Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer. It is responsible for more than quarter of mortality rate in United States. In recent decades, lung cancer is becoming more prevalent. One of the major reasons is smoking and air pollution. Primary treatment strategy for lung cancer is almost the same as for other major types of cancer. These are surgery, radiations and chemotherapy. Despite the fact that life expectancy of cancer survivors has been improved to much extent, the effectiveness of these treatment strategies is limited. In addition, careful selection of diet and taking essential nutrition is effective for quick recovery of any disease. Furthermore, nutritional supplements including vitamins for lung cancer are significant in this regard.
The type of cancer and early detection also play their role in effectiveness of these treatments. There are certain anticancer plants which are helpful to prevent cancer. Their anticancer properties are attributed to their antioxidants, minerals and certain chemical substances
Vitamins are organic compounds in nature which are required for proper functioning of body and cellular metabolism. Vitamins for lung cancer are effective as such supplements fulfill the nutritional requirements. Moreover, their deficiency in diseased condition such as cancer can further aggravate the symptoms.
Effectiveness of vitamins for lung cancer
Whether to use vitamins for lung cancer and in which amount, is a matter suggested by oncologist. For some reasons, the oncologists may recommend use of vitamins for lungs cancer patients. These reasons can be:
1. Nutritional deficiency in cancer patient
Going through the chemotherapy for treating cancer may pose issues such as loss of appetite and nausea. In such cases, the patient may have nutritional deficiency. Furthermore, this nutritional deficiency causes weight loss and weakness- a condition known as cachexia. Therefore, in such cases, the oncologists suggest vitamins supplements.
2. To decrease the toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs
The medication for cancer treatment often causes side effects such as hair fall, diarrhea and skin problem. For such reasons, taking vitamin supplements can be effective. Studies suggest that taking vitamin supplements can be effective to relieve fatigue and weariness and improves quality of life.
Vitamin D for lung cancer patients
Vitamin D has a special case in terms of cancer treatment. The daily recommend dose of vitamin D is400- 800 IU’s. If this much amount is not made in body, this causes certain health issues. Our body prepares vitamin D, when exposed to sunlight for some time. However, for those living in northern areas, soaking in sun for sometime can be a problem. The alternate for vitamins D is fortified milk. Considering that one glass of fortified milk contain 100 IU of vitamin, this will take 7-8 glasses to reach the daily dose. Thus, doctors suggest vitamin D3 supplements.
Vitamin D for lung cancer patients is effective both for prevention as well as for treatment. Study reveals that vitamin D prevents cancer. Also, it enhances the survival rate for cancer patients. Study carried out by National Cancer Institute suggests that people having high levels of vitamin D have better survival rate than those with its deficiency.
Despite many studies affirm effectiveness of vitamin D, yet recommendation of doctor is necessary. Doctors may perform a simple blood test to determine the levels of vitamin D in body. Thus, the oncologist suggests the recommend dose accordingly.
Effectiveness of Vitamin B 12 / biotin
Vitamin B supplements are effective for lung cancer patients. Vitamin B 12 is often deficient in elderly people. Just like vitamin D, one should take doctor’s recommendation to use this vitamin for lung cancer prevention and during treatment.
Vitamin E / Alpha tocopherol
Vitamin E is an immune booster. Moreover, it prevents cellular damage due to oxidative damage and free radicals. Study suggests that high levels of vitamin E or alpha tocopherol is effective to prevent lung cancer. This is especially observed in male smokers. The high levels of vitamin E considerably reduce the risks of lung cancer.
Some other vitamins that our body needs
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B 6 / panthothenic acid
- Vitamin K
Possible side effects of vitamins for lung cancer patients
Despite the effectiveness of vitamin for lung cancer patients, oncologist’s opinion is necessary. Depending on the stage of cancer, the requirements of patients may vary. Furthermore, these vitamins may interfere with the ongoing treatment. The possibility that high levels of vitamins may interfere with the chemotherapeutic drugs is one major reason for not recommending vitamin supplements.
Vitamins are beneficial for steady state of health and normal metabolic functioning of cells. Studies reveal the effectiveness of certain vitamins for lung cancer. These are effective both for prevention and treatment of cancer. However, one should take doctor’s advice before using these supplements because there can be possible side effects or limitations.