What changes did you make after treatment to improve your chances of cancer not returning ?

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Robyn64
Robyn64 Member Posts: 124

Hello there,

 

I had my dentist today to see if they were taking any teeth out ready for my radiation treatment. Thankfully I get to keep them all. I am soo happy for once that something is in my favour.

Speaking with the dentist, she said I have to take special care of my teeth because radiation can weaken them and muck them around a bit. 

Today I saw a post come across my newsfeed on facebook and it was about chemo and radiation, how they are not needed and its a big scam .... another post came up as well, referring to eating the right cancer fighting foods actually is what fights cancer more over than any chemo or radiation.

My question is .... What did people do after thir treatment by way of changes to improve their chances of cancer not returning ? Also would love to hear from those that have made it past 5 or 10 yrs  and know what you did with your life to make it that far.

I have bought 2 cancer food fighting books and I hope to know more about foods that I should eat and foods that I should cut down on.

My problem is , I have a very very very sweet tooth, if I have to give up sweets, I will and I have taken a lot of sugar out of my diet in past, but if my life depends on it now, I will . I just need to find out the best way possible.

Thank you ,

Robyn

Comments

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    First and foremost....

    chuck out any of those sites that say rads and chemo are a scam.  There are millions of us "living" folks who are cancer free.....we never get to hear from those who tried to eat their way to health, or take some supplement in lieu of standard treatment that died trying it. 

    I really didn't change much in my habits after cancer.....I had dentures to start, so don't have to worry about my teeth.....I also have a sweet tooth, but after rads, sweet was the main "taste" that never returned.  I still eat some icecream everyday (just in case it comes back Laughing).....plus I can use the calories.  Basically my diet changed because I can't eat and enjoy some things.....like meats (especially chicken) are hard to swallow.....not enough spit.  I eat a lot of hearty homemade soups.....so I'd say my diet has become healthier just by elimination of what I can't taste, or don't have enough saliva to eat comfortably. 

    During treatment you can't be taking antioxidants.....I was told to give up all supplements during treatment, and I did. 

    What's your name on Facebook?  There are 2 or 3 other Head and Neck survivor groups on there.....but they are private, so you have to be invited.  My name on FB is Jackie Larrick Stevens.....if you want to befriend me, I can invite you into the other group.

  • Robyn64
    Robyn64 Member Posts: 124
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    First and foremost....

    chuck out any of those sites that say rads and chemo are a scam.  There are millions of us "living" folks who are cancer free.....we never get to hear from those who tried to eat their way to health, or take some supplement in lieu of standard treatment that died trying it. 

    I really didn't change much in my habits after cancer.....I had dentures to start, so don't have to worry about my teeth.....I also have a sweet tooth, but after rads, sweet was the main "taste" that never returned.  I still eat some icecream everyday (just in case it comes back Laughing).....plus I can use the calories.  Basically my diet changed because I can't eat and enjoy some things.....like meats (especially chicken) are hard to swallow.....not enough spit.  I eat a lot of hearty homemade soups.....so I'd say my diet has become healthier just by elimination of what I can't taste, or don't have enough saliva to eat comfortably. 

    During treatment you can't be taking antioxidants.....I was told to give up all supplements during treatment, and I did. 

    What's your name on Facebook?  There are 2 or 3 other Head and Neck survivor groups on there.....but they are private, so you have to be invited.  My name on FB is Jackie Larrick Stevens.....if you want to befriend me, I can invite you into the other group.

    Thank you

    Thank you Phrannie, I will look you up xx

  • ahollie
    ahollie Member Posts: 84
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    First and foremost....

    chuck out any of those sites that say rads and chemo are a scam.  There are millions of us "living" folks who are cancer free.....we never get to hear from those who tried to eat their way to health, or take some supplement in lieu of standard treatment that died trying it. 

    I really didn't change much in my habits after cancer.....I had dentures to start, so don't have to worry about my teeth.....I also have a sweet tooth, but after rads, sweet was the main "taste" that never returned.  I still eat some icecream everyday (just in case it comes back Laughing).....plus I can use the calories.  Basically my diet changed because I can't eat and enjoy some things.....like meats (especially chicken) are hard to swallow.....not enough spit.  I eat a lot of hearty homemade soups.....so I'd say my diet has become healthier just by elimination of what I can't taste, or don't have enough saliva to eat comfortably. 

    During treatment you can't be taking antioxidants.....I was told to give up all supplements during treatment, and I did. 

    What's your name on Facebook?  There are 2 or 3 other Head and Neck survivor groups on there.....but they are private, so you have to be invited.  My name on FB is Jackie Larrick Stevens.....if you want to befriend me, I can invite you into the other group.

    i just sent you a friend

    i just sent you a friend request on fb...would you friend me and add me to those groups please! :)

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
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    First and foremost....

    chuck out any of those sites that say rads and chemo are a scam.  There are millions of us "living" folks who are cancer free.....we never get to hear from those who tried to eat their way to health, or take some supplement in lieu of standard treatment that died trying it. 

    I really didn't change much in my habits after cancer.....I had dentures to start, so don't have to worry about my teeth.....I also have a sweet tooth, but after rads, sweet was the main "taste" that never returned.  I still eat some icecream everyday (just in case it comes back Laughing).....plus I can use the calories.  Basically my diet changed because I can't eat and enjoy some things.....like meats (especially chicken) are hard to swallow.....not enough spit.  I eat a lot of hearty homemade soups.....so I'd say my diet has become healthier just by elimination of what I can't taste, or don't have enough saliva to eat comfortably. 

    During treatment you can't be taking antioxidants.....I was told to give up all supplements during treatment, and I did. 

    What's your name on Facebook?  There are 2 or 3 other Head and Neck survivor groups on there.....but they are private, so you have to be invited.  My name on FB is Jackie Larrick Stevens.....if you want to befriend me, I can invite you into the other group.

    Facebook

    Phrannie,

    I'll send a friend request too!

  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member
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    ahollie said:

    i just sent you a friend

    i just sent you a friend request on fb...would you friend me and add me to those groups please! :)

    changes

    I quit smoking but still had 2 recurrences. Didn't drink much alcahol in the years preceeding cancer but if I had, I think I would have cut back now. Changes in food choices post cancer have simply been due to what I am able to comfortably eat.

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
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    Supplements

    My personal experience is that I eat organic, non-smoker, rarely drink and normally take supplements. I'm not at all in the high risk group for oral cancer. When I was first diagnosed, I started to take Curcumin, Green Tea extract, L-Glutamine and several other supplements. This was during the time I had surgery. 

    No more. My rad Onc told me to stop all supplements as they have the potential to interfer with chemo and radiation. The only supplement he approved is a probiotic. 

    I do not think there is sufficient scientific evidence to support many of the natural remedies that are floating around cyber space. I do think there may be a place for supplementation but not during treatment. I would not turn my life over to unproven theories because after all, it's your life. Why risk it? 

    Im going within the treatment recommended by doctors who have successfully treated this condition. And who have many patients that have been cured. Please be very wary about what you read on the Internet. 

    BunnyMom

     

  • KB56
    KB56 Member Posts: 318 Member
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    Post treatment

    Robyn, I'm not sure what you can do to keep the cancer from recurring other than a healthy lifestyle, which I had before I got the beast.  If you're a smoker then quit but since your's was HPV related ( which is actually positive because the cure rate is so high and that type of cancer is very responsive to chemo and radiation) it probably had very little to due with your diet but you, like me, just a statistic. 

     

    However, you can do a lot to try and keep your teeth.   The fluoride tray, flossing at least once a day, brushing  after every meal and sometimes in between ( i would recommend a Sonic care toothbrush as the more frequent brushing with a regular toothbrush can push the gums down and expose more of your teeth that would be below the gum line.  The Sonic care ( or equivalent) uses vibrations so you really don't brush but the vibration does the work.  Well worth the investment).   Also staying away from coke like products, even the sugar free due to the acid content.   Sweets, especially the sticky taffy like stuff are really tough, even though you love them make them special and then after eating go brush.   Maybe I'm a little paranoid on the teeth but I really want to keep the and my dentist freaked me out (he said that was his intention).   I go for a cleaning/checkup every 3 months as well now.   

    Good luck and you can do this!

    Keith

  • PJ47
    PJ47 Member Posts: 376
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    Hi Robyn

    It is good that you are thinking about ways to remain as healthy as possible.  Many people think that they can take a pill and do nothing to improve their health.  I fully believe we need to be proactive and do all we can to contribute to our well being.

    Follow your treatment recommendations regarding supplements and then do as much as you can to live a healthy lifestyle.  

    The Anticancer book is great and if you do not have it I highly recommend it.

    Before my cancer (HPV+), I was a non-smoker, occasional glass of wine drinker, exercised daily and ate organic food.  I still eat organic as much as possible, very little dairy, I love ice cream and have to limit that as even organic ice cream has sugar in it.  I do use raw honey and agave sometimes.  I try not to use any processed and sugar or corn syrup laden foods as I believe they do not promote health.  Heart disease and diabetes runs in my family and I do not have either.

    Since treatment and I am only 6 mos post rads, I continue the above.  I resumed supplements when I could swallow, and take a B complex, calcium/mag, multivitamin, probiotics, curcumin, and turkey tail mushroom (aka host defense).  

    I drink at least 8 glasses of filtered water a day.

    Most people who meet me cannot believe all I have been through so I guess I look healthy.  I do think I healed fairly quickly from each surgery and the radiation, but I did not do enough to protect my teeth.  The prevadent irritated my gums so I did not use it as much as I should have.  I now have 5 cavities to be filled!

    Best Regards, PJ

  • donfoo
    donfoo Member Posts: 1,773 Member
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    None.

    Currently living a reasonably healthy lifestyle but light on regular exercise. Eat healthy foods 80% but a nice rib-eye or burger slips in now and then. So does a couple beers to wash it all down. No supplements before, none now. Blood work, heart, blood pressure all fine. Do waterpik everyday. Try to drink lots of water, humm does beer count? I'm all good then. :-)

    As the saying goes everyone is different so you need to do what puts you in the most beneficial mental and physical zone. As I have no history with drinking and smoking and HPV p16+ cancer, consuming beer in moderation is ok in MY book. If I had smoked and drank and have HPV negative cancer, I would never touch a single alcoholic beverage.

    Same thing on all the post txt oral care options. If your saliva is less than 100% then what is right for you is different than someone who got ti all back.

    It all depends.

     

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710
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    donfoo said:

    None.

    Currently living a reasonably healthy lifestyle but light on regular exercise. Eat healthy foods 80% but a nice rib-eye or burger slips in now and then. So does a couple beers to wash it all down. No supplements before, none now. Blood work, heart, blood pressure all fine. Do waterpik everyday. Try to drink lots of water, humm does beer count? I'm all good then. :-)

    As the saying goes everyone is different so you need to do what puts you in the most beneficial mental and physical zone. As I have no history with drinking and smoking and HPV p16+ cancer, consuming beer in moderation is ok in MY book. If I had smoked and drank and have HPV negative cancer, I would never touch a single alcoholic beverage.

    Same thing on all the post txt oral care options. If your saliva is less than 100% then what is right for you is different than someone who got ti all back.

    It all depends.

     

    "whats seldom is wonderful"

    As opposed to the less enlightened "the road of excess leads to the palace of enlightenment". I agree with the former virtuous comment in the title. We have survived to live so if something is not injurious to our health we should be able to enjoy it. IM looking forward a few beers don. IM in overnight on last night of treatment tonight and look forward to some simple pleasures. Radio and chemo are proven treatments. Any other food or excercise which can only benefit you are not replacements for co

     

    If you cantnventional treatments. Anything that makes your quality of life better is great. IM told that if you eat sugar swill immedately but don't brush for about 30 min.

  • PJ47
    PJ47 Member Posts: 376
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    Guzzle said:

    "whats seldom is wonderful"

    As opposed to the less enlightened "the road of excess leads to the palace of enlightenment". I agree with the former virtuous comment in the title. We have survived to live so if something is not injurious to our health we should be able to enjoy it. IM looking forward a few beers don. IM in overnight on last night of treatment tonight and look forward to some simple pleasures. Radio and chemo are proven treatments. Any other food or excercise which can only benefit you are not replacements for co

     

    If you cantnventional treatments. Anything that makes your quality of life better is great. IM told that if you eat sugar swill immedately but don't brush for about 30 min.

    HUH?

    Not sure what you are saying.  Confused.  Anyway hope you are surviving the ordeal and can enjoy your life again very soon!

    Agree with Don, if my SCC were not caused by HPV+16 but instead by smoking or drinking alcohol I would do neither following conventional treatment which I think would be prudent and give me the best chance of no recurrance.   That would be my approach but obviously everyone has to make their own choices and then live with them. 

    My big vice is ice cream, so I cannot say a word about anyone elses.  

    Gday,

    PJ

  • yensid683
    yensid683 Member Posts: 349
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    Celebrate Life

    I was stage IVa, base of tongue, HPV+. non smoker, non drinker, ate an OK diet, got some exercise and tried to watch the 'forbidden' foods.

    After I was diagnosed, the nutritionist put me on the 'un-diet' for the duration of treatment, getting calories, especially protiens was essential.

    Post treatment was a struggle to recover.  I spent almost two months before I could eat anything besides soup or liquids.  Taste recovered gradually and now the only thing that is bothersome is anything especially sour.  I was a sucker for lemon candies before but now can't tolerate them, perhaps a couple but even then, they aren't what they were.

    I started exercising again, walking for an hour each morning and worked up to my 4 mile normal.  Once I was healed enough from the post radiation neck dissections I started playing golf.  It took me most of the next summer to get back to playing 18 holes, walking the course and carrying my clubs.

    I didn't make any dietary changes, I eat what I did before but need a sip or two of water with every second or third bite.  I eat veggies and fruits, meats, bread, skim milk because it is what I like, not what some wholistic adherant decides is right for the rest of us.  Like Phrannie said, those who chose to eat the anti-cancer diets are not around to let us know how well it worked.  Chemo and rads are scary, it's understandable that you'd want to find altenatives as the stereotypes of the treatments scare most of us at the start.  I was scared, I didn't want to do it, but I found strength in my family and my H&N family here, knew that I would come through it and now have my life back.  Sure, there are going to be lingering side effects and my life is more of the new "Abby - Normal" but the bottom line is

    I AM ALIVE.

    I have my family and they have me.  I appreciate them more than I ever did and I no longer get upset at little things as I used to. 

    The best thing to do to keep it from coming back?

     

    LIVE YOUR LIFE!

  • Robyn64
    Robyn64 Member Posts: 124
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    Thanks everyone

    Thank you everybody for your comments. I have never been one  for living "a healthy lifestyle" but not a terrible one either, I am not a smoker , very rarely drink alcohol, that maybe once or twice a year at a party and the same goes for drinking coke. I dont drink much soft drinks at all but was a real sucker for cakes , any cakes and lollies. I have no problem in cutting that down, I have done so in the past to lose weight. I have bought 2 anti cancer cook books, not to go overboard, but to get better knowledge of good foods to add to my diet and less processed foods. I never really thought I would see the day I would actually be writing that lol. 

    I just want to know what good foods that I can eat more of that will benefit my health and recipes. I had a garlic mayonaise I used to make years ago. Apparently garlic is a well known cancer blocker and good for the blood, I just have to go searching for my recipe again. I just hope I dont overdo the garlic and start stinking of it and losing friends :-(

    Im not looking for a miracle cure food wise , I just want to be better informed, I ate way too many sweets and cakes.

    Thank you everybody for your posts.

     

    Robyn

  • PJ47
    PJ47 Member Posts: 376
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    Robyn64 said:

    Thanks everyone

    Thank you everybody for your comments. I have never been one  for living "a healthy lifestyle" but not a terrible one either, I am not a smoker , very rarely drink alcohol, that maybe once or twice a year at a party and the same goes for drinking coke. I dont drink much soft drinks at all but was a real sucker for cakes , any cakes and lollies. I have no problem in cutting that down, I have done so in the past to lose weight. I have bought 2 anti cancer cook books, not to go overboard, but to get better knowledge of good foods to add to my diet and less processed foods. I never really thought I would see the day I would actually be writing that lol. 

    I just want to know what good foods that I can eat more of that will benefit my health and recipes. I had a garlic mayonaise I used to make years ago. Apparently garlic is a well known cancer blocker and good for the blood, I just have to go searching for my recipe again. I just hope I dont overdo the garlic and start stinking of it and losing friends :-(

    Im not looking for a miracle cure food wise , I just want to be better informed, I ate way too many sweets and cakes.

    Thank you everybody for your posts.

     

    Robyn

    Hey Robyn

    Just an FYI  about the man who wrote the anti-cancer book.  He had traditional cancer treatments (chemo) and his diet was a complementary therapy if you will.  He had a serious brain cancer (glioblastoma) which normally causes death in a short period of time.  He managed to live well for 10 years which is unusual for this type of cancer.  

     There is room for both  traditional cancer treatments and complementary treatments.  I do not personally believe there is a miracle cure of food or herbs out there, but do believe healthy foods exist and some things like curcumin and turkey tail mushrooms have been used in cancer patients to boost the immune system and contribute to apoptosis.  MD Anderson, NIH, and several other studies have shown there are benefits to these and there are probably more out there I have not heard about.  

    And lastly yes garlic is good for you, just give it to everyone you are around, haha.

    PJ

  • boardwalkgirl
    boardwalkgirl Member Posts: 269
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    I can't say I have changed

    I can't say I have changed much since treatment. I never smoked, maybe a drink or two a month and my physician said a drink here and there is nothing to be concerned about. I do try to do more with my teeth as far as fluoride rinse twice a day. I used fluoride trays during treatment twice a day. The one thing I have found I just can't eat is rice , it seems to clump together and not want to go down. I have ate steak, not often and don't really enjoy it but every so often I feel the need to try.

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
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    robyn, i was a smoker (2 pks

    robyn, i was a smoker (2 pks a day) for 43 years.  since cancer, i stopped, by the grace of God.  it was the hardest thing i've ever struggled to do.  it was not easy, even after being told i had throat, larynx cancer.  but i'm 2.5 yrs smoke free now and very happy about that.  i've not changed anything else altho i could afford to change my eating habits as i really like the sweets too.  oh well, i don't want to stop everything i enjoy :0)

    live on, friend,

    dj