To the left are some questions you should ask your doctor when contemplating chemotherapy or herbs and chemotherapy. He or she will review the expected effects of the therapy and advise you about the use of herbs with chemotherapy. You may also want to involve a nutritionist at this point in order to have the best medical regimem in terms of diet, drugs and herbs.
Nausea is common with chemotherapy. Doctors may prescribe anti-nausea medications such as Reglan, Compazine or Zofran. Drinking 1 cup of licorice tea once or twice a day between meals may make these medications more effective. Astralagus tea (1 oz loose tea in 2 cups water) taken 1 cup three times a day may also help. Ginger tea is also quite useful.
Below are the most common chemotherapys and the herbs chemotherapy combination that may help with side effects.
Cisplatin and Carboplatin
These medications are used to treat bladder, bone, cervix, endometrial and lung cancer. They are occasionally use in brain tumors. Side effects may include appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, anemia and decreased white blood cells. Cicplating may also cause mild kidney damage, resulting in magnesium deficiency.
Do not take Cat's Claw if you take insulin for diabetes. Do not take astragalus if you have a fever or a skin infection and do not take scutellaria if you have diarrhea.
Cyclophosphamide is used for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Hodgkin's, multiple myeloma, sarcomas, and cacers of the the breast, cervix, lung and ovary. It may also be used to treat lupus. Side effects are again, nausea and vomiting, decreased red and white blood cells, bladder and lung problems and infertility.
This type of chemotherapy is used in leukemias, Hodgkin's, and cancers of bone, breast, lung, cervix, endometrial, ovary and prostate. In addition to nausea and vomiting, side effects are heart damage, infertility, low white blood cell counts and possible colon and liver damage.
It is recommended to take 400-800 units of Vitamin E daily, 2000-6000 mg of Vitamin B6 per day the week before treatment, 150 mg selenium before and during chemotherapy with doxorubicin. Also take 500 mg of L-carnatine 3x/day and 300mg CoenzymeQ both of which protect the heart during chemotherapy.
Do not take Schisandra if pregnant or if you have gallbladder or bile duct disorder.
This drug is used in cancer of the bladder, breast, colorectal, endometrial, ovary and stomach. Side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and low white blood cell counts.
Mitomycin treats cancers of the bladder, breast, cervix, colon, rectum and stomach. This drug has side effects of nausea, vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, lung and kidney damage, and suppression of red and white blood cells.