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Help : food & fasting

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2008

I have a brother who just went through his 6 doses of chemo (6x 21days apart). The problem is his CT scan showed a larger cancer region. There are some in the family thinking to put him through a fasting (as long as he can endure) and after that a liquid only diet. Not sure if this a good thing so I wish for some comment. The thinking is to stop cancer cell growth by starving it. The doctor recommended radiotherapy but my bro is a bit concerned since he saw some unpleasant result on others.
2nd : Right now, he does cough and there are blood coming out -- we are all concerned about this. He has a tough time eating solid food so we are feeding only liquid for now. Is this recommended or we should ask him to try solid food with some sort of other medicine to stop the urge of throwing up.

My feeling is to get him as healthy and strong as possible then to start radiotherapy/chemo. But I am unsure of what to do.

Thank you for all of your attention.

jimsbaby's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2007

I do not believe you will be able to starve the cancer, although I understand your logic. The only thing that fasting would accomplish is making your brother so weak that he will not be able to fight for his life. What you need to be doing is giving him lots of juices, fruit and vegetable, there are actually vitamins and nutrients that help to fight off cancer and to shrink it. Vitamin C of course is a great one, and Vitamin E also. I have heard that the Omega Oil (fish oil) does very well when taken consistently. Also, your brother can tell you what he wants to eat, if he is craving something, say cantaloupe, then you should let him eat it as much as he wants, this is his body letting him know what nutrients it needs. My husband is a 3-year Pancreatic Cancer survivor and he ate canteloupe constantly, couldn't get enough of it that first year, now he hardly eats it, and his cancer has not recurred, and he never underwent any chemotherapy. Hopefully your brother can kinda listen to his body, and figure out what it needs.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

If your brother is coughing up blood I would strongly advise that he seek attention from medical professionals at once.

Re the fasting idea, I strongly endorse the position of the other respondent that fasting is the exact opposite of what you should want to do in this situation. The general tendency of cancer AND its treatments is to waste away the body, so fasting is only going to hasten a negative trend.

I am NOT a medical professional, and I strongly urge that you seek professional advice at once. In the meantime, I think you are the one thinking correctly here: feed him if he can eat, give him liquids with much vitamin and protein and minerals if he cannot eat solids, and do your best to make him stronger for the radiation treatment.

There are medications such as compazine and fenergin, to name but two, that can help with nausea. You may also consider a feeding tube to facilitate provision of nutrition. But in any event, nutrition is paramount!

Best wishes to your brother and his family.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

Cancer will take what it needs whether your brother eats or not. But your brother's body will not get what it needs if you starve him. Call the doctor at once about the bleeding and any other symptoms. Sometimes doctors do radiation to kill off enough of the cancer to make the patient more comfortable. This is not curative, it is palative. There is also radiation meant to reduce the cancer to nothingness. I think you need to have a heart to heart talk with your brother's doctor on what his prognosis is and what the doctor's treatment plan is. If you are not happy with what you hear, seek a second opinion. Then take the course of action that seems best for your situation.

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2008

Keeping your body weight stable, and good nutrition are two vital things in the treatment of cancer your brother cannot be without. I'm no more than 6lbs off my regular weight since I began my fight in Nov 2007 (I weigh 172lbs normally.) Thus far - I've survived 42 days of Radiation, and 17 Chemo therapies and I'm still good to go within reason.

Having not lost my appetite - I eat a variety of foods, Love salads esp -- and lots of dark veggies such as brocolli, and brussels sprouts.

Fasting will finish him off. It would be best to consult with his doctor or a nutritionist I'd say.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

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