Integrative Medicine in Cancer Care

Herbs, vitamins and supplements can play a big role in the care of a patient with cancer. While they can sometimes help patients with side effects of chemotherapy, in other patients they may cause more side effects. It is important to remember to use them in a safe way while you are receiving cancer treatment.

Make sure to tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse all of the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs, antioxidants, and dietary remedies.  

If you ever plan to start a new over-the-counter medicine or supplement, make sure that your care team is aware. Some alternative therapies can affect how cancer treatment works or cause additional side effects. Doses and potencies of herbs and supplements can vary, so it is always best to ask for help before you buy them over-the-counter.

Helpful resources for patients: 

  • About Herbs: A comprehensive list of herbal and complementary medicines that is updated regularly by a pharmacist and experts in the field of alternative medicine.