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Using herbal remedies with chemotherapy may not be a good idea

Black cohosh, an herb, is often used for treatment of menopausal symptoms. However if this is used in// conjunction with the chemotherapy taken for breast cancer the results may be altered.

Scientists of Yale School of Medicine in a research report have said that alternative medication or self medication taken by breast cancer patients may alter the way cells respond to chemotherapy. Most of the time doctors are not even aware of the fact that their patients may be taking alternate medications even while being under the chemo treatment.

The study had taken a mouse breast cancer cell line to check whether the extracts of the herb black cohort, that is commercially available, can alter the response of the cancer cells to radiation and drugs, which are used for chemotherapy. The results showed that black cohosh increased the effectiveness of two drugs, decreased the effectiveness of the third drug, and did not have any effect on the fourth drug or radiation therapy.

It is still not known why the effectiveness of drugs are getting affected by the herb, and so the researchers are of the opinion that till such is known it is best to avoid the combination of drugs and alternate medicine like black cohosh.

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