I read today something about how melatonin tablets ( usually to help with sleep) may help treat or reduce recurrence risk.

  1. Your feedback would be welcome. 
  • Hi ash7,

    Thanks for getting in touch with us.

    There has been some research about the role of Melatonin and cancer over the years.

    This overview reported in the ASCO Post last year explains what we know so far.

    In summary it states that there is some evidence that Melatonin may help improve sleep quality . It’s also being investigated for potential anticancer effects, but there is not enough solid evidence to say whether it should be used to treat cancer or prevent recurrences.

    It is also reported to be a selective oestrogen receptor modulator and an aromatase inhibitor. This suggests that melatonin may affect oestrogen levels in premenopausal women. The researchers recommend that further studies need to be conducted to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of using melatonin in cancer patients. That’s especially true for those women with hormone-sensitive tumors.

    This information from Memorial Sloan Kettering about Melatonin references the studies that have been done. There have been a few studies that found giving a combination of melatonin with standard chemotherapy may increase survival times in cancer patients. However, these form a small group of studies with low patient numbers. The research that has been carried out has been for patients who have had cancer that has already spread rather than looking at treating or preventing cancer from recurring.

    It’s natural to worry about cancer recurrence and to question what you can do to try and minimise your risk of your cancer coming back. We have this information that is evidence based that can be helpful to look at.

    I see that you’re already active in our supportive breast cancer group and you’ve been getting lots of wise words from our members. That’s great to see as there is nothing quite like the support that you can get from others who know what it’s like.

    Best wishes and take care.

    Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.

    Ellen-Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse