CSN Login
Members Online: 5

You are here

Vegetarianism and cancer

kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

I was reading one of the other posts, and instead of hijacking that topic, i'm starting a new one.

I was amazed at how many vegetarians are getting colorectal cancer. I was a veg head for thirteen years before my diagnosis, and i always thought colorectal cancer would be the LAST thing i got! When i started hearing about others who were vegetarian and getting it, i was so very puzzled. Christine wrote in another post that she's been a veg head her whole life, and STILL got colorectal cancer! I figured out a while ago that it isn't so much what we eat as much as it's what we DON'T eat. We don't get enough fiber, we don't eat enough raw fruits and veggies to give us the needed amount of nutrition, and we wash our food of all the minerals we would normally acquire from the dirt on that food. Veggies that aren't organic are known to be significantly less nutritious than organic produce, and most of us do not get as much sun as is needed for proper amounts of vitamin D (a strong link to cancer, apparently). Couple all of this with the other factors we're up against, and we barely have a prayer!

What i'm doing nowadays is trying to get as much of the healthy things in me as possible; juicing raw organic veggies everyday, eating spirulina, and drinking oxygenated water. I take a pure, raw multi vitamin, a vegan source of vitamin D, milk thistle, and i'm slowly adding vit C, and next will be a COQ-10. I'm opting for green tea at Starbucks when i'm with someone who wants to go there, and bringing raw revolution bars with me when i leave the house for any reason. I have no idea if all of this will cure me, but it's at least keeping me feeling very well. I'm getting less fractures than i used to, and i no longer have to use a wheelchair for a day long outing. I'm curious about how others feel who are juicing regularly, and taking supplements? Have you noticed a significant difference in how you feel?

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

We just never know, I think at times, its like spinning a wheel. That's great that you are doing all in your power to beat the beast. You look really young in the pic!

Since I've started taking an organic supreme green powder drink, I have noticed that I am a lot more limber and that I don't have the severity of pain in my joints. I do eat healthy an organic as much as I can....my husband says whatever you are doing keep doing it...some thing is working.

Hope you have a successful journey!

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Krista and Nana and CRC folks. excuse me chiming in fm the H&N board. I was also confused to hear of Vegetarians getting CRC or any cancer. I do think the %age of vegetarian vs non veg people who get cancer is still much lower. RE fibre, If you are eating loads of veges and raw foods, then you should be getting loads in no ??

I also wonder how many vegetarian, while they don't eat meat, they maybe eat loads of rubbish and dairy. Being vegetarian and eating 2 lbs of ice Cream a day, several lattes, cookies, french fries, vege burgers, rich creamy pastas, sodas etc is obviously a diet for disaster. Can the Vege people maybe share how much they did indulge in perhaps 'less optimal foods' (be brutally honest please).

I finished treatment for SCC of the tonsil in October 2009 (Surgery/ 70 rads/ Chemo) and from about February have gone vegan and am doing the supplements big time. Before Cancer I had chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and digestion issues for 25-30 years. I now have none of these problems, I feel fantastic, my stomach is fine, I have no fatigue at all and I ride 20-25 miles on the weekend days and have no muscle pain or fatigue at all afterwards and we ride hard. I lost 40 lbs during Tx and have regained half and now and a healthy 175lbs. I wasn't obese but had a few extra lbs.

You can check on my Expressions page for a list the Supplements I take but most are Anti-oxidants and vital organ boosters. I do take a nutrition supplement shake every day and I reckon that fills any gaps my diet may leave, but I have a brother who has been veg for 35 yrs and he alway annoyed us for being bright eyed and bushy tailed 'all' the time.

Anyway, to wrap up, I think much may depend on what kind of vego you are. interested to hear more feedback.

Regds to all.

imagineit2010's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Jan 2010

Right on... My sister is a vegetarian and is about eighty pounds over weight has lupus and arthritis as well as about ten other heath ailments. Vegetarian does not automatically = healthy..

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Let's see, I just has a couple ok, several handfuls of granola that does have a bit of sugar in it. I did have a glass of Merlot with dinner. For dinner I had a salad, 2 sushi rolls, and some roasted chicken. And I did have some white bread, oh yeah, and the white rice on the sushi rolls. No other sugar, no soda. For breakfast, I had a cactus and scramble eggs, which I made and ate with salsa. Sometimes I just have a fruit smoothie for breakfast.

My diet is usually the same, minus the white rice and bread. It's typically, salads, veggie soups, cereal with berries..a lot of berries and soy mild. If I eat lunch it's typically an avocado or turkey sandwich. I will run to the smoothie place and have them juice me some geens.

My digestion issues are also gone. I had acid reflux for years, now zip, nada.

Take care!

kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Scambuster, you're all too right! I was a HORRIBLE veg head. I ate good foods, but mostly bad foods such as french fries (fried tofu and zucchini as well), pizza, lots of cheese, and overcooked veggies. I think these things were probably just as bad as eating meat. That was only in the beginning though. In my late twenties, i began experimenting with the vegan diet, and raw diet, but didn't stick with anything longer than a year. Maybe the inconsistency in my diet made things worse. My diet still isn't perfect by any means, but i think by making the majority of my diet healthy, and supplementing, i'm actually getting healthy. I'm so glad the vegan diet is working for you! I feel so much better when i cut back on my cheese consumption. I hate being so dependent on that sinful food! Maybe i will someday find a better alternative for it like i did with sugar.

Raquel, thank you for the wonderful compliment! I truly don't feel like i'm 41, or that i have cancer. Hopefully what i'm doing is working.


imagineit2010's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Jan 2010

I think you are absolutley right about what we DON'T get in our diets. I've posted and answered on this subject many times and I'm convinced diet has more to do with cancer than just bad luck. I do a "natural", semi-organic diet with no read meat for almost nine months now and I have never felt better in my life. I used to get headaches ALL the time. I haven't had one in nine months. NOT ONE. I've lost fifty five pounds without EVER counting a calorie or looking at fat grams. I never went hungry and I enjoy all the foods I eat. I just cut out all the garbage and additives that we are not supposed to put in us. I'm not dumb enogh to blame one thing like red meat. It is a combination of many things, almost like a "perfect storm", that allows are bodies to permit cancer cells to grow. It is up to each individual person to evaluate your lifestyle and diet and eliminate things that are not needed to survive and be healthy. It is alot of guess work and everything is up to interpretation but so is most medicine. Most medicine treats symptoms and I would rather focus on causes. I am constantly adding and eliminating things from my diet based on how my body reacts. Hey, science has determined cause and effect for just about everything in nature. Why should cancer be any different? There HAS to be a cause on an individual basis. We are just not seeing the whole picture.
Cancer is like a crime waiting to happen. Not everyone who leaves their doors unlocked will be burglarized, but it makes sense to lock your doors. Not everyone that flashes money out in public will get robbed, but it makes sense to be discreet in certain situations. Not every woman walking down a dark alley at night will get mugged, but why take the chance. It's not living scared, it's living smart. We can do our best NOT to be victimized. Following that train of thought, It takes detective work (scientists and researchers)to see the whole picture and look for a cause (motive)in order to bring the perpetrator (cancer) to justice (cured). Doctors are not detectives they are simply cops trying to stop the crime AFTER it happens and spend all their time chasing an elusive foe.... It is up to us to help find and present evidence to prosecute (cure)that *******. Also to secure (heal)and prevent the crime from happening again (recurrence).....
Personally, I like vigilante movies....
I'm going Charles Bronson on my cancer.....

coolvdub's picture
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Krista,

I am trying to go vegetarian right now. It has not been hard, other than the fact I live in a small town so choices are limited locally. For me this journey or awakening has led me to the belief that the biggest unknown culprit may be all the GMO(genetically modified organism) food produced theses days. I have to drive over an hour to get to the nearest Whole Foods market, we have not done so yet, but will on our next shopping day.

If what I think I have learned is true, Monsanto is the devil and is playing Russian Roulette with the publics health and well being. They also are sytematically trying to drive out the small farms in the world with their heavy handed tactics. It would seem they are headed towards monopilizing the worlds food supply as near as I can tell and that just isn't right.

For anybody that is interested where I got this information, it was on the website Vimeo. I watched the two following videos and I beleive them to be true, check them out for yourself.

Everything You HAVE TO KNOW about Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods

The World According to Monsato

Here is the web address to a site that can help you avoid GMO foods.


Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

can actually buy and eat these "freaks of unnature ", the latest being the attempt to let loose Genetically Modified salmon upon the world .How anyone claiming to be a "scientist" can be so dumb and blind is......yet the head of the FDA's dept dealing with this issue comes from Monsanto!!!!!.......steve

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

I hate the idea od geneticaly made anything. that we eat anyway... I look at the young girls now days and how fast they develope and I can't help but think it has to do with the hormones in our milk and meats. The chicken breasts look like turkey breasts used to.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

The funny part of it all, is that the organic produce growers buy their
manure and fertilizer from the same places all other farmers buy it.

And it comes from the same place: cows, cattle and farm animals;
All fed with hormones, antiviral, and antibacterial made-made additives.

KEWL, eh?

A long while back (harp music please), I was on a repair call to
an apple orchard in the mountains of Massachusetts... The farmer
supplied apples to well known "natural foods" stores and local
markets. There was no difference in the way the "normal" apples
and "organic" apples were fertilized, but the "organic" trees were
not sprayed for the type of worm that eats apples. "The organic
food eaters like to see worms", he said..

But the food the trees need to grow and produce, is the same.
And that food for the tree goes into the fruit eventually.

Organic? Sure. But better for you?

We are carnivorous animals; we were designed to eat a well
rounded diet of all foods. If we really want to be healthy, we
should attempt to maintain a well rounded diet, not one absent
of one ingredient or another that we would normally be eating
as any other normal animal does.

My 2 centavos'....


Aud's picture
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

We all know people who smoke and don't get lung cancer, although emphysema is pretty common with smokers. (There are also those who don't smoke and get emphysema too.)
I know many people, who haven't developed colorectal cancer (all ages), who aren't crazy about vegetables, eat lots of meat or whatever they want, and just don't worry about it.
It's not that I don't believe what we eat matters - I'm sure it does. I'm just not convinced that what we believe to be protective against cancer is (i.e. high-fiber, fruits, vegetables). I believe that a diet full of those things are good for us; again, I just don't know if it is actually protective. Maybe for some people it is and for others, all other factors (whatever they are) are too influential for any diet to take care of.
I think that it's important for us to figure out what those "factors/contributors" are, thus the importance of research.

Consider this also: sometimes it is difficult to see things from other perspectives. Sometimes we see things differently when we take off the old glasses and put on the new.

Now I'm going to head to the ice cream parlor for my favorite: pralines and cream. But only after I've eaten all of my leafy, green salad. ; )
In the Light,

Aud's picture
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

I think that even if we don't know if diet/juicing is protective, what you're doing is making yourself as healthy and as strong as possible and that's a good thing!
Holding you in the Light for continued strength, healing, and hope.

HeartofSoul's picture
Posts: 730
Joined: Dec 2009

I have my own eating rules and I make no exceptions. Since June 27 2004 (or 2250 consecutive days) I have not had:

Bread, flour, starch, pizza, fat foods, snacks, dairy, or any food item with more than 25 grams of carbs at any sitting.

I do eat fish, lean meats, fruit, turkey and chicken. My calorie intake is between 1500 and 1750 a day.

I get my CBC and Chemistry panel labs every 2 months and all the values are within normal range. These include lipids, HDL, LDL, cholesterol, blood enzymes for heart and liver, serum and urine creatitine, BUN, WBC, RBC, platelets, tumor markers, antibodies, electrolytes, blood fats, blood pressure, blood glucose hemoglobin A1C, and pulse.
I get cardio tests every 6 months, annual pre screening testing for colon, prostrate, and have back of eyes checked.

Ill be 55 yrs old in Jan and workout 3 times a week. My weight is 160 pds and body fast 12%. I do not take vitamins, herbs, or juices. I get cat scans every 6 months and chart all my medical records, data, reports and lab values. I have not had an infection, virus, cold, flu, fever or been sick (except during my chemo treatments) since Dec 15 2006

I was a type 1 diabetic from 1977 to 2004 until my third organ transplant worked in 2004 after the first two failed in 2001. I had heart disease (from diabetes) with bypass surgery, 2 diagnoses of cancer (stage three) in 2008, and 5 major surgeries between 2001 and 2008. I’m no longer on insulin which is now going on 6 and half years. I also was a donor of part of my liver (lobe) to someone who needed one to survive when I was much younger.

The cancer I was dx with 2 yrs ago could have come from the immunosuppressant meds I have been on daily for 6 years now for the organ transplant I had in 2004. I have had the best medical care and doctors and am very grateful to all of them. My inspiration comes from the courageous and caring people here in the Cancer Survivors Network community. You’re the best

Heart of Soul Remission now since dec 31 2008

betina61's picture
Posts: 644
Joined: Aug 2006

I am glad to see you back,about diet uhmm... not a veggies or fruits lover here,I tried just at the beginning after surgery,but did not have too much luck, the only thing that I quit eating is meat, I only eat fish and chicken,but I do eat some fried food. By the way I love your new picture you look GREAT!!!

kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

you're so sweet! I understand how you feel! There were so many veggies and fruit i didn't care about when i first when veggie. it was a hard thing to switch over to. I had to teach myself how to like things i didn't before, and nowadays, there's hardly a veggie i don't like. preparation is key to flavor. overcooked veggies are HORRIBLE, and inorganic fruit is bland. I'm really watching my fried food intake particularly because it's carcinogenic. Awww, i miss fried zucchini!!!

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


I am convinced that gluten is a hidden evil to those of us with colon cancer. It can damage the intestinal lining so severely that it opens us up to cancer big time. It explains a lot for me.

Check out the book Dangerous Grains by Dr. Braly. A real eye-opener. For me, I think it's the missing piece of my personal Why Did I, A Crunchy Granola Organic Chick, Get Colon Cancer for crying out loud!!! Kinda like those who are scratching their heads as to how did they get cancer with being:
healthy eater

Just a thought. Do some research on it. I know you're like me: Research Research Research.

peace, emily the juice chick who has been gluten (and grain) free for over a year and never felt better!

Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008


I am so glad to hear you are now gluten free. I know we have talked about this over the last few years. I have been gluten free since my Stage 4 diagnosis in 2007. It sure makes a difference in how I feel. It's been almost three years and I am grateful to still be here!!

We should swap ideas on some of our favorite products!!

Glad to see you are still checking in.


kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

Man, i wish i could see everyone's posts while i'm writing this! There were some great points brought up, and i know i'm going to miss commenting on some of them.

First of all, Don...I'm of the same opinion as you! Monsanto may very well be the devil in corporate clothing. I've heard from a very trusted source near the industry that Monsanto is trying to own patents on all SEEDS! If they get their way, no one else will be able to sell seeds, and all the seeds Monsanto sells will be genetically modified so that they're STERILE! The whole thing is very, very frightening, and i don't know how much say we're going to have in the matter if it comes down to that.

It's so interesting how everyone is doing different things to cure their own cancer. I think it was Aud that brought up the fact that everyone is different, and it's hard to say what will work for each individual. From what i've researched thus far, it seems that juicing has worked for most people, and they either became vegan, or raw, most of the time. I think that no matter what we eat, if it's closest to it's most natural form, it probably won't cause us disease. Someone else (I think it was John) brought up the fact that some produce that claims to be organic, really isn't. I don't know if that's true, or not, but i know that i only buy from a very small, locally owned, organic farm. The difference between their produce and that of the grocery store's is more than obvious in taste. Veggies that i used to consider bland have tons of flavor suddenly! But it's more than just eating organic.

Emily, i know you know what you're talking about, and the gluten issue was something i have considered since my discovery of celiac disease back when i was trying to diagnose myself before the cancer. Since you last brought it up not too long ago, it's been in the back of my mind, but never a full consideration of my problems. I recently found a correlation between my terrible bathroom issues, and the healthy (expensive) bread i'd been eating. So i developed a fear of it, and have barely eaten anything with gluten in it for about a month now. My bathroom issues (which would get horribly bad about once a week), seem to be gone! I've also added tuna, and some other fish to my diet, which has been very difficult to get passed since i've been an ethical vegetarian for sixteen years. My body started to crave tuna. particularly after i gave up the gluten. I've learned to listen very closely to my body, so i tried it. I didn't get sick like i was expecting to, at all, and on top of the juicing every day, i just feel remarkable! i'm hoping my next scan will show the tumor on my lung is shrinking. Wouldn't that be awesome?!

Thanks everyone for the wonderful information!


pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Mediterranean diet, just few months after my liver resection, it includes everything, meat,eggs, vegs, lots of blue fish,and of course lots of bread, olive oil,garlic spiced meals,cheese and of course ,"jamon iberico" ( search and look for it in google) and more olive oil,( we use it for everything ).
Mediterranean diet is considered the most healthy in the world ,and Mediterranen European countries, are the ones with higher life expectancy.
Actually l think Spain is the 2th country in the world in terms of life expectancy after Japan!
SO: eat everything but healthy !Eat meat but not in macdonalds, eat lots of fish but not in a fried fish place, eat cheese but not a cheese pizza!eat salad but not Cesar,s salad LOL.and above all!!! have lots of olive oil and blu fish!

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

To have dinner at Pepe's casa!

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

do we have to pick you at airport?

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Just send the limousine Ha!

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

No limousine here just. mini 1000. lol!

PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Here is the Wikipedia entry for jamón ibérico: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam%C3%B3n_ib%C3%A9rico

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

did you read about cholesterol ? Amazing isn't, fat of pork that lowers cholesterol !
I suggest you try it ,if you can, with a glass of Rioja , Rivera del Duero, , or Priorat , very healthy too!.

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Pepe (or anyone else),

You mentioned "eat plenty of blue fish" as part of the Mediterranean diet. What specific types of fish fall under the blue fish category?
I know some people worry about getting mercury with eating fish. I suppose we should just be careful where the fish comes from & then maybe doing a heavy metal detox could be helpful every now and then. I am actually about to do one.

I am trying harder more recently to eat better, but it is still so hard when you have a husband who gets mad because I don't fix his "favorite" dinners anymore- he really does. BTW one of his favorite dinners is chili dogs (he actually got angry when I bought the "healthier" type of hot dogs, if there is such a thing- he wants me to always get the regular Oscar Meyer "weiners". At least they are now making some without any nitrates or nitrites, but I imagine they are still far from healthy. I try to juice and make some healthier meals for myself but the temptation to just eat the bad stuff is so strong, especially when it's more work to make separate meals and more kitchen mess. My husband thinks my healthy efforts are a waste of time since he's heard of people who eat healthy and still have gotten cancer- frustrating.

Emily makes a good point that gluten sensitivity may be a big factor for many with colon cancer, especially if they already were eating healthy before their diagnosis.

Krista, yes I really like your new picture. We really do need to get together soon. Let's talk soon.


pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

l can't post any link from my home as I'm on an iPad , but I will prepare you some links with suggestion about Mediterranean diet in a couple of days (tomorrow don't go to office as l will be plugged) ! Concerning blue fish mainly we got tuna, sardines and mackerel , this are the main Mediterranean blue fish, but others are good too as salmon, l know the concerns you the Americans got about food, despite that I'm sure any sardine is much more healthy that a burger or a hot dog despite I recognize they are delicious especially the ones I use to have in the corners of NYC!.One huge advantage here is that we keep the habit ( specially in France Spain and Italy the European southern countries) to go to the central markets were you got all fresh products every day, concerning to mercury or lead, well ,fishes are wild so difficult to control where they come from but doctors know it and highly recommend to eat fresh fish not only farm fish! (actually sardines and tuna must to be wild ). You know which are the highest life expectancy ?
look UN life expectancy ratios!.
Number1: japan.
You know which are the main consumers of fish in the world?.
Number1: japan.
Number 4:spain.
Have a big hug!

HollyID's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

Even the thought of a hot dog makes me gag. I've never been a hot dog lover, though.

Chili, I can eat, and still do, but I have to make it myself so I know what goes in there.

Lisa, I totally understand your husbands feelings though. I think Dave felt the same way after I was first diagnosed.

We sat and talked with my onc about diet one day. It's known that people who are vegetarian, those who are vegan, ocovegetarian get CRC. He brought this up and said nobody should really beat themselves up on how we got the cancer. We always look back and wonder what we did to ourselves that caused this. Not everything causes something else. Sometimes, he says, cancer just happens.

I'd love blame something, but I can't. I think it was just bad luck.

This is my opinion only, and in reality, we all know it means squat, but I think the key to eating is moderation. I've cut way down on my red meat consumption, but I highly doubt I'll ever give it up. I do love fish, seafood and chicken, and we eat a lot of it.

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Holly, you are right; that is exactly what my diagnosing surgeon said. I told him I have never had a cigarette in my life, drink very moderately, eat reasonably well, etc. He said "it is not your fault, you are just unlucky".

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1299
Joined: Oct 2010

If I were vegetarian or vegan, I would carefully consider the vitamin D3, DHA/EPA and B12 amounts. We can not count on our bodies to synthesize DHA from flax oil, an extremely inefficient process at the best, even when young and well nourished.

I think each person has to read and decide for themselves how much vitamin D3 is enough, with 4000 - 10,000 iu per day being advanced by the most involved medical researchers. The government bodies seem to have copped out again this year on changing their ridiculous 200-400-600 iu recommendations.

I have seen a number of posts in various places that indicate a substantial number of cancer posters are malabsorbers. RDA, a very political sop in many cases, simply can't cut it for malabsorbers. Not a chance.

Posts: 44
Joined: Sep 2010

I have been a vegetarian my entire life, pretty bad for someone who as a child hated veggies but I have gotten much better over the years and love most of them now. I do eat dairy and sweets which I know I NEED to cut out, I am overweight, have high BP and of course CC but I blew the doctors idea of eating red meats causes cancer.

My parents have been vegetarians for over 50 years, my dad is 86 and in better shape then many men half his age, he has dementia so his memory is getting bad but he basically gets around and does what he wants to do and he is also a cancer survivor. (pancreatic)
My mother is 81 and cured herself about 10 years ago from breast cancer by juicing and doing the Hallaluah diet. She is waiting now to see if her cancer has returned but says if it has shes not worried at all because she'll just do what she did before and knows it will work again. I don't have quite the faith in it that she has but it worked wonderful for her the last time, she had no treatments or surgeries at all.

My best friend of 46 years is also a vegetarian and a cancer survivor, she was rushed into emergency surgery when she was 20 and ended up with a full hysterectomy. She was a very healthy eater and thankfully has had no recurrance.

I admit I don't eat as healthy as I could or should but there are 4 examples of cancer not being caused by eating meat. ;)

Subscribe to Comments for "Vegetarianism and cancer"