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Sep 20, 2017 01:25PM
I attended a talk last night given by a researcher onc at UCSF who specializes in breast cancer. All these supps and oils and such, there is no real research on because it's not FDA approved. One thing he did say is essential oils, supps, herbs ARE medicines. You need to treat them all just like to you rx drugs. And they really don't know the interaction of them with what meds you are on, and not just cancer meds- other meds you may be taking for another condition. When someone brought up the $ in rx meds, he counteracted with the $ in these essential oils/herbs/supp "natural" which there is nothing natural about any of this as they are all MEDICINE to your body. Just because something is tooted as "natural" doesn't mean it works better or as good, and isn't actually harmful to your body. The focus on just shutting down estrogren has taken over many people from truly understanding what they may be doing to their body. Not everyone is the same. The research on this stuff is sparse compared to rx meds. Iffy at best he said. So the message on this part of the talk was tread lightly with this alternative stuff. Also pointed out that Adriamycin, taxanes and aspirin are plant based meds.
Dr. David Lee is a researcher at UCSF which is very highly acclaimed institution. Tread carefully. Here's the slide put up on this topic:
Nutritional and herbal supps:
No high quality human trials demonstrate any cancer related benefit.
Supps have se's and can be dangerous, even "natural" ones
Treat herbal medicine as if it was a rx med
Check for known se's, drug-herb interactions. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website given as best source:
Be very very careful if you are receiving chemo.
Also brought up this thing I've been seeing going around on alkaline diet. Very interesting. Cancers live in all situations and adapt to their environment so forget about going this route. Plus the body is 7.4 ph naturally, to function properly. Too much alkaline could be deadly. The other end, too acidic, and get very sick. Body has a tendency to make it's way to where it needs to be, 7.4 ph. So don't intentionally mess with this.
Exercise- Yes! Big time can be a major factor in reducing cancer recurrence. For ER+ can be up to 50% reduction in chances of recur. Active = walking good pace for 3 hours a week. Can split it out. If bad joints, water walking/arobics. 3 studies found the risk of dying from colon cancer was reduced by 43-61% with moderate activity (3 hours a week). Prostate cancer benefits from exercise too. Pointed out exercise isn't for weight loss. You are looking at getting healthy. If you walk 1 mile you burn 100 calories. Need to walk 35 miles to lose 1 lb. Reality is the way to lose weight is watch your intake of food to the amount of activity you have. Eat less.
Diet- Organic foods are safer but it's a myth that it's healthier than reg produce. No pesticides and just makes it safer.
Many interventional trials have been performed in large groups of pts with bc, colon cancer and prostate cancer. Different diets studied:
high fruit and veggies
No intervention trial has demonstrated improvement in cancer related outcomes with long term follow up. However diet can prevent a cancer from developing in the first place.
Common sense diet for cancer:
eat in moderation
lots of fruit and veggies
shop perimeter of the grocery store (fresh stuff there)
If your grandmother doesn't understand the ingredients then don't buy it.
Aspirin- For some people aspirin can be started to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. No reduction in breast, lung or advanced prostate cancer.
Vit D- He doesn't know why pcp's are into testing so much for vit D on cancer pts. If your value is over 20, you have sufficient vit D. You don't want to be lower because it can be at least partly responsible for dementia, cancer, etc. Vit D doesn't prevent pre cancer polyps in the colon. Most studies giving vit D supp have not shown benefit in regards to cancer prevention (both primary and recurrence) and survival.
The great lifestyle change that can improve a cancer survivor's chances of NED for good is exercise.
Goal 3 hours a week.
Aspirin can prevent recurrences and improve survival in pts treated for colorectal cancer.
Aspirin can prevent colon cancer from ever developing.
Eat a common sense, balanced diet. Everything is ok in moderation. No need to eliminate anything. Brought up sugar. Yes sugar feeds cance, but cancers adapt to become no need for sugar. Cancers are very adaptable to changes in the body. One reason why so hard to find a cure. They change to go with the new environment. So of course for health, lower the sugar the better, but to cut it all out thinking ah ha isn't the right thought. Moderation for everything, even red meat. Some people cut fruits out thinking sugar. He calls that kind of nuts. Moderation is the take away.
Nutrtional and herbal supps have not been found to be helpful and there can be risk of harm.
Talk to your doc about specific questions. Always question as advances are made in the field.
Final word: LIVE. Don't get so wrapped up in cancer that you forget to live your life.
After the talk I found the lady next to me was dx'd at 46 and was NED for 31 years! Tamoxifen had just come out and she was on the 2 year plan. Now at 77 there she is, again. I was the youngest one in the audience. Probably was 30-40 people there. It was held in the auditorium of the hospital and recorded to be televised on the local hospital channel. I asked a couple questions so my face will be on tv at some point.
I just copied the screen shot handouts that were given to us. Not an audience who would go home to read research studies so he kept it at the bullet points bottom line, which I appreciate. Just tell me the latest. Dr. David Lee's specialty is breast cancer and he attends the big conference in Tx ever Dec which runs a few days.
Hope this info helps. At the very least, it's food for thought.
GL to all.
Dx'd at 50. Doing it all, all by myself. Stopped Letrozole after 5 weeks. Debilitating se's. Back on Tamox now.
6/2/2015, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL)
8/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
11/3/2015 AC + T (Taxotere)
5/2/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
6/28/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
12/9/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
2/14/2017 Femara (letrozole)
3/26/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
9/1/2017 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant