Supplements for Prostate Cancer

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My husband was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer with secondary in the spine.  Are there any supplements he could be taking, Calcium, Vit D? he was taking glucosamine before he started hormone therapy is it ok if he restarts this?

  • Hi Lilyfair

    Thanks for reaching out to us here at Macmillan Cancer Support. I’m Gemma and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists.

    I’m sorry to read about your husband’s recent diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer, and hope that he is getting used to life on hormone therapy.

    Thank you for your question about supplements, I am pleased you got in touch to ask as there are many things to consider when someone has a new diagnosis of cancer. Most supplements have not been thoroughly tested in this situation, so their effects may be unpredictable. Some effects are more predictable though, for example, secondary bone cancer may sometimes cause calcium to leak into the bloodstream, producing dangerously high levels that can have serious effects, this can make it necessary for people to have medication to reduce the levels of calcium in their blood.  However, it is also known that it is important to eat enough calcium in the diet, to protect bone strength while on hormone therapy.

    The use of vitamins and supplements is common among men with prostate cancer, but it is important to remember that what is safe or advisable for one person may not be for another. As a service separate to the healthcare sector, we are unable to access patient records to personalise advise. It is therefore important that your husband doesn’t start or restart any supplements without speaking to his hospital team first; his consultant, and if he’s been assigned one, a clinical nurse specialist are there to support him. They will be able to guide you both as to what is safe for your husband.

    Your husband’s recent diagnosis with cancer can sometimes feel overwhelming. We’re here to talk things through if you want to. We also have a supportive group here in our online community: Family and friends of people with cancer forum. If you think the support of others in a similar situation may be helpful.

    With Kind Regards,

    Gemma J, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email. 

    Ref/ AW