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Supplements of the sunshine vitamin can enhance survival rates for breast cancer patients

Vitamin D supplements can increase survival rates of breast cancer patients © Shutterstock

In case you are suffering from breast cancer, go out and spend more time under the sun. A new study has found out that vitamin D supplements increase survival rates by 20% for breast cancer patients. Talk to your doctor before you take the supplements, suggest experts.

Written by Sreemoyee Chatterjee |Published : September 11, 2018 5:03 PM IST

For patients suffering from breast cancer, this is great news. Supplements of the sunshine vitamin or Vitamin D could increase the survival rates for breast cancer patients, found a recent study conducted by experts from the Royal college of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). 5,500 patients were studied, and analysis of the data obtained from these patients clearly showed that those who took vitamin D supplements after diagnosis of cancer had an increased rate of survival, as much as 20% compared to those who did not take it, stated a recent media report. All these female patients who participated in the study belong to the age group of 50-80 years.

Professor Kathleen Bennett who supervised the research, reportedly said: "Previous studies have found that higher blood levels of vitamin D, which can come from our diet, sunlight or supplements, is associated with increased breast cancer survival. Our study suggests that vitamin D supplementation might be useful for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Large clinical trials are already underway overseas to look into this further."

Appreciating the study's findings, Dr Robert O'Connor, head of research at the Irish Cancer Society suggested that patients should definitely consult their concerned doctors before taking the supplements. He reportedly said: "Before rushing out to buy vitamin D supplements, we urge women with breast cancer to first talk to their medical team. Vitamin D use can cause health issues and each woman's cancer is unique and will require personalised treatment. While this is an important preliminary study, the findings only show an association, and not causal link."

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According to the same media report, he added: "We will only know if vitamin D supplementation should be recommended to improve breast cancer treatment outcome in the coming years when the results of clinical trials emerge." The researchers, however, did not cover other factors apart from consuming vitamin D supplements that could possibly increase the rate of survival for breast cancer patients.

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