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Beating Bowel Cancer Community

Bowel cancer treatment and side effects



Hi all,
I know there is some thought that you should not take any vitamins or supplements while on chemo because it interferes with the efficacy of the chemo, and protects the cancer cells as well as healthy ones.
With such a lot of diarrhoea I’m not getting many vitamins from the food I’m eating (I have a healthy diet.)
Have any of you had a conversation with your oncologist about taking vitamins while on chemo, if so what was their advice? Have you taken vitamins while on chemo? @LankyYankee have you got any advice?
I would just like to try & boost what I just can’t get from the food I eat :x::x::x:


hi @Pitstop. I have also read a few people saying that they have been told not to take certain supplements whilst on chemo. We had a totally different view from our oncologist. When Mike was first diagnosed I went to him with a long list of supplements and foods that I wanted to try out. He more or less said taking supplements and eating superfood was a load of codswallop and said we could do whatever we wanted. As you probably know we did! Mike had complete success with chemo and has been NED for two years. He still takes everything - too scared to stop it to be honest. No idea if it has made any difference. Unless we went back to day 1 and did it all again without changing anything I guess we will never know. The only one thing our oncologist did tell us was to cut down on sugar!

Sorry can't be any more helpful.
Tiffany :x:


@Pitstop our Onc only told us to run it past her first/the pharmacist at the clinic. Hubby has always taken berrocca and still did thru chemo, and i also gave him ALIVE multivits, and both these were allowed. ALIVE multi vits are gummies so may also help with blocking you up. Now he moves to mop up i`d like to introduce turmeric, and also discuss aspirin. I think as long as you discuss it with them first its ok, as i know some can interfere with chemo. Wishing you loads of luck :x::x::x:


Thanks @Tiffany, that’s very reassuring. I know that they recommend these awful shakes that have everything in, I just hate the taste of them, & what’s the difference in drinking those or taking a supplement?! I’m so pleased to hear Mike is doing so well, a Big well done to him!!
Thanks @charleyb, the gummy’s sound good, what make are they, is the make ALIVE? I took a curcumin supplement when I was off chemo, I was cancer free for a year which was amazing considering how I started out with all this!! Maybe it helped!! :x::x::x:


They are Natures Way ALIVE, i liked them as they are fruits and veggies, and in a gummy, which with hubbys stoma worked well. The other make i have been looking at is Naturelo, they seem to do a good range. Amazing a year cancer free, yes i`m interested in turmeric, and think its worth a shot :x::x::x:


@Pitstop, I asked my oncologist outright, I take B,C,D and turmeric, and he said no problem. In all of the leaflets given to me at the Christie on no occasion did they say eliminateTurmeric from my food.:x::x:


Thanks @Clancy, I think I’ll probably be ok to have a supplement by the sounds of if then ? :x::x::x:


I give my mother a cheap Tesco vitamin and iron tablet when I remember..her normal diet ain't bad, but she does love the tea, biscuits and cakes! ☺
Both folfiri and folfox has worked for I don't think vitamins have done her any harm.


Thanks @Jaap ?


I am on chemo ( again !) . My oncologist fully advocates me taking multivitamins , magnesium ( to help with peripheral neuropathy) , tumeric, superfoods . He says there is very few things that interact with chemo .... such as St. John’s wort .
So many conflicting views.


@Pitstop I asked my chemo team the same thing because of the nausea and lack of intake. They advise that multivitamins are fine but avoid any herbal supplements that could have an interaction with the drugs you are already on.


Onc told hubby to stop eating oily fish and not take any fish oil supplements as they can protect the tumour. He was also quite dismissive of turmeric, which I take daily and I have continued sneaking it in where possible, anything to improve the recommended low fibre bland diet. Also told to stop eating live yoghurt to slow down progress of chemo and radiotherapy through bowel


Oh @jamtart, I eat loads of oily fish!! I’ve not heard this before, it seems that there is no consistency with what oncologists tell us! ? :x::x::x:


I agree @Pitstop , @Jaap .So many conflicting views from our oncologist s..... it’s a concern as to what to take / not take ?


An oncologist can never predict whether a particular line of chemo will work. Yes they have a fair idea and can give you a percentage or fraction backed up by statistics..but no one knows until after that first scan after 4-6 cycles.
So for an oncologist to say to avoid certain foods whilst on chemo..I would go with the oncologist, as you have to trust them..but they are not always right. There are a lot of unknowns.
Just keep doing what you believe works for you or your family member/friend! ☺

Quote from @Caraeliz24:
@Pitstop I asked my chemo team the same thing because of the nausea and lack of intake. They advise that multivitamins are fine but avoid any herbal supplements that could have an interaction with the drugs you are already on.

Were under the same trust, and I was/have been told to craic on with mine. I take quite a few! mad how it can be so different, on dif teams. Just bloody mad hehe