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Diet post cancer

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

From reading past posts, it seems that many us were treated at the best cancer hospitals in the country. So, I am wondering whether any of these hospitals have spent anytime instructing patients on the relationship between diet and cancer prevention. The hospital I am being treated at does not approach the subject at all. I really want to be proactive and make changes to my diet to ensure a longer and healthier life.

Has anyone recieved instructions on diet from the cancer centers that treated them?

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mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I received absolutely none. I asked my colorectal doc what I should be eating and she said "Anything you want!" I asked my med onc about sugar and it's relationship to cancer and he said it was essentially BS. I also asked him if a margarita now and then would hurt and he said absolutely not. I worked for an internist for 6 years and I can assure you that there is little if any time spent in medical school teaching doctors about diet and its role in preventing disease. I think the best advice comes from our grandmothers--eat your fruits and veggies and don't eat too many sweets. Everything in moderation. I eat pretty much what I want, as I know I will die someday, as will we all. I don't want to look back and wish I had eaten more ice cream. That's just my take. Some people are into juicing, supplements, blah, blah, blah. I want to enjoy my life and a big part of that for me is enjoying food. While I try to eat as healthy a diet as possible, I would not be able to stick to it 100% of the time.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks for the response. I am wondering if that is typical. I, too, want to enjoy my life....but I want it to be long and healthy and I would gladly give up anything at all if it is not contributing to longevity and good health. I want to be around for my daughter. Maybe others got a little more guidance than we did? There must be some source of scientific information about the role of diet on cancer.

BC331
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2012

I'm just at the beginning of my journey, but I asked the doctor the same questions and basically got the standard food guide answer. A friend sent me the following website page.
http://kriscarr.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/crazysexymanifesto.pdf
It's interesting and I've heard similar from other sources - cutting out dairy, refined sugars and high fat foods. Who knows though. Seems the rules keep changing. Im just trying to eat as clean as possible. Whole foods, non GMO, lots of veg and fish and lean meats etc.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks, I have downloaded this into my ipad. Love it! I am determined to get healthier than ever and take on the food poisoners. I don't want to be intolerant, but these days it is hard for me to watch people putting garbage into their bodies. Change is difficult. With cancer on the rise, I am just shocked by the lack of attention paid by what we are putting into our bodies with no real knowledge of how it is effecting us. I think if we are going to fight cancer, we need to start there.

When my grandparents lived, there was no processed food. There were small farms and local producers. They did not live in a world of chemical food. Their wisdom is great, but not enough to know what to eat in 2012.

Thanks for the info. It is a good start.

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Although my specific oncologists weren't outspoken regarding diet, there are MD's out there who are vocal about a proper "cancer" diet to help with healing and further prevention. I find it very easy to eat clean simply because it makes me feel sooooo much better than when I consume sugar and wheat, which are proven to lower your immune system and cause inflammation in the body. I guided myself by doing a tremendous amount of research via the internet and books. I think we have to take it beyond "everything in moderation" and educate ourselves. Broaden our thinking! Disease in America is due primarily to the American diet. Healthcare reform starts in our own kitchens. Do we want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?

I do apply the 90/10 rule (90% I eat pretty clean) . . .but I tell you, there is a GREAT difference in how my body responds and I have not had ONE cold since treatment ended almost two years ago. Plus, there is not doubt that I am doing everything in my power to have a super-strong immune system. I am one of the juicers that Martha speaks of and through research and application have found green juicing to be an optimal way for my body to get concentrated nutrients. It's not hard. And I assure you that on my deathbed I won't be wishing I had eaten more ice cream.:)

You might start with Dr. Andrew Weil, MD (http://www.drweil.com/) by taking a look at his anti-inflammatory food pyramid. He also has books on the market that are all worth reading.
Another resource is Dr. Roby Mitchell, MD (http://www.drfitt.com/BALi-Eating-Plan_c_142.html) and his BALI eating plan.

Chinese medicine is another area to explore and the The China Study is valuable reading. http://www.thechinastudy.com/

I also have taken it upon myself to better educate my own oncologists and am happy to report that my rad onc now prescribes the BALI eating plan to all of her patients. You must remember, nutrition and prevention is not a key focus in western medical schools. Treating symptoms is. These doctors are so very busy with their practices that they don't have time to seek outside information on their own. So, much like drug reps, when I do get in front of my doctors, I optimize my time with them by sharing solid science. But it's proven science from our gardens, not a pharmaceutical lab.

I applaud you on your quest for cancer diet information. We have to take responsibility and be proactive in our healing and self care and help spread that message. And on a final note, I do enjoy my food . . .I am a fresh/clean food caterer by profession, having launched my business just a couple of weeks ago and had a hugely successful Thanksgiving run. I am determined to show my community that we can use our local resources and eat and party fresh! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresh-Bites-on-the-Concho/209530905848357?fref=ts

Blessings to you.

Angela

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Angela,

Thank you! This is exactly the information I am looking for. I really want to feel better. I am right at the stage that the diarreah is ending, for the most part, and I can add more vegetables and fruits.....cautiously. Spinach is sitll not digested. I bought a book by Dr. Furhrman...Super Immunity, but it does not specifically deal with cancer. What kind of juicer do you use? I will try to find those books. It seems really incredible to me that the best cancer centers in the USA do not deal with diet! Really incredible!

I really wish we had a business like yours in my area. I also think, why can't there be restaurants that serve only clean organic food? Even a fast food restaurant that deals only with clean food.

I have always tried to eat healthy foods and never did like junk food. I was raised eating mostly whole foods and that is what I like to eat. I have a lot to learn, but I am going to start today! It is no longer acceptable to me to put garbage and toxins into my body. I have had cancer twice. I want to be healthy. I can tell you, for 100% certain, that if my life is cut short, on my death bed, I will not be wishing I ate more ice cream! I want to be well.

Thanks!

Mary

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

In West Texas, restaurants pride themselves on enormous and ridiculous portion sizes, but it's based on demand. Cost is another factor in restaurants "going organic." I work with local organic farmers when I can and use the absolute freshest ingredients without preservatives. I have learned to make my own mayonnaise and yogurt and other condiments. My biggest customers are health conscious young moms in their 30's who are well educated and want clean food for themselves and for their young families. Education is key. Change consumer habits, the food industry will follow suit. Next on my agenda? Starting a grass roots movement to begin sustainable gardens on our school campuses.

I strongly believe that one person CAN make a difference. I can stir the pot and get some attention and I'm sure lively debate going. I can press for change. You see, I don't care who I upset anymore. I'm not content with status-quo. It's not good enough for me, my children or my future grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Drug companies hate the idea of people educating themselves and becoming healthy, and then God forbid, VOCAL about it. I don't think the American population quite understands what HUGE, HUGE, HUGE profits drug companies make off of us being sick. Again, the health care reform starts in our own kitchen and with our own choices at the grocery store and with the restaurants we frequent.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I read today that the American cancer society attributes as much as 80% of cancers to the American diet. In cultures where red meat is conusmed, cancer rates are significantly higher. I am determined to wade through the information to figure out what to eat to get healthy. I think that the information is available, but the American public has adopted a willful blinders approach. Change is difficult. I made a decision that I really don't want to spend time with people who do not adopt a healthy lifestyle. With cancer on the rise in America, I just have to wonder, what is it going to take? I am waiting for an entrepreneur to do for healthy food what McDonald's did for fast junk food. The market is there for it, especially in the Northeast and on the west coast.

It sounds like you are onto a great business idea. Maybe you could franchise it? Food for thought....and life!

Thanks for the info.

Mary

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Red meat isn't the culprit as much as grain-fed, hormone injected red meat is. More interesting reading? Grass fed, hormone free beef and wild game vs. "the other." I come from a family of hearty, meat eating ranchers and change hasn't been easy on some but they're coming around. We now try to view any kind of meat as a "side" or accent rather than the main course. We fill up on vegetables and fruit in season. We've started turning our own livestock out on grass rather than feeding them grain and are learning more about conservation as it applies to range grasses.

As far as the juicers, there's a lot of info out there and I encourage you to read up about juicers that best maintain enzyme integrity for whatever you choose to juice. Here's a start.

http://www.discountjuicers.com/bestjuicer.html

I don't know if I can actually cut off people who won't easily adapt to a healthier lifestyle because that would require a divorce and a loss of a close circle of girlfriends. lol. But I can set an example and show them that eating clean just may be easier and more satisfying than they ever thought. Baby steps.

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geneviasue
Posts: 89
Joined: Oct 2012

Mary,

I thought I would share what I know about some equipment (juicers). We bought and was using a NutriBullet religiously before my diagnosis in Sept. We had it about 3 months. We love it and it's inexpensive enough for most any home. Like, $120. The Vitamix is really good too. It's capacity is larger and has more options which comes with a price tag of about $400. I wouldn't do anything where you have fiber garbage afterwards. That byproduct is where the good stuff is. The Nutribullet and the Vitamix are emulsifiers which means you consume everything you add: stems, seeds, skins and all. My husband still does the NutriBullet every morning but because it's 50% greens, I've halted them during treatments.

In the 3 months I did use the Nutribullet, I had noticed a huge impact to my energy level and my digestive tract. I had GURD but my heartburn had stopped. My skin was better. All around positive impact to my body. I'll definitely go back to it as soon as I can.
Gigi

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks, Gigi. I hope that you are doing well. I saw the nutirbullet at Bed, Bath and Beyond for about 100. That seems like a pretty good option for me right now. I am glad to hear that it worked so well. That would be a good Christmas gift to myself. I have the Jack LaLane juicer, but it is a pain in the neck to clean and leaves substantial residue.

Thanks for the info.

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lizdeli
Posts: 520
Joined: Jul 2009

I also didn't receive any specifics about diet from my doctors. I cut out most processed foods and limit my sugar intake. I did this after doing some reading on my own after treatment. The China Study, written by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. is a very comprehensive study of the relationship between diet and disease. It is worth reading if anyone wants to pursue understanding the potential relationship between the two.
Liz

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you. i will read this. Thank God for google! Lol.

Jo Joy
Posts: 39
Joined: Oct 2012

There is a documentary called "Forks Over Knives" that talks about this very subject.You can get it from Netflix or I have seen parts of it from youtube. You can go to the website forksoverknives.com to watch the trailer. The website also has recipes and resources.

There is a book that I have purchased from Amazon called "The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen" written by Rebecca Katz and another book called "Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life" that talks about mind, body, spirit and living a cancer free life. It covers diet as well as dispelling fear and anxiety.

On the West Coast we have more options for clean and organic. There is a food chain that is spreading here in CA called the Veggie Grill. All I can say is yummm. They have the best mashed cauliflower potatoes! Cauliflower is a huge cancer fighting vegetable and this is the only way I can eat it.

Right before I was diagnosed I had spent the last year getting back to goal weight on Weight Watchers. I lost 35 lbs over a years time. This is the third and last time that I am getting to goal weight. Never again will eat an unhealthy diet. For me there was a mind shift. Since I am currently going through treatment I can't eat vegetables and salads like I was before. I am actually missing eating fresh veggies and fruit! That is something I thought I would never do.

My basic diet is veggies and fruit with an occasional chicken or fish thrown in. I have for the most part stopped eating beef and pork. In fact beef hamburger now gives me the runs whenever I eat it. I have filet mignon about twice a year at places I know that make a to die for filet. That is a long way for a gal raised on a horse ranch where we would raise our own beef and my family had meat and potatoes at every meal!

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Thanks for reminding me that I haven't seen this yet. Have heard from many people that it's worth the watch. Congratulations on your weight loss and getting healthy. It is certainly a mind shift! And once you're head is there, it's pretty easy!

I read where you've cut back on vegetables during treatment. I juiced, where the pulp was removed completely. My body was able to tolerate it well sans the fiber and I was getting optimal nutrients. Just thought it might be worth exploring for you.

Blessings to you on your road to healing.

Angela

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mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry if I implied that diet does not matter! It totally does and I believe the healthier the diet, the healthier the person. I, myself, just can not follow such a strict regime that I never have foods that aren't good for me. I am a natural born lover of food and was raised in a family that loves to eat. Old habits, such as that, are hard for me to break. I would say my diet is healthy about 85% of the time.

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

I know, Martha! Following the 90/10 rule works well for me and around the Holidays that rule slips . . .like last week . . .and that's OK! My body quickly remembers why I don't eat like that all the time. Ugh! I don't know anyone, with the exception of my daughter, who eats 100% super clean 100% of the time. (Paleo dietitian and Cross Fit trainer as "hobby" and an industrial engineer by profession.) She's an admitted overachiever, putting it mildly! :) :)

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks, Jo. I will add this to my list. I am learning so much. I have not eaten red meat for about 30 years. It just disgusts me to even see it in the market. It is flesh of an animal. I do eat wild caught fish about twice a week. My daughter has been a vegetarian her whole life. Still, I have little knowledge about an anticancer diet. I just recently learned that we have geneticallt modified food in our food supply and it is not labeled! Even companies, like Kashi, use genetically modified ingredients. It is such a chemical world. I have much to learn!

Thanks for the info. I imagine that in California it is much easier to get organically grown vegetables year round.

I hope you are doing ok with your treatment! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you! I'm going to pick up "A new way of life" ... So appreciate you note!

eihtak
Posts: 809
Joined: Oct 2011

I think its important to do what we can to keep all disease at bay and this includes what we put in our bodies. I try to eat a well balanced diet with emphasis on fruit and vegetables and lean protiens. Most of my dairy is from yogurt, but I also enjoy cheeses and ice cream in moderation. I have a colostomy and my digestive system has a mind of its own. I have to be very disciplined when and what I eat to absorb as many nutrients as possible. That being said, some people can go over board in their diets. Keep in mind all the environmental and genetic issues that also invade our bodies. I think a healthy diet( again fruits and veges ), exercise, meditation to reduce stress, prayer, and a little luck of the draw is what will keep me alive and well for as long as God has planned.

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

I understand with the exception of the 'overboard' comment. If it works for them, who are we to say that it's "overboard?" More power to them! (Plus, I would think a super clean diet would only help combat the environmental and genetic issues? But that's just me.)

Phoebesnow
Posts: 447
Joined: Apr 2011

I have seen vegans eat tofurkey out of a box and bags of potato flakes making mashed potatoes with soy milk and smart balance margarine. In my mind a little turkey with cranberry and fresh vegetables with real butter would be healthier. But I said nothing. I will not eat soy, wheat, yeast or gluten. This is what tofurkey (hilarious name, I couldn't stop laughing) is comprised of.

My point is the general public is seriously lacking in education when it comes to diet at least in the U.S. You have to go out and gather the information yourself, but after that you can start spreading the word to your friends and family. Even if they are not receptive they will be getting the information. If they see changes in you physically and mentally they might be more apt to give it a try.

I just heard that woman should not have more than one ounce of red meat per week.

Shop the perimeter at the grocery store, don't eat anything if the ingredients take up more than two lines. Stay fresh, keep the skin on, eat and drink organic as much as you can. Trader joes is good for inexpensive organic food. Ralph's carries organic food.

I really admire the people who stick to a strict healthy diet. Do the best you can and it will get easier, especially when you see the positive results. You can change, you just need to take the step.

I also visualize my cells before I eat and think about how they are going to feel about what's coming at them. I feel like the mom and they are the little kids and I need to make wise choices in order to protect them. I want happy productive cells that can protect me from disease. Killer cells.

I love ice cream tooooooo!!!!!!

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

And more on the misinformation surrounding red meat ~ from Time magazine:

". . .When animals are 100% grass-fed, their meat is not only lower in saturated fats but also slightly higher in omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats found in salmon and flaxseed, which studies indicate may help prevent heart disease and bolster the immune system. . ."

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200759,00.html#ixzz2DSGJMXlY

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Phoebe.

Yes, it is just mind numbing to me that this body of scientific study is not given to the public. I am not a fan of big governemnt, but in my mind this is a role of the federal government. The USDA promotes the food pyramid, does not require lableing for genetically modified foods, and does not share information. I don't care for ice cream anymore, but cannot resist apples sprinkled with cinammon, or heated blueberries topped with yogurt and slivered almonds.....yum. When something makes me sick, I tend to not like it. I eat whole foods only. No lists of ingredients for me. I don't know much, but I do know that I don't want to put chemicals into my body if I can help it.

I have so much to learn.

eihtak
Posts: 809
Joined: Oct 2011

You're right, its really all abot balance. The more good we can do will help to balance what is out of our control. I guess by "overboard" I meant those people who are adding mental stress to their lives by often feeling they are missing something they enjoy, or denying themselves a little "treat" once in a while. I have a friend who is a cancer survivor but she is kind of obsessed with everything she eats to a point where she may have a problem. Hopefully most people just find a healthy balance that does work for them!

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mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I think that truly is the key. Denying ourselves the occasional treat makes life harder than it has to be, IMO. The day I pass up a dish of ice cream will probably be the day I'll get hit by a bus, so I figure I might as well have the treat! :)

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Yes, I know, as you said,, we are all going to die anyway, but I want to be well while I am here. Being sick makes life much harder than it has to be. Eating junk makes us sick, so why do it? Weighing the risks and benefits, we all have to make decisions in a balanced way. I need to learn what is harmful so I can make those decisions. Eating fruits and vegetables is the bare bone basic level of information.

I have had cancer twice, so If the first one didn't scare the hell out of me, the second one did! I went out to dinner recently with an overweight friend. I watched her order and eat a cheeseburger and a large curly fry. Then, she ordered ice cream on top of a cakey thing. I cannot tell you how grossed out I was. She knows how sick I have been. I finally had to say something. I think that I was as tactful as I could be. I told her that I could never eat that way and asked how she feels after she ate all that. She said, "oh well, that is what my liver is for." i just cannot tell you how horrified I was. I think that is the average American attitude about diet. I really think that is why we have uch a high rate of cancer and heart disease.

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mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I also have a friend like yours who is morbidly obese. I can not bring myself to call her on the phone anymore and listen to all of her health issues, knowing full well that 99% of them would have never happened had she not gained so much weight. Going out to a meal with her is disgusting, beginning in the parking lot where we must park right by the front door or let her out there because she can't walk more than 20 feet without becoming short of breath. Her napkin falls on the floor several times during a meal because she no longer has a lap. She is still my friend and I love her dearly, it's just very painful for me to see her in that kind of shape and know that she's done it to herself.

As healthy as my lifestyle is with diet and exercise (I ran a marathon last April!), I am just one of those people that loves the occasional dinner or dessert (or both) that I know is not good for me. I have always been that way and always will be. I understand that food is for nourishment of my body, but to an extent, it is also for enjoyment. My 88-year old mother is as healthy as a horse, except for dementia. She has always eaten whatever she wanted, including a nightly dish of ice cream, which she still enjoys. My mother has never had cancer, but here I am, eating organic foods, buying no foods that contain chemicals (at least that I know about), avoiding red meat and exercising like a crazy woman, and I end up with cancer. It makes no sense. I suppose if I live to be 88 I will just throw caution to the wind and eat whatever I want at that point.

I don't wish to live my life as a sick person either. I just think finding the right balance is the key to enjoying life.

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

My son has a friend whose mom is relatively known health guru in Texas. She is nationally ranked in fitness competitions and has authored a couple of cookbooks on super clean eating. She has also written a book regarding healthy lifestyles and is a known wellness coach. I heard just last night, at the age of 45, she has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

Balance is the key to enjoying life. And each of our 'balances' will vary from person to person. My balance is different from Martha's balance whose is different than Marynb's balance. I choose to eat grass fed, hormone free red meat . . .Marynb chooses not to.
Who. The hell. Cares?

We should embrace our differences and support each other as we are all survivors . . .and thrivers!

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mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry to hear about that woman, so very sad. There are so many stories of people who have taken excellent care of themselves, only to drop dead while running a marathon. I'm glad that didn't happen to me, although I must admit, it sounds better than dying from cancer, which I hope not to do either!

There are no easy answers in this thing called life. No hard and fast rules, no owner's manual for the body that can apply to each and every individual. I think we all do the best we can with the knowledge we have and use common sense (MOST of the time, in my case!).

As I was driving home from my mom's house the other morning before daylight, I rounded a curve at 55 mph only to find three deer crossing the road right in front of me. Luckily, I was able to swerve and miss them. I think that's how life is. You never know what awaits you around the next curve, so keep your eyes on the road and be ready to swerve when necessary!

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

Amen Martha! Yes ... That old curve in life!

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

Hello Martha ... I hear you and Balance is important. We all need to strive for that ... And this life is a one time good deal (my belief ). I do struggle with the same question; I exercised and ran most everyday, ate a healthy diet, and maintained a normal weight for the most part !!! And I end up with this!

As I look back and sort it out ... HPV is the culprit that started the DNA disruption. But, the abnormal cells were not destroyed by my immune system ... I attribute that breakdown in my life to stress; in my personal life and a bit of a familial genetic and/or personality issue and esteem issues resulting in...perfectionism....high achieving....anxiety....stress = diminished immune system.

I was "doing" vs being. Ultimately whittling away at my immune system. I even think my obsessive running and exercise in order to "look good" added stress on my body.

My approach now is to balance moderate exercise, feed my body well with an occasional splurge ... Ice cream, wine and cheese ... Rest, meditation and a quieter mind and "being" more. And more reliance on God as I know that Power in my life.

Also ... I'm tring to rid my heart and soul of "toxic shame" which is/was the root of my esteem issues. I kept all my "dirty little secrets" inside of me .... I'm purging that with a counselor, God, and myself .... Forgiving and letting go.

I read recently, "we are only as unhealthy as the secrets we keep". So trying to not keep secrets any more!

Ok ... I'm rambling now .... We are each on a personal journey as individual as who we are! Balance as defined by you!

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

Hello Martha ... I hear you and Balance is important. We all need to strive for that ... And this life is a one time good deal (my belief ). I do struggle with the same question; I exercised and ran most everyday, ate a healthy diet, and maintained a normal weight for the most part !!! And I end up with this!

As I look back and sort it out ... HPV is the culprit that started the DNA disruption. But, the abnormal cells were not destroyed by my immune system ... I attribute that breakdown in my life to stress; in my personal life and a bit of a familial genetic and/or personality issue and esteem issues resulting in...perfectionism....high achieving....anxiety....stress = diminished immune system.

I was "doing" vs being. Ultimately whittling away at my immune system. I even think my obsessive running and exercise in order to "look good" added stress on my body.

My approach now is to balance moderate exercise, feed my body well with an occasional splurge ... Ice cream, wine and cheese ... Rest, meditation and a quieter mind and "being" more. And more reliance on God as I know that Power in my life.

Also ... I'm tring to rid my heart and soul of "toxic shame" which is/was the root of my esteem issues. I kept all my "dirty little secrets" inside of me .... I'm purging that with a counselor, God, and myself .... Forgiving and letting go.

I read recently, "we are only as unhealthy as the secrets we keep". So trying to not keep secrets any more!

Ok ... I'm rambling now .... We are each on a personal journey as individual as who we are! Balance as defined by you!

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

I requested to see a dietitian after treatment. Our conversations were about moving to a plant-based diet and she gave mainstream information. I've been inspired by the dialogue in response to your question and plan to pickup some of the reference and websites throughout this string.

I want to share that I've struggled post treatment, emotionally. I'm letting life roll by in increments of 3 months hoping the next appointment and battery of high dose radiation/ scans will yield favorable results ... And feeling helpless to do anything to decrease the likelihood of reoccurrence. However.... This post has given me direction and ideas about what I can do with diet and I feel excited about many new ideas regarding a clean diet and cancer- fighting diet I will bring into my life!

Thank you! I'm going to open a new post on exercise post treatment and see what we get!!!

Heartfelt thanks for this post! I feel empowered!

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sandysp
Posts: 734
Joined: May 2011

I read an interesting article in the Smitshonian back in the 80's. It was about a forensic pathologist who got a grant to research mummies in a South American village that were coming to the surface due to erosion. Mummies were everywhere in peoples back yards, etc. The village was happy to have a forensic pathologist with grants from the Smithsonian gather them up and take them away to study them. Interestingly enough, the pathologist found that these mummies (or cadavers) died from the same illnesses we are dying from. There were no fast food joints. They in their day (which was from a very long time ago but I don't remember exactly) they were pretty isolated and had to eat from their streams, hunting, gathering and the local agriculture. They certainly did not have pesticides, yet there they were having died from breast cancer, brain tumors, and all kinds of cancers just like us.

I don't want to acuse drug companies of conspiracies. Without them I would be not alive and in more pain than I am in. When I tried to reduce the Lyrica dosage, as the rehabilitative medicine doctor at MSK suggested, I lost mobility in my right leg and the pain was "just shoot me" bad. I would be walking with a cane, walker or in a wheel chair without Lyrica. Would that be better for me or for society? I am still very uncomfortable (they say it is consistent with the scar tissue contracting, expanding close to the nerve - I don't care - just help me with the pain!)

I think anything we do proactively is good for us - and eating fruits and vegetables and trying to keep slim and exercised (I favor Chi exercises for mind, body and spirit) is all good but cancer or our susceptibility to it, I am afraid is part of our DNA. I am alive because people, like the fine workers at MSK have dedicated their lives to fighting it, by developing surgeries, radiation treatments and drugs to help keep me alive past my DNA due date. For this I am grateful. But I am not happy about the pounds I have put on. I looked so much better when I was sicker figure wise! LOL So I am ready to call weight watchers today!
Sandy

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mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

That sounds like a very interesting article. And I agree that drug companies have produced medicines that have saved many lives, including mine. I'm not sure there is any way to prevent cancer if someone is predisposed to it, such as you mentioned regarding DNA. As for my cancer, I'm sure I got HPV which led to my cancer. What I don't understand is why only some people with HPV get cancer and others don't. I think at the end of the day, there is only so much a person can do to prevent cancer. There are so many things that we have no control over. Many items we have in our homes give off chemicals that are toxic and/or carinogenic. However, I don't think any of us would want to live like the cavemen did with no comforts or modern conveniences. However, that story you mentioned demonstrates that even hundreds and perhaps thousands of years ago, man had no control over certain things. We can only do the best we can do--the rest is up to God.

Jo Joy
Posts: 39
Joined: Oct 2012

Last week I finally learned the results of the HPV testing of the biopsy that started this journey. It was negative for HPV. I don't have it. I have never tested positive for it on in-depth pap smears or had a suspicious pap either. So I don't have it there either. That was the last possible risk factor for this cancer that might have contributed to the cancer diagnosis.

As I thought about this, I sincerely believe without a doubt, that stress made my body vulnerable. I don't get sick very often with colds, flu, etc. HOWEVER, last year I had to be put on a thyroid supplement because my thyroid started to fail. Why? I tested positive for Hashimotos Thyroiditis. That is an autoimmune disease that a large part of the population carries antibodies for but no one knows what triggers the disease to become active and kill the thyroid. I would gamble a guess…STRESS. The last two years of my life have been the most stressful that I have ever experienced. That unrelenting stress is due to the job that I am leaving shortly. It put me on anti-anxiety meds for the first time since college. I feel that this job literally tried to kill me.

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

I never tested positive for HPV the five times I've been tested (and no previous bad paps) and I also was under a lot of stress and had very low thyroid levls at the time of diagnosis that I am still trying to level out with synthroid. Does anyone collect this type of data???

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

Hello angela ... This may not answer the question you're asking ...I believe i read that approximately 80% or more of anal CA is related to HPV ... High risk HPV strains.. These strains usually do not cause condylomata (warts). So as many of you know, most people don't know they have the virus or had the virus. I never tested positive for HPV during all my paps over the years, although the tumor was positive for HPV - 16. A real surprise to me! Thought I was ok given negative paps withe the dual HPV built in.

At least 80% of all those who are sexually active Are positive for HPV or have been exposed.

There are statistics and data out there on the web about HPV and it's relation to anal cancer and other cancers to include cervix, throat, vulva, vagina, penile and others I haven't listed.

Just some info .....

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

That's not what I mean . . .I'm very well read on HPV. Is there any data collection on commonalities outside the HPV realm . . . such as low thyroid in anal cancer patients? What other studies are being done regarding anal cancer statistics? I suppose I can contact the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation for answers.

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

Angela ...I apologize as I missed the focus on stress as your question re; research and anal cancer.

Sadly, given anal cancer is so rare, I have not been able to find much research outside of clinical trials directed toward treatment vs cause, such as the benefit of platinum based antineoplastics (cisplatin) over the standard Mitomycin and the benefits of IMRT over 3D conformal and outcomes.

As you know given you're a well-read and informed woman, research dollars are hard to come by and are targeted toward the higher volume cancers such as breast cancer as one example. Thank God Dr. Nigra did his research in the 70's or we'd all have an APR and colostomy as the primary treatment for anal cancer.

Thank you so much for your posts regarding diet and exercise ... So helpful to me!

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

I wasn't very clear to begin with. The latter comments on this thread have me curious to what the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation may know about current research being done? I will check it out and report back.

I always find a safe place to fall on this board and although I may not find my way back here for weeks and even months at a time, I eventually come around. And now being almost two years out, it's good to be able to offer some seasoned guidance to those who come behind me. . .and to continue to grow/learn and take away something new from this group.

Even though we may not all agree with each other's views some of the time, I feel that we do have compassion, respect and understanding like no others ALL of the time.

Blessings,
Angela

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

Xx

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I don't know if there have been any studies, but I can tell you that I have been as healthy as a horse all my life. I don't think I took more than 10 sick days in my entire life and I am 60. Nobody in my entire family line for generations died young or had cancer. I doubt that cancer is in my DNA or that I was predisposed to it. I can tell you that I lived under a tremendous amount of daily stress for a long time due to a horrible divorce and all that goes with that. Then as a working single mother......stress out the ears!

I was recently involved with a group of divorced moms who had lived through infidelities. Many of them talked about cancer! Coincidence? I doubt it. I don't know what I could have done differently under scuh adverse circumstances. Some lives are just more stressful.

I had a great aunt who smoked a pack of cigarettes until she died at age 93! That doesn't mean smoking in moderation is ok. If something is toxic, it is toxic. Go figure!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2820
Joined: Jan 2010

My life was not particularly stressful when I was diagnosed, however, there have been periods of stress throughout the years. That being said, I would have to say that my life hasn't been nearly as stressful as a lot of peoples' who have been diagnosed with this disease. So whether or not stress plays a role, I don't know.

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 520
Joined: Jul 2009

That has been my theory as well. Never tested positive for HPV and neither did the tumor. I was under a tremendous amount of stress in 2008 at work. Market crashed and I work in financial services. It was terrible. I never had any health issues before and had very few symptoms of the anal cancer. Bingo, there it was.

With recent changes in my job I have concsiously tried to control my response to stress because in my mind it had something to do with this rare cancer showing up. None of the other contributing causes apply to me. So that's my conclusion for my own situation.

Liz

7243
Posts: 211
Joined: Feb 2011

I was traveling the other day and remembered I had a stress management series on iPhone. Check out Alice d. Domar PhD ... Harvard prepared. She does lots with this and sites much research into stress and it's relationship to disease.

The disc I have is, Lifeworks - breath

Many good ideas re; stress management, nutrition, exercise, and such .... She subscribes to an 80 - 20 diet theory. Discussed the stressful impact of "good vs bad" food thinking. Worth a listen I think. Really emphasized socialization as a great stress reducer .... Talking about feelings very important.

Here is her site .... A recognized expert on mind body.

http://www.domarcenter.com/

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks, I will add this to my must read. There is a lot of good information under this thread!

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