Nutrition in cancer

Posted by naturegirl5 @naturegirl5, Sep 25, 2019

I met with a Mayo Clinic dietician last week. My cancer was treated with surgery (radical hysterectomy) and I do not need radiation or chemotherapy. My goal is to move forward with healthy choices in what I eat and drink and the consult taught me a lot. I'm wondering how others here manage their nutrition.

@naturegirl5 I’m so happy you met with a dietician! Please share what she told you—we could all learn!

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Nutrition is so important, not only for preventing a recurrence of cancer but because after a time it makes you feel good and provides energy! Perhaps at first you may not appreciate the goodness of a Mediterranean Diet but after a time your body adjusts beautifully and thanks you. Natural foods all have their own unique flavors. Fried foods quickly lose their previous appeal. Of primary importance is eliminating sugar! Avoid processed foods, bacon, meats, processed cheeses. Avoid processed carbohydrates. Indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables and wild fish like salmon. Enjoy that glass of red wine! My incredible Mayo gyn/ oncologist suggested fasting 16 hours, five days a week. I try to follow his direction and find I sleep so much better and managed to keep my girlish figure! I also exercise six days a week, meditate and try to engage in new learning by taking various classes. I play the grand concert harp ( not that well, tho ). Friends, family and good social interact also help. Life can be beautiful!

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@starko

Nutrition is so important, not only for preventing a recurrence of cancer but because after a time it makes you feel good and provides energy! Perhaps at first you may not appreciate the goodness of a Mediterranean Diet but after a time your body adjusts beautifully and thanks you. Natural foods all have their own unique flavors. Fried foods quickly lose their previous appeal. Of primary importance is eliminating sugar! Avoid processed foods, bacon, meats, processed cheeses. Avoid processed carbohydrates. Indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables and wild fish like salmon. Enjoy that glass of red wine! My incredible Mayo gyn/ oncologist suggested fasting 16 hours, five days a week. I try to follow his direction and find I sleep so much better and managed to keep my girlish figure! I also exercise six days a week, meditate and try to engage in new learning by taking various classes. I play the grand concert harp ( not that well, tho ). Friends, family and good social interact also help. Life can be beautiful!

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Good morning @starko. I agree, good nutrition is essential for staying healthy, recovering from an illness and supporting a healthy life style. Unfortunately the human body and cancer are very, very complex and there just isn't research to that says definitely that diet, rest, good nutrition and exercise will stave off further cancer, or even cause it. Definitely there are some foods that can cause inflammation, which is unhealthy for many people in a ton of different ways. Inflammation might or might not cause cancer or a recurrence. And not everyone responds to every food in the same way.
I asked my doctor if there was a diet that prevents cancer or recurrences and he said that if there were there would be a lot more people with less cancers.
Here is a list of foods that have shown inflammation.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-cause-inflammatione
Does this make sense?

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@merpreb

Good morning @starko. I agree, good nutrition is essential for staying healthy, recovering from an illness and supporting a healthy life style. Unfortunately the human body and cancer are very, very complex and there just isn't research to that says definitely that diet, rest, good nutrition and exercise will stave off further cancer, or even cause it. Definitely there are some foods that can cause inflammation, which is unhealthy for many people in a ton of different ways. Inflammation might or might not cause cancer or a recurrence. And not everyone responds to every food in the same way.
I asked my doctor if there was a diet that prevents cancer or recurrences and he said that if there were there would be a lot more people with less cancers.
Here is a list of foods that have shown inflammation.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-cause-inflammatione
Does this make sense?

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Totally makes sense! I am suggesting that a metabolic life style has few or no side effects and should be utilized along with chemotherapy, other prescribed drugs and of course, your oncologist ‘s suggestions. No sure answers for avoiding cancer. Drat!

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Good nutrition makes sense for our health. Usually medical professionals and reliable articles state that healthy eating can reduce the risk of cancer. Further, as several of you have suggested, good nutrition and eating a variety of foods and well-balanced meals can help you feel better and stay stronger. This is helpful prior to cancer treatment, while in treatment and after cancer treatment – not only for physical health, but also to support good mental health.

You might be interested in this archived Video Q&A with Dr. Dawn Mussallem
– Cancer-Fighting Foods https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/cancer-fighting-foods/

Are they are suggestions in the video that you already do? Or some you'd like to try?

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@naturegirl5, I'm also interested in what you've learned from the dietitian.

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Thanks to @starko @merpreb for your suggestions and links. @colleenyoung What I learned from the dietician was a plant-based diet is the most healthy. Can eating healthy avoid cancer? As @merpreb wrote, we don't know yet. I also have LDL levels and lipids that are climbing up so I want to eat healthy for that reason. I wasn't paying attention to portion size and the type of proteins (fish, chicken, turkey – I don't eat much red meat, now I've eliminated red meat from my diet) I placed on my plate. For instance, I was eating turkey or chicken deli meat not thinking about how deli meat as processed. Organic deli meat from my local co-op? Still processed meat. So, no more deli meat for me. A turkey sandwich must have slices of whole turkey. Same with chicken. I have also been trying for a long time to eliminate added sugar from my diet. I love, love, breads, cakes, muffins – all not good. Yup, knew that too but when I buy those items in a bakery, of course, with no labels, I didn't have to think about the contents of those items. Mindlessness on my part. Anything wheat (pasta, bread) must be whole wheat, not just wheat. So, what I learned is to pay attention to the restaurants where I eat, eat at home more often, and go for food that is minimally or not processed, lots of plant-based food and….maple syrup is still sugar. I love maple syrup so if I use that as my sweetener in my steel cut oatmeal, I use about a teaspoon. Stevia seems to be OK but I don't like stevia all that much anyway. My 1-2 cups of coffee with milk is OK and the current thinking is that caffeine is good for us. No alcohol. The new advice is none. I had an occasional glass of wine or a beer. I will decrease alcohol also. Bottom line is plant-based diet, variety, pick lots of colors on your plate, and no more hamburgers or french fries (which I ate on occasion with my life partner, but not anymore).

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@naturegirl5

Thanks to @starko @merpreb for your suggestions and links. @colleenyoung What I learned from the dietician was a plant-based diet is the most healthy. Can eating healthy avoid cancer? As @merpreb wrote, we don't know yet. I also have LDL levels and lipids that are climbing up so I want to eat healthy for that reason. I wasn't paying attention to portion size and the type of proteins (fish, chicken, turkey – I don't eat much red meat, now I've eliminated red meat from my diet) I placed on my plate. For instance, I was eating turkey or chicken deli meat not thinking about how deli meat as processed. Organic deli meat from my local co-op? Still processed meat. So, no more deli meat for me. A turkey sandwich must have slices of whole turkey. Same with chicken. I have also been trying for a long time to eliminate added sugar from my diet. I love, love, breads, cakes, muffins – all not good. Yup, knew that too but when I buy those items in a bakery, of course, with no labels, I didn't have to think about the contents of those items. Mindlessness on my part. Anything wheat (pasta, bread) must be whole wheat, not just wheat. So, what I learned is to pay attention to the restaurants where I eat, eat at home more often, and go for food that is minimally or not processed, lots of plant-based food and….maple syrup is still sugar. I love maple syrup so if I use that as my sweetener in my steel cut oatmeal, I use about a teaspoon. Stevia seems to be OK but I don't like stevia all that much anyway. My 1-2 cups of coffee with milk is OK and the current thinking is that caffeine is good for us. No alcohol. The new advice is none. I had an occasional glass of wine or a beer. I will decrease alcohol also. Bottom line is plant-based diet, variety, pick lots of colors on your plate, and no more hamburgers or french fries (which I ate on occasion with my life partner, but not anymore).

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Healthy Diet is beyond my reach. With extreme dry mouth & no saliva, and taste buds shot as well, I have difficulty eating most foods. Rare hamburger works. Eggs work. No chicken or Pork. Some fish OK. Sashimi is great but hard to find good Sashimi here in Florida. Allergic to nuts. Most fruit too tough to swallow.& tasteless. Carbs go down smoothly. Bread is out but soft cakes work. Ensure Max is my friend. I am 2/12 years post Chemo & Radiation for Throat Cancer.

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@skoshi

Healthy Diet is beyond my reach. With extreme dry mouth & no saliva, and taste buds shot as well, I have difficulty eating most foods. Rare hamburger works. Eggs work. No chicken or Pork. Some fish OK. Sashimi is great but hard to find good Sashimi here in Florida. Allergic to nuts. Most fruit too tough to swallow.& tasteless. Carbs go down smoothly. Bread is out but soft cakes work. Ensure Max is my friend. I am 2/12 years post Chemo & Radiation for Throat Cancer.

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Try making smoothies with a good protein powder (I personally like orgain unflavored) with bananas, strawberries and bluberries. Costco has a great frozen mixed berries you can buy. Aldi also sells frozen berries. Try to get all berries organic. You can add in hemp hearts, chai seeds and cocoa nibs or powder – no unnatural sugar in this! If you still eat chicken make sure it is organic – eating regular chicken that is penned or fed antibiotics is not good. Try and eliminate all pork and all shellfish – think of what they eat … do you really want to it it? If you need other healthy juices try a carrot, celery, Granny Smith apples and lemon mix. Walnuts are really good too. There is a lot of sugar in any of those bottled protein drinks. Roasted and baked potatoes are really good too! I lived on soups and potatoes for about six months due to intense chemo and a whipple. You got this!

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@skoshi

Healthy Diet is beyond my reach. With extreme dry mouth & no saliva, and taste buds shot as well, I have difficulty eating most foods. Rare hamburger works. Eggs work. No chicken or Pork. Some fish OK. Sashimi is great but hard to find good Sashimi here in Florida. Allergic to nuts. Most fruit too tough to swallow.& tasteless. Carbs go down smoothly. Bread is out but soft cakes work. Ensure Max is my friend. I am 2/12 years post Chemo & Radiation for Throat Cancer.

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And try natural mouthwashes as they do not contain alcohol.

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@dianamiracle

And try natural mouthwashes as they do not contain alcohol.

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@skoshi and @dianamiracle I don’t know about any store bought natural mouthwashes, but the oncologists that I worked with had the patients use a mixture of baking soda and salt. 1/4tsp of each in warm tap water. Works really well to prevent prednisone-caused mouth ulcers. Works great!

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