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Diet tips for my mom, who is recovering from cancer

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  • Diet tips for my mom, who is recovering from cancer

    My mom was recently diagnosed with an amygdalian carcinom, basically a malignant tumor on her left amygdala. Luckily, it was discovered soon enough and she has been immediately put on a chemotherapy treatement for over a month, then took about 36 sessions of Radiation therapy. The doctors have reported that the tumor has completely vanished, but the many chemo and radiation sessions left her exhausted. She was recently told she has anemia, but because her throat was exposed to radiations, which basically burn the cancer cells AND the healthy ones around them, she cannot eat. She barely ate anything for some 2 months. Her blood was all washed out from the chemo so she took a blood transplant. She is currently on medication for anemia and and soon as her throat heals, we will have to recover this with the right types of food, so I need some of your help. (a nice healthy recovering from anemia)

    I was doing some research some time ago on the Internet, and found out that if your lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, sleep etc.) aren't right, there is a risk of a tumor appearing again. This is the last thing her and my mom would like to happen. She is absolutely terrified of the sheer thought of going through this again.

    So I want some tips on an anti-cancer lifestyle, to assure that this nightmare never returns. An anti-cancer diet and healthy amounts of exercise.

    I've already talked to her about the imperious need for exercise and she agreed that she'll take up proper amounts of daily walking after the recovery, but I still need clearance on another highly important factor: an anti-cancer diet.

    The thing is, anti-cancer diet articles/books seem contradictory with the Paleo diet. Mainly, they seem to promote animal-protein as a high risk in cancer (something about it feeding cancerous cells). According to them, a diet lacking in animal protein inhibits cancer. But she's currently anemic so I also think she nights a proper, real/complete protein package like meat to recover, so this is an issue. Also, whole grains are promoted in the anti-cancer diets, but white flour banned. Also, milk is allowed/recommended.

    So, in these aspects, they go against the Paleo lifestyle. I know our original human diet is the way to go, but since she's been hit by cancer and needs to avoid it at all costs in the future, we want to be extremely cautious.

    So, what are some good tips for this situation? Is reducing the diet to mostly fruits and veggies an option? And is meat really bad and to be avoided in an anti-cancer diet? I'm confused right now. I know the proper protein intake of our ancestors actually protected them from cancers and other diseases, but considering she is recovering from cancer, I'm not sure if, in this case, animal protein is a high risk or not.

    I'd really like to hear a Paleo perspective on what dietary habits my mom could take to cut the risk of cancer once and for all, what's really recommended, what's to be be avoided, and how recover from her anemia and weak state.

    Thank you for your time!

  • #2
    I had breast cancer 4 years ago. The doctors saved my life but Primal was how I got my health back.

    Please read the Primal 101 and the Primal Blueprint Fitness Guides that you can download. There is also a reader generated cookbook that has lots of good Primal recipe ideas.

    Short-term for your Mom's anemia problem. How does she feel about liver? If she likes it great. If she doesn't (I really didn't at first), you can make pate which would also be an easy food to get down given her sore throat area.

    Please let me know if I can help with anything. I know what she's going through and it does get better, much better.

    Robin

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    • #3
      I would recommend making some nice slow/long cooked bone broths from scratch for her. They are full of nutrition - be sure to include the marrow - and many people find broth very palatable even when they are sick.

      Best of luck. I hope her recovery goes well.
      Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

      http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jammies View Post
        I would recommend making some nice slow/long cooked bone broths from scratch for her. They are full of nutrition - be sure to include the marrow - and many people find broth very palatable even when they are sick.

        Best of luck. I hope her recovery goes well.
        Great idea Jammies. My best friend is a real live Jewish Great Grandmother who makes the best broths and soups from scratch. She used to bring me pots of it while I was on chemo. It was one of the few ways I could get food to stay down.

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        • #5
          Ketogenic diet is helpful for brain cancers - starves the cancer cells. The cancer has gone but I think she should stick with eating a primal type diet - avoiding all grains - not too high in carbs - up to 100g. All processed foods out. Start with the broth as suggested. I hope her throat heals quickly.

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          • #6
            I don't know, I don't have any diet advice, but your post made me cry. This is the second time today I cried from a post here.

            I wish the best for you and mom.

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            • #7
              i will be launching a blog on this tonight....my BF wife just got diagnosed and I promised him a post on this tonight......so its almost done.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the replies everybody!

                I told her about broth today over the phone, and she told me that she eats broth at the hospital. We will try liver/pate when her throat gets better.

                My real question was whether she can safely take the Paleo diet and if she can benefit from it. I've read some info about animal protein not being particular recommended for cancers, but after some more research, I'm not sure that's true.

                DigitalSurgeon, I've searched for your blog on your member profile ("about me" section), and located your blog post. Thank you for the insights. Among them, I discovered the book "Anticancer: A New Way of Life", by David Servan-Schreiber. The author created a free quick-start guide containing all the information we need to know, located here.

                The author of Anticancer recommends dairy, among the animal protein sources, and also says animal protein is optional. He also bans white flour entirely, but says you can go for whole grains. His recommendations resemble the Mediterranean diet, but Paleo is extremely similar to it, and it cuts some extra unhealthy foods.

                So I was considering transitioning to Paleo, but is this completely safe and beneficial, considering she's recovering from a tumor?

                Thanks!

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                • #9
                  I am really touched with your story, I'll write a blog hopes to obtain special advice for you and your mother.

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                  • #10
                    I have read many a story and personal anecdote of people 'curing' cancer through a raw vegan diet aswell as through 'paleo'. Just a thought. Any book that is recommending milk/whole grains is suspect in my opinion. Going against conventional wisdom is a risk to our conditioned minds, but well worth it.

                    I would say quality is paramount here, in regard to my first sentence.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PlaySomeJazz View Post
                      Thanks for the replies everybody!

                      I told her about broth today over the phone, and she told me that she eats broth at the hospital. We will try liver/pate when her throat gets better.

                      My real question was whether she can safely take the Paleo diet and if she can benefit from it. I've read some info about animal protein not being particular recommended for cancers, but after some more research, I'm not sure that's true.

                      DigitalSurgeon, I've searched for your blog on your member profile ("about me" section), and located your blog post. Thank you for the insights. Among them, I discovered the book "Anticancer: A New Way of Life", by David Servan-Schreiber. The author created a free quick-start guide containing all the information we need to know, located here.

                      The author of Anticancer recommends dairy, among the animal protein sources, and also says animal protein is optional. He also bans white flour entirely, but says you can go for whole grains. His recommendations resemble the Mediterranean diet, but Paleo is extremely similar to it, and it cuts some extra unhealthy foods.

                      So I was considering transitioning to Paleo, but is this completely safe and beneficial, considering she's recovering from a tumor?

                      Thanks!
                      You ask if she can "take it" like it is going to be some kind of hardship imposed on her body but really the opposite is true. It is the easiest and most natural way of eating the body could possibly ask for. If you have been reading around here I'm sure you have come across writing about grains containing anti-nutrients, things specifically designed as self-protection by the plant to make any animal who eats it sick. Cows have multiple stomachs to process this kind of stuff. We don't. Any time you eat grains you are putting a strain on the body. When you are young and healthy you can power through this and be OK for a while. In your Mom's case, she needs all of her body's resources to be going toward fighting this cancer and not be diverted by having to deal with irritating foods. Primal is the least irritating, most natural thing in the world.

                      Give your Mom a big hug for me.

                      Robin

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                      • #12
                        Thank you all!

                        Also, thank you Robin for your concern. What I wanted to say by "take" was actually choose/switch to. I kind of used a confusing term there.

                        I know the Paleo diet is pretty much the most natural way of eating, since it's the diet suited for our genome.

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                        • #13
                          Hey playsomejazz, I finished chemo just over a month ago and am just stating up the paleo diet again. Firstly I wouldn't worry too much (probably easier said than done) but worry and stress aren't going to help matters. I would just stick to proper food - organic and limit carbs no need to be anal about it if you find it takes the enjoyment out of life (most experience the opposite though ). Wishing your mum the best.

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