various diets for preventing or curing cancer does not back these claims. Lymphoma Action claims people with Hodgkin lymphoma should be skeptical when they hear that diet can cure cancer. Lymphoma Action goes on to explain that specific diets that lack clinical research evidence, include macrobiotic diets (a diet consisting of vegetarian foods), Gerson therapy (coffee enemas), and other alternative cancer diets. Cancer Research UK reports that, “some unproven alternative diets may not be safe and may make things worse.”
Some natural supplements are said to boost the immune system, such as echinacea antioxidants, and certain vitamins and minerals. If you have Hodgkin lymphoma and are tolerating a healthy, well-balanced diet, you probably don’t need any type of supplement. However, if you have a lack of appetite or are underweight, your doctor may prescribe a mineral supplement or a multivitamin. Keep in mind that some natural supplements (including some vitamins) may interfere with your prescription medication for lymphoma, particularly when high doses of supplements are taken over an extended period. Always check with your doctor before taking any type of herbal or natural supplement, including vitamins.
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Many people proclaim that antioxidants (available in many foods, such as red berries) can help reduce the risk of cancer. Although antioxidants have been found to absorb free radicals (unstable molecules thought to contribute to some types of cancer), there is no scientific evidence to back the claims that antioxidants lower the risk of getting Hodgkin lymphoma or other types of cancer. It’s also important to note that taking too many antioxidant supplements may result in harmful side effects.
Drinking green tea, derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, is thought to have many health benefits. Green tea has very high levels of catechins, which act as antioxidants. Preliminary studies suggest that there is a link between drinking five or more cups of green tea daily and a lower incidence of blood cancer (including Hodgkin lymphoma). But the National Cancer Institute does not recommend the use of green tea to prevent any type of cancer. Rather than taking green tea supplements (that may have side effects), the National Cancer Institute recommends drinking tea if you choose to consume catechins.
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Physical activity has many proven benefits for people with Hodgkin lymphoma. However, these health benefits are not considered primary Hodgkin Lymphoma treatment or prevention measures. In people with lymphoma, physical exercise may:
- Improve the outcome of chemotherapy
- Alleviate lymphoma treatment side effects (such as blood clots)
- Boost the immune system (lowering infection risks)
- Increase energy levels (lowering fatigue)
- Help a person cope with stress
- Improve emotional wellbeing
A small 2019 study found that a supervised exercise program lowered fatigue and improved mood and overall quality of life for people with Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Regular physical activity can provide many benefits for a person with Hodgkin lymphoma, but it’s important to consult with your doctor before starting any type of workout routine.
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A Word from Black Doctor.org
It may be easy to get overwhelmed with the information available on the internet about natural remedies to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. It is important to inquire about the credibility of the sources that claim to offer reliable information on treatments or prevention of various types of cancer. As part of your decision-making process, be sure to discuss any treatment options you are considering (including natural therapies) with your healthcare provider or cancer care team.