We understand that people with cancer are worried about coronavirus. Here is the latest guidance. We will update it regularly.

General cancer discussions

If you’d like to talk about something that isn’t covered in our other groups, come here to start a discussion or to see other conversations. Other people may be hoping to talk about the same thing.

IV Vitamin C- yay or nay?

Posted by

I have heard a few mixed reports on the use of IV vitamin C as an alternative cancer therapy.

I know a couple of people who swore that it gave them more time and an improved quality of life, but in the end both of them died. I can't help but think that they may have been clutching at straws.

Surely if this was the next best thing, the pharmaceutical companies would be all over it and marketing it?

The latest published research seems to suggest that Vitamin C can actually hinder cancer treatment regimes and encourage cancer cell growth rather than "kill" cancer cells as was initially thought.


Posted by

Hi - you ask for thoughts, and these are mine (for what their worth!!!!)

Personally, I think we all have to be extremely cautious about alternative therapies because of what their name implies - an alternative to 'normal medical treatment'. Ie, the idea is you only use the alternative therapy, not the 'normal medical treatment'. I would argue that only if and as the latter fails, should you start to consider the former as a possible 'last hope'. But then again, of themselves, sometimes alternative therapies can carry their own health risks, and a very careful 'risk assessment' has to be carried out by the patient. Sometimes, of course, when we are really at the edge, we can 'afford' to take those kind of risks - when the 'alternative to the alternative' is losing our life.

However, complementary therapies are different, as their name implies - they can be used as well as normal medical treatment and (providing they don't interfere with them!) it could be argued that, well, why not go for them as well? What's to lose?

From what (very little!) I've read about Vit C treatment for cancer, it's a complementary therapy, (usually???) because it doesn't mean you don't have to not use the normal medical treatment (please someone correct me if I've got that totally wrong!), so I guess in that sense there shouldn't be much risk in using it.

BUT....and I think this is the 'but' I've come across in reading about this in my time (somewhat haphazardly), the thing about resorting to Vit C for cancer treatment is in the dosage. I think that Vit C is one of those 'treatments' that at LOW doses is accused of (in the vernacular) 'feeding the cancer', and it is only at very high doses, injected not eated, that it is said to be effective at killing/harming cancer cells.

As for the argument, however, that 'surely if it worked the pharmaceutical companies would be all over it' - well, a cynical response might be that the LAST thing a commercial pharmaceutical company wants is for a cheap, non-patented therapy to be fantastically effective! We all know, grimly, just how much cancer drugs cost - and even more grimly that a whole bunch of them are deemed 'too expensive' for NHS patients, who are denied available treatment, and die sooner than they might, had they been prescribed the latest drugs..... (I'm not going in to the 'who's the real badguy - murderous NICE vs greedy fat cat pharma companies!', but nevertheless, the dilemma remains)

The whole issue of complementary or 'non-medically-orthodox' treatments does raise the very big issue of just how 'good' the medical profession is as a whole at providing effective treatments for cancer (and all diseases of course). We all like to think we can trust the doctors, but the history of medicine is grimly littered with short-sighted refusals by medical professionals to adopt latest treatmetns and techniques, with corpses littering the way as they did so! (But then it's also full of fantastic success as well, and not many of us would like to be without the treasures of orthodox medicine to protect our health and save our lives!)

We do, like it or not, put our lives in their hands, and whether we are 'safe' to do so is really only a question, so far as I can see, of our own individual experiences.

One experience that seems, sadly, to crop up - how often, I don't know, but you can read some of them here on this site - is how doctors can miss spotting cancer until it's got pretty advanced, or made a comebackl! Should we blame them for that, or is it just that the symptoms were ambiguous??


Posted by
Thank you very much for your reply.

I agree with what you have said- its a minefield out there, and hard for those of us who are supporting a loved one with cancer to sift through all the information and be reassured that they ARE getting the best possible treatment available.

Re: Blaming doctors- I don't know, they are fallible too, but then again they are trained NOT to make mistakes.

Tough one. Raises many points, as you have said.

I would be interested to read more research regarding the dose, do you know where I can find that?

We are not in the UK, (although I am very familiar with the NHS having worked in it for a number of years) so fortunately aren't subjected to the postcode lottery that many British cancer sufferers are.

Thankfully my dad took out mega-deluxe health insurance a few years ago which is covering his treatment.
Posted by

Mrs WB

very interesting thread - understand your interest as I went on a mad learning curve when my husband had his grim 'incurable' prognosis with a GBM 1V brain tumour- After all, the docs throw their hand up in the air, admit it cannot be cured, only delayed so what have we got to lose by pursuing other therapies ALONGSIDE the conventional ?- Never for a moment thought of rejecting what the NHS offered - blasting to the brain with radiotherapy, lovely toxic capsules of chemo - 'Bring it on' - we said BUT we quickly decided the body and its immune system needed some support whilst receiving the orthodox 'slash and burn' approach - Hence D from the start has been on a medley of supportive vitamins, herbal do-das and a fairly strict diet re reducing sugar and high fats-

Can only say he's doing pretty good (touchwood) - Maybe he would've anyway - who knows ?

As for Vitamin C however, saw the newer research on it and decided to give it a miss - He gets the normal vitamin C from good diet but i was anxious about the research and thought better of using it as a supplement.

Sorry not to be more helpful re specifically Vit C but having said that would highly recommend high dose Vitamin D3 as its now being hailed as a VERY useful anti-cancer supplement (google it)

- check out Vitamin K as well - D is on Vitamin K2 - If you're interested I'll give you a list of what he takes- it makes exhausting reading and also is costing rather a lot (!) but I have to say his physical well-being despite radiotherapy and chemo is excellent (DV)

Wishing you and your Dad all the very best

Good luck , Joan xx
Posted by
I would like that list, thanks Joan. Have googled vit D and K for cancer treatment. intersting reading.

Google is hard work though- its hard to find references that have a scientific approach or citation- although they do exist.

I wouldn't have thought my Dad was deficient in Vit D he works outside all day.

I had heard of Vitamin K as a treatment too. Interesting that they are both fat soluble vitamins and both essential for bone development.

Thanks again.
Posted by
Personally I think the Big pharmacutical companies will always "rubbish" any cheap and easy to use alternatives for anything, because they are in business to make money from the drugs they sell. The reason there is so little research into many alternatives is because no-one can get the finance to do it. The big drug companies will not do it as its not in their interest to do so. There is some very interesting reading out there about these enormous giant companies and the power they yield.
There is a site called [Site removed by admin] with many alternative therapies on. I can't say whether any of them work or not, but it makes for interesting reading. We have to remember tho, that many of the main stream drugs dont work either! How many people have had chemo & radiotherapy and still died. Not wanting to be depressing, but its an awful lot more than are cured sadly. Chemo & hormone therapy seem to work reasonably well on Some cancers, and many can testify to at least several more years of life. But some cancers simply dont respond well to the present arsenal of drugs, so I fully understand anyone who looks for alternatives, or complementary therapies.
Sadly, just as the drug companies are in it for money, so are some of the alternative suppliers. There will always be people who will take advantage of those in desparate situations. I think Vitamin C is one of the least harmful, easily available and cheaper ones that can be tried.
All the best
HarryB x
Posted by
Hello Mrs WB

was going to send you a (long) list re supplements that we use and that might be of interest to you- but having just written a post on the new 'homeopathic' thread started today by another lady, Kirsty, I don't know how to cut and paste or move it to this thread --- see if you can check it from there and maybe it'll be of some use

Do hope your Dad's doing ok

much love to you, your Dad and all the family

Joan xx
Posted by
I would be very very wary. Not that I think vitamin C probably has much effect either way but because of the infection risk from any intravenous substance. If you do decide to use it make sure the person providing it is qualified to do so, is registered with CQC and has recent infection control training. Anyone with active cancer, particularly those on chemo are at very much increased risk of contracting serious infections. Unless the source is a licenced one and the person administering uses appropriate equipment and technique you could be allowing a possibly resistent bacteria to enter systemically very easily and to have a catastrophic effect. Tess
If life throws lemons at you, make lemonade.
Posted by

I know it's a very old post but someone is able to tell me where I could buy VITAMIN C for intravenous use...the oncologist doctor has recommended but this type of Vitamin C IV is nowhere to be found

Thank you

Posted by

The clinic where our grandmother is treated with Vitamin C IV uses VITAMIN C mega dose from PharmaLife Laboratories.

I hope this information is useful to you...