• Change of diet question...

    Asked by Alyce on Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Change of diet question...

    When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring (2012), I immediately changed my diet. No pies, cakes, candies, ice cream, pop, etc., no meat that contained hormones/steroids, like wise with our dairy products. Dropped sugar out of the equation, did juicing to increase my intake of nutrients, no processed foods (if it came in a box or a package (frozen or shelf stable), I did not eat it and I also worked with my nutritionist to make sure my body was getting the proper nutrients. By the end of chemo (July 31), my weight had dropped about 15 pounds, the surgeon could no longer find my lump, through physical exam, sonogram, etc. Whereas before, it was 4.5 cm, very very hard gel like consistancy. She did a lumpectomy, instead of her planned mastectomy, had a difficult time finding cancer cells. She asked to go in a 2nd time because she was not confident that she had removed all cells. Has anyone else had a tumor shrink like this? If so, what did you do?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I don't think your question has anything to do with change of diet. The entire purpose of chemo is to kill cancer cells, so shrinking of a malignant tumor would always be the expected outcome of any chemotherapy. I had inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and didn't have a discrete tumor isolating the cancer cells but chemo did reduce the distribution of the cancer cells by about 2/3rds. After completing chemo, I had multiple surgeries and radiation.

      almost 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      Were there cancer cells seen in the tissue removed? If not, then you had what is called a complete pathological response, which is a great thing. I had a complete pathological response also. And, what did I do? I celebrated and breathed a huge sigh of RELIEF!

      Diet may have contributed - may not have - tough to say.

      I've been a vegetarian for decades and went strictly vegan after receiving my diagnosis. The thing I'm most anal about NOT eating is dairy...

      I lost a bunch of weight on chemo, but I dont' think that was due to diet so much as lack of appetite. When faced with stress, I tend to comfort FAST rather than comfort EAT like most people. Just the way I am. My experimental drug also had that as a side effect - loss of appetite. When I am nauseous, the last thing I do is eat even though they recommend you eat little bits... Just no interest...

      However, now that chemo is over... and I'm on the road to recovery etc... I'm solidly back to my typical winter weight. That kidn of bums me out, actually. I was hoping to stay closer to the lighter weight. But, without the lack of appetite... well, that's just gonna take some effort... right?

      Your improved diet probably helps with side effects and so on. And, your improved diet will probably help reduce your risk of recurrence... So, good job and keep it up!

      almost 5 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar
      JennyMiller

      I did not have a tumor shrink but I tend to think "aggressive" when it comes to battling cancer. I seem to maintain the awareness that one tiny cell can stray and hibernate -- then reoccur in the future. My tumor was 4.9 - I had bilateral mastectomy, chemo & radiation. I am now on Arimidex for 5 years. If I were you, I would definitely allow your surgeon to go in a second time and to do whatever is necessary to make her confident that she has removed all cells. I wish you the best.

      almost 5 years ago
    • raven's Avatar
      raven

      My prognosis was very poor - 85% or greater chance of recurrence in 5 years. Three of my Drs were talking to me about palliative treatment right after I finished radiation. I made the same diet changes as you - perhaps not as stringent - along with adding herbs. It has only been a year since I completed radiation but all of my doctors are amazed at how well I am doing. I believe diet has everything to do with how our bodies function. How can all of the growth hormones in our food not effect our bodies? A great book along these lines is Anti Cancer. M D Anderson is planning to start a study incorporating the ideas of the book.

      almost 5 years ago
    • dealite2007's Avatar
      dealite2007

      You didn't say anything about having chemo....so that isn't what made the tumor shrink. Diet does have something to do with it and so does exercise, but not everything. I wouldn't be surprised if your onc wants you on a hormone therapy i.e., tamoxifen. That is such good news.

      almost 5 years ago
    • dealite2007's Avatar
      dealite2007

      A very good book which addresses how cancer cells work, what feeds them, and what makes a hostile environment for the. It's an excellent source for diet, nutrition and exercise. It is "Life Over Cancer."

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Actually Deelite, she did mention chemo (completed on July 31) and it was at that point that her surgeon could no longer find a lump. Having taught nutrition, I think diet is extremely important to one's overall health, but it does not cause tumor's to shrink.

      almost 5 years ago

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