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ggibault
@ggibault

Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 04, 2016

Managing diabetes and cancer treatments

Posted by @ggibault, Oct 4, 2016

Question: I had 17 radiation treatments for stage 1 Stomach cancer; can radiation affect my pancreas?
Before the radiation my numbers were great averaging about 113 – after the radiation my numbers have greatly increased and are all over the place, as a result I’ve been placed on insulin. I am the same guy – and really the only thing that has changed is I had radiation. Am I to blame or could it be the radiation? I just don’t know.

REPLY

Welcome to Connect @ggibault. Sounds like you’ve got a lot going on. I would hate for you to add blame onto yourself on top of all that. According to this article from the American Society of Clinical Oncology radiation is likely the culprit.

When Cancer Is Not Your Only Health Concern http://bit.ly/1vaRUVB
It states, ” Radiation therapy and some types of chemotherapy may cause blood glucose levels to rise.” It also recommends “To help manage diabetes, your doctor may recommend taking low-sugar food supplements and anti-nausea medications. Your doctor may also recommend using fast-acting insulin as a supplement to your normal insulin during cancer treatment. In addition, your doctor may recommend recording your blood glucose levels so they can be reviewed at your clinic visits. Keeping your blood glucose levels under control will make sure you are able to stick to your cancer treatment schedule.”

Before radiation, how were you managing your diabetes?

Before my cancer/radiation my treatment regimen was max Metformin and Jenuvia once a day. My numbers was good in the 110 to 130 range. Now in addition to Metformin/Jenuvia – I am on 18 units of insulin at mealtime. My numbers are in the mid 100’s, and I feel pretty good.

This is my 1st time here. I have metastatic breast cancer and I am seeking suggestions on what to do to keep my sugar under control. My low is averaging about 150, depending on what I eat, my high can go up to 250. This seems very complicated, am I going to have to go to a class to understand?

Hi @barnum, welcome to Connect!
I moved your message to the discussion that @ggibault started only yesterday. Ggibault is also managing diabetes along with cancer treatments (radiation for stomach cancer) and had questions about radiation and blood sugar levels.

Barnum, you are so right. Managing sugar levels can be complicated and learning everything you need to know feels like you have to go to school. Luckily most medical centers offer diabetes education classes. Here’s some information online to get you started http://mayocl.in/1ieibM2 Are you being treated at Mayo Clinic?
Have you met with a diabetes educator or a nutritionist?

@barnum

This is my 1st time here. I have metastatic breast cancer and I am seeking suggestions on what to do to keep my sugar under control. My low is averaging about 150, depending on what I eat, my high can go up to 250. This seems very complicated, am I going to have to go to a class to understand?

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I also have metastatic breast cancer. I would be interested in finding out when you were diagnosed and what course/courses of treatment you are getting. I was on anastrozol and arimedex for almost three years but recently was take off that and now get Faslodex injections. My tumor markers are going up and not sure what the next plan of action will be. Also get xgeva shots. Thanks in advance.

@barnum

This is my 1st time here. I have metastatic breast cancer and I am seeking suggestions on what to do to keep my sugar under control. My low is averaging about 150, depending on what I eat, my high can go up to 250. This seems very complicated, am I going to have to go to a class to understand?

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I was diagnosed with Stage IV in April 2015. I started with 30 days radiation to my back & neck in May. Starting in Aug, every 3 wks I had 4 harsh IV chemos, lost all my hair, (I now have thick curly hair).
After that they put me on Letrozol and Infinitor. I also get the Faslodex & Xgeva shots every 4 wks. My cancer counts go up & down. Mine are at 269, they went down from last month. I see my Dr. every 4 wks and also get my shots.

@barnum

This is my 1st time here. I have metastatic breast cancer and I am seeking suggestions on what to do to keep my sugar under control. My low is averaging about 150, depending on what I eat, my high can go up to 250. This seems very complicated, am I going to have to go to a class to understand?

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@wandering and @barnum, I invite you both to also take part in the discussions happening in the Breast Cancer group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/breast-cancer/

@barnum

This is my 1st time here. I have metastatic breast cancer and I am seeking suggestions on what to do to keep my sugar under control. My low is averaging about 150, depending on what I eat, my high can go up to 250. This seems very complicated, am I going to have to go to a class to understand?

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barmum: Thanks for the information. I met with my oncologist yesterday. My tumor markers were up and he is looking into a daily pill (not sure of the name). The bad news is the pill costs $10,000 per month (WOW) and he’s not sure if it will be covered. I obviously cannot afford that so we need to work on something else. If my tumor markers don’t go up next month he won’t change my meds. Unfortunately I will be going to Arizona next month so the timing for all of this is poor. Planning on changing my doctor in Arizona (currently using Mayo). Don’t need to go into detail but am definitely looking elsewhere.

@barnum

This is my 1st time here. I have metastatic breast cancer and I am seeking suggestions on what to do to keep my sugar under control. My low is averaging about 150, depending on what I eat, my high can go up to 250. This seems very complicated, am I going to have to go to a class to understand?

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I live in Az. When I had to stop work I applied for medicaid, they approved it, I am guessing cause I am terminal. I don’t know your circumstances but maybe apply. Can’t hurt. They pay for your medical, as expensive as everything is, you get great care. But I guess places like Mayo doesn’t honor medicaid. I go to Tucson for my care. Good luck with everything. Wait until you get to Az cause if you get it in Az it is only good in Az. If it wasn’t for them I would probably die as expensive as medicines are.

@barnum

This is my 1st time here. I have metastatic breast cancer and I am seeking suggestions on what to do to keep my sugar under control. My low is averaging about 150, depending on what I eat, my high can go up to 250. This seems very complicated, am I going to have to go to a class to understand?

Jump to this post

Just be patient with yourself as it is not easy . . . it’s one day at a time and sometimes – it’s one hour at a time. Take care

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