Do Natural Remedies Help Fight Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer is a disease that usually occurs in women over the age of 40. According to data from the Institute for Advanced Techniques Against Cancer (ITACC), 50% of cases occur in women over 63. However, this disease can also affect young women. In today’s article we ask whether we can use natural remedies to fight ovarian cancer.
In addition to age, the main risk factors include obesity, the absence of complete pregnancies, nulliparity and family history.
According to experts from the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology “there are some studies that indicate that a diet rich in fat and exposure to talc are risk factors, but there are no conclusive studies.”
All about treatment for ovarian cancer
When it comes to the treatment of ovarian cancer, there is a multidisciplinary approach. In this respect, SEOM experts indicate that it generally consists of a combination of surgery (surgical removal of the existing visible tumour), followed by chemotherapy. In addition to this, they will use hormonal therapy, radiotherapy and treatment on biological targets.
However, it all depends on the individual case. It’s necessary to take into account different variables. These include the patient’s state of health, the type of tumor, its extent, among other aspects.
However, can natural remedies contribute to the treatment given by the doctor? Are they a recommended option? Let’s look at this below.
The reality about the use of natural remedies to fight ovarian cancer
Health professionals and Diet and Nutrition experts say there is NO anti-cancer food, drink, or diet. Even when the potential of a particular food compound has been investigated, evidence has shown that cancer cannot be treated, prevented or cured by regular consumption of a particular food or drink. However, they do recommend maintaining a balanced diet, giving priority to fresh foods and less room for ultra-processed foods.
The AECC experts clarify that natural remedies are not recommended since they lack scientific basis and effectiveness. They should therefore not be used. We often believe them to be harmless. However, in reality they can cause interactions, interfere with the treatment prescribed by the doctor, and even harm the patient.
So, for the treatment of ovarian cancer, natural remedies are not an adequate option.
1. Shiitake mushrooms
Several studies have been conducted to determine whether any of its components could contribute to the treatment of ovarian (and other) cancer because of their nutritional value. However, the evidence found was inconclusive. In addition, experts conducted the studies in mice. Therefore, the scientific community doesn’t support the consumption of shiitake mushrooms as a measure to cure or treat cancer.
Shiitake mushrooms contain beta-glucan, a molecule attributed with anti-cancer properties in vitro.
2. Soy and derivatives
Although soy is rich in proteins and other nutrients and it’s advisable to include it in a balanced diet to maintain health, there is no evidence to recommend its consumption as an concurrent treatment for cancer or other diseases.
In one study, scientists evaluated the potential of isoflavones in soy to reduce the risk of breast cancer. However, the researchers concluded that they need to look into it more. Therefore, there’s still no evidence to indicate that consumption of soy is determinant in the prevention or treatment of this disease. For the time being, consider it as a supplement to a balanced diet.
3. Oily fish
Oily fish is, without a doubt, one of the main sources of omega-3 fatty acids that exists, so it’s advisable to consume it in a balanced diet in order to enjoy good health.
In one study, experts evaluated its potential to help prevent prostate, breast and colon cancer, and they determined that, although LCPUFA may have a protective role with respect to cancer, mainly because of the inflammatory properties they possess, the evidence indicates that consumption of oily fish alone is not sufficient to prevent or treat diseases such as ovarian cancer (or other types).
Read about The Effects of Mercury in Fish
Once again, we clarify that there is no food capable of preventing, treating or curing cancer and that natural remedies are not a valid option to fight ovarian cancer. This is because they can interfere with the treatment prescribed by a doctor.
Finally, it’s important to point out that, once the treatment has been completed, patients should periodically come for check-ups. These help to monitor their state of health and to control any side effects they may have.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Tan, W., Lu, J., Huang, M., Li, Y., Chen, M., Wu, G., … Wang, Y. (2011). Anti-cancer natural products isolated from chinese medicinal herbs. Chinese Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1186/1749-8546-6-27
- Agarwal, N., Majee, C., & Chakraborthy, G. S. (2012). Natural herbs as anticancer drugs. International Journal of PharmTech Research.
- Craig, W. J. (1999). Health-promoting properties of common herbs. In American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Madhuri, S., & Pandey, G. (2009). Some anticancer medicinal plants of foreign origin. Current Science.