It’s morning in the chemotherapy ward. All around us are courageous people undergoing treatment for their cancers. Most of them have lost their hair. Some have nausea and mouth sores so painful they can barely eat. For many, the tingling in their fingers and toes has replaced the feeling that used to be there. And some have had their chemo terminated because their kidney toxicity has become too severe.
One person has been undergoing chemotherapy for well over a year. She still has most of her hair. She hasn’t had a day of nausea and has never had a mouth sore. The tingling in her fingers is minimal and easy to ignore, and her kidneys and liver are fine.
Why are the others suffering side effects so much worse and having to discontinue their treatment? Because their oncologists told them that they had to come off all of their herbs and nutritional supplements because you cannot take antioxidants while you are on chemotherapy.
And that is the cruelest lie of modern medicine.
The lie is based on a theory. Chemotherapy kills cancer cells by creating free radicals; antioxidants protect cells from free radicals; therefore, antioxidants will protect cancer cells from the free radicals that are being unleashed on them to destroy them. Antioxidants interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Or so the theory goes.
But there are three problems with the theory. The first is that it is way too simplistic and probably untrue. The second is that all of the available data refutes it. And the third is that it is utterly hypocritical.
It’s Not True
It is true that some chemo drugs produce free radicals. But, although some chemo drugs produce free radicals, most of these produce their anticancer effects in ways that do not involve the free radicals.