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Should I not be eating sugar??

Susan523's picture
Susan523
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2007

Hello friends,

I've noticed while reading through the posts that many of you are saying "no sugar".

Have your Dr.'s told you to cut sugar out of your diet? Mine has never mentioned it; and I am a sugar-holic, now facing my 3rd recurrence. (yes, it's back again. I meet with the Dr. the end of Jan to discuss chemo #3).

Anyway; please let me know if I should be changing my diet.

Thanks, and my blessings & prayers to all~

~Susan xoxo

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

I've heard of that too--that cancer cells thrive on sugar. Maybe that explains the strong cravings I had for candy before my cancer diagnosis Jan. 2007. I've been in remission for 19+ months but I still eat candy! I probably should not but I don't have any other addictions and I don't eat excessive amounts. My doctor never mentioned about sugar either. But I myself would avoid artificial sweeteners if you are going to try to limit sugar. I can't digest artificial sweetners and I believe they are toxic. And white flour starchy products like white bread, donuts, muffins, bagels change to sugar in the body. Dates and figs are naturally sweet so those could help your cravings. Maybe someone else on here would be able to give you better info????? I think you need alot of protein--low-fat (not the fat-free stuff)cottage cheese, turkey, hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, nuts, etc. to replenish your body's resources because cancer makes you malnurished. Usually having ovarian cancer bloats you up and it looks like you gained weight but it does actually the opposite--it starves you. Before I found out I had cancer I was at my normal weight but yet my jeans started feeling loose. Anyway, sorry to hear your cancer came back. I myself have another checkup soon which I am abit nervous about. Good luck!

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Susan,

My doctors have never said anything about specific diet items. In fact, when I said about having gained some weight, one doctor said "good, too many times the patient has lost weight". I have since asked about going back to Weight Watchers, and I've been given the go-ahead.

If you don't have some reserve of body fat, if you get to a point that you don't want to eat or can't tolerate food, you will be at a disadvantage.

Any questions such as this would be better answered by your doctor(s). They've gone to school for a long time to learn about our illnesses and how to treat them.

Cravings can be affected by changes in hormone levels, stress, and out-of-balance eating habits. Trust your doctors for the right advice!

Kgirl
Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2008

Susan,

I recently bought a book entitled "Anticancer, A new way of life" by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. He is a neurologist that developed brain cancer, not once but twice. He has done a lot of research on diet and his notes at the end of the book reflect that. I have tried to find credible resources for nutritional information and this book really makes sense to me. He talks about a low glycemic diet and the reasoning behind it. He also discusses the role of the mind and spirit in all of this. I would highly recommend this book to anybody fighting cancer. I do recommend being cautious if you are undergoing treatment and run any dietary changes by your oncologist first. Most of the book is about dietary changes, not the use of dietary supplements.

Kathy

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Susan

I am sure you will recieve lots of answers to this question. I still have friends that think if I ate this or didnt' eat this I wouldn't have cancer. :-) I have read several books on diets and cancer and agree with some of it. Eating healthy and getting in physical activity of some kind is healthy for all of us, cancer or not.

I was a vegetarian b4 cancer and that didn't stop me from getting cancer, and I eat fairly small amounts of sugar and has that hasn't sent my cancer into remission. So I don't think a little a sugar is going to hurt.

I am sorry to hear about your recurrence, let us know how your Dr visit goes and what the plan of action is. While you are there ask him his opinion on the sugar and diet.

Buckets of teal hugs n prayers Bonnie

mopar
Posts: 1954
Joined: Apr 2003

Well Susan, speaking for myself, sugar is generally not a part of my diet. Although, I must admit I have over-indulged this Christmas Season (I have my moments!). Sugars have no benefit whatsoever, other than those found naturally in fruits and other whole foods. I believe it does have an affect on our overall health, and there are facts to definitely back this up.

Try to eat more protein (lean meats such as chicken, fish, turkey, nuts and seeds, etc.). This is important to build lean muscle tissue, prevent muscle wasting, help our organs, and build immunities, among other nutrients that are important for this. But when you increase your protein (try to have 5 small meals a day), you will find that your sugar cravings will diminish. Don't stress about it, just make little changes every day. Eventually, you will not have such strong cravings, but will be able to 'treat' yourself once in a while without going overboard. Allowing ourselves our hearts desires now and then ensures Quality of Life!

Sending lots of luv and hugs your way. And if you want some recipes to minimize the sugar in your diet but still provide some yummies, let me know!

(((HUGS)))
Monika

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

My doctor has never banned me from anything and encouraged my weight gain. He wants me to have some fat reserves for a fall back position. I have gained 25 lbs since the surgery, my lowest point in weight.
I have had times of craving sweets, but try to limit them. For 65 years, I denied myself or put off to the future. Now, I am more inclined to enjoy the time left ever how long that is. Saundra

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Susan,

Lots of good advice here. I too have always watched my diet and exercised, etc. And still got ovarian cancer IIIc. Not that I don't indulge in some sweets now and then. But then again, I have the BRACA mutation also. I guess like with anything else, it is in moderation. Sorry about your recurrence.

Blessings to you and yours in 2009,

Libby

Susan523's picture
Susan523
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2007

I also purchased that book, ("Anti-Cancer"), but haven't been reading lately. I will get right on it!!

Thank you, all you wonderful ladies for your replies. I certainly appreciate everybody's input.

Today I'm off to acupunture...it's now covered by my insurance, so I'm giving it a try. They say it really helps with chemo side-effects. So far, I think my neuropathy has improved, and maybe I sleep a tad bit "better". I've just got to keep myself motivated to keep going!

~Susan xoxo

knarrly's picture
knarrly
Posts: 24
Joined: Oct 2008

I went through a new patient orientation class, and this was one of the topics discussed. As for sugar, my cancer center's nutritionist said that it is okay in moderation. As long as you don't overdo it, there is not a problem. They also said artificial sugar are perfectly fine. They seemed to be more worried about limiting red meats, pork, and such.

Kgirl
Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2008

I just wanted to comment on something I overheard at chemo today. Someone was having their port flushed and the nurse suggested that they chew peppermint gum so they wouldn't get that awful taste in their mouth afterwards. The patient replied that gum had sugar so she couldn't use it as a remedy. My first thought was how sad it was that this patient wouldn't even let herself have about a teaspoon of sugar (or less)to overcome a distasteful part of therapy. I think that there has to be moderation in all that we do and that we can't let the fear of cancer overtake our lives. Yes, I'm trying my best to overcome my sweet tooth but, on the other hand, I'm not going to let myself be absolutely miserable either.

Kathy

melinda5683's picture
melinda5683
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2009

my dr told me that cutting out refined sugar is not necc going to be a help, some have cut it out completely and others have not- this seems to have little effect on cancer retuning. go have a bowl of your favorite ice cream and smile!!!

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

My Dr. Gyno/Oncologists, handed me some M&ms so I don't think so. I have heard that sugar can enlarge tumors but... I asked my oncologist and he said we would all be in trouble if that were true. Sooo who knows, not proven.
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

On last night's inspirational Patrick Swayze interview (I loved him in "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost")he was asked if he is on any special diet. He said absolutely not; he is NOT feeding the cancer! I think it's a double edged sword that when you try to eat very healthy it is very good for the health of your body, with or without cancer. But, all that good food also feeds the cancer cells. I'm obviously not a doctor but I would say a moderate approach to food is the best. Get in all the basic food groups, regular meals and small snacks every day but don't overdo it. Try to keep at a healthy weight and only eat what your body can burn off.

trainr
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2009

From: http://www.mercola.com/article/sugar/sugar_cancer.htm
"In Europe, the "sugar feeds cancer" concept is so well accepted that oncologists, or cancer doctors, use the Systemic Cancer Multistep Therapy (SCMT) protocol."

A Nobel Laureate proved in 1931 that cancer uses sugar in a massive amounts to grow. A cancer cell can't obtain glucose normally, so it has to take in 16 times the amount of sugar. Since cancer cells don't die on their own, the more sugar intake the more the tumor grows, adding new cells to the old ones that didn't die. All oncologists know this.

However, 40% or so of cancer patients die from cachexia (wasting away) so, for those people, eating to maintain weight is a good idea, albeit without sugar.

Since cancer cells take in sugar 16 times faster than normal cells, PET scans work by first injecting the patient with radioactive sugar, then measuring where it is taken up, creating "hot spots" on the scan.

When a cancer cell ferments the sugar it produces lactic acid, which the liver converts back to glucose (sugar). The lactic acid is what causes great systemic pain. I noticed that when I ate meals with alcohol and simple carbs, I felt so terrible that I couldn't handle it. It was only when I went low carb, with mostly veggies, that I improved how I felt.

Complex carbs and fruit are generally okay.

If you feel worse after a high sugar meal, take note and maybe you can see some improvement by avoiding in future.

http://www.wnho.net/medicine_killed_brother.htm

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

I think if my cancer comes back I may try to avoid sugar. I do like candy, and I'm not just talking about dark chocolate. I mean the stuff that kids eat! I don't eat alot of cookies, donuts, cakes, ice cream, etc. I do know that before I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 2 years ago, my cravings for candy were stronger than ever. I ate more candy in that time period when probably the tumors were growing (I was stage 3c) than ever in my life, except maybe when I was a kid. I couldn't understand why my weight was the same but yet my jeans were starting to hang off of me. Of course I understand that now.

Susan523's picture
Susan523
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2007

Thank you all for your informative responses. It's nice to find out these things.
I think I need to cut back on the sugar anyway; hard as it may be. But I'll be back on
chemo in the next week or two; and I don't eat much sugar during chemo. (this will
be my 3rd bout of chemo. Don't know what I'm getting yet). My 2 remissions have only
lasted 5 or 6 months each. The last round was IP chemo; and I'm very concerned that if
that didn't give me a longer remission, what will??

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Susan,

Remissions - are they from the time of surgery or after last chemo? I guess I never really thought about when onco consider the timing. Probably it is in all the information I have.

Thanks,
Libby

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

Libby, I will answer that since I know this info. Afterall, I am in remission (20 months.) It starts when chemo ends if tests come out all clear. My CA-125 was good and the CT scan didn't show anything after my last chemo session on May 15, 2007. Plus the physical exam in which my doctor feels around my abdominal area and the gynelogical exam as well. I don't even know if remission is a good word to use for someone having had ovarian cancer, sorry to say. NED is probably more appropriate (no evidence of disease.) They keep watching to see if something shows up. To tell you the truth, my doctor used neither term! He never said I was in remission nor did he say I was NED. I could only assume that since he discussed my tests and the next step to take (checkups every 3 months) but he did have a pleased look on his face. Pleased as punch! I could have asked, "Hey, am I in remission" but I don't even know if it means all that much since ovarian cancer at stage 3 tends to reoccur. However, there are a few lucky ones that are cured. Cancer is now basically treated as a chronic disease. People can often go on for years that way. It wasn't true years ago. That's why so many people who never have had cancer view it as a death sentence if a family member or friend is diagnosed. Not true!!!! Using myself as an example, I've tried to change people's ideas about that. That's why I admire Patrick Swayze so much. He continues his life as I have tried to do.

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks for your answer. I asked my doctor if I was in remission back in November after all my test came back negative and chemo was over in August. She said yes and I took it as there was NED. So I would say I have been in remission somewhere between August 4 and when I asked in November.

So maybe 2-5 months (since it was not brought up until I asked in November)? All physical exams have been good. She has moved my appointments to every two months while on Hexalen and even the blood work is every 6 weeks or so.

Maybe next time I see her I will ask. Family and friends have asked how long I have been in remission or NED and I really never knew what to say, just that everything looks good!

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Libby

dorion's picture
dorion
Posts: 187
Joined: Dec 2007

I am the absolute worse person when it comes to sugar, I can't get enough of it, when I satisfy my craving, I go into a coma and wake up with a hangover. My daughter laughs at me when I tell her I'm going to have some "sleeping cookies"...it's true I'll eat them and then i fall asleep. I'm working at trying to cut back........excellant responses here, loved reading them, very uplifting. Everytime I feel down or scared I decided to reat the threads and I fee so much better.

Bstrange's picture
Bstrange
Posts: 87
Joined: Feb 2009

My doctors (surgeon gyn oncologist and oncologist never mentioned cutting sugar out of diet. I went on internet and looked up foods that can help ovarian cancer and they said there was none for this type of cancer. So I said, ok, and went a bought a cake.

pjba11's picture
pjba11
Posts: 192
Joined: Nov 2008

My oncologist said that cancer needs sugar to grow. Then went on to say .... but that does not mean to stop eating sugar. Testing has been done on how much sugar we eat vs the cancer. The cancer will find enough sugar to survive and thrive... no matter what we eat. She suggested to try to maintain a healthy weight and eat any thing we like in moderation. I have been NED for two years. God bless us all as we fight on !! Peggy

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

So did I. But I do eat broccoli. ☺ Saundra

newhopechurchli's picture
newhopechurchli
Posts: 127
Joined: Oct 2008

Hot Topic! I had no idea that sugar was supposed to be bad for cancer patients - but it seems like everywhere I go someone is telling me it feeds cancer cells. I asked my Dr. and she said I can have sugar in moderation. she also said artificial sweetners such as equal or splenda are good but the others are not. Moderation is key - only I have not perfected this "Moderation" thing :) !

gstrathy
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2009

Hello all. My partner is just starting treatment for 1 c ovarian cancer. I saw this post and thought maybe I could clarify...Eastern medicine believes that a persons ph (acid level) should be between 7 and 8 on a scale of 1-14. A higher ph (or acidic body) can cause health problems including cancer. Sugar and artificial sweeters raise body acidity (as well as many other foods). It is an interesting theory. As usual there area ton of people trying to sell you stuff but this link will take you to a list of acid/alkaline foods. http://www.essense-of-life.com/moreinfo/foodcharts.htm. Apparently you can have a blood test done by your dr or test your urine on ph test strips. I personally think it is worth a try but know if I will ever convince Lyn : ) There is a ton of info if your search for "body ph balance"

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

Oncology nurse told me sugar can increase your tumors and the subs are a chemical so it also can be bad for you. But some say Moderation. A little doesnt hurt. I think if you eat right and can exercise once in a while sugar wont hurt. My Dad who basically eats right does have a sweet tooth as well as Mom and they have had cancer in the past and are cured now and they still eat sweets so talk to dr. My dr says eat as healthy as I can but also dont deprive yourself and treat yourself. Guess its all in opinion and as gstrathy said the ph may have a lot to do with it.
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

If my cancer came back (will be 2 years NED in May) I might consider changing the way I eat and also watch my ph. Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline so I'd probably focus on those plus some protein. You can add fresh lemon juice to water or a 1/4th teaspoon baking soda in a cup of water. Those are good alkalinizers. I'm not strict with myself now but I may become more so in the future if I need to be. Before I had kids I rarely brought any sugary foods into the house. That all changed with the kids. Even now with only a fifteen year old here I bring junk in from the store. I don't believe in no-no foods. Then you end up craving them and going beserk. However, the thought of going thru surgery and chemo again doesn't appeal to me either.

Nini2
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2011

I had a reoccurence of breast cancer in early 2009 and have been going to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I love them there as you don't only get to see an oncologist, but also a nutritionist and naturopath as well. The naturopath explained to me that you could eat foods that have no more than 8 grams of sugar twice a day. Therefore, it you eat sweets such as the processed cakes and cookies that supermarkets love to sell, you are definitely going over the 8 gram limit. She also said to check all the labels to the foods I eat and to limit the following foods to not more than 4 ounces of each twice a week - white pasta, white rice, potatoes, red meat and cheese. She also explained that the reason why sugar affects cancer is because if you consume too much of it, it causes your insulin to increase - which in turn increases cell growth, including cancerous cell growth.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

This is a very old thread. The original poster passed away not too long ago. Maybe someone could start a new thread for this topic.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

That did hurt. (((Carlene)))

& ya know, I hope they all enjoyed a wedge of fabulous cheesecake or a luscious dark chocolate truffle while they were still here on earth. Another reminder of how fleeting life is, so LIVE FULL OUT, ladies. Denying yourself a cookie isn't gonna make any significant difference, and it is the small physical joys of earthly life that make us cling to this world even though heaven awaits. Everything in moderation. But be good to yourselves.

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