Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among women today. There will be nearly a quarter million new cases this year alone. The silver lining that we have here is that the American Cancer Society reports that deaths associated with breast cancer are on the decline. They also report that in the United States there are over 2.5 million survivors of the terrible disease and this number will increase as our knowledge of how to treat the disease does also. For anyone that has gone through this they know that follow up care is an integral part of their treatment program. Understanding the best supplements to boost immunity is also a very important part of this in order to prevent the possibility of recurrence. When starting any supplement program your doctor should always be consulted.
For many years now Chinese Herbal Medicine has been using astragalus root to boost the immune system. During and after chemotherapy the immune system is weakened. This can aid in bringing the immune system back to normal following any chemotherapy. It is believed that astragalus root can enhance some of the natural compounds that are produced by the immune cells. This triggers increased production of killer cells which offer us protection. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) indicates that this supplement is safe with no known side effects and can be taken multiple times each day.
Folate, which is one of the B-Complex vitamins, is also of interest. This can be purchased from your local supplement warehouse or online under the more common name of folic acid. A paper published in 2001 in the publication Cancer Research indicated that folic acid has the ability to protect women from the onset of breast cancer. It is believed that it boosts the immune system by increasing production of immune cells which are located in bone marrow. It has been found that patients with high levels of folic acid in the blood have their cancer risk reduced. Anyone that suffers from anemia should consult their primary care physician before taking folic acid.
In vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli there is a metabolite found which is called Diindolylmethane, also known as DIM. This substance is referred to as being “chemo protective” because it has the ability to somehow interfere with the division of cancerous cells. In the tissues surrounding the cancer cells it also is able to slow the formation of blood vessels making it more difficult for the cancerous cells to spread into healthy tissue. It is available in capsule form and normal dosage is one capsule per day.
In conclusion, as more and more women are becoming breast cancer survivors and our knowledge of how to treat this terrible disease increases daily we also need to have a better understanding of which supplements are best to aid in a rapid and complete recovery. This goes hand in hand with gaining insight that will someday eliminate breast cancer from our society. Research into this area is expected to increase and be very beneficial in the years and decades to come.