Letters, emails and postings from readers.
Thank you for “Supplements During Cancer: Help or Hype?” by Laura Beil. I especially liked the concluding zinger, “You may not need to take vitamins, but you will always need to eat them.” Absent, however, were affirmative voices such as Neal D. Barnard, MD, and [the late] David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD.
L. E. Hart
Thank you for Laura Beil’s piece on supplements and for pointing out that, aside from drug contraindications, no science exists to support the use or non-use of supplements, including antioxidants during chemotherapy or radiation therapy. While getting nutrition from whole foods—preferably plant-based, organic and pesticide-free—is ideal, those with cancer can benefit from selective supplementation. Even if clean, whole foods are available and consumed in abundance—and a patient is able to ingest phyto-nutrient-rich green drinks and other sensible food-based nutritional sources—once malignant disease takes hold, food is often not enough to create an anticancer biochemistry.
Silver Spring, Md.
In reference to Laura Beil’s supplements piece, those of us who do not take chemo or radiation are considered to be renegades. But, with a history of heart disease in my dad’s family, I knew I would never survive any toxic chemicals. Now it’s almost eight years to the day of finding my tumor, and I have had no recurrence. Some people would say they are in remission. I say that I chose to take another path, and my body has been made aware of cancer and knows how to subdue it. I know it is your mission to discuss chemo, but not everyone “drinks the Kool-Aid.”
In the fall article about “previvors,” Jennifer Doyle mentioned she has mammograms and MRIs twice a year because she has the BRCA2 gene. As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I know that carriers of the gene are more susceptible to radiation. The National Cancer Institute advises: “The possibility that genetic susceptibility to breast cancer occurs via a mechanism of radiation sensitivity raises questions about radiation exposure. It is possible that diagnostic radiation exposure, including mammography, poses more risk in genetically susceptible women than in women of average risk.”
I am a five-year survivor, and I read every issue cover to cover. The graphic illustrations that go with each article are wonderful conceptualizations of the story. Let your staff know their work is really appreciated.
I discovered your magazine when I was getting radiation for breast cancer treatment. I just love it! I couldn’t bear to stop being able to read it when my treatments were over. I am so glad you have free subscriptions!
I just wanted to thank you for offering this magazine subscription at no cost to cancer patients and survivors. Since my healthcare costs are so high, I would not be able to afford a subscription. So, thank you for being so generous.