Are There Any Natural Approaches That Might Help Boost My Immune System In-Between Cancer Treatments?

Linda A. Lee, M.D,

Question: Are there any natural approaches that might help boost my immune system in-between cancer treatments?

Answer:There is a lot of interest in using supplements to try to boost the immune system, and the idea here is that if somehow you could make your immune system more active maybe you would win a battle against cancer. The problem is, though, is that -- particularly for patients who have hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia or lymphoma, or perhaps you've had a bone marrow transplantation – there are certain, these circumstances where you may not want to be boosting your immune system, especially since we aren't sure how many of these supplements work. Most of the data that exists involving supplements that have immune-modulating activities come from animals, and their effect in humans for particular disorders still we don't understand very clearly. So it's hard to make that recommendation to use an immune modulator, especially while you're getting active chemotherapy or radiation.