Q: I have been taking herbal supplements for years and would
like to continue my current regimen. I've heard that I can't
continue them during cancer treatment. Is that true?
A: In many cases, it may be fine to continue the herbal supplements
you are taking. However, some herbal supplements may
interact with your cancer treatment -- particularly radiation therapy
or chemotherapy -- by making the treatment either less effective
or more toxic. We would like to review the supplements you take
and help you determine which ones are safe to continue and if any
should be held while you're receiving your treatment.
Q: Are there any herbal supplements that I should definitely
avoid while receiving chemotherapy?
A: The herbal supplement St. John's wort interacts with the
way many chemotherapy agents are eliminated through
your body. In most cases, we do not recommend taking
it while receiving chemotherapy.
Q: Who can I ask about herbal supplements and
A: You should let your health-care provider know what
supplements you are taking, so he or she can review them.
In addition, you can schedule an appointment within our
Symptom Management & Supportive Care Clinic to review your
herbal and dietary supplements and how they may work with -- or
against -- your cancer treatment.