Mother Nature is a tricky B!!!! She can give us rains that provide our water supply and make crops grow one minute followed by torrential floods that kill and wipe out cities the next. All that is found in nature is not benign. In the plant world, poison ivy and hemlock come to mind. Yet we are lucky to have Vincristine, derived from the periwinkle and categorized as an essential medication by the WHO, for the wonderful cures it can provide folks suffering from leukemia, Hodgkin's disease and other cancers. Morphine, aspirin, digitoxin, quinine, and Paclitaxel are just a few of the drugs derived from plants that have benefited humans across the globe. Then again, we have the beauty of tics and mosquitoes along with the germs they carry from the natural world. Speaking of the littlest beings - viruses and bacteria - while they can damage the unborn, bring illness, suffering and even death - alternatively, they also allow us the enjoyment of cheese, beer and wine and the incredible life saving properties of penicillin. All this is merely a reflection of the pros and cons of the "natural/alternative" world. Because there is also this:
Given the horrible tenacity and morbidity associated with melanoma, and the fact that some of the best treatments provide only a 40% response rate, it is sorely tempting to add a dab of this and a bit of that to our chosen medical treatment plan. Adding things like NSAIDs (mentioned recently in the post: Celecoxib (stuff that's in NSAIDs like aspirin and advil) works synergisticaly with anti-PD1) sounds like a no brainer, right? And while an aspirin a day USUALLY causes no harm, there are those for whom it is NOT a good idea! In fact, most medical researchers agree...if aspirin were put before the FDA today....it would likely be a prescription medication!!! So...just remember: all things over the counter and 'natural' are not always good for us. Talk to your oncologist before adding ANYTHING to your cancer treatment plan.
Wishing you well! - c