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Did your Onc. mention diet?

Posts: 404
Joined: Jun 2012

The anecdotal info. I have is that most Dr's do not give diet/lifestyle advice to cancer patients, in fact some will even say 'eat what you want', personally I believe better to be happy and have a cookie than be miserable eating brown rice crackers.

This paper shows diet can change gene expression;


and a bit more;

"Americans had fourfold higher age-adjusted rates of colon cancer, and two fold higher rates of rectal cancer than Chinese"

"Rates of prostate cancer and postmenopausal breast cancer were 26-fold and ten fold higher in Americans than in Chinese"

"The growth of LNCaP prostate cancer cells was inhibited almost 8 times more by serum from the experimental than from the control group. Changes in serum PSA and also in LNCaP cell growth were significantly associated with the degree of change in diet and lifestyle."

"physical activity appears to reduce the risk of colon cancer recurrence and mortality"


"Four of 10 evaluable patients experienced an absolute reduction in their PSA levels over the entire 6-month study. Nine of 10 had a reduction in their rates of PSA rise and an improvement of their PSA doubling times. Median PSA doubling time increased from 11.9 months (prestudy) to 112.3 months (intervention). These results provide preliminary evidence that adoption of a plant-based diet, in combination with stress reduction, may attenuate disease progression and have therapeutic potential for clinical management of recurrent prostate cancer."

Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

My mom's onc said not to make drastic changes during chemo. It puts stress on the body. They didn't want her to lose weight during chemo for the same reason.  After she finished chemo it was off the herbologist, nutritionist, and the gym.  She only did walking during chemo because she had never really exercised before.

Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009


"Higher dietary glycemic load linked to worse colon cancer survival"

As most probably know,diet high in red meat,processed foods lack of vegetables and fruiits.......However,during TX, i ate whatever i could with main objective being not to lose any more weight than i already was losing,which included loss of every muscle i had prior to Dx

and i'm sure there are others like myself who's cancer-promoting diet got them here in the first place.....hopefully i know better and eat better now



wawaju04976's picture
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

When I was diagnosed a month ago, the first thing I did when I left the hospital (after going home and showering) was to go to the store and buy unprocessed this and that. However, when I started chemo two weeks ago (and I'm having it every other week), I found I needed to eat what I want when I wanted it. I continue to do this, as I can't afford to lose weight. Very little stuff I bought when I got out of the hospital sounds good. I have gained nine pounds since I stepped on the scale for my first treatment (yep, I'm eating a lot). But I know I go for another tx Friday, so my appetite will be gone for a while. I'm glad to have read your posts about eating.

dmj101's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

Good Points.. NO my Oncs never mentioned my diet at all.. Though I have other issues I deal with diet wise as I had a gastric bypass 7 years ago so my diet is already a mess and now as result of this illness I have colostomy so my intestines are so rerouted that I eat what I can regardless of its nutrition values or health value as I am limited and unlimited at other times.

When I started chemo though I must admit they did say eat what you want when asked about if there were any foods I should avaid. I find as result of the surgeries an the chemo fruit and veggies are tough for me to handle so solid protiens and white carbs work best for me.  I would be curious to see how others reply to you question.


thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

My Oncologist told me not to change my diet very much while on Chemo.  I had switched to the Zone (A balanced diet of ratio between protein, Carbos, fruit and veggies.).  The zone is more of an attitude about food then a strict diet.  It helped me get in shape and stay healthy.  While feeling horible after chemo, the Zone was thrown out the window, so I could get any callories I could keep down.  I kept up the zone diet, and added juicing, 1-2 8oz (250ml).


Dr. Lenz told me the Sone was OK, but to switch to the mediterranean diet with zero Red Meat and zero Refined Sugar.  He said ther refined sugar feeds many types of cancer and for sure it feeds mine. (Signet Ring Cell)  Dr. Lenz also told me to be careful with a lot of "Cancer Vitamins, amd "Cancer Herbs". He said most do nothing except make one poorer. (Note he dd not say all, but to be careful with such claims.)


Almost all processed prepackaged foods contain sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup, not to mention caustic chemicals.  If people knew what expressor made cooking oil was they would never eat it again.  Look at labels on Milk and Butter.  Walmart and Kroegers now add chemicals to their milk and butter!  Do we really need chemicals in Milk and Butter?  (I am sure others add chemicals, these are the two stores near me that add chemicals to their foods.)  At the same time, Walmart now has a plain label  packages that have zero chemicals in them!  Yeah Walmart for listening.


Making your own meals from real food, does not take that much longer once you have some practice.

Best Always, mike


annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Not one doc or nurse that I can think of ever brought it up.  But I was one of those who had a pretty healthy diet (at least as an adult) before getting cancer anyway.  My diet is still good overall, and I haven't made many changes, except eating more of some allegedyly cancer fighting veggies that I like anyway, such as cabbage.  I just can't bring myself to give up the small, simple pleasures of life that can come from enjoying the occasional cocktail or barbequed burger...or even a box of pure corn syrup/red dye #whatever like Hot Tamales (without which no movie-going experience would be complete).  I was just yesterday reading the blog of a very young woman who died of breast cancer.  In her final months she gave up her favorite sweets in a desparate bid to save her life.  Unbearably sad to read how this child (from my perspective of middle-age) was denied (or denied herself, I guess) this little treat in her final months of life.  Annway, as for the docs, I think they have their hands full in those 20 minute visits (at least in my HMO) just getting the basics covered.  They may feel that diet is beyond their purview.  IMO, it would be great if every cancer patient could work with a nutritionist as well as an oncologist.  Ann Alexandria

mukamom's picture
Posts: 402
Joined: Oct 2010

of a diet...I kept on fixing foods Robert would eat...still do, altho' I have modified somewhat.  He was dx diabetic 2 years into the fight, so  I had to adjust that  into

the mix.. I cook more from scratch, try to limit salts, sugars, "bad" carbs.  But ice cream (no sugar added), banana bread, and a fruit pie every now and then

remain on the menu, and will continue to do so.Surprised


Hell, you still gotta enjoy some things.



pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

my original onc never mentioned it.

i have literally put up 100s of posts about diet and and exercise, the concesus has changed considerably in even 2 1/2 years. 

thanks for bring this up again.

the fact the exercise stimulate our immune system, its so cool and so easy to fight our cancer. we just have to do situps, pushup and squats.



Vickilg's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi there... my ONC told me to eat what I wanted.  He was more concerned with me eating and keeping on the weight during chemo.  I had gone vegan some six months early which was difficult at times if you were eating out to find vegan food and he said I just needed to eat what I can eat.  I caved and eat some vegan stuff and some regular stuff.  I try to stay away from fast foods.  I do juice once a day - cannot stand any more than that.  With it hard enough right now, I do enjoy fettucine when I want it and occassionally a nice desert.  I try not to beat myself up too much chemo is already doing that for me  haha.

Posts: 404
Joined: Jun 2012

to show Indian and Chinese diet dramatically reduces cancer risk, Im more interested in how diet can effect after DX, the gene expresion change in the prostate cancer study is amazing and other than a Ketogenic diet the first I have found that shows diet can have a profound impact.

Still wondering how 'state of mind' works in comparison, is it better to be happy eating icecream? does the 'happiness' also go to the DNA? 

There is a great video on juicing and disease, fat, sick and nearly dead


Posts: 74
Joined: Sep 2012

My daughter's onc never mentioned diet. When she was diagnosed in July N.D. Gave her diet organic, gluten free sugar free dairy free.She has folllowed it faithfully since. We are amazed at the results.before chemo her cea  was 1.3. She can make almost anything including healthy chocolate. she loves cheese , now she makes nut cheese.There is a healthy tasty substitute for  almost everything.

Helen321's picture
Posts: 1428
Joined: May 2012

I read an article that there has been a severe rise in colon/rectal cancer in China since the introduction of the western diet and statistics show that asians who are raised here are more likely to develop colon/rectal cancer than those who follow the diet they were raised on in Asia.  My doctors are a bit arrogant about their "medicine" which of course I am no fool, I partake in but also they need to recognize the importance of diet and exercise and stop the arrogance and encourage it.  My doctor told me I could eat sugar all day and I'd still be fine bc of the chemo/rad.  Then I asked for a nutritionist and she did refer me to one.

Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2011

My onc was insistent that red meat is not good for anyone.  I haven't had one bite in just days under 4 years and I don't miss it.  ALSO, he pushes me to keep my weight at a 'good place' which is thinner than I think I should be, but I did lose 14 pounds this year.  He'd like me to weigh around 135 so I'm only a few pounds heavier than that now. 

Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

avoid but in the throes of Tx it was nutrition drinks (Ensure,Boost,CVS brand,the "Plus"version for the extra 100 calories) and anything i could eat at the time that kept me goiing tho i still lost over 50 pounds,going from 178 to 126.....(if i can find the printout i'll amend this)...As for diet etc,now, i try to adhere to guidelines of the various "cancer.orgs" plus the stuff i read on my own,including here...

One example of the former at:



(the section on Lifestyle pertains to this post;you can sign up for free emails from this site,among many others on CRC)

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I am on my second oncologist and neither mentioned diet. In fact when i mentioned diet they were less than enthusiastic about it. This is a very disturbing trend to me with all of the evidence about diet and cancer outcomes. Needless to say i am going to do what i think is best with or without thier support.

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