- What you need to know first
- Risks and side effects
- Dietary supplement advertising and promotion
- Talking with your doctor
- Common misconceptions about dietary supplements
- FDA regulation of drugs versus dietary supplements
- Manufacturing guidelines for dietary supplements
- Reading dietary supplement labels
- Guidelines for choosing dietary supplements safely
- To learn more
Talking with your doctor
No matter what kind of treatment you are getting, it is always safest to talk with your doctor about the type and amount of each supplement you want to try. Do this before you start taking anything new. If you have been taking supplements and want to keep taking them, it is important that your doctor knows this, too.
Many doctors are just starting to learn about the uses, risks, and potential benefits of dietary supplements. In some cases, this can cause problems between patient and doctor when it comes to using supplements along with standard cancer treatment. This is getting better as more studies are done and better information is becoming available.
Gather as much information as you can on the dietary supplement you are thinking about using. Then, approach your doctor with the information you have, and ask for an open conversation about it. Ask for his or her professional opinion as to whether the treatment is safe and medically sound. Also ask how it might be safely used along with your cancer treatment. Remember to make sure that your doctor knows about other medicines, vitamins, and supplements that you are already taking.
Last Medical Review: 09/22/2011
Last Revised: 09/22/2011