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Are "healthy" diets and supplements harmful?

Anonymous user (not verified)

Or do they just give a false sense of control.? Are they even dangerous?


Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3663
Joined: May 2012

Thanks for the link, GK.  I just read it.

As several threads here over the last few years have discussed, it seems there is no 'magic bullet' in our fight against cancer, or perhaps most medical problems.  One decades' wonder solution becomes the next decades' bad joke.  One of the worst, and most thoroughly discredited, is cannabis, a frequent discussion at the Prostate Board.  All real, experience-based studies show it to be worthless, except perhaps for some pain and anxiety relief (there is value inthat, of course). 

But, websites tout it as not just soothing, but curative; an alternative for chemo even.  There is no evidence for this.  A dear friend was dying of breast cancer last year, and walked away from all professional treatments for a diet therapy from the internet, 'AMA' -- Against Medical Advice.  While her 'treatment' did not contain cannabis, it claimed radical cure rates and much better responses than chemo.  Shortly after her last chemo, the cancer began to rage, and she died quickly thereafter.  I cannot be too critical of her, as she had been told she was absolutley terminal, and was grasping at anything she could get ahold of.

Regarding me asking my oncologist about antioxidants years ago (Ivy-trained, and holding five Board Certifications, including Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology, plus two others) he told me, "Eat and drink during therapy whatever you want or tastes good to you. It is important to get lots of fluids, and maintain strength."

His staff contains an RD, and he is very current regarding the importance of nutrition in oncology, and even "trendy" issues like music therapy and yoga.  I have accepted his advice all along, and will say that I GUZZLED green tea my whole six months on r-abvd, and have continued to ever since.  The HL melted away rapidly, and there has been no recurrence.

I know I am ONE CASE, and that this does not prove anything; it is 'ancedotal' -- one patient's experince among thousands.

I am settled into the following view:  Eat what common sense says is 'healthy,' avoid, wihtin some reason, unhealthy stuff, like cigarettes or very fatty, fried foods. Even if these have little to do with cancer, they will otherwise make a person healthier in other ways, such as the lungs and heart.  I like green, leafy vegtables like cabbage and collards. These provide a lot of vitimans and iron, so they are good for me, even if they have no effect on cancer. (I need the iron, having been anemic in the past.) And no one claims they are unhealthy.  My wife tells me to avoid all sugar and my beer, but I respectfully continue some beer, and have a moderate sweet tooth.  Be reasonably active, exercise, try to be as happy as this worry will allow.  None of this can hurt, and it might help some.   It might be significant. Who knows.  There is an older guy at the Prostate Board who, by every objective standard, apparantly should have died many years ago. Astronomical PSA levels at times, metastatic disease all over.  But he feels healthy and keeps on going.  His belief is that his highly advanced spiritual and nutritional habits keep him not just alive, but fit.  I do not doubt him at all.  I am not saying what he does will work for the next guy, but there are just inexplicable cases that do not fit any common pattern.

The problem with the professional, medical school studies is that they become a gigantic tug-of-war:  One group advertises the results of one study, and the other side waves back with an alternative study that shows the opposite.  It takes many years to get a definitive opinion on most subjects, that establish any sort of consensus.  Smoking is one of the consensus habits over which there is really no legitimate debate.

To me, it is just as simple as what I have stated.  Saw Palmetto extract was believed for years to prevent or lessen prostate cancer, but it is now overwhelming proven to be mostly worthless, but I read that Saw Palmetto continues to be a multbillion dollar businness.  Something else will come along and present itself as a cure for this or that cancer. I will not believe it, will not buy the product.   But I enjoy green tea and black tea and coffee, and will be drinking it still the day I die. Many laypeople have told me over the years that "chemo is poision, you know."   I respond,"Yes, I know it is, but poision is all that will stop cancer."

I hope these thoughts have stayed on subject and are of some value to you or someone else,



GSP2's picture
Posts: 103
Joined: Feb 2015

I wanted to provide the link but I'm blocked at the moment. You can look up sleeper clip diet and exercise on you tube

Anonymous user (not verified)

i do not propose being fat or sloppy. Exercise feels good.  Never liked sweets other than an occasional hot Krispy Kreme with a fresh cup of coffee.  Diabetes, in some limited cases, can be delayed by avoiding excess carbs. Take the word excess away and the statement is no longer true. I have never smoked and recommend against it. Otherwise, as Max says, there are no magic bullets for prevention of cancer. Its often a matter of chance so the odds of one thing or another happening can be affected in a very small way, but is it worth the effort? As for curing this disease, eating vitamins and health food, drinking herb tea etc, will not accomplish it. Curing cancer by eating right is like trying to make that dent you got in your fender last week go away by driving more carefully this week. Ain't gonna happen.

Anonymous user (not verified)

very easy to post links via Windows but I can't seem to do it with my iPad.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3663
Joined: May 2012

A lot of what I write is in the wee hours at work, on my Android. Cut-and-paste, etc:  Forget it !

po18guy's picture
Posts: 1192
Joined: Nov 2011

Certain foods inhibit the production of various liver enzymes. Those enzymes are used to metabolize many of the anti-cancer drugs we receive. So, consumption of them means that the chemo may then wash right through and we then blame the chemo. During transplant, I had vauious experts advising me of what and how much to eat; how much physical exercise to participate in, and other things. My goal was simple: Survive. And I did.   

lindary's picture
Posts: 709
Joined: Mar 2015

Before I saw the oncologist the first time I made a list of the prescritions I take and a second list of the vitamins & supplements. When she sent to to the oncologist at Rush I brought a copy of the lists with them. The vitamins and supplements were reviewed before I started chemo, R-Chop. Several supplements & vitamins were dropped or dosage reduced. If they didn't tell me why I asked. Before I started the RICE treatment the revised list was reviewed. There were some supplements I was told not to take because it could cause issues with the RICE treatment. I resumed them almost 3  months after the last RICE treatment. 

I also checked out some sites online of what food not to eat when getting chemo. I can't say how I decided which to head and which to ignore but I do know if several sites mentioned the same food item, I skipped it while doing chemo. Just to be safe. 

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