Cancer & Sugar

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    • Cancer & Sugar

      Hi, found this article, thought I would post for discussion.

      greenmedinfo.com/blog/cancer-s…lective-starvation-cancer

      I've just been diagnosed with breast cancer and have started chemo, followed by radiotherapy and 5 years of Tamoxifen (?sp).

      I followed the low carb way of living for a couple of years then went a little crazy and spent 2012/13 eating as much carbs as I could fit into my mouth :o. I put on 20kgs in that time. :mad:

      My head knows that low carb is the best WOE for me, but my heart (mouth) wants to eat carbs, carbs and more carbs.

      I also suffer from depression. It seems I 'punish' myself with food. :o again.

      So, what do you think?

      Thanks girls,

      Alison
      xx
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      Really sorry about your diagnosis Alison. My partner Garry is also going through chemo at the moment.

      I haven't updated for a while but there's some cancer and carbohydrate related studies here in the low carb research section.

      I guess science aside it makes logical sense e.g. if we find it more efficient and faster to get fuel from carbohydrates then so will our cancer cells!
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      Hi Sherrie, I'm sorry to hear your husband is having chemo too. It is horrible, poisons your whole body.

      Yes, the science behind cancer and sugar seems to be proven over and over again in the articles I have found on the internet. When I ask the nurses treating me they are not convinced. It kinda makes you doubt yourself. Do I go through chemo and continue to eat lots of carbs which are feeding the cancer cells, or do I go back to Atkins?

      To tell you the truth, I couldn't stick to Atkins. I'm a true Scot and loooovve potatoes, bread, lollies and anything else sweet I can find to put in my mouth. Because of following Atkins, I now find it difficult to follow any low carb diet cause they are not going to give me the results I can get with Atkins (I know, bad mind set). Sooo, I need to find a low carb diet that allows me to have more carbs than Atkins. Any suggestions?
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      Choccie Lover wrote:

      Hi Sherrie, I'm sorry to hear your husband is having chemo too. It is horrible, poisons your whole body.

      Yes, the science behind cancer and sugar seems to be proven over and over again in the articles I have found on the internet. When I ask the nurses treating me they are not convinced. It kinda makes you doubt yourself. Do I go through chemo and continue to eat lots of carbs which are feeding the cancer cells, or do I go back to Atkins?

      To tell you the truth, I couldn't stick to Atkins. I'm a true Scot and loooovve potatoes, bread, lollies and anything else sweet I can find to put in my mouth. Because of following Atkins, I now find it difficult to follow any low carb diet cause they are not going to give me the results I can get with Atkins (I know, bad mind set). Sooo, I need to find a low carb diet that allows me to have more carbs than Atkins. Any suggestions?


      Have your thought of going straight up to further rungs instead of induction or even trying LCHF
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      Read the link....sounds like Atkins. I started whining half way through it :(.

      What amount of carbs do you think I could eat through the day to achieve weight loss or to just keep steady as I'm not allowed to lose weight til I'm finished treatment. The Oncology nurses weigh me every time I go, lol. I really need to lose weight tho, believe me. :rolleyes:.
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      Hi Alison

      Really sorry to hear about your breast cancer. I was in your shoes in 2006, had mastectomy as it was quite a large lump (5cm) followed by chemo (6 cycles of FEC)' lost all my hair, radio for 6 weeks etc. My cancer was Oestrogen positive, so Tamoxifan too. Funny enough the later is a good thing, chances of a full and complete recovery are much higher if you are Oestrogen/progesterone positive.

      Don't understand the bit about not loosing weight during chemo. I was weighed each cycle but if I lost weight intentionally my nurses thought this was good. It's only during radio that your weight has to remain static. They tattoo you for the radio machine. Once you have your tattoos your weight can't change. If it does they have to measure and tattoo you again, otherwise the radiation might hit the wrong areas or go too deep or not deep enough.

      Reading your linked article regarding sugar, I would have thought the best time to go onto a low carb, high fat eating regime would be now. Starve the cancer cells of glucose and let the chemo nuke them whilst they are starving and at their weakest!

      Interestingly if you switch to full fat products (with no sugar added), eat protein plus lots of veggies (which grow above ground) you'll find you won't be hungry. Sometimes the cocktail of anti-nausea drugs they give you can make you feel hungry but just have a glass of cold full cream milk and you'll feel better.

      I'm part of a breast cancer support group. We have a Facebook group which you are welcome to join if you want to. There are lots of ladies in treatment and post treatment like me. Your journey has only just begun and for around 90+% of us there is a happy ending. Having been diagnosed with cancer changes us, mostly we learn a lot about ourselves, but we also learn about others.

      I later found out I was BRACA2 (I have the family gene mutation like Angolina Jolie - 60-80% chance of having breast cancer again) so underwent a second mastectomy to remove the other breast then a full reconstruction, so now I have two new boobs! Also had the ovaries removed as the gene mutation increases the risk of ovarian cancer too.

      I think since being diagnosed I must have read every cancer book going, read every miracle cure and researched online quite a lot. There is so much crap out there and it's hard to work out truth from myth. Ultimately you have to make the choices you feel comfortable with. I truly believe cancer is caused by our "western diet and lifestyle". Countries where a traditional diet of home grown vegetables, meat/fish and seasonal fruit seem to be devoid of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc.

      Sorry to read about your husband too Sherrie. I hope you are both coping OK

      If either of you want to talk more offline, Just let me know.

      Diana

      Ps doctors and nurses are not trained in nutrition, their training relates to treating symptoms. Research into treatments are primarily focused on newly developed drugs, mainly funded by the pharmaceutical industry, so for them discussions on diet, lifestyle and sugar consumption are too simplistic. Only time can prove these theories as no drug company is going to fund research into something that doesn't cover the cost of the research. That's not being cynical, it's just the reality of running a business.
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      I guess with weight, weigh loss can be a sign of cancer progression but also it's good to have some fat stores on you when you get sick, take respiratory complications, it is well studied that you're more likely to die if you're slim so I am thinking the same would go for during chemo when you're very susceptible to infections.

      Regarding the western diet, an interesting thing happened to Garry when he saw the haematologist before his first chemo. Garry is a field engineer so spends his time on the road so he had got himself into a bad habit of eating takeaway when on the road. When Garry was first diagnosed a few months ago he lost his appetite and stopped eating. Whilst his appetite has regained a bit he still hasn't eaten take away. I don't know if it's because Garry has been put into a rituximab trial with his chemo but in December he had to have more scans before he starts his chemo in January. When we saw the haematologist before he started his chemo the other week his haematologist said "you have already had a partial response despite no treatment yet". Garry's lymph nodes had reduced considerably, some as much as by a third! The only change he has made is ate less and no fast food!

      Naturally his haematologist put it straight down to placebo!! Which makes no sense!
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      Hi Diana,

      Thank you so much for responding. I was lucky I didn't have to have a mastectomy. I had a 1.5cm lump so had a lumpectomy. Also had it in one of my lymph glands (also 1.5cm). Had operation in November and am about to have my 3rd cycle (of 6) this Friday. They are really knocking me about, but I'm going okay. My cancer was 100% oestrogen positive.

      Sorry to hear you had to have a double mastectomy. I am very lucky to have caught my lump early. Thank goodness for the Breastscreen vans that visit small towns. I would never have found it myself.

      I haven't read any cancer books. Probably in a bit of denial, just want this over and done with. As you say you learn a lot about yourself on this 'journey'. I've learned that I can eat as much junk food as before I was diagnosed. I don't seem to have a stop button. I do believe that the western diet is the cause of a lot of cancers, but I don't seem to be able to get my head around it so just keep doing what I'm doing. Eating to deal with my anxiety as I usually do.

      So did you follow low carb during your chemo? Did you go into ketosis? If so, how did you handle it?

      How did radio affect you?

      I've followed low carb for a couple of years, or tried to. I was not very successful as I couldn't seem to give up bread. I tried every recipe for a low carb alternative and nothing I tried was palatable to me. I started eating frankenfoods and then eventually gave up low carbing altogether. I have put on 20kgs over two years of binging. I can't seem to stick to any diet and give myself permission every day to eat rubbish and carbs. Very bad habits and disillusionment (?sp).

      True about the drs and nurses. When you are diagnosed you just want someone to tell you what to do food wise. All we're told is to eat 'healthy' foods. No-one says don't eat this or that. Do I just keep eating 'healthy' foods including sugar and wheat, etc? Was eating those things what got me into this position in the first place? It is so confusing.
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      From what I read is that, the same mechanism that allows chemotherapy to work, as in kill the weaker cancer cells, a Ketogenic diet can do an even better job as there is less collateral damage. The reason why this has not been looked into is because to get ketones high enough to be therapeutic you have to eat close to 10-15g of carbs, your own protein threshold, and the rest fat, almost like a fat fast I guess.

      The average person slugging hard on a ketogenic diet is pulling blood ketone readings of 0.5-3mmol/l. For cancer they say you want to be above 4mmol/l for the therapeutic benefits, which would be quite hard if you crave carbs.

      However reducing carbs and eating the right protein + increasing fat would be the way to go if you have cancer.
    • Re: Cancer & Sugar

      Hi Alison

      I think we all cope with a cancer diagnosis in very different ways. Unfortunately once you've had it, it's hard to get rid of that lingering doubt that it might return. It was interesting reading you post as you said "you were lucky" not to have to have a mastectomy. It was the first time I realized I'm happy that I don't have either of mine. For me it means I don't have to worry about getting another primary breast cancer. It's funny how we all look at things differently. I've always been a big reader, so it was natural for me to read everything I could find. Other ladies in my breast cancer group are like you, they just want the treatment done so they can return to a " normal" life. I would personally say that if you have cancer, then it's your body telling you it's not happy "jan". It's your choice what you choose to do about it. No one can tell you what to do, it's your life and your choice. A number of ladies in my support group made significant changes to their lives, 3 of them got divorced ! They had been in unhappy marriages for years and being faced with their own mortality, decided it was time to start doing the things they wanted to do! Another group of ladies started Dragonboat racing ( great fun!). Being diagnosed with cancer makes you look at your life and also reminds you that we are mortal, and our time here might be limited. (However this is also the case for everyone as any of us, as we could get run over by a bus tomorrow!)

      I hated chemo, I coped with it reasonably OK. No I wasn't on a low carb diet then as I hadn't read about it then. On chemo I was mainly vegetarian, lots of beans, legumes, veggies and fruit, plus lots of spirulina, and supplements ( I gave a list to my oncologist-he said it was OK, but he thought I would just have expensive wee!). I was meditating every day, doing yoga and generally trying to do some exercise. I wasn't very overweight during chemo. The weight went on afterwards over the next 3-5 years. I'm probably only around 10kgs over my chemo weight now but I have lost 5kgs just recently. Radiation was tiring and I did get burns. I still have a large red patch of scarring, which I keep meaning to have laser treated to reduce the redness. Just haven't got around to it.

      I read a great book recently called sweet poison. It's quite a technical book about metabolic rates and how the body burns and uses energy. It explains why full fat products help us to feel full, how protein helps us feel full and the bodies natural feedback loops which tell us to stop eating. Today's food industry sell products which interrupt these natural mechanisms so we don't feel full and eat more and keep eating more. It's not some conspiracy therapy, just common sense when you realize how it all works.

      So I'm not following any particular diet, I just eat full fat products (no low fat in my house!), protein and lots of veggies which grow above ground plus 2 pieces of fruit each day. I eat as much as I want-no limits, but funny enough after I had been doing it a few days, I didn't feel that hungry anymore. So no bread, pasta, potatoes, chocolates, cereals, chips etc. I'm am sort of keeping an eye on carbs, but not too much. So far I've lost 5 kgs.

      I sort of think I have one of those amazingly efficient bodies. If we lived in times of famine then I would be the last to die, so I have really good genes! Unfortunately in times of abundance my body stores every bit of extra carb as fat ready for that next famine. I think also as we age (I'm 52) then it seems our food needs seem to reduce. So I think my body type means I can't consume too many carbs. Once I'm down to my goal weight, I'll I reintroduce veggies that grow below ground. I don't think I'll ever return to wheat based cereals and bread, although it think I'll probably reintroduce brown rice and oats.

      Sorry this is so long - I like writing too!

      Diana