more know how than most MOs.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads. Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 7, 2020 05:31PM santabarbarian wrote:

The Rads-specific things that helped me:

1. using Domeboro on my sore boob. It's an astringent compress that I found extremely soothing. MY RO recommended it, and I remembered it from post childbirth compresses. 2. Lots of emollient skin products and start them a few weeks prior to Rads and be religious in applying them just post rads, and reapply frequently. Miaderm, Aquaphor etc. 3. Walk and get exercise. 4. Hyperbaric Oxygen to heal after.

I was very tired for a several weeks afterwards (literally slept for the whole first week post rads) but my skin went back to normal very quickly.

My skin broke down pretty badly from the rads-- most people do better than I did; I have v sensitive fair skin-- anyway, I looked like I had been napalmed by the end. BUT it did not hurt, it was more icky/ itchy. It healed REALLY FAST. I did a few sessions of hyperbaric Ox and it healed right up in about 10 days.

Last, there is a drug called pentoxifylline which taken with vitamin E can prevent fibrosis from rads. Because my breast and skin got so enflamed, I decided to beg for something prophylactic, because I had an intuitive sense that it had really walloped my tissues. My RO put me on that ( you take it for 6 months) and I have healed perfectly w no damage. My cancer breast is slightly firmer than the other one, due to the little lift my Lx gave, but the tissues feel normal.

In general I am a believer that anything that won't hurt you and might help you ought to be tried.


pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads. Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Apr 1, 2020 12:53AM HeartShapedBox wrote:

Brooklyn did you end up deciding to take curcumin?

I am at day 18 of 30 rads, and my skin was reacting so poorly right away that I decided to go for it- I take just plain organic turmeric powder with a pinch of black pepper (rather than the more concentrated curcumin extract). I also am doing a couple other new topical things (manuka honey in my reg lotion, vinegar spray in the shower) so I can't be positive this is all due to the turmeric, but I actually had HUGE improvement this last week! I'm LESS red and tender than I was a week ago, which just seems crazy to me! I figure that taking a tsp or 2 of reg turmeric a day is a normal amount that could be in food, and they don't tell you not to eat curry during radiation lol.

My RO said my skin looks great, much better than others at this stage, and my techs all noticed the difference and asked what I was putting on my skin. Hoping it continues to help me for the duration!

Diagnosed at age 43. Triple + luminal B regional spread to lymph nodes, pathological TNM stage llB after 6 sessions neoadjuvant TCHP (dropped perjeta after 4 doses), initial clinical stage lllA Dx 5/24/2019, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 8/1/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Dx 12/27/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 12/27/2019 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/4/2020 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 1, 2020 03:15PM Brooklyn1234 wrote:

I would say it's the manuka honey. One of my health providers said that the only people she has seen who have had no skin reactions at all are the ones who slather that stuff on their skin. Keep it up!

Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Apr 2, 2020 06:21PM HeartShapedBox wrote:

Interesting! I'll certainly keep up everything I'm doing!

Diagnosed at age 43. Triple + luminal B regional spread to lymph nodes, pathological TNM stage llB after 6 sessions neoadjuvant TCHP (dropped perjeta after 4 doses), initial clinical stage lllA Dx 5/24/2019, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 8/1/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Dx 12/27/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 12/27/2019 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/4/2020 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall

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