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Any foods to eat or NOT eat with mets to the liver?

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I am 3 years into my cancer battle and have only 2 short remissions, with the rest of the time endless chemo and radiation. I have a grade 3 endometrial cancer that metasticized to my liver in early 2010. This summer I had radioembolism to both sides of my liver (6/01 & 8/26), and my Interventional Radiologist told me "Eat, or your cancer will eat you." He said that no matter how unappealing food was to me or how uncomfortable it made me after I ate it, I needed to open my mouth and shovel in food every couple of hours, and drink 64 ounces of non-caffeinated/ non alcoholic liquids daily. I have been doing that, but I have still dropped weight and muscle. (I'm 5'7" and currently weigh about 120, not that much less than my pre-cancer weight of 126, but at 126 I was MUCH more muscular and fit.)

Although he told me at EAT, he never said WHAT to eat. I've been eating Greek yogurt and lots of eggs and drinking Boost and concentrating on getting protein and fiber in me and eating a balanced diet. I even bought Whey Powder and asodopholus pills, then realized I don't really know what I'm doing and I could easily be taxing my poor liver or not giving my body what it REALLY needs. Are their foods I should be avoiding? Are their nutrients that I especially need to combat wasting? I was hoping those of you with liver cancer and the caregivers posting here might know what liver-specific supplements and food items I should be consuming and what type of food strategy is my best bet. Many thanks!

Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2011

My oncologist has me on Ensure, because I can hardly keep anything else down. It tastes kinda yucky, but it really does help me to not get so sick and weak all the time. I don't know what Boost is like, but my doctor said that Ensure has more nutrients in it than the other ones do ... maybe something to try?

Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2011

The doctors had my husband drink Boost. He liked it better than Ensure. When he was in the hospital they brought it along with his meals. It's good to drink if you take medicine that should be taken with food. They have different formulas. High protein, regular and one that's higher calorie. He only liked chocolate, added a little ice and regular milk to it. Other than that they just wanted him to eat they didn't really care what anything that he wanted.

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I spoke with a nutritionist yesterday, someone who helped me back in 2009 after I had IMRT pelvic radiation and my bowels were a mess. She told me that with a compromised liver, in order to nip that muscle wasting and weight loss in the bud, she wanted me to try and eat 60 to 70 grams of protein daily. She suggested Nestle's REPLETE in the high protein variety as a better choice for me than Boost or Ensure, although I don't ever remember even SEEING this at the store. But I guess I can get it online.

She also said to ask my oncologist for a physical therapy consult; we'll see what he says about that when I see him this afternoon. She wants me eating about 6 times a day, calorie-dense/ protein rich food as often as I can. She said Greek yogurt daily, whole grain breads when my bowels weren't too loose, Clif protein bars for snacks, no supplements wihout phoning her 1st. If my bowels get loose again, I'm to switch to the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, & toast) for a few days until that settles down, always adding the REPLETE drink daily, and then gradually work fiber back into my diet. I thought I'd share this in case anyone else here finds themselves dropping weight rapidly and seeing muscle loss occuring. She emphasized that you need to intervene IMMEDIATELY as soon as muscle wasting starts, or it is very hard to stop it snowballing.

I will say that this diet has helped me tremendously with combatting fatigue. Eating so often is hard, since I am never hungry, having just eaten a couple hours before. HA! But I am doing as I was told, and I can see that it is helping. Thanks again for your input.

LeeandShirley's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

I would like to suggest a product called MYOPLEX. It is high protein, (42g per 17 oz. shake) and tastes pretty good. Of course if the Nestle's product works, go for it.

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I was a super-piggy, eating & eating those 6 meals a day, piling on the carbs, and I regained 9 of the 14 pounds I lost recently. I was uncomfortably full ALL the time (like a constant 'after-Thanksgiving' fullness), but I just kept shoveling it in.

I forgot to add that, in addition to any supplements not previously approved by my dietician (all supplements have to be for real dificiecies that show up on my Comprehensive Panel blood labs), the only 'no-no's I was told to stay away from were ALCOHOL and SALT.

Again, thanks for your help. Must you get that Myoplex 0nline or do any retail stores carry it? I am having trouble finding Replete locally here in the sticks of Pennsylvania.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2011

First to everyone: thanks for all you comments, the encouragement in invaluble.

My wife sue was diagnosed in April 2010 with a 9 cm colon tumor and 7 liver met tumors 2.4 cm average. After three surgeries, and one round of chemo summer of 2010, she two clean CTs 11/2010 and 2/2011. We waited 6 months for the next CT only to find a 2.4 and another " very small tumor" on her liver. Surgery is schedualed for friday and our surgeon is confident he will get them both.

Sue simply would not know that she had cancer now, except for the CT and a general lack of energy. She has a very good appitite and no other pain or other health problems.

We do know that liver cancer has an extrodinarily high recurrance rate.

I could write a small book on food and cancer, but here is a place to start:


Sue's doctor is regularly testing her blood glucose levels. Dr. Mercola says that it should be under 100. Sue's is under 60. She accomplishes this with a very low carb, no sugar diet ( any of the forms of glucose, organic berry fruits excepted)

I am a very slow writer. I have to go now. Let me know if you want more details.

PS I came to this site to look for 5 year or longer liver cancer survivors. I think I should write a book on how to beat liver cancer, but I need to find the survivors to do it. If you are one, please contact me.

God Bless you all.


Posts: 37
Joined: Jan 2011

I am very happy to hear that you are putting back the pounds that you lost. My husband also just put back about 8 pounds of what he lost. He says 12 but that seems too much and after so many appointments if we don't write something down who knows. but he gained weight by taking his daily shakes and eating often during the day. His doctors never told us to take the shakes, after being told that there was nothing dr could do I did extensive research and found that nutrition may help in keeping him alive. So we eliminated meats from his diet except for fish, added the shake and he still takes his multivitamin and Omega 3 daily. Definitely no alcohol and no table salt. He eats lots of veggies, fruits, grains, rice and beans, and food that is not canned. We are drinking soy milk instead of regular milk. Ed is feeling much better these days, but of course, as we all know there are good days and not so good days. I am thankful that I was able to go back to work and he stays home with the dog..most days he works a little in the house and then takes a long nap, I am only a phone call away. it has been 20 months since his diagnosis and he's been through a radioambulazation, Nexavar for only three weeks because it made his liver worse, a chemoambulization back in March 2011, and now the radiologist saw two small tumors that they will work on with chemoambulazation in a couple of weeks. No, nutrition did not cure him, but it is allowing him to have a better quality of life. Keep up the good work and you are very lucky to have gone to a nutritionist early and gotten advice that made your situation better. please keep us informed. You have a very nice smile:)

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