The Wellness Library

IV Therapy for Cancer: A Comprehensive Approach

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Cancer Care

Provider preparing for an infusion therapy service

How Is IV Therapy Helpful for Cancer Patients?

Many people know that cancer and the conventional treatments used to fight it often involve a variety of side effects for patients. The body is doing a lot of work to fight back, after all! Therefore, this process can take a toll on the body, and create side effects like stress, pain, digestive issues, nausea, and more. Therefore, to combat these effects, it is very important to make sure you are caring for your body and making sure it receives the nutrients it needs.

IV therapy can be a great supportive treatment option alongside conventional treatments. This type of therapy is customized to the patient’s needs, and provides support that helps lessen the toll of side effects on the body. It is not meant to cure cancer, but can make it and the treatments used to fight cancer more manageable. Overall, using IV therapy for cancer support can help improve a patient’s quality of life.

RELATED: Wellness vs. Therapeutic IV Treatments

How MIMC Uses IV Therapy for Cancer Support

Our clinic offers IV therapy tailored to support cancer treatment, leveraging the benefits of high-dose vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Our standard protocol includes a combination of vitamin C (ranging from 5 to 20 grams per infusion), calcium, and magnesium.

High-dose vitamin C, exceeding 20 grams per infusion, is a common complementary treatment for cancer. Vitamin C is not a cure—but it is studied for its ability to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and lessen the side effects of cancer. Therefore, incorporating vitamin C into IV therapy treatments can be a great supportive cancer therapy option for many.

However, it’s crucial to note that this high dosage can be dangerous for individuals with specific genetic conditions like G6PD deficiency and hemochromatosis. Additionally, caution is advised when using vitamin C in melanoma cases, due to its role as a precursor for collagen production. This is why MIMC works closely with our patients to understand their health history and unique needs.

High dose vitamin C used in IV therapy for cancer support

Magnesium is also thought to play an important supportive role in fighting cancer and is therefore commonly used in IV therapy for support. Many chemotherapy treatments deplete magnesium, especially platinum-based chemotherapeutics such as carboplatin or cisplatin. Replenishing magnesium can help maintain normal blood pressure levels and minimize cardiotoxicity resulting from chemotherapy.

Calcium gluconate helps to improve absorption and replaces minerals lost from the bones during treatments like chemotherapy. This helps to prevent future complications such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Calcium is also synergistic with vitamin C, making them even better when used together.

As you can see, each of these nutrients are chosen and utilized to support a patient’s health and minimize certain side effects they may experience during their conventional treatments. Many of these nutrients are included in IV formulation because they are necessary nutrients for the body that are often lost during conventional treatment. In other cases, some nutrients in supportive therapies are used for their potential beneficial cancer-supporting effects, such as vitamin C or mistletoe.

RELATED: Mistletoe and Its Supporting Role in Cancer Care

Customized IV Therapy for Each Patient

Because every person’s situation and needs will vary, we make sure to customize treatment appropriately when using IV therapy for cancer support. To optimize the therapeutic benefits for our patients, we formulate the IV nutrients based on the primary tumor location and associated side effects of conventional treatment. For instance:

  • For gliomas: We may add vitamins B1, B9, and B12 to the infusion.
  • Chemotherapy-related neuropathy: Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant frequently used to address neuropathy (a condition that affects the nerves) following chemotherapy treatments such as cisplatin or paclitaxel. 
  • Primary hepatic cancers and hepatic metastases: N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is often included, which is beneficial for gastrointestinal and gynecological cancers with liver metastasis.

Our approach when using IV therapy for cancer support is informed by the latest research and best practices in the field. If you’d like to learn more, you can refer to detailed studies and expert insights from reputable sources such as:

Overall, IV therapy for cancer support focuses on addressing the patient’s quality of life and how we can better support them as they receive treatment. These supportive therapies aim to improve a patient’s health, minimize symptoms, and prevent future complications. However, using IV therapy for cancer patients is just one part of integrative cancer care. MIMC considers many aspects of a patient’s life in integrative care, which you can read about in the blog linked below.

RELATED: Integrative Cancer Care: Enhancing Healing and Well-Being

By integrating these advanced therapies, we aim to provide comprehensive support to our patients undergoing cancer treatment. To begin working with MIMC, receive a personalized consultation, and learn more, please contact our clinic.

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