Cancer diet information and myths.

If anyone has followed my past posts, my father believes some crazy stuff about more or less everything. Right now we’ve reached an impasse. I likely have cancer, and as a result he is started to “force” me to follow all of his ridiculous rules. I would like to know a few things.

Does anyone have a list of reliable sources to read about how to deal with cancer in general?

I’m very sorry to hear of your possible diagnosis. I assume you are being treated by doctors and are waiting to hear from them. Those doctors would be the best place to get medical advice such as this.

I’ve reported the thread for moving to IMHO, the forum for medical advice.

Moderator Action

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

Thank you, and of course I am waiting to hear from the doc’s. The problem is that this will continue until then and likely beyond. He actually said to me that doctor’s don’t want to help me, they want to keep me sick tonight… So that should give some idea of how much sway they will have.

Is there a dietitian attached to the Oncology Unit you’re attending? Most do and your father might be persuaded by the word of a dietitian if he doesn’t believe the doctors are doing the best for you nutritionally.

All the best for your treatment. Good nutrition is important. Quackery isn’t.

How about this -

Simple nourishing foods, not high fat, high salt, no fat, no salt. concentrate on lots of fruit and veggies, decent amount of protein carnivore or vegetarian as your dietary choice. No strange all grapefruit or all white, or all blue … [though in addition to fruit and veg, I ate a lot of rice congee with chicken, garlic and ginger no cilantro, and plain steamed fish like cod as it was very neutral.]

I found that when I was doing chemo, I did have a fair amount of nausea that affected what both appealed to me and I could keep down - ice cold fruit was my thing, I froze grapes to use as ice cubes [note, fruit salad and ginger ale tastes pretty much the same going down as going back up again] and when I was stuck on the sofa alone at home, I kept my stuff in ice in a cooler by the sofa so all I had to do was open and grab something. Those little individual fruit cups are great for that. Get a box od plastic forks and spoons to use and put a large stock pot beside you as a garbage can you can vomit into just in case.

There’s a limit to what you can do to change your father’s uninformed opinions. You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into. At some point it may be best for your health and peace of mind to tell your father that you won’t be discussing your medical condition with him.

There is plenty of good dietary advice available to cancer patients, from oncologists, dietary support personnel and reliable online sources like the American Cancer Society.

There is unfortunately a lot of bad advice circulating, in which extreme measures (fasting/“cleansing”) and medically unsupportable claims are promoted (including the fallacy that sugar must be eliminated on the mistaken belief that cancer cells will be “starved” without it). No point in making onseself miserable to no purpose.

Best wishes to the OP.

In this 20-minute TED talk, Dr. William Li discusses the growth of new capillaries in the body (called angiogenesis), especially how tumors can remain microscopic and isolated until capillaries form nearby and feed them. While there are successful anti-angiogenesis drugs out there, similar chemicals that work to inhibit capillary growth are found in ordinary foods.

Here’s Dr. Li’s slide listing some of the foods that contain the anti-angiogenesis chemicals. There’s really only one or two unusual items on that list. Adding or increasing such food items in your diet can help keep microscopic cancer cells at bay.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t really help much against existing malignant tumors. The better news is that the foods taste good (olive oil & garlic; blackberries & dark chocolate!?) For a guy like me, I can include such a diet with medical treatment without depriving myself. I’m fighting off melanoma that escaped once already, but currently have no detectable tumors.

WRT the OP, you can use the diet to attract your dad’s focus, while knowing that there is scientific backing to the approach and it shouldn’t interfere with your doctors’ medical plans for you.

A dietitian (NOT a nutritionist!) should always be part of an oncology team.

I understand that to be a prospective use for thalidomide. The thing that caused the horrible birth defects was inhibition of blood vessel expansion into new tissue, and the same thing happening to tumors is a Good Thing.

Orac, in his blog Respectful Insolence, debunks cancer related woo. If you use the search function with the keyword diet, well. . . it’s a blog, so you’ll find a lot of different articles. Some of his articles describe and debunk specific diet claims. Not that your father will believe the debunking, but it might reassure you to know that the suggestions you’re blowing off actually are worthless woo.

Good luck with your treatment. We’ll be rooting for you.

Orac is also a contributor on

Anaximperator blog is another quality blog that covers cancer quackery.

The best online resource for bogus medical practices is

Quack watch looks much easier to navigate than the blog.

It’s most commonly used for multiple myeloma. Geraldine Ferraro took it for a while. Most of the people who use it are beyond reproductive age anyway, but the doctor, pharmacy, and patient all have to register every month before it can be dispensed. The package itself has a picture of a thalidomide baby - a cute little black girl with severely deformed arms and legs. :frowning: It has also been used for graft vs. host disease after a bone marrow transplant.

Well, yes. Isn’t that what I said? We have three dietitians in the oncology unit where I work. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention ‘nutritionist’ once.

Great info…You know, we hear a lot of news stories linking various additives and chemicals and food colorings with cancer risk. It’s certainly possible. But at this point, the evidence hasn’t shown any real connection. In fact, some preservatives seem to be antioxidants, which could mean they’re actually protecting us.

(Since the thread’s been bumped anyway…)

So is the OP still with us?

Dr Steven Novella’s NeuroLogica is another excellent source.

An old thread bumped by a new user, who is NOT going on about bullshit quackery! Welcome Abby; you are my new favorite member!