As of 2015, evidence is insufficient to establish curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, as a cancer treatment. Research is ongoing to determine the potential value of curcumin to prevent and treat cancer and its symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic.
Past animal and laboratory research shows promise for curcumin's ability to slow the progress of cancer or prevent it. It may also minimize the damage that healthy cells may incur during radiation therapy and enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments, notes Mayo Clinic. Curcumin has a long history of use as a medical treatment in Asian medicine. Curcumin may function as an antioxidant and reduce inflammation, a condition linked to cancer.