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Diet for ER Breast Cancer

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Can anyone help with diet for my wife with ER IDC ? Some things I reads say to avoid all soy product, bread, cheese and butter marjarine etc.. It seems like the only things OK to eat or plain chicken breasts, fish and vegatables with no salt, cheese, butter etc... Also our Ocn recommended for her to drink at least one Boost or Ensure everyday to help with nutrition but all of those drinks have soy in them. Help !!!!

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I'm not much help because I'm triple negative. But here's my philosophy on food and cancer...a lunch that includes a sandwich, a side dish (salad, fruit), and a beverage contains about 10,000 different chemicals. How can anyone figure out from that which chemicals help to stop cancer? And which ones will make the cancer grow? Or maybe it's a combination of chemicals? Add to that, we each have different biologies...so I eat pretty much what I want. I do try to eat healthier foods, because I just feel better. They taste better to me too.

I realize that doesn't help much with the soy issue...one recommendation for that. Get some whey protein powder (available at GNC and other nutrition stores), blend that with milk, ice, fruit. You'll have a homemade smoothie with the protein and calories your wife needs now and no soy. Jamba Juice also has a whey protein 'boost' that you can add to their smoothies.

Does your cancer center have a nutritionist you can talk to? That might help you get some clarity...

I also want to say again, I think you are a wonderful husband! And you are doing a fabulous job taking care of your wife.

Hugs,

Linda

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Linda,
Thank you again for your post. I hope you are doing well. We have always tried to eat healthy but were never obsessed with it and would on a rare occasionally have french fries or a creamy pasta alfredo. Now we are sticking to chicken, fish and veggies and if we have pasta it is whole grain. My wife is European so wine and cheese has been a part of her life for her entire life. This is the hardest part for her to get used to. She has stopped drinking and eating lots of cheese and white bread. We are looking into a cancer nutritionalist to help as well. Thank you again for your informative posts and kind words.
God Bless !!!

Dennis

mollyz's picture
mollyz
Posts: 737
Joined: Sep 2010

I'm 95% ER positive so i read everything and I've really went vegetarian,but listen if she's doing chemo let her eat what ever she wants when they put her on a hormone blocking medicine then she can watch what she eats. and yes Er has to watch soy,for milk i drink almond breeze original(it's non diary and soy free) the vanilla has more sugar in it and that's a no no also, i buy earth balance it's soy free for butter and i cook my veggies in olive oil,i don't eat any hot dogs or sandwich meat,mostly nothing from a can all fresh.she needs her ensure though now hope it helps a little~~MollyZ~~

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Thank you so much !! We are also trying to watch her sugar intake as you said. I will look into the almond milk. Do you avaiod bread or stick with whole grain? Thank you again. God Bless !!

Dennis

mollyz's picture
mollyz
Posts: 737
Joined: Sep 2010

I eat natures own 100%whole grain sugar free bread.~MollyZ~~

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2121
Joined: Jun 2010

I've been posting online since 1997 and I read for the most part, 2-3 other forums besides this one on a daily basis. I was diagnose in 1994 and have remained ER+. I eat what I want and pay absolutely no attention to the latest fad diet that is going to save you. All your buying is expensive urine.

I've been dealing with mets since 2000 and I'm still here. I am careful with the salt, butter and etc. I like cheese but eat moderately. I do now have an occasional glass of wine. I don't take any vitamins except the one's my primary care doctor told me to use, vitamin D, magnesium and b12.

Breast cancer is the oldest recorded disease going back to BC. If food was the answer then it would have been figured out eons ago. All these women who claim that this will keep them from dying with stage IV, have gone to their reward regardless of what they consumed.

Wishing the best,

Doris

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

My oncologist unequivocally told me simply to be mindful of what I eat. Not to cut out soy products (and I am 95% ER+) but not to eat edamame twice a day either. I was already a vegetarian who exercises regularly and maintains a healthy weight so I would have to agree with those that say just let her eat what she wants as long as she isn't going overboard on anything - especially while on chemo. It is too stressful a time to start to consider drastic changes in your diet.

All the best,
Clementine

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Clementine,
Thank you again for your reply. Our Onc never told us anything about diet or foods to avoid. He said just do it in moderation and that included having a glass of wine if she wanted to. I don't know if I agree with him after all of the info I have read about Alcohol and BC reoccurance in ER positive women. Have you cut out all alcohol? Thanks again. God Bless !!

Dennis

Clementine_P's picture
Clementine_P
Posts: 363
Joined: Feb 2011

stop drinking alcohol. I drink a glass of wine probably every 2 weeks or so and enjoy it tremendously. I have read the studies and understand that alcohol may very well be connected to ER+ cancer. The decisions that you and your wife are making with regard to alcohol and food are the right ones for you. We all have our own thresholds. I think that having fun and enjoying life is just as good a cancer fighter than any other kind of prevention. For me that means occassionally having a glass of wine with my husband and/or friends. I can totally understand why someone would stop drinking alcohol completely as a result of this. During chemo, I most definitely didn't drink at all. I am sure you and your wife will find a happy medium with respect to food and drink as time goes on.

Best,
Clementine

Rague
Posts: 3277
Joined: Aug 2009

There was no way that I would have drank either of those with all the chemicals in them!

I, basicaly, did not change my diet at all after IBC (ER+) DX. I already did not use many canned/prepared food. Mostly veggies are fresh and I freeze them, forbeef. As we can't raise our own now buy from friends that 'range raise' them (cheaper that store/commercial beef and much better taste), game from friends, Chickens and pork in stores are as artificailly raise as beef is. There are many issues with whaat fish injest/line in. I don't use oleo/margirine but butter (less chemicalls ).

Ensure/Boost was not recommended to me - if it had I wouldn't have - too many chemicals in them..

I do not believe that my diet had anything to do with my IBC, but my entire life cummulative did. I grew up primarily on USAF. Bases, was Army myself and a Navy Wife. Of 19 1/2 of Hubby's. AD time. Had my tonsils out at 1 1/2 ys and radiation to throat area (common practice in 1946+) 5 y/o, lived near early above ground nuclear tests in the early 1950's, - I could go ond on about all the potential cumlative effects of what I've been exposed to in my life.

Certainly - diet can effect - BUT is not all the answers. You can drive yourself CRAZY if you try to read all the site you can find on line! Talk to the Nutritintist at. the your wife is going to.

I do realize that you want to do all you can for her BUT your wife is the one who is fighting for her life. Seek info, have input but do not try to take her RIGHT to make decision from her on TX or HER on going life.

Wiyan - The Power Within

Susan

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Thank you Susan for your post. I have been active duty military for the past 20 years (USMC) I retire in December so I completely understand that military bases are not known for being the most enviromentally friendly places in the world, especially 40 + years ago. You make a very good point about me not making her decisions for her. I have found myself taking control and making decisions. I am trying to back off as you suggested as it is her treatment and her life. I just want to make sure she is around for many more years. God Bless !!

Dennis

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3926
Joined: Oct 2009

Mostly, I just try and eat as healthy as I can. Lots of veggies and I always add extra veggies to my salad. We try and eat salmon and other foods that lower inflammation as there seems to be a link between inflammation and cancer.

The soy stuff is controversial, but most docs think a little to a moderate amount of natural soy (edamame, etc) is probably beneficial.

On soy:

"Bottom line: Even though animal studies have shown mixed effects on breast cancer with soy supplements, studies in humans have not shown harm from eating soy foods. Moderate consumption of soy foods appears safe for both breast cancer survivors and the general population, and may even lower breast cancer risk. Avoid soy supplements until more research is done. So, enjoy your occasional tofu stir-fry or tofu burger - they are unlikely to increase your risk of breast cancer and, on balance, are some of the healthier foods you can eat!" from Dr. McCullough is strategic director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society
The Bottom Line on Soy and Breast Cancer Risk
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2012/08/02/the-bottom-line-on-soy-and-breast-cancer-risk.aspx

I personally avoid BPA--levels are highest in canned goods as the lining in cans breaks down in the liquid and food in the can. The food, soup, etc. can be fairly saturated with BPA. Harder plastics are not as much of a problem.
BPA and Breast Cancer
http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/20120511

I no longer drink alochol (sigh) because, with every drink, estrogen levels go up--just not worth it for me.
Recipe for Disaster: Alcohol and Estrogen-Positive Breast Cancer
http://breastcancerbydrruddy.com/?p=2703

Maybe some of this helps--I don't really know, but I will keep trying. And I am an oldie (not sure if I'm a goodie...lol) as I have been battling now for 25 years.

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Cynthia,
Thank you again for your very informative reply. We are finding ways to try to eat extreamly healthy. I don't think we can do the vegitarian thing though but certainly can do things better than we have been inthe past. We have switched to only soups in paper boxes or the type you mix with water or milk. We have been eaing more veggies with no butter or just a little parmesan cheese on them. She has stopped drinking her nightly glass of wine but we both love white bread (french bread, baquettets, biscuts etc) this has been the hardest part for me. I agreed that I would stop drinking my 4 beers over the weekend (2 per night) for her but she insisted that I do not do that just because she can't drink, she doesn't want me to have to give it up. Thank you for the article on Alcohol and ER breast cancer it is very informative and shocking. To me it is just not worth the risk especially if you have or had ER BC. God Bless !!

Dennis

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2017
Joined: Dec 2010

I was just told to eat what I was hungry for but to watch my fat and sugar intake. I love veges, fish and once in a while meat. I have been eating more fruits and veges and try to limit portions of breads and fat. Bottom line, I am on chemo and when I am hungry for something I eat it! Right now I have to force myself to eat most anything.

I don't drink any alcohol anymore, and prior I only had a couple of margarita's a few times a year, but I do miss the occasional margarita especially when we go out to a good Mexican dinner!

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3926
Joined: Oct 2009

I miss my wine too, but I really was not enjoying it much anymore because it felt suicidal.

But, just to let you know, we are not vegetarians. I am allergic to shellfish and vegetarian is just too hard for me. But I do eat lots of veggies and antioxidants where I can. Also, I am not a big salmon lover, but I try to eat it weekly because of its beneficial properties.

I have a small garden which is full of lettuce right now (a Louisiana winter crop). Lettuce is easy, easy to grow because it has few roots and can be grown in a very small area. I share this because, with the bacterial worries with store bought lettuce, I feel a little safer with my homegrown.

Believe me, we are not perfect, but we really try--especially at dinner. I will confess the white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie I had at a conference today ;-). Just try to make small, healthy changes where you can.

Praying that you guys do as well as we have.

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2121
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear CC,

One glass now and then really will not do anything to your cancer. It is a slow growing one and that is why you and I are still around. We might be just like Rita Arditti who lived 30 years with metastatic breast cancer which for her started in the lungs. She died at age 74. Her story and you can listen to her on youtube.

http://mbcn.org/get-involved/details/my-story-rita-arditti/

We had this discussion last year and the article was on the risk of developing breast cancer. We already have breast cancer and so do most who post here.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/study-supports-alcohol-breast-cancer-link-201111033747

Alcohol might actually benefit those who already have the disease.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45348447/ns/health-cancer/t/alcohol-may-thwart-breast-cancers-spread/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9659168/Glass-of-wine-a-day-fi ghts-breast-cancer.html

I think you can find articles for and against having a glass now and then. I wish they wouldn't waste their time on this alcohol and find something to cure all 4 types of Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Since the verdict is still unknown, I don't believe that indulging now and then will do great harm. That goes for eating a cookie or two also.

Best,

Doris

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3926
Joined: Oct 2009

Doris, the verdict is out and it has been studied now ad nauseum (for >20 years now). I personally will not drink because I am convinced that, with ER+, it is playing Russian Roulette. Here are some more studies:

Just two glasses of wine a day raise a woman's risk of death if she has breast cancer

Drinking Alcohol Increases Risk of Hormone-Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

Researchers See Possible Link Between Drinking and Breast Cancer Fueled by Hormones

I am certainly not telling any adult whether they should drink or not, but I am saying that I do not think it is advisable, at this time, if you have ER+. I certainly can live a happy life without alcohol and, if it keeps me healthy, it is worth it.

When my onc first told me about tamoxifen, it was NOT being used in premenopausal women. He explained why it should work and I decided to go for it because it made sense and my gut was screaming, do it." I have never been sorry. I may be sorry about the alcohol, but my gut says it's a no go. My body, my decision.

P.S. If you are talking about a very rare glass (like once a month or less), you may be right, but daily, from what I have read is risky.

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Cynthia,
I completely agree with you on the alcohol, why risk it ? My wife has stopped drinking completely as she is ER+. If you think about it, alcohol is really a toxin which we intentionally put into our bodies. I admit I enjoy a cold beer every now and then but if my life potentially depended on it I would stop drinking in a heart beat. My wife will be on Tamoxifen also when she is done with Chemo. She has her 3rd AC treatemnt yesterday and is feeling fine, she was a little nauseated this morning but her Zofran knocked it right out. One more AC treatment then on to 4 treatments of Taxol. God Bless !!

Dennis

Rague
Posts: 3277
Joined: Aug 2009

There is no 'verdict' at this time - the 'jury' is still out and is a 'hung jury' as the 'research' present on both 'sides' when it comes to an occasional drink is on both 'sides'. Obviously drinking several times DAILY is not a good idea for anyone.

Just as drinking anything alcohol is a personal decision - I will continue to have a drink, or 2, every 3 -6 months under certain situations - 'you can bet your sweet Bippy' I will. (LOL - you aren't as old as I am but think you might be old enough to remember that phrase.)

Not all of us are covered in reports/studies. I can't find much on IBC, ER+/PR- research on many subjects as as only 1-5% are IBC and less are ER+/PR-.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring (even without 'thinking' about IBC ) - NONE OF US DO! I will LIVE every day I have to the best that I can - even if it's not exactly what anyone one would do. Our life is our life - so I will have a drink or 2 (or do anything else I want to do - already have done a lot many wouldn't do.) We are each unique - we have to make our own decisions - rather anyone else agrees with them or not.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3926
Joined: Oct 2009

Susan, Research is always about looking at a preponderance of evidence--not a single study. When my physician sister urged me to quit back in the late 1980's, I was of your mindset, but hundreds of studies later, I have changed my mind.

If we go by your theory, it could be argued that smoking doesn't cause lung cancer. I can't speak to all cancers, but ER+ is a no brainer.

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