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Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2004

I've been reading some replys and have been seeing negative comments about sugar. What's wrong with sugar,brownies or cola's?
By the way I have colon cancer, the colon resection in June of 2001 and now have a met to liver and will be in surgery April 23rd.

This is a great discussion group. Everybody keep up the fight.

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Although this is a subject up for debate, the basic premise is this. Cancer cells, and all areas of inflammation for that matter, uptake glucose at a faster rate than "normal" cells. This is the idea behind having a PET scan. They inject you w/ radioactive glucose which is colored. Areas of inflammation as well as cancerous tumors would take up the dye and therefore show up on the scan. Cancer cells are known to take up a large amount of this glucose and can then be differentiated from other areas of inflammation.
So the idea is that sugar can allow cancer cells to grow faster, particularly the sugars low on the "glycemic index". The glycemic index measures how quickly sugars hit the blood stream and thus cause a spike in your insulin levels. Things such as cola, doughnuts, cookies, any refined sugar products are very high on the glycemic index and thus bad. Other things such as whole grain breads (w/ lots of seeds in them) and so forth are low on the glycemic index and not so bad. Some fruits are better than others too, for example, juice gets into the blood stream much faster than actually eating an apple.....so for cancer patients it is probably better to avoid those sugars which go directly into the blood stream and would be quickly taken up by any remaining cancer cells.
I hope that made sense....

Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2004

Susan,thanks for the info. I must say it was very clear and easy to understand. I would like to research this more. Can you give me any ideas of where to look. Next time I see my oncologist I am for sure bringing it up as she has never mentioned it in the 3 years I have been seeing her.

I am always a skeptic and looking for the easy way. I want to believe that just because the cancer cells take up glucose faster doesn't necessarily mean it helps them in any way.

Thanks again for the very good info as you can probably tell I am reluctant to give up my snaks but if need be I will.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1973
Joined: Apr 2004


I have been on this website for all of 1 week now and can not believe how much I have already learned. I just received my copy of the book "Beating Cancer with Nutrition" by Patrick Quillin .....thanks Emily...and it really explains the sugar stuff very well. I too am reluctant to give up my diet cola and chocolate, but Quillin makes it hard to ignore.

And Susan..excellent explanation!!!!!

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

I think the book by Patrick Quillin would be a good place to start. If you ask your oncologist about it they may disregard it as nonsense, or say that everything you eat turns to sugars in your body, just long chain vs. short chain. But clearly the long chain sugars (complex carbs) take longer to enter the blood stream than short chains (doughnuts/french baguette, etc.) I guess you just have to decide what you feel comfortable with. I have cut way back on my carbs and sugar in recent months, but I did not do this right away. I was originally diagnosed 2 years ago and then one year ago I had a liver resection surgery followed by CPT-11/Xeloda. My onc. never said anything to me about sugar either, but I had known people to say "cancer feeds on sugar", etc. Then when I got a PET scan and learned how it works, I thought to myself, Hmmmmm...maybe there is something to this sugar thing. It is not good for you in more ways than one, so it certainly wouldn't hurt you to just eat it in moderation, or only for a special treat. Another good book is called Herbal Medicine, Healing, and Cancer by Donald Yance.
I am sure you can find a lot about this on the internet as well. Just remember not to believe everything you read. Though it sounds like you are a sceptic already....
Cheers, Susan

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Well I see you all have been listening to the rantings of an alternative proclaimator very nicely! Well done. :-)

Here is a visual for you:

If you have ever baked bread then you know you add the sweetener to the warm water and then add the yeast. Have you ever watched those buggers go nuts for that sweet? That is how I think of cancer cells and sugar. I visualize starving the cancer rather than feeding it. Cancer also likes to snack on mucus so dairy is iffy too--especially for those of us with faulty colons...apparently we have weak colons with a propensity for allowing cancer cells to set up camp in them. So dairy plugs those pipes, sugar feeds the troups, and pretty soon we have an all out mutiny. Our oncologists speak to us about stealth bombers obliterating the cancer and the "war on cancer" continues to look (in vain) for a magic bullet. Whew. It's enough for someone to want to wave the white flag for crying out loud.

There are two camps for the juicing question. Some think it's too much fruit sugar and some swear by it's curing properties. I know of two people personally who have beat their cancer with juicing organic fresh veggies so I chose that route. I have read many other testimonies to underscore that approach. Of course my veggie juice is chock full of barley greens and seaweed and all sorts of living foods. Sugar, brownies and colas do nothing to sustain life. I would at this point if you have active cancer to abstain from any "food" of this sort. It takes life rather than sustains life. There are moments that we need to feed our soul, too, I understand. But I would send those snacks packing and ask them to hit the high road....

peace, emily who is a reformed Coke addict as in cola