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antioxidants during radiation therapy

Do antioxidants reduce the effects of radiation in breast cancer patients?
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MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi.  Which antioxidants are you referring to?  There are certain drugs, particularly amifostine, which have been proven in various clinical trials to protect against the adverse effects of radiotherapy in cancer patients.  But these are not the commercially available anti-oxidants which are readily available over-the-counter.  If you're referring to inositol or inositol hexaphosphate, these substances have shown promise as radiation protectants in mice and cultured human skin cells.  However, as far as I know, these have not been tested systematically in clinical trials involving humans, much less cancer patients.  So we really don't know if they actually work.
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The doctor had prescribed vitamin E, Calcium with vitamin D and a multivitamin tablet. Several online websites had warned against the use of antioxidants during radiation and hence the concern..
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Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi.  Part of the way in which radiation works is by producing oxygen free radicals (oxygen molecules with an extra negative charge) which then react with the cancer cells' internal structures, particularly its DNA, causing damage to these structures and ultimately, death of the cancer cell.  Theoretically, antioxidants may blunt the reaction of oxygen free radicals with the cancer cells' structures, thus decreasing the efficacy of radiation in killing cancer cells..  But as far as I know, there are no clinical trials that actually prove that this is so.  I have had patients who did take Vitamins D and E while they were undergoing radiation treatment, and the results of the treatment has been satisfactory, so it doesn't seem to me that taking those vitamins had any effect on the radiation at all.
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Avatar universal
Thank you sir for the explanation.I was indeed too worried about this issue.thanks again.
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