Many treatments fall under the umbrella of Complementary and Alternative Medicine or CAM. Some of the most commonly used CAM therapies include: Acupuncture Chiropractic Food counseling Herbalism Massa...
“Don’t eat meat. Don’t eat this certain vegetable. You have to eat only raw foods. You need to drink only juice. It has to be organic. You have to drink this kind of water.” And oh by the way, this water will cost you $50.00 a gallon because it has the best pH. We have heard it all.
Almost one hundred percent of the cancer patients who come to our facility, New Hope Unlimited, have a diet in mind that is supposed to cure cancer. How I wish it’s that easy! Please don’t get me wrong, diet is very important. I think my problem is, there are so many experts out there telling people what to do and eat when they have never treated the ﬁrst cancer patient. Even diet has to be individualized after a certain time or point during the illness.
Did you know that most cancer patients do not die from cancer? It’s true. The majority of cancer patients died from complications due to chemotherapy, radiation, pneumonia, or malnutrition. Our body needs to have good food in order to keep our good cells nourished and alive.
When a person becomes dangerously malnourished, it’s called cachexia. Cachexia (kah-kek’se-ah) is a wasting away syndrome. At this point there is severe protein loss in the body that leads to emaciation, weakness, weight loss, fatigue, and a decrease in tolerance of their cancer treatments.
Please, as you read this, do not get me wrong. Diet is very critical to our health. What I would like to address is the point of people trying to become cancer-free, and while working hard at trying to eat correctly, they become malnourished and sickly.
Let me give a few examples of what I’m trying to say.
Story # 1: Jeff (made up name) was a 52 year old who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He weighed approximately 209 pounds. After being diagnosed, he and his wife began looking on the internet and found different “cancer diets.” They’ve read that it’s best to eat raw foods and juice. Three months later, Jeff came to us complaining that he did not have any energy. His hemoglobin and hematocrit was low. Several of his blood chemistry were off, and he had lost 40 pounds. All of this change in his system only took 3 months. When he was asked, “When did you start
losing your energy?” He immediately could identify that it started when he changed his diet. Our doctors changed his diet and he stated he felt much better almost immediately. He had regained his energy. His blood work became normal.
If you are sick or ﬁghting an immune illness, you can not afford to lose your energy. Your body needs to ﬁght with everything it has.
Story # 2: Linda ( made up name) was a 48 year old who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She too had scanned the internet for the best “cancer diet.” When she arrived at our clinic, she was very gray-pasty looking. She explained that she had changed her diet after learning that she had cancer. She had become a vegetarian for the ﬁrst time in her life. Her blood work revealed that her hemoglobin was too low and we had to give her a blood transfusion right away.
I wanted to give you these two examples, although there’s a lot more. When we ﬁrst opened our clinic, we were one of the ﬁrst in the United States doing alternative cancer care. I only bring this up so that I can tell you that we have had a lot of experiences with alternative, complementary and Integrative cancer treatments. Believe me, we have done all the cancer diets you can imagine. We did them all trying to get our patients well. We read and followed what other countries were doing, what doctors told us would be good, and what dietitians would suggest.
Where did it get us? It got us to the point of believing that there is no special “cancer diet.” I know you are asking, “What, how can that be with so much on the internet?” I understand what you are asking. However I must say what I believe in my heart. As with every person, their DNA is like no other person in the world. We believe everyone’s cancer treatment should be individually designed for them. One size does not and should not ﬁt all. Therefore why should one diet ﬁt every cancer patient? I feel that even the cancer diet needs to be modiﬁed for each individual with cancer or any other disease.
When we were trying all the different diets, we were stressing our patients out. They could hardly eat anything, much less what they liked and enjoyed. When you are ill, it is of great importance to limit your stress. As Americans, we have become humans that love our food. It is very stressful to our minds and our bodies if we abruptly change everything at once. It is scientiﬁcally proven that it is hard to impossible to get well if you are dealing with a lot of stress.
Ok, if you are reading this and you have been diagnosed with cancer, this article does not give you the green light to eat anything you want! You have had good cells to go abnormal for some reason. Maybe we do not know the reason so we need to assume everything, diet included. I know, it now sounds as if I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth. Remember, I did say diet is important.
In Part Two I will speak more of what my opinion is that may help with the “cancer diet.” But until then, please please stop all your sugar. This is a must! Sugar feeds cancer cells. The sugar uptake time for cancer cells is immediate. That’s why a PET scan works so well in order to ﬁnd where cancer is. I will explain this more and get into other foods that can be beneﬁcial and some that’s not.