New Study: Common Over-the-Counter Drugs May Reduce Spread of Cancer

A new study reveals that the spread of cancer may be reduced with common over-the-counter drugs.
02/22/2012 12:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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A new study reveals that the spread of cancer may be reduced with common over-the-counter drugs. (1) The study shows that reducing inflammation using widely-used, inexpensive non-steroidal anti-inflammatory non-prescription medications (NSAIDs) stop cancer cells from travelling through the lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes, a common highway and location for the spread of cancer throughout the body to a new site (metastatic disease).

Which over-the-counter drugs are NSAIDs? Advil, Alleve, Ibuprofen, and Aspirin to name a few. There are also natural botanical herbal medicines that are known to reduce prostaglandins involved in cancer inflammation. Here are eight medicinal herbs that contain active constituents that have been shown to lower an array of inflammatory molecules including the prostaglandin PGE2 targeted in this new study. (2) These herbs support normal inflammation function, thus changing the environment of cancer cells.

  • Tumeric (Curcumin)
  • Green Tea (ECGC)
  • Grape seeds (Resveratrol)
  • White Willow Bark (Salicilin)
  • Pineapple (Bromelain)
  • Garlic (quercitin)
  • Boswellia (boswellic acid)
  • Holy Basil (ursolic acid)
  • The study showed that a growth factor called VEGF-D is linked to elevated levels of inflammatory molecules called prostaglandins. Higher levels of prostaglandins mean high levels of inflammation and a dilation of lymphatic vessels creating an open highway for cancer cells to break off from one place in the body (a primary site) and travel and grow in another site in the body. This is metastasis, the spread of cancer through the body. Cancer patients rarely die of cancer cells limited to a primary single original location. It is when cancer cells travel and spread through the body that cancer can kill. Stopping the spread of cancer is important to survival.

    Is anyone suggesting that taking over the counter NSAID anti-inflammatory medications or using plant medicines with similar actions can cure cancer? Absolutely not. BUT cancer is an inflammatory disease. Cancer thrives and spreads in an environment of inflammation. This study suggests that managing inflammation may be one powerful and important part of a comprehensive cancer treatment plan for reducing the spread and growth of cancer. And in this case, the therapeutic agents are very inexpensive, not tens of thousands of dollars each month, which is the cost of many of the new chemotherapy drugs that also have the potential to reduce the spread of metastatic disease. In an Integrative Cancer Care setting focused on highly-individualized treatment plans, managing inflammation is a core component of any alternative cancer approach.

    If you would like to know more about how to use natural approaches to supporting normal regulation of inflammation please click here for my FREE REPORT: "Three Dangerous Cancer Survival Myths: What Your Doctor is Not Telling You" to visit my DoctorNalini Blog devoted to Alternative Cancer Strategies for Health.
    Of course, you should ALWAYS consult with your health care provider before using any over the counter or herbal medicine.


    Cell Press. "Link Between NSAIDs And Reduced Cancer Metastasis Strengthened By Study."Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 14 Feb. 2012. Web.
    16 Feb. 2012.

    Herbal medicinal products target defined biochemical and molecular mediators of inflammatory autoimmune arthritis. Shivaprasad H. Venkatesha, Brian M. Berman and Kamal D. Moudgil. Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 January 1; 19(1): 21-29. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2010.10.053.

    These statements have not been approved by the FDA, are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your physician before making any health care decisions.

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