Community Shares: Vitamins and Supplements for Advanced Breast Cancer

When it comes to fighting advanced breast cancer, many people want as much help as they can get. People often change their diet when facing cancer, and for some, this may mean taking vitamins and supplements.

To find out more about what is working best for you, we reached out to community members on our Facebook page. We asked you to tell us: “What supplements or vitamins do you currently take for your metastatic breast cancer?”

Fifty people in the community answered the question, and their feedback follows below.

Keep in mind that while certain vitamins and supplements might be right for some people, they may not be right for you. Always talk with your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements.

Vitamin D may help fight cancer

Several studies have found a connection between low vitamin D levels and increased breast cancer risk. In general, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, boosts the immune system, and makes our muscles work. Although you can get vitamin D naturally from the sun, it is also found in foods like salmon, tuna, cheese, egg yolks, and milk. This supplement can be found at grocery stores, as well as health food stores.1,2

  • “Vitamin D.”
  • “Vitamin D, calcium, and a vegetable fish oil.”
  • “Vitamin D. I take 1,0000 mg once a week.”

Be cautious with calcium supplements

A condition known as hypercalcemia – too much calcium – can occur in people with breast cancer. Having too much calcium in your system can result in weakened bones and even lead to kidney failure. For these reasons, it is wise to ask a doctor before regularly taking calcium supplements.3

  • “I cannot take calcium supplements, so I eat a lot of high-calcium foods.”
  • “Calcium 500 mg twice a day.”

Magnesium is a common choice for many

Research has found that magnesium intake may improve the survival rates of people with breast cancer. Taking it along with calcium may even boost the benefits for those with breast cancer. Magnesium fights inflammation, improves energy production, and helps create and repair DNA. It can be found in nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables like spinach, and milk. You can find magnesium supplements in pill form or as a flavored powder that can be added to water.4,5

  • “Magnesium a few times a week.”
  • “Magnesium every other day.”

Vitamin B12 is a good option for some

There is mixed research about whether vitamin B12 may reduce the risk of breast cancer, though many in the community shared that this vitamin is part of their daily intake. Vitamin B12 helps prevent 1 type of anemia, megaloblastic anemia, which can make you feel tired and weak. Most people get enough B12 from the foods they eat, like fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products. However, a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause symptoms like fatigue, confusion, and depression.6,7

  • “B12 dissolved under tongue once a day.”
  • “Vitamin B12 per my doctor’s instructions.”

Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences for this story. We are grateful to hear feedback from so many.

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