August 2008 Issue

Vitamin/Mineral Supplement Use After Cancer Diagnosis: Safe? Effective?

As a result of living longer, the number of Americans with cancer has soared from about three million in 1970 to more than 10 million in 2004. And experts expect that number to double by 2050. People undergoing treatment for cancer as well as those fighting to keep it from returning—now all called cancer survivors—are increasingly determined to control their disease. Many of these survivors—about 75%, according to a recent review of 32 studies—are turning to dietary supplements, in hopes of quelling the side effects of treatment, reducing the risk of recurrence and improving survival odds. This is despite little evidence that supplements can make a difference. EN explores this controversial topic to uncover the best advice for survivors on what constitutes safe and sensible supplementation after a cancer diagnosis.

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