Is it safe to take supplements?

Is it safe to take supplements?

PiNK 2021 Spring issue

【Your Questions Answered】Breast Cancer Care’s experts answer your questions about breast cancer and its treatment. 

Q: I’ve read so much conflicting advice online about the safety of taking supplements while on treatment. How do I know if it’s OK for me to take them?

A: Many people ask about taking vitamin and herbal supplements as they want to do as much as possible to e healthy while on treatment for either primary or secondary breast cancer.

There is often a belief that vitamins and herbs are safe as they are ‘natural’. However, the evidence is conflicting about how safe it is to take vitamin supplements during some treatments for breast cancer, particularly antioxidants such as vitamins A, c, and E and Coenzyme Q10. Some experts suggest that they might make treatment less effective.

Herbal supplements don’t have to comply with the same regulations or rigorous testing that conventional medicines do. For many products, there is a lack of research to confirm if they are safe to use. For some there’s evidence they can interfere with some medicines, including cancer treatments.

If you’d like to take any vitamin or herbal supplements, it is always best to discuss this with your treatment team first.