As the war against cancer continues new treatments emerge from pharmaceutical companies but some cancers remain un-treatable through conventional medicine means. For various reasons, more and more people are seeking alternatives to conventional cancer treatments. Sometimes it is just personal decision based on beliefs, other times it is fear of side effects, and still other times the decision stems from poor treatment options. Others are seeking alternative cancer treatments to be used in conjunction with their conventional cancer treatments. One popular alternative treatment form is IV Vitamin C.
Studies and empirical evidence suggest that vitamin C is both safe and effective when given in the right dose and right intervals. These studies find it effective at reducing tumor size, decreasing angiogenesis, and more. While this evidence is positive, much more research is needs to fully understand how vitamin C works for cancer treatment. The current understanding of Vitamin C treatment for cancer is outlined below.
How does IV Vitamin C work for Cancer Treatment and Secondary Prevention?
Oral administration of vitamin C has been used for cancer treatment since the 1950's. While some research suggests a benefit of oral administration of vitamin C, several randomized controlled trials found no benefit. More recently IV vitamin C has been the focus of treatment and some research as well. When given in large concentrations, IV vitamin C seems to preferentially accumulate in and kill cancer cells.
Most patients with cancer have depleted vitamin c stores and higher levels of an inflammatory marker called CRP. Giving IV Vitamin C restores the low vitamin c levels, decreases the inflammatory markers, and seems to increase survival rate in these patients. At low to moderate doses (10-25 grams) vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and support to immune function and collagen production. These are thought to be linked with the declining CRP levels and improved survival rates.
At much larger doses of 40-60 grams vitamin C acts as a preferential toxin to cancer cells only. Through a process known as apoptosis the cancer cells program themselves to die when exposed to very high doses of vitamin C. They do this because they accumulate excessive levels of vitamin C and cannot export it. Our own cells have the ability to export vitamin c and therefore avoid the same fate. When being used for active cancer treatment it should be done several times weekly. For secondary prevention of cancer recurrence, once a month or once a quarter is recommended.
How Much Evidence is There to Support the Use Of IV Vitamin C?
Animal studies seem to be promising but human clinical trials using vitamin c for cancer are limited. There have been a handful of trials using high dose IV vitamin C on cancer patients that had no conventional treatment options. In these trials the high dose vitamin C did not show a benefit. This is not surprising since these patient are in the worst case scenarios and have very short treatment duration. Many case reports by patient at our clinics and others like it do report a benefit, however. Thus longer duration clinic trials would be most appropriate. For more information on research regarding IV Vitamin C for cancer treatment check out this free PDF. It is very through and written so an average persons can get a good understanding.
Does IV Vitamin C Interfere With the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy?
Because of its preferential effect on tumor cells and preferential accumulation in the cancer cells, many oncologists have concerns about using vitamin c in conjunction with chemotherapy. The research is not exactly clear but suggests that it is safe and likely efficacious to use chemotherapy and IV vitamin c concurrently. Multiple studies have found that the antioxidant effect of vitamin C does not interfere with chemotherapy for example. It is recommended to space the two treatments out so that while chemotherapy is leaving the patients body, the vitamin c is being infused.
Where Can Someone Get IV Vitamin C Treatments
In Phoenix Arizona many facilities offer IV therapy and high dose vitamin C therapy. Many naturopathic physicians in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington offer this and some focus on cancer treatments exclusively. In our experience this type of treatment is done in conjunction with treatment from a conventional oncologist. Some cancers are very quickly easily treated with chemotherapy. Understanding the potential side effects of chemotherapy and using nutrition to combat these is another function of naturopathic doctors. In this way we can exploited the venerability of the cancer and protect and enhance the good cells of the body during this process.
When faced with cancer it is always difficult choosing the right treatment path forward. The first part of this is understanding your options. If you have questions, concerns, or objections post a comment below or click for a free consultation.