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Diet and Nutrition

Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2004

I was diagnosed a month ago with stage IV and have been through the first 4 week regime of chemo. So far, despite one bought of diarhea and some fatigue the day after treatments, I've held up pretty well, but I know I need to improve my nutrition and get my body weight up (I'm slender and don't have much to spare), which has dropped a few pounds. However, I've found the information and recommendations on diet and supplements confusing and even conflicting in some cases (example; my oncologist strongly recommended against taking strong anti-oxident supplements, but a book I just bought on cancer recommends taking them). Fortunately I found a very good organic / health food store nearby which has a wide variety of herbal supplements. Unfortunately, they're also very expensive. Before I spend a lot of $ and make any crazy menu changes that might cause other problems, does anyone have some good recommendations or sites / sources to look at that have good information that has worked for them? Given my diagnosis, I want to do everything I can to help the chemo fight this.

So far I've worked on adding fresh fruit and vegetables, eating fresh fish versus red meats, and adding protein powder to meals like breakfast cereal. I've tried some smoothies with milk, yogurt, berries and protein powder, but haven't found any combinations I really like. The only supplement I'm taking is a general multi vitamin. Some sources recommend supplements like tumeric and green tea extracts and many others I've never heard of before.

Posts: 33
Joined: May 2004

have you seen a nutrionist at the hospital? there are some good books out there but there are so many that i think it really helps to talk an actual person. see my response to the question re diarrhea for what nutrionist told my husband to take during chemo and radiation (not sure if you're also doing radiation). if you go to Commonweal's website you can get an online version of Lerner's book for free and I'm sure there's a chapter in there on nutrition - http://www.commonweal.org/pubns.html

Tessyann's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi only basing this on my hubby that been battling now for 11 years... He/we have always taken vitamin E,C,B6 and B12 along with a multi. I know our Onco believe in multivitamins but all onco are different. At least along with adding fruits and veggies... add a one a day type vitamins to your diet.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

I, too, am trying to treat my cancer nutritionally. I know that sugar feeds cancer cells so it is best to limit your intake. Also, I drink green tea daily. It is supposed to be a great anti-cancer drink. I am still on chemo so I limit my nutritional supplements to a mulit-vitamin, but I plan to add more herbs once my chemo is completed. Best wishes to you and know that you are not alone. Keep us posted on your progress!


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi RM,

I have only treated my cancer with alternatives which relies heavily on diet and supplements/herbs.




Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Dr. Patrick Quillin is fabulous for wading through the supplement question.

I recommend finding a Naturopathic doctor over a "dietician" that hospitals provide. Hospitals are not exactly known for their wonderful nutrition...nor are western medical doctors actually known for their nutritional expertise. On the contrary. Otherwise why would my (FORMER!)oncologist serve his chemo patients donuts and coffee during their treatment??? I kid you not! I wish it were not true but the guy serves them exactly what cancer feeds on. So for me it is hard to trust his knowledge in this area. Better to go to someone educated in nutrition.

Hope this helps,

peace, emily

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