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Cancer and Turmeric
Can Turmeric Fight Cancer?

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Cancer And Turmeric | Jamaican TurmericCancer And Turmeric | Jamaican Turmeric

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Jamaicans have been using turmeric since the beginning of time, it seems. My mom would frequently go to the backyard, dig up a few roots, grate them fresh and use them as an alternative for curry when cooking.

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You can add turmeric to your cooking as a spice. Although the vivid yellow powder can be used on its own, curry powder frequently contains it as an ingredient. It's also available as a supplement. Fresh turmeric is a plant that resembles its close relative, the ginger root, in appearance.

Curcumin is the substance in turmeric that is active. Turmeric, curcumin, or even both names could be found on the supplement label. Supplemental turmeric is used to treat swelling and inflammation.

People use many things as preventative medicine, such as vitamins and minerals. Turmeric, or curcumin, is one such supplement. It can be taken in capsule form or incorporated into food. The evidence is still early, but it's looking promising for using turmeric (curcumin) as preventative medicine for many types of cancer and possibly even to treat it.

According to some studies, the curcumin found in turmeric has several health advantages, including the ability to combat cancer cells. According to some laboratory studies, it may be effective in treating lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Others claim that curcumin may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

According to research on patients with colorectal cancer, it might slow the disease's progression. Another study discovered that daily use might reduce cancer risk in those at high risk.

But research on animals or lab-grown cells provides the majority of evidence linking turmeric to cancer. It is unclear what those studies mean for those who already have cancer or are attempting to prevent getting it.

Clinical Studies

Numerous studies have examined the possibility of using curcumin as a cancer treatment. These have produced some positive outcomes.

In clinical trials, curcumin is being tested on cancer patients. According to early research from one, it may be able to reduce levels of a protein that is a crucial indicator of prostate cancer.

Other research has looked at whether chemotherapy can improve chemotherapy's efficacy in patients with advanced colorectal or pancreatic cancer.

The pancreatic cancer study's findings are not yet available, but those of the colorectal cancer study suggested some potential advantages that might call for further investigation.

Numerous studies are examining additional potential advantages. One study discovered that using turmeric as an oral rinse may help with the frequent mouth sores experienced by patients receiving radiotherapy for head and neck cancers.

A review published in Oncology Reports found that curcumin could be used to treat breast, cervical and prostate cancers by slowing down the growth of tumours. Another study found that taking curcumin supplements daily for four weeks reduced the size of uterine fibroids (noncancerous tumours) by 40% compared with placebo treatment.

Another study discovered that taking turmeric didn't relieve pain or skin issues in breast cancer patients receiving radiation.

An international laboratory study on bowel cancer cells was one of these in 2013. It examined the results of combining chemotherapy and curcumin therapy. The combined therapy may be superior to chemotherapy alone, the researchers concluded.

Numerous review studies have brought attention to the issue that curcumin is difficult to absorb. As a result, it is less effective as a treatment. Researchers are examining solutions to this issue.


Some evidence suggests curcumin may interact negatively with some cancer medications. It's always best to speak with your doctor before trying any supplement, be it turmeric or another. It makes sense that you might want to try anything if you believe it could help with cancer treatment or even cure the disease.

The use of alternative cancer treatment like turmeric is entirely up to you. Stopping your cancer treatment in favour of an unproven treatment could be harmful to your health. Numerous websites advertise turmeric as a cancer treatment.

But none of these assertions is backed by credible scientific cancer organisations as yet, so ensure you do your research or even speak with a natural herbalist doctor before you start incorporating turmeric in your cancer treatment regimen.

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References & Sources For Cancer And Turmeric

  1. 2022. Turmeric | Complementary and alternative therapy | Cancer Research UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 September 2022].
  2. 2022. Turmeric | Complementary and alternative therapy | Cancer Research UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 September 2022].
  3. WebMD. 2022. Can Turmeric Fight Cancer?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 September 2022].

Cancer and Turmeric | Written: September 02, 2022

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