(WXYZ) – While the number of people dying from cancer has fallen, it’s still the second biggest killer around the world. Here in America, cancer is responsible for over 595,000 deaths in 2016. As scientists search for ways to conquer it, the use of Vitamin C as a potential alternative way to treat cancer has been in and out of the news since the 1970s. But it is hype or hope?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid has some properties that could make it toxic to cancer cells. Laboratory studies have shown high doses could change how cancer stem cells behave. Potentially slowing it down, from growing and spreading in certain types of cancer like prostrate, pancreatic, liver and colon cancer.
Animal studies have shown positive results, where high-doses blocked tumor growths in certain cancers. But human clinical studies where Vitamin C was used with other cancer fighting drugs found mixed results. Some studies reported cancer patients with improved quality of life, and cases where tumors stopped growing, while other studies resulted in treatments that didn’t work.
Despite the diverse study results, there certainly is hope. The National Cancer Institute has five ongoing active trials concerning Vitamin C. In the meantime, if you’re worried about cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. My prescriptions:
1. Avoid tobacco use and that includes secondhand smoke. Smoking has been linked to many types of cancer and secondhand smoke could increase your lung cancer risk.
2. Eat healthily as it can reduce your risk. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains while limiting red meat, processed meats, charbroiled and deep-fried foods.
3. Stop sitting around and get some exercise. It could lower your risk of colon and breast cancer.
4. Maintain a healthy weight. Being obese raises your risk of many types of cancer. To lose weight, eat less and burn calories through exercise.
Other steps you can take include getting Hepatitis B and the Human papillomavirus immunizations, protecting yourself from the sun and seeing your doctor for routine cancer screenings.
When it comes to Vitamin C, you can’t just eat a bunch of oranges and hope to fight off cancer. Your body will naturally get rid of extra Vitamin C it doesn’t need.
If you do get diagnosed with cancer and are considering intravenous high-dose vitamin C injections, they have not been approved by the FDA as a cancer treatment.
To be on the safe side, you should always discuss any alternative medicine with your doctor before using.
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