Detoxification products okay during chemo?

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Question from Holly: Is it advisable to use detoxification products, such as milk thistle, while undergoing chemotherapy?
Answers - Marisa Weiss, M.D. The interaction between plant substances and chemotherapy (some chemotherapies come from plants, in fact) may be very specific to the kind of plant substance, as well as the type of chemotherapy you may be receiving. For example, most doctors tell you to avoid using antioxidants during Adriamycin chemotherapy, as well as during radiation. Ephedra is considered inadvisable in general, as well as during treatment. Anything that could increase the likelihood of bleeding should obviously be avoided. For example, aspirin, which is a plant derivative, should not be used close to the time of surgery.

Bring your list of supplements to the doctor who is giving you chemotherapy to make sure that what you are taking is helpful and not harmful.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Complementary and Holistic Treatments featured Daniel Benor, M.D., Patricia Johnson, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about what complementary and holistic treatments are, how to find reliable practitioners, and which might be the best treatments for you.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2002.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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