Clear studies are not yet available
In animal trials, a positive efficacy of selenium has already been found, but the transferability of the results to humans is not yet guaranteed. Observational studies have shown that people with high levels of selenium are less likely to suffer from cancer, or that cancer mortality is lower compared to a control group. Some studies have shown that selenium has a positive effect on certain cancers, while other cancers are unaffected. However, counter-studies could not confirm these positive properties of selenium. It remains only to observe the future developments or results.
Selenium has been used for some time in about 10% of patients in cancer treatment. The fact is that there are only a few studies that could prove the efficacy of selenium as a cancer remedy. However, there are certainly indications for the successful use during ongoing radiation and / or chemotherapy against their negative side effects and the associated increase in the quality of life of cancer patients.
Selenium in use - chemotherapy
Although the use of the drug cisplatin achieves good results in cancer therapy, it is also associated with massive side effects. High doses of 4 mg / d selenium reduced the negative effects on the blood (hematotoxic) and kidney (nephrotoxic) of the patients, demonstrating that they had to undergo less to no follow-up treatment (such as blood transfusion). These results result from a cross-over study with 41 patients.
Patients with ovarian cancer experienced a drastic improvement or mitigation of the side effects common with chemotherapy through long-term selenium administration, which led to an increased quality of life during the therapy period. Selenium has also been used with striking results in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer. The use of sodium selenite promoted faster cell death (anostosis) of the sick Cells and noticeably supported the heart function of the patients.
Selenium in use - radiotherapy
The treatment of head and neck cancer with additional selenium was also recorded in a study. This showed that with simultaneous supplementation of selenium during radiotherapy, the usual swallowing disorders were drastically reduced.
Patients with cervical and cervical cancer who had their affected areas removed have a better chance of not getting the usual diarrhea with selenium during 50% radiotherapy. Compared with the control group, it was found after ten years that the survival rate of the selenium-treated patients was about 13% higher.
Selenium for prevention
Various studies on artificially produced tumors have shown that selenium proteins inactivate cancer-causing substances. Even before the formation of malignant cell forms, you attack oxygen radicals, which can trigger cell mutations. Even in the early stages of cancer selenium may still have positive effects on the disease, but here it depends on the trigger of the disease.
Selenium binds metals and transforms them into metal selenides. This prevents metals such as arsenic, zinc, chromium, lead or cadmium from forming oxygen radicals and activating and supporting other potential cancer agents. The slowing down of cell growth by selenium also helps the body to save time for the repair of damaged cells.
Too much selenium is harmful
Despite all the positive features that support the use of selenium, it should be pointed out once again that an overdose of selenium can have toxic effects on the body. Self-therapy without consultation with a doctor is strongly discouraged!
Negative consequences of selenium on the human body are not yet sufficiently scientifically documented. There is reason to believe that even small doses of selenium can cause serious side effects. The administration of selenium is thought to be directly related to diabetes and thyroid disease. Selenosis (excess selenium poisoning) can lead to nail thickening, hair loss, skin changes, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, skin irritation and even numbness and paralysis. Also, the storage of selenium in the body has not been studied sufficiently. Only after a positive course of long-term studies on the human organism can a general statement on the pros and cons of selenium-assisted cancer treatment be made.
Selenium administration under medical observation
Since a direct connection between selenium deficiency and cancer has been proven several times, consultation with the attending physician is the best recommendation. He can determine whether the supplemental administration of selenium can have a positive effect on the cancer and what concentration, type and administration of selenium is necessary.
The regulation of occurring side effects has already achieved good results and has made life easier for patients during therapy. This improvement in the general condition despite chemo- or radiotherapy should not be disregarded in a treatment.
Patients, who do not have to experience the sometimes massive side effects of a therapy, can invest their strength in the fight against the underlying disease rather than enduring the side effects and develop more ambition to also gain this and recover it.