Vitamin C Therapy for Cancer Patients

Vitamin C Therapy for Cancer Patients

Cancer is one of the most common causes of illness and mortality in Australia, accounting for 19% of disease burden in 2011. Cancer refers to the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells within the body as a result of damage to cellular DNA. Healthy cells have specialised functions, and vary in size, shape, and growth rate. However, cancer cells lack the normal controls seen in healthy cells and begin to grow uncontrollably.

louis-reed-747388-unsplashCancer cells secrete enzymes that digest the surrounding connective tissue, allowing the cancer cells to spread in a process known as metastasis. Metastasis primarily occurs in the bone, lungs, liver, lymph nodes and the brain. A number of treatment options are available for cancer such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

 

People with cancer often experience symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, pain, nausea and loss of appetite. A weakened immune system due to chemotherapy and radiation can result in increased susceptibility to colds and viruses.

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In addition to chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, intravenous (IV) therapy has increased in popularity amongst patients with cancer. IV therapy involves the administration of vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream that bypass the digestive system. Therefore, the body absorbs 100% of the nutrients. IV vitamin C is an antioxidant, and a popular treatment due to its involvement in the synthesis of collagen, neurotransmitters and carnitine.

 

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Vitamin C is also associated with decreased markers of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a major factor in the development and progression of cancer. Several studies have shown that high dose vitamin C infusions have proven to reduce the symptoms experienced by cancer patients.  Additionally, the quality of life of patients with cancer drastically improves with IV vitamin C therapy.

 


 

Sources:

  • Carr, A., Vissers, M., & Cook, J. (2014). The Effect of Intravenous Vitamin C on Cancer- and Chemotherapy-Related Fatigue and Quality of Life. Frontiers In Oncology, 4(283). http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2014.00283
  • Fritz, H., Flower, G., Weeks, L., Cooley, K., Callachan, M., & McGowan, J. et al. (2014). Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 13(4), 280-300. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1534735414534463
  • Jacobs, C., Hutton, B., Ng, T., Shorr, R., & Clemons, M. (2015). Is There a Role for Oral or Intravenous Ascorbate (Vitamin C) in Treating Patients With Cancer? A Systematic Review. The Oncologist, 20(2), 210-223. http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2014-0381
  • Mikirova, N., Rogers, A., Casciari, J., & Taylor, P. (2012). Effect of high-dose intravenous vitamin C on inflammation in cancer patients. Journal Of Translational Medicine, 10(189). http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5876-10-189
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