Herbal products can be very helpful throughout the cancer care continuum. Because of their excellent safety profile, selected plants are being developed as preventative agents. During active treatment, herbs such as ginger, chamomile, turmeric (curcumin) and others have proven very useful for managing side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Symptoms that persist into survivorship, such as hot flashes or cancer related fatigue for example, can be managed with black cohosh and ginseng respectively. Conventional cancer treatment has a narrow therapeutic index and oncologists are very concerned not to diminish the effectiveness of their toxic therapies. Therefore, it is critical that the safety of the herbal products be considered seriously. Products need to be well made without contaminants or variable concentration of key constituents. Herb drug actions can occur but this risk can be minimized. With sensible use of high quality herbal supplement, great benefit to patients can be attained.
Faculty: Mary Hardy, MD
Faculty Disclosures: This speaker has no relevant relationships with commercial interests to disclose.
- Identify which herbs are most likely to be useful for primary or secondary prevention of cancer
- Identify useful herbs to address specific side effects of active cancer treatment
- Identify herbs at high risk for herb-drug interactions, in order to avoid using them
The CME for this course has expired, however you will continue to have access to your purchased content. This course was CME-eligible for a 2-year period ending on December 31, 2020.