Monday, July 23, 2012


If you are a cancer patient undergoing treatment, please see the disclaimer at the end of this article.

Treatments for cancers such as mesothelioma cancer can leave your body depleted of certain vitamin and minerals. Not replacing these vitamins and minerals can cause you to feel unwell and develop vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Making sure that include vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and iron in your diet can reduce these risks and increase your health

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-based vitamin that works in the body to repair damaged tissue and boost the immune system. Because it is a water-based vitamin, it isn’t stored or created by the body and must be replaced to maintain its functions. Vitamin C is mainly found in citrus fruit and berries such as strawberries and blackberries. This vitamin also doubles-up as an antioxidant that works to fight cellular damage in the body caused by environmental pollutants called free radicals. Cancer treatments such as radiation treatment and chemotherapy can deplete your immune system, making it necessary to include vitamin C in your dietary regimen each day. Your physician may recommend taking a supplement along with eating vitamin C sources to meet your personal needs.

B-Complex Vitamins

Vitamin B-complex is a group of water-based B vitamins needed for good health. This group of eights vitamins include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. B vitamins are found in every food group and include foods such as milk, fish, citrus fruit, potatoes, nuts and whole grains. B vitamins are necessary for:
•         maintaining normal growth and development
•         producing energy
•         helping the cells make and maintain DNA
•         regulating how the body uses carbohydrates and folic acid
•         keeping the skin, eyes, nails, hair and nervous system healthy

A deficiency in B vitamins causes brittle nails, hair loss, muscle cramps, respiratory distress, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, anemia and fatigue. This can worsen symptoms, treatment effects, medication side effects, and cause additional health concerns. Not having enough vitamin B-9 (folic-acid) can lead to folic acid anemia. The American Cancer Society states that some practitioners believe that vitamin B deficiencies can lead to cancer because of a weakened immune system.


The mineral, iron, is responsible for ushering oxygen throughout your body by way of red blood cells. Iron is one of the most important minerals in your body. Without an adequate amount, you can suffer iron deficiency anemia. This occurs when your body loses more iron than it takes it. Iron loss in cancer patients may come from malnutrition or treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy. Iron deficiency anemia causes your red blood cell count to decrease and the remaining red blood cells appear larger than normal. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include fatigue, difficulty breathing, feeling unwell, dizziness, and nausea. These symptoms can cause symptoms from chemotherapy to worsen and may even lead to malnutrition or death in rare cases. Increase your iron intake by consuming green-leafy vegetables, dried beans, salmon and whole grains. Your physician may also recommend taking iron supplements or an iron injection to meet your personal needs.

If you are a cancer patient, consult with your medical (chemo) &/or radiation oncologist before adopting a new diet or adding vitamin, mineral, or antioxidant supplements.  While normal amounts of vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants from food may be beneficial, excessive amounts via either diet or supplements may interfere with your treatment(s).


  1. Hi jess, nice to see you posting on your blog again, though this one worries me a bit! Interesting article though, and unfortunately probably a lot of people could use this information!

  2. Hi Tee,

    No need to worry! Jillian contacted me about writing the article, & I thought it was good information relevant to enough people to include on my site. I've been busy with our move, but starting to feel like things are settling into a routine again.



If you have comments or suggestions, please share them!