Is it Possible to Enhance Colon Cancer Treatment?

November 14, 2019
Natural remedies aren't part of any cancer treatment due to the lack of supporting scientific evidence. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, immunotherapy, targeted therapy drugs, and palliative care continue to be valid and effective treatments for cancer colon.

Colon cancer is an illness caused by abnormal cell growth in the colon or rectum. It’s also called colorectal cancer, bowel cancer, or rectal cancer.

The primary risk factors for developing colon cancer are obesity, smoking, alcoholism, diabetes, a history of inflammatory bowel conditions, and bad eating habits (a high-fat, low-fiber diet, for example). A medical history of colorectal cancer or polyps can also increase your risk.

The treatment for this kind of cancer is multidisciplinary. Next, we’ll talk about what that treatment is, and some natural remedies that may help alleviate your symptoms.

Colon cancer treatment

Treatment for colon cancer includes: pharmaceutical drugs, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and palliative care. The type of treatment for each individual varies depending on the cancer’s location and stage as well as the patient’s health. However, doctors recommend surgery to remove the tumor in the majority of cases.

Palliative care would be provided by a team of health professionals (doctors, nurses, and specialists). The primary goal is to help the patient feel better and live longer.

So, treatment for colon cancer involves a series of measures that work together to fight the disease. Unfortunately, there’s no one remedy that works on its own.

Is it possible to enhance the effectiveness of colon cancer treatment with alternative remedies?

No. There are no foods, drinks, diets, or natural remedies that can actually “enhance” colon cancer treatment.

Following your doctor’s orders and living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to fight cancer.

Are there any complementary treatments out there?

Researchers continue to try and improve the existing treatment options as well as develop new ones that are more effective for patients.

Some research has been done about different foods and drinks that supposedly have health benefits, but the studies find that no food is able to prevent, cure, or treat cancer. While there are certain foods that have some potential health benefits, it’s not enough to treat such a complex illness like cancer.

1. Ginseng

Ginseng helps treat colon cancer symptoms

According to a study published in 2014, ginseng tonic could potentially be therapeutic for patients undergoing chemotherapy. That’s because it has a very low grade of toxicity as well as being antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, etc. Nevertheless, researchers indicate that the evidence is insufficient and more studies are needed, especially because there in vitro and in vivo results were different.

Consequently, most oncologists agree that it’s not a good idea to recommend ginseng as part of treatment for cancer patients.

2. Green tea

The experts at the Spanish Association Against Cancer (the Spanish acronym is AECC) have made it clear that while green tea does contain antioxidants, that doesn’t mean it can treat or cure cancer. To date, the research about the potential benefits of green tea in relation to illnesses is inconclusive.

For the moment, health professionals don’t recommend green tea as part of colon cancer or cancer treatment of any kind.

The National Cancer Institute doesn’t recommend the use of tea to prevent, treat, or cure cancer.

3. Blueberries

A bowl of blueberries.

Although blueberries do have antioxidants, they aren’t an anti-carcinogenic. Studies show that while blueberries are a great part of a healthy and balanced diet, they should never be used as a medical treatment.

We recommend reading: Symptoms of Colon Cancer in Women

4. Fiber

While it’s true that a healthy diet with plenty of dietary fiber helps your body work properly, there is no conclusive evidence that eating high-fiber foods can prevent or cure cancer.

Sometimes doctors provide colon cancer patients with recommendations on what to eat and what not to eat. Those guidelines are to prevent issues like constipation, however, and not to treat cancer.

Conclusions

Julio Basulto, a dietitian, nutritionist, educator, and author of Cancer and Diet, argues that “Anti-cancer foods and diets don’t exist… If you use ginseng or vitamin C for cancer, you’re giving yourself false hope.

So, the best and safest option is to always follow your doctor{s orders. Avoid natural and pseudo therapies that lack any scientific support.

The experts at the Spanish Association Against Cancer have put together a brief, clear, and concise guide to the beliefs and myths about cancer. In their report, they make it clear that they don’t recommend natural remedies.

Never try any kind of alternative treatment or therapy without discussing it extensively with your medical team. Not only could it be harmful, but it can interfere with the real therapy and mess up test results.

Scott, A., & Wang, Z. J. (2015). Colon cancer. In Systems Biology of Cancer. https://doi.org/10.1017/9780511979811.025

National, T., & Cancer, C. (2011). Practice Guidelines in Oncology – Colon Cancer. Cancer. https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdh234

Papamichael, D. (2010). Colorectal cancer. In ESMO Handbook of Cancer in the Senior Patient. https://doi.org/10.3109/9781841847481