Omega 3 Fish Oil and Omega 3, 6, 9 supplements


I am on Exemestane, Zoladex and 6 monthly Zometa. On speaking to others with BC, it seems Omega 3 helps with joint pain and potentially short term memory issues
Is it ok to take this supplement with the drugs I have? If so, should I just take the fish oil or is it beneficial to add the 3, 6, 9 also? The 3,6,9 has linseed oil, olive oil, grapeseed Oil and vit E. My understanding is the alpha linolenic acid is converted to EPA, which is in fish oil, so not sure if would lead to high concentrations or if there is a feedback mechanism to stop conversion. Thanks

I asked about supplements and was told very clearly to stop taking any.

Thanks Clio. I spoke to a couple of people, 1 had been told by their oncologist to take fish oil and the other was told by her BCN.

Hi bordercat

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Supplements are a minefield after BC arent they ? . As far as I understand it Omega 3 is ok but Vitamin E is thought to incur a very small risk of recurrence . I stopped taking one of my supplements as result .

Hi Joanne

Yes, hard to navigate! Good to know about Vitamin E, I’ll avoid that one. Thanks

Hi bordercat. I am not sure about the supplements that you are specifically mentioning but I know Dr Liz O’Riordan recommends looking at the Memorial Sloan Kettering website for advice on lots of herbs/supplements. Also, might be teaching you to suck eggs, but walnuts are a really good source of Omega 3 and meant to be pretty good anti cancer food to boot.

Hi Blue80

Thanks, yes looked at MSK website and thought the fish oil was ok but just wanted to double check with BCNs.

Good to know about walnuts, thanks.

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Hi bordercat,

Thanks for posting.

Many people ask about vitamin and herb supplements as they want to do as much as possible to be healthy. There is often the belief that vitamins and herbs are safe as they are considered natural. There is much we don’t know about supplements and herbal remedies. Herbal treatments don’t have to comply with the same regulations or rigorous testing that conventional medicines do. For many products there is a lack of research to support their use, and some can interfere with conventional medicines including cancer treatments. As @JoanneN says, it can feel like a minefield trying to understand which supplements are safe to take.

As @Blue80 has suggested, you can search this American website, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, for information about individual herbs and vitamins. Omega 3 does not list any contraindications in relation to breast cancer but, as @Joanne says, it is recommended to avoid Vitamin E supplements.

Do speak to your treatment team, GP, or a pharmacist before taking any supplements. You can also call the World Cancer Research Fund nutrition helpline for advice from a registered oncology dietician.

Memory loss and joint pains are both common side effects from hormone therapies, such as exemestane. Do talk to your breast care nurse or treatment team about these symptoms so they can support you.

We offer a range of supportive services for anyone affected by breast cancer which you may find helpful. You can find details for all of these services in the link.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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