Anyone who has undergone chemotherapy or radiation to treat cancer knows how brutal the side effects can be. While chemo and radiation are used to target cancer cells and keep them from replicating, the therapies cannot distinguish cancer cells from healthy ones, so every cell in their path is damaged or destroyed.
While chemotherapy and radiation are commonly used to treat cancer, the severity of their side effects has led some to question whether those therapies are worse than the cancer itself. Many alternative therapies are being explored, but meanwhile, cancer patients are often willing to undergo chemo if it holds out hope for survival.
To nurture damaged cells and promote the biogenesis of healthy ones, IV vitamin therapy offers a way to maximize nutrition while bypassing the stomach and intestines.
Cancer Treatments, Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress
Free radicals are unstable atoms that occur naturally as a byproduct of energy metabolism and other metabolic processes. Electrons are negatively charged particles of atoms that operate in pairs. When an electron loses its partner, the atom becomes an unstable free radical that can cause oxidative stress that leads to cellular damage.
In healthy people, antioxidants help cells to adapt and repair themselves by providing a new partner for the lonely electron in free radicals, neutralizing their potential to do harm. However, if circulating free radicals exceed the body’s capacity to neutralize them, the damage they inflict can lead to disease, and can accelerate the aging process.
Cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy work by deliberately generating large amounts of free radicals and causing oxidative stress, with the end goal of killing cancer cells. Sadly, many innocent bystander cells are damaged and destroyed along the way.
Cancer Treatment Side Effects
The underlying goal of cancer treatments is to stop cancer from spreading by destroying cancerous cells. The three most common cancer treatments are radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, and all can have serious side effects that threaten healthy cells and organs.
Radiation therapy uses external beams of intense energy, usually X-rays, to destroy cancer cells. If you have ever broken a bone or been to the dentist, you have probably had an X-ray and witnessed the precautions taken by the X-ray technician against its harmful radiation. In addition to X-rays, protons or other types of energy are sometimes used in radiation therapy.
Side effects of radiation therapy include:
- Destruction of healthy cells
- Skin blisters and rashes
- Extreme fatigue
- Hair loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Development of secondary cancer
- Sexual and fertility problems
- Urinary and bladder changes
Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs made of powerful chemicals to target fast-growing cells in your body. Like radiation therapy, chemotherapy drugs cannot distinguish between cancer cells and healthy cells that divide rapidly. In particular, rapidly dividing cells in the stomach, intestines and mucus membranes take a serious hit from chemo, as do cells in the bone marrow. Some chemo drugs also damage cells in the heart, kidneys, bladder, lungs, and nervous system.
Side effects of chemotherapy include:
- Hair loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth sores
- Nerve damage
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
- Risk of a secondary cancer
The goal of cancer surgery is to surgically remove affected cells. It is most often performed when the cancer is isolated to a single tumor. Risks include infection of the surgical site, loss of function of an organ that was not removed, bleeding and blood clots.
How IV Vitamin Therapy Helps Cancer Patients
Your body uses nutrients to build, repair and heal cells. Because cancer treatments take such a heavy toll on cells throughout your body, antioxidants and other nutrients need to be replenished in ample amounts to support cellular healing and function.
A number of studies have explored the benefits of antioxidants to help mitigate the negative side effects of chemotherapy. One study of children being treated for leukemia concluded that, “Lower intakes of antioxidants are associated with increases in the adverse side effects of chemotherapy.”
Another review of studies involving over 8000 cancer patients found that antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer, and that they enhance their performance, decrease negative side effects and protect normal tissue.
Vitamin IV therapy works by infusing nutrients directly into your blood stream, bypassing your mouth and digestive tract where cells may be severely damaged by chemo.
Vitamin IV therapy for cancer patients often includes:
- Antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione to reduce oxidative stress to healthy cells from free radicals.
- B vitamins and minerals to support cellular DNA formation, gene expression, neurotransmitter formation and energy production.
Before getting any type of additional therapy, including vitamin IV therapy, it is important to discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
IV Vitamin Therapy NYC
Advanced Cryo NYC in Manhattan offers IV Vitamin therapy and other restorative therapies to support health and wellness. Contact Advanced Cryo NYC today, and give your body the building blocks it needs to build healthy cells and repair cells damaged by the negative side effects of cancer treatments.
Kennedy, Deborah D., et al. “Low antioxidant vitamin intakes are associated with increases in adverse effects of chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 79.6 (2004): 1029-1036.
Simone II, Charles B., et al. “Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival, Part 2.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 13.1 (2007): 22-29.