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Topic: What supplements (or other strategies) do you take?

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: Apr 27, 2020 02:04PM

berries wrote:

As multiple studies show the benefit of certain supplements, minerals and vitamins, I am wondering what, if any, supplements you take?

I am looking for a oncology dietitian or an integrative oncologist to supplement western medicine (which I highly believe to be necessary), but I've spent hundreds of hours of time researching what I can do to help myself heal with food, supplements and vitamins.

A bit about me:

  • I am 35, diagnosed at 34 - Stage 1B according to new guidelines, IIIA according to old guidelines - don't think it really makes a difference in my treatment
  • I am currently on monthly Lupron since October 2019, went through dose-dense ACT, 2 surgeries and radiation. I will be starting Arimidex in 4 weeks.
  • For added benefit/insurance, I have requested to start Xeloda and my MO agreed! I start this week and add HT in about 4 weeks so we can isolate any SE

Strategies I am doing and supplements I am taking as I am in a high-risk category:

  • Intermittent fasting (16 to 18 hours daily)
  • Keeping a healthy BMI of 22-23
  • Plant-based, whole foods diet - I will treat myself when/if I feel like it, but mostly stick to whole, plant-based foods
  • Exercise 45+ minutes daily, sometimes over an hour - running about 20-25 miles per week
  • I see a psychologist 2x monthly to help manage anxiety/PTSD
  • I take: curcumin, Vitamin D3, 5mg melatonin at night, but looking/researching other supplements to add into my diet

Would love to hear what you are doing to beat this!

xx

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/29/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/7/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 30, 2020 10:55AM Sunshine99 wrote:

Hi Berries, I had been taking a daily multi, calcium with magnesium, fish oil, a B-complex and a D3. Since diagnosed with Stage IV with mets to spine, hip and femur my oncologist has stopped everything except the D3 and has added Arimidex. I'll begin Ibrance once I've finished radiation. My blood calcium levels were rising due to the cancer in my bones so that's why I stopped the calcium and the multi.

Before all this went crazy with COVID 19 and mBC, I was taking all of the above, doing intermittent fasting and having a version of bullet-proof coffee each morning. Into a cup of half-caf I put a scoop of MCT powder, a scoop of collagen powder and a scant tablespoon of ghee. It blended up in my NutriBullet into the most creamy, foamy cup of joy! Since my local Starbucks closed and I stopped walking there every morning, I've started making coffee at home with my Nespresso machine. I've just been adding foamed milk to my coffee and am actually enjoying it. I think Starbucks may have lost a customer. ;)

My diet is mostly plant based with occasional fish (salmon or tuna). My BMI has been steady at around 21. I have to work to keep it there. I haven't been walking quite as much, but the walking does seem to help my back pain. Lower body exercises are not recommended right now, which is sad because I do miss those. I get in maybe 4-6 flights of stairs a day, going from our front porch to the sidewalk, and am allowed to do upper body exercises. I feel like an "old lady" and I'm only 61! (Who wrote that?!?) I'm determined not to let this disease eat my life as well as my bones.


Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Apr 30, 2020 11:50AM MountainMia wrote:

I try to eat a balanced diet focusing on less-processed foods. I do eat some meat but more fruits and veg. I keep my healthy weight stable. My whole adult life, not including pregnancy, it's almost always been within a 10 pound range. I don't drink much alcohol or much caffeine.

As to supplements, I take fish oil, D3, multivitamin, claritin, and baby aspirin. This is a good balance of help without fixation on using a large number of pills at multiple times a day.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Oct 7, 2020 12:02AM Totallytubular wrote:

most things I read say that food is the best medicine and a multi. I've tried some adaptogens powders from ancient herbs. check sun potion.

im not sure if they work and had to run them by an integrated oncologist. all these things you are doing is great. it's especially good to be ably to check in with a psychologist as it's an emotional challenge to cope with the diagnosis and impt to check in. I need to follow some of your leads. vitamin d supposed to be good, but they overestimated how impt it was.

best of luck and make sure to Give yourself a break because you've been through a lot!

Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/10/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/31/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/18/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/13/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/3/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 8, 2020 05:00PM - edited Oct 8, 2020 05:01PM by PAKNC

I had my first appointment with a nutritionist who is part of the "integrative medicine" department at a respected academic healthcare system. She mentioned that she has other cancer patients so if you can't find an oncology nutritionist, potentially a general nutritionist with cancer patients may work. I sought her out due to odd symptoms I've had - tongue sores and a mouth ulcer that won't go away. She immediately diagnosed me as anemic (true, blood work showed this back in late May), and said I probably have a vitamin B deficiency and low vitamin D, because I've been low in the past. My anemia probably got worse due to poor diet when I had some severe mouth nerve pain from dental work and could not eat much.

She has me on a high dose vitamin B supplement (through Fullscripts), chellated iron and a probiotic - because I said I was interested in reducing inflammation in my body. The goal is to get my gut balanced first, and figure out my food sensitivities so that I can absorb vitamins and minerals efficiently. I swear that the burning tongue improved dramatically in two days on the supplements. Also, the fissures in my tongue are closing - she was kind of horrified when she looked at my mouth, yet I had gone to a PCP repeatedly who kept sending me back to the dentist, who thought I just had dry mouth and there was nothing wrong.

I'm 20 years older so I think that my diet has caught up to me more at my age - I don't eat much meat but don't pay attention to vitamins and minerals and the vitamin B deficiency probably crept up on me in the past few years. She noted that low Vitamin D has been linked to some cancers. I have a follow up with a different PCP at this academic health center to get labs done to see how my levels are looking later this month.

Diagnosed at 56. Second DCIS found at new treatment center during prep for treatment for original DCIS. Atypical hyperplasia also found on right breast. In clinical trial, on endocrine therapy, to see if surgery can be delayed. Dx 3/23/2020, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Dx 5/29/2020, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 11, 2020 11:52PM Mariadelpilar wrote:

hi MountainMia,

I am interested to know how the Claratin works in preventing recurrence? Is that why you take it? Any research you could share?

Thank you so much.

Dx 11/7/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 12/26/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Oct 12, 2020 12:25AM santabarbarian wrote:

For an Integrative Oncologist: I was very very happy with Dr Keith Block. He also has a book as well "Life Over Cancer." You can be treated by him if you go there (near Chicago) and he does MANY innovative practices incl nutritional IVs. I chose to be treated in my home area but had a comprehensive consult and was able to duplicate a lot of his program and recommendations. Most of the things I did are in the "Members Stories" thread (p 6) in the TNBC forum... supplements aplenty, high dose C injections, hyperbaric O2, heat, exercise, fasting mimicking, keto. Cold pitch black room for sleep.

I am sticking to this for 3-5 years but I have loosened up a bit on diet and take supplements off/on. I feel wonderful.


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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Oct 12, 2020 01:09PM LillyIsHere wrote:

Next Tuesday I have a zoom appointment with an Integrative Consult in a major cancer center. I will ask her about supplements I take: calcium, vitamin D, fish oil, glucosamine, vitamin B complex and baby aspirin. OMG so many supplements!

Do you have any questions I can ask her?

Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/19/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 12/1/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 12, 2020 03:12PM MinusTwo wrote:

Maria - I don't see that Mountain Mia recommended Claritin to prevent recurrence.

I've been on these boards a fairly long time. Other than the traditional sinus issues, I've only seen Clairtin recommended for the bone pain from Neulasta shots that may be given after each chemo. To my knowledge, no one really knows why that works but it sure worked for me. Start with one the day before chemo & continue for 5-7 days after.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Oct 12, 2020 03:18PM MountainMia wrote:

Mariadelpillar, I'm not an expert on claritin (loratadine,) and I am not recommending it for anyone. I use it anyway, because I have persistent allergies. But my layperson understanding is it may have a beneficial effect for cancer patients, perhaps because it serves as an anti-inflammatory.

Here is a link for the abstract of a piece of research that is looking at a short window pre- and post-diagnosis.

https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/80/4_Su...

This is the same lead researcher, I think, looking at malignant melanoma (a skin cancer)

https://ecancer.org/en/news/17766-antihistamines-m...

This is (I think) a different study using the same reference population

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341697994...




The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Oct 12, 2020 03:22PM MinusTwo wrote:

Mountain Mia - Thanks for the links. I'll be interested to read the studies. Anti-inflammatories are always good.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Oct 12, 2020 07:22PM - edited Oct 12, 2020 07:22PM by kksmom3

I take Vit D and Calcium, Boron, B12, A B Vit mix, Curcumin, a multi also, Vit C and cranberry to ward off UTI's. I have the beginnings of glaucoma, so I'm taking Omega 3,7 and 9, it's a gummy. Have no idea if anything is helping really, but these were prescribed to me by a naturopath dr. I sometimes take EGCG, baby aspirin, advil if I hurt, and various other things more on a whim, more than anything else.I definitely eat fruit and veggies a lot more, everyday, try to get a good 45 mt walk in 3-4 times a week. I need to do better with that. I try not to have too much dairy either. I take gabapentin 2x a day for nerve pain from the lump/rads and metoprolol for high blood pressure. I know this is a lot. I am starting to hate all these pills. I just went back to work, I gained 10 lbs all of a sudden, I wasn't active enough during Covid. Ugh, trying to get it off! I don't think letrozole helps!

Dx 8/8/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/1/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 12, 2020 11:53PM Mariadelpilar wrote:

dear minus two,

You are right. She did not say Claritin was for recurrence. I misread that. It did work for me for bone pain after chemo also!


Dx 11/7/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 12/26/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Oct 13, 2020 05:46AM cm2020 wrote:

I take the following: baby aspirin, zyrtec (for allergies and hives), vit D, vit B12, calcium, viviscal (hair vitamins), collagen. Prescriptions I take are: letrozole and plaquenil. I think that is all I take! I could be forgetting something.

Dx 3/20/2020, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 4/2/2020, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/6/2020 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/25/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 6/10/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes

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