Radiology and diet

Options
faith_trust_and_a_little_bit_of_chemotherapy
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I just completed my 6th TAC less than a week ago and now I am moving down the hall to the radiology department for *gulp* radiation. Ha, gulp, like I can even taste anything.

Anyway, my hematologist encouraged me to eat anything while running the chemo gauntlet. I did not suffer nausea, I ate what I could, and maintained my weight. I was warned that 15 pound weight gain is not not uncommon for women under the circumstance.

I'm probably putting the cart before the horse here. I don't completely understand how the mechanism of radiation works, can antioxidants interfere with the delivery system of the radiation?

There's a plethora of contradictory information out there. I'd appreciate any insight.

Thanks.

Comments

  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    Options
    Hi and welcome
    Your picture makes me laugh -- OMIGOD, CHEMO TURNED YOU YELLOW!! :-)

    It's important to remember that radiation is a very localized treatment -- you'll only receive radiation to your breast(s) and possibly lymph node areas. So you shouldn't have any issues at all with nausea, eating, etc. from the radiation.

    Your radiation oncologist will probably tell you to stop taking any vitamin supplements, especially antioxidants, during radiation. But vitamins in normal quantities of regular, healthy food are just fine -- I've never heard of anyone having any kind of special diet during rads for breast cancer.

    Hope that helps with some of your questions? Please come here often, we're glad to help however we can!

    Traci
  • kms3566
    kms3566 Member Posts: 57
    Options
    I am in the same place as
    I am in the same place as you, I will have my last of 6 rounds of TAC today and then on to radiation. I am a bit anxious as to what to expect but figure it can't possibly be as bad as chemo, except for the everyday part. I have an appt with my rad onc on July 8th and will be making a list of things to ask.
  • greyhoundluvr
    greyhoundluvr Member Posts: 402
    Options
    I did ask
    my radiation oncologist aboutsupplements because I was not allowed to take anything at all during chemo. She said I could take a daily multi-vitamin but that was it. They also offer a visit with a nutritionist but she said as long as I am eating a healthy diet, that is up to me. They also have a free gym membership during the time you are getting radiation at a place across the street because exercise is the only thing they have found that counters to fatigue. I love the idea but since this is going to take two hours a day as it is (with travel) and my boss is not making me take time off, I'm think that asking for another hour for the gym might be pushing my luck. Guess I'll have to get better acquainted with my stationary bike:)

    Chris
  • KayNYC
    KayNYC Member Posts: 495 Member
    Options
    dietary advice
    I completed my rads on 6/11. My Radiologist advised that all dietary supplements be stopped as adding antioxidants beyond what you get in your food is not advised. I was allowed to take my Calcium with Vitamin D for Osteopenia and a multivitamin. They suggested that I eat a balanced diet and exercise daily. My Med Onc advised that I limit use of soy to "natural sources" only but that had more to do with Estrogen like substances and their relationship to my Estrogen + and Progesterone+ tumor status than the rad tx.
    K
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
    Options
    TraciInLA said:

    Hi and welcome
    Your picture makes me laugh -- OMIGOD, CHEMO TURNED YOU YELLOW!! :-)

    It's important to remember that radiation is a very localized treatment -- you'll only receive radiation to your breast(s) and possibly lymph node areas. So you shouldn't have any issues at all with nausea, eating, etc. from the radiation.

    Your radiation oncologist will probably tell you to stop taking any vitamin supplements, especially antioxidants, during radiation. But vitamins in normal quantities of regular, healthy food are just fine -- I've never heard of anyone having any kind of special diet during rads for breast cancer.

    Hope that helps with some of your questions? Please come here often, we're glad to help however we can!

    Traci

    Traci said it all! Good
    Traci said it all! Good luck on rads!

    Hugs, Diane
  • missrenee
    missrenee Member Posts: 2,136 Member
    Options
    I'm in the same boat!
    I too just completed TAC on May 6th (6 treatments total) and have had two sessions of radiation so far (33 more to go). I'm still experiencing swelling, pins and needles, pain, numbness in my breast and on the side of it along my ribs. I had a lumpectomy and axillary node disection (23 nodes removed, 10 positive) in late December. My surgeon and rad. onc. don't seem to be concerned. Has anyone else experienced this? It's a little scary and causes me concern, but if others have had it and it just takes more time to clear, I'll feel better knowing that. Maybe it never clears?

    Thanks ladies--
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Options
    Welcome!!
    I don't think there is a "one answer fits all" because many of our radiation onco's differ on this subject. Mine did not want me taking anything including Calcium and D3. So, I stopped during rads and started up again once I was finished. I also continued to exercise at least 5 times a week. Some days were better than others but I think it really did help alleviate some of the fatigue. Good luck to you. Let us know how you are doing.
  • missrenee
    missrenee Member Posts: 2,136 Member
    Options
    TraciInLA said:

    Hi and welcome
    Your picture makes me laugh -- OMIGOD, CHEMO TURNED YOU YELLOW!! :-)

    It's important to remember that radiation is a very localized treatment -- you'll only receive radiation to your breast(s) and possibly lymph node areas. So you shouldn't have any issues at all with nausea, eating, etc. from the radiation.

    Your radiation oncologist will probably tell you to stop taking any vitamin supplements, especially antioxidants, during radiation. But vitamins in normal quantities of regular, healthy food are just fine -- I've never heard of anyone having any kind of special diet during rads for breast cancer.

    Hope that helps with some of your questions? Please come here often, we're glad to help however we can!

    Traci

    Hi Traci
    I have read your posts before, and you really seem to be up on all this. I've just started radiation as well (had first 2 out of 35) so far. I had a lumpectomy, axillary node disection in Dec. '09, Stage III, 10 postive nodes. I started chemo (TAC) in January and had my sixth and final treatment on May 6th.

    I'm really concerned about the breast and trunk tenderness, pins and needles, numbness, swelling. I didn't expect this at this point, but if it goes with the territory, I can deal with it. Will it get worst with radiation? My docs don't seem concerned and I really trust and have faith in them, but this is scary.

    Tell me your story.

    Thank you so much, Renee
  • rm22111
    rm22111 Member Posts: 54
    Options
    what to eat?
    My radiologist is very into eating healthy. He encourages me to eat low fat protein, nuts, berries, green veggies, take fish oil. We also talked about cooking using olive oil. We also talked about using the spice turmeric (it can be bought alone, but is in curry spices). It is an anti inflammatory. He tested me to see how my vitamin D levels were. Mine were a little low so I was encouraged to continue to take the vitamin d I was taking and to get out and get a little sun each day. I also have been taking vitamin c. I had skin healing issues after surgery and was told to take vitamin c. I have had protein level problems so I mix up a protein shake each day. I was also given a product called Juven. It helps with wound healing. I can buy it at Rite Aide. You mix it with water. I add a little 7 up or sprarking water to mine. I was told to drink one a day when my skin started to turn pink. He told me yesterday that the best thing I can do to help my body heal from the radiation is to eat healthy. I hope this helps.

    rm22111
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    Options
    missrenee said:

    Hi Traci
    I have read your posts before, and you really seem to be up on all this. I've just started radiation as well (had first 2 out of 35) so far. I had a lumpectomy, axillary node disection in Dec. '09, Stage III, 10 postive nodes. I started chemo (TAC) in January and had my sixth and final treatment on May 6th.

    I'm really concerned about the breast and trunk tenderness, pins and needles, numbness, swelling. I didn't expect this at this point, but if it goes with the territory, I can deal with it. Will it get worst with radiation? My docs don't seem concerned and I really trust and have faith in them, but this is scary.

    Tell me your story.

    Thank you so much, Renee

    Hi, Renee -
    If your surgery was only last December (and it sounds like you're getting regular exams from your surgeon, oncologist, and/or radiation oncologist), then I would say everything you're describing is right in line with my experience.

    I had bilateral lumpectomies and sentinel node biopsies in June 2009, followed by chemo and radiation. The tumors on the right side were deep, dead center of the breast, and the right has definitely been MUCH slower to recover.

    I had the "pins and needles" feeling on the right for probably six-seven months after surgery, and it got worse during rads. Both my surgeon and radiation oncologist said it's a *good* thing to have, because it's nerves regenerating.

    I've never regained much feeling at all around any of my incision sites -- I always forget to ask my surgeon if he thinks I ever will, maybe because I don't want to hear the answer.

    And, even a year later, I still regularly get achiness in the right breast -- not bad, but noticeable and a little uncomfortable. My surgeon says that can continue for years.

    Renee, one thing I'll emphasize is how important it is to really speak up with your doctors during radiation if you're in pain or uncomfortable. Sometimes, in the first few weeks of rads, some radiation oncologists do just quick "drive-by" exams -- but they have an arsenal of potions and pills they can prescribe to make you more comfortable during rads, if and when you need them, so ask to see the nurse or doctor any day if you feel you need something.

    Hope that helps a little,

    Traci
  • missrenee
    missrenee Member Posts: 2,136 Member
    Options
    TraciInLA said:

    Hi, Renee -
    If your surgery was only last December (and it sounds like you're getting regular exams from your surgeon, oncologist, and/or radiation oncologist), then I would say everything you're describing is right in line with my experience.

    I had bilateral lumpectomies and sentinel node biopsies in June 2009, followed by chemo and radiation. The tumors on the right side were deep, dead center of the breast, and the right has definitely been MUCH slower to recover.

    I had the "pins and needles" feeling on the right for probably six-seven months after surgery, and it got worse during rads. Both my surgeon and radiation oncologist said it's a *good* thing to have, because it's nerves regenerating.

    I've never regained much feeling at all around any of my incision sites -- I always forget to ask my surgeon if he thinks I ever will, maybe because I don't want to hear the answer.

    And, even a year later, I still regularly get achiness in the right breast -- not bad, but noticeable and a little uncomfortable. My surgeon says that can continue for years.

    Renee, one thing I'll emphasize is how important it is to really speak up with your doctors during radiation if you're in pain or uncomfortable. Sometimes, in the first few weeks of rads, some radiation oncologists do just quick "drive-by" exams -- but they have an arsenal of potions and pills they can prescribe to make you more comfortable during rads, if and when you need them, so ask to see the nurse or doctor any day if you feel you need something.

    Hope that helps a little,

    Traci

    That helps alot, Traci.
    It really helps to hear from someone who has been in my shoes. Thanks for the tip on the radiation oncologist--and asking for advice. My tumor was very deep (on the chest wall) at about 5 o'clock on the left. I had 23 nodes removed--so that wasn't so great either. Between the two, the swelling of my breast and around my rib cage, pain, numbness and pins and needles have been ongoing. So far, my arm is okay--thank goodness. After reading some of the stories, I'm so afraid of lymphedema. Did you have any of that? It's hard to know the difference between swelling and pain from the surgeries and lymphedema. Anyway, will continue with an upbeat attitude and positive energy.

    I thank you so much for your reply. I'll probably be asking many, many more questions!

    Renee
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    Options
    missrenee said:

    That helps alot, Traci.
    It really helps to hear from someone who has been in my shoes. Thanks for the tip on the radiation oncologist--and asking for advice. My tumor was very deep (on the chest wall) at about 5 o'clock on the left. I had 23 nodes removed--so that wasn't so great either. Between the two, the swelling of my breast and around my rib cage, pain, numbness and pins and needles have been ongoing. So far, my arm is okay--thank goodness. After reading some of the stories, I'm so afraid of lymphedema. Did you have any of that? It's hard to know the difference between swelling and pain from the surgeries and lymphedema. Anyway, will continue with an upbeat attitude and positive energy.

    I thank you so much for your reply. I'll probably be asking many, many more questions!

    Renee

    I had only 3 lymph nodes removed on one side, and 4 on the other -- thankfully, all were clear, so I didn't have to have any more removed, and I'm at very low risk for lymphedema. But there are definitely women here who have experience with it -- you might post a new thread, with something like "Need info on lymphedema," and I know others will share their experiences.

    And it really helps me to hear from someone else whose tumor was deep -- because the tumor in my left breast was fairly shallow, and the ones in the right breast were so deep, I can say just from my own body's experience that recovery between the two was like night and day.

    I would hear some women say, oh, I had a lumpectomy and just took a couple of aspirin and went back to work the next day, and I felt like SUCH a pathetic wimp! It took me awhile to realize that not all lumpectomies are created equal!

    :-) Traci
  • ms.sunshine
    ms.sunshine Member Posts: 707 Member
    Options
    rm22111 said:

    what to eat?
    My radiologist is very into eating healthy. He encourages me to eat low fat protein, nuts, berries, green veggies, take fish oil. We also talked about cooking using olive oil. We also talked about using the spice turmeric (it can be bought alone, but is in curry spices). It is an anti inflammatory. He tested me to see how my vitamin D levels were. Mine were a little low so I was encouraged to continue to take the vitamin d I was taking and to get out and get a little sun each day. I also have been taking vitamin c. I had skin healing issues after surgery and was told to take vitamin c. I have had protein level problems so I mix up a protein shake each day. I was also given a product called Juven. It helps with wound healing. I can buy it at Rite Aide. You mix it with water. I add a little 7 up or sprarking water to mine. I was told to drink one a day when my skin started to turn pink. He told me yesterday that the best thing I can do to help my body heal from the radiation is to eat healthy. I hope this helps.

    rm22111

    Drink more water, and use
    Drink more water, and use the lotions