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Changes of Terminal Cancer Patients' Health-related Quality of Life after High Dose Vitamin C Administration *

Over the years there has been a great deal of controversy on the effect of vitamin C on cancer. To investigate the effects of vitamin C on cancer patients' health-related quality of life, we prospectively studied 39 terminal cancer patients. All patients were given an intravenous administration of 10 g vitamin C twice with a 3-day interval and an oral intake of 4 g vitamin C daily for a week. And then we investigated demographic data and assessed changes in patients' quality of life after administration of vitamin C. Quality of life was assessed with EORTC QLQ-C30. In the global health/quality of life scale, health score improved from 36±18 to 55±16 after administration of vitamin C (p=0.001). In functional scale, the patients reported significantly higher scores for physical, role, emotional, and cognitive function after administration of vitamin C (p<0.05). In symptom scale, the patients reported significantly lower scores for fatigue, nausea/vomiting, pain, and appetite loss after administration of vitamin C (p<0.005). The other function and symptom scales were not significantly changed after administration of vitamin C. In terminal cancer patients, the quality of life is as important as cure. Although there is still controversy regarding anticancer effects of vitamin C, the use of vitamin C is considered a safe and effective therapy to improve the quality of life of terminal cancer patients.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 09-04-2009
Authors: Chang Hwan Yeom, Gyou Chul Jung, and Keun Jeong Song
Source: J Korean Med Sci. 2007 February; 22(1),: 7–11.