What does mistletoe do for breast cancer patients? To phrase this question differently, does mistletoe help breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy?
This is a blog post about the quality of life of breast cancer patients undergoing chemo. It isn’t really about quantity of life like most breast cancer focused articles are.
I am a long-term cancer survivor of a different type of cancer called multiple myeloma. Conventional therapies did little for me other than saddle me with a lifetime os long-term side effects. Few newly diagnosed cancer patients understand that managing cancer is about both quality and quantity of life.
The research below talks about mistletoe and breast cancer patients and their quality of life.
Mistletoe extract, also known as Iscador or Viscum album, is a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy that is sometimes used by cancer patients. It is derived from various species of mistletoe and has been studied for its potential effects on cancer treatment.
Here are some potential risks and benefits associated with mistletoe extract for cancer patients:
Risks and considerations:
It’s important for cancer patients to discuss the use of mistletoe extract or any other complementary therapy with their healthcare team. They can provide guidance, weigh the potential risks and benefits, and help make an informed decision that is tailored to the individual’s specific situation and needs.
Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer? Are you struggling with the side effects of chemotherapy? Let me know. Thanks. David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com
“Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer type in women and quality of life an essential part of patients’ well-being. Although the treatment with mistletoe extracts is covered by multiple cancer guidelines and reviews, it is uncertain whether mistletoe extracts can improve the quality of life in breast cancer patients. We therefore performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on this topic…
Discussion: Our results indicate a clinically relevant, medium-sized effect of mistletoe extracts on the quality of life in breast cancer patients which may be based on the immunomodulating effects of mistletoe extracts during chemotherapy…
Mistletoe extracts (ME) are injected subcutaneously 2 to 3 times a week, during and beyond standard oncologic treatments.9 Recent meta-analyses of clinical studies concluded that application of ME produces a significant, medium-sized effect on QoL in cancer and may prolong survival…10–12
The most studied bioactive components are viscotoxins and lectins, but ME also contain other compounds such as
One possible clinically observed mode of ME is immunomodulation, which may reduce inflammatory markers and the rate of neutropenia. This, together with a peripheral endorphin-release, may form the basis for an improvement of quality of life and reduction of side effects related to standard oncological therapies…14,15