According to the American Cancer Society, over 22,000 cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed every year in the US. The standard treatment for ovarian cancer is chemotherapy with very powerful anti-cancer drugs. A drug called paraplatin is usually used to treat cancer of the ovaries and is given intravenously (via a drip).
Unfortunately it has some side-effects, including low blood counts for red and white blood cells and platelets, nausea and vomiting, weakness, hair loss and an overload of magnesium in the blood for more than 30% of recipients). Rarely, 1% of people having chemotherapy with paraplatin will experience life-threatening cardiovascular complications like heart failure, blood clots and strokes, so anything that can assist in the effectiveness of the treatment and help prevent the person from needing further treatments would be beneficial.
Research at University of Rutgers University in the US has found that when cancer cells are pre-treated with cranberry juice, the chemotherapy killed six times more cancer cells than cells that were not treated with the juice. The juice also slowed the growth of cancer cells and stopped them from spreading. Scientists used the equivalent of one glass of cranberry juice on the cell samples.
Dr. Singh, a Chemist in the Department of Plant Biology in Rutgers University, said
“Cranberries are already very well known to have antioxidants that boost the immune system and body strength, prevent urinary tract infection and help fight cardiovascular disease. So, we knew that cranberries would certainly not harm cancer patients. And now, we found that they actually increase sensitivity to chemo several-fold.”
Subsequent studies by other medical professionals have found that cranberry juice can also prevent bacteria from entering the bladder and help reduce urinary tract infections and bladder cancers.
So if you are about to embark on chemotherapy, drink several glasses of cranberry juice a day to aid your recovery, and remember, it won’t hurt you or harm your treatment.
Sources: University of Rochester Medical Center, US and Chemocare chemotherapy website.