Black Cohosh for Breast Cancer Gig Harbor WA

Many women with breast cancer take black cohosh during radiation or chemotherapy because of menopausal symptoms brought on by the treatments—yet few discuss their use of complementary methods with their physicians. Because of this trend, a group of Yale University researchers is investigating whether the herbal medicine alters the cancer cell-killing action of medical treatments.

Jay Bogart Zatzkin, MD
(253) 858-6801
4220 Canterwood Dr NW
Gig Harbor, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Hematology-Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Louisville Sch Of Med, Louisville Ky 40202
Graduation Year: 1974
Hospital
Hospital: Tacoma General Hospital, Tacoma, Wa; Allenmore Hosp, Tacoma, Wa
Group Practice: Multicare Medical Oncology

Data Provided by:
Abram Robert Thiessen, MD
(253) 853-2702
4423 Point Fosdick Dr NW Ste 200
Gig Harbor, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Manitoba, Fac Of Med, Winnipeg, Man, Canada
Graduation Year: 1970

Data Provided by:
William Joseph Thomas Jr, MD
(253) 383-5777
Gig Harbor, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Jefferson Med Coll-Thos Jefferson Univ, Philadelphia Pa 19107
Graduation Year: 1972

Data Provided by:
Min-Chun Che, MD
(253) 403-1677
1003 S 5th St No 3L Wing
Tacoma, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Roger Bing Lee, MD
(253) 552-1029
314 Martin Luther King Jr Way Ste 201
Tacoma, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Gynecological Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Hahnemann Univ Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19102
Graduation Year: 1968

Data Provided by:
Bennie Joe Throne, MD
(253) 853-6217
12921 53rd Ave NW
Gig Harbor, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ks Sch Of Med, Kansas City Ks 66103
Graduation Year: 1964

Data Provided by:
Julie Kay Rose, MD
(206) 584-3874
7411 63rd St NW
Gig Harbor, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ca, San Diego, Sch Of Med, La Jolla Ca 92093
Graduation Year: 1984

Data Provided by:
Roger J Stegman, MD
(203) 597-5700
8417 59th Street Ct W
University Place, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1973

Data Provided by:
H Irving Pierce, MD
(253) 552-1677
316 Martin Luther King Jr Way Ste 304
Tacoma, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Hematology-Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Or Hlth Sci Univ Sch Of Med, Portland Or 97201
Graduation Year: 1965

Data Provided by:
Francis Mark Senecal, MD
(253) 428-8700
1624 S I St Ste 305
Tacoma, WA
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Hematology-Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: In Univ Sch Of Med, Indianapolis In 46202
Graduation Year: 1977
Hospital
Hospital: St Joseph Hospital & Health Ca, Tacoma, Wa; Tacoma General Hospital, Tacoma, Wa
Group Practice: Hematology Oncology Northwest

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Black Cohosh for Breast Cancer

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Since 2003, when evidence that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might increase risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women, the herb black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) has gained in popularity.

Many women with breast cancer take black cohosh during radiation or chemotherapy because of menopausal symptoms brought on by the treatments—yet few discuss their use of complementary methods with their physicians. Because of this trend, a group of Yale University researchers is investigating whether the herbal medicine alters the cancer cell-killing action of medical treatments.

Their study, done in vitro using breast cancer cells from mice, tested the effects of three brands of black cohosh on five common anti-cancer agents. Their results show the herb had no effect on radiation or the drug 4-HC and that it actually increased the toxicity (effectiveness) of two cancer drugs (doxorubicin and docetaxel) on breast cancer cells. However, black cohosh decreased the effectiveness of the cisplatin drug.

“[In vitro] studies are interesting, but their clinical relevance to human experience is ambiguous at best,” says Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas. The Yale researchers agree that in vivo studies, or studies using live animals instead of petri dishes, are necessary, and they’re continuing work with live mice. In the meantime, they say black cohosh is potentially consequential to the outcome of conventional cancer therapy, and they state that breast cancer patients should be discouraged from taking the herb until its effects are better defined.

This study may be preliminary, but it points out the need to inform your doctor if you are considering or currently using black cohosh during cancer treatment.

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