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Topic: Breast cancer and diabetes

Forum: Breast Cancer with Another Diagnosis or Comorbidity — Meet others who have breast cancer but also have another health diagnosis/comorbidity such as diabetes, MS, bipolar disorder, HIV or AIDS, Parkinson's Disorder, schizophrenia, etc.

Posted on: Jul 26, 2018 07:52AM

Prairietwin2 wrote:

I am diabetic and finished treatment for be a year ago. I am now taking Letrozole. Eight months after starting Letrozole my blood sugars are high and uncontrolled. Has anyone else had this problem

Dx 1/17/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 26, 2018 08:21AM dtad wrote:

Hi there. I have not personally had this problem but others have. It can be a side effect of aromatase inhibitors. I would talk to your doc about it. There is a prescription drug called Metformin that could help. I take a supplement called berberine which regulates blood sugars like Metformin. There are also some studies that suggest it could reduce BC recurrence rates. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Jul 26, 2018 12:21PM Spookiesmom wrote:

Call your Endo. To me, the se from high glucose are scarier than cancer. You don’t say what D meds you are on, there’s a lot out there, including adding insulin.

Your Endo can help.

First time IDGgrade 3, stage 3. Second time, found lump myself. That made me stage 4. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Jul 27, 2018 01:06AM ksusan wrote:

Yes, my FBS (and weight) suddenly piled on a few years into tamoxifen. My PCP has me on a ketogenic diet and my FBS dropped about 20 points in a week.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jul 30, 2018 06:01AM Prairietwin2 wrote:

what is berberine? I am on two types of insulin and am planning to start metformin again. I quit because it was causing stomach issues. I am interested in supplements.


Dx 1/17/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 30, 2018 06:04AM Prairietwin2 wrote:

I agree that side effects from high sugar is scarier. I take fast acting insulin at mealtime and slow acting at night.

Dx 1/17/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 30, 2018 07:40AM Lula73 wrote:

Prairietwin- do you take a set dose of each insulin or do you change up the dose based on your blood glucose numbers and the amount of carbs you’re getting ready to eat/what your bedtime and fasting numbers are? If you don’t change the doses yourself, you need to go see your doc as soon as you can get in or at least call and talk to the nurse/diabetes educator so they can help you get them back under control. If you do change your doses according to your sugar, then go ahead and get the sugars under control by changing the dose accordingly-just don’t change both insulins at once. Starting with mealtime is usually the best bet that’s when you're putting additional sugar in. You can also ask your doc if a glp-1 or a SGLT-2 would help (he will know what those letters and numbers mean).

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/3/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/3/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 30, 2018 08:49AM Spookiesmom wrote:

Met is notorious for GI upset. Try taking it with food, or try the extended release.

Have you considered an insulin pump? It figures your insulin carb ratio, eliminates multiple shots, and juggling 2 types of insulin.

I’ve been on pump since 08, my A1c is always 6.5 or less. I don’t know how to do MDI, and I don’t want to learn.

Talk to your Endo.

First time IDGgrade 3, stage 3. Second time, found lump myself. That made me stage 4. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Aug 30, 2018 08:25AM - edited Sep 3, 2018 09:09AM by Pei128

Hi, My mom has diabetes too. She's also taking Letrozole, but it doesn't cause her blood sugar to spike. For her diabetic medication, she takes metformin only. In fact, she has controlled her diet very well so much that the doctor has reduced her dosage of metformin to only 1 pill after each meal. Before that, she was taking 2 pills after each meal.

Do you try to consume Low GI food? For my mom, what had really worked for her is changing her diet completely.


Dx 8/29/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 10/5/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/5/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/21/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 3, 2018 06:19AM Prairietwin2 wrote:

can you tell me how she plans her eating. How does she eat only low GI food? I need all the help I can get

Dx 1/17/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 3, 2018 09:05AM - edited Sep 3, 2018 09:38AM by Pei128

Hi Prairietwin2,

This is a breakdown of what my mom typically eats. Hopefully it gives you an idea what kind of food she eats to maintain her strength and weight, yet it doesn't spike up her blood sugar readings.

Breakfast: 5 scoops of Nutren Diabetes Milk Powder, 1 slice of Low GI bread with Peanut Butter (no sugar), 1 slice of wholewheat cracker with Peanut Butter (no sugar). Then she chews on 1 remaining green apple. I cut into 4 slices and use the apple pieces for juicing, and give the rest of the green apple for her to eat. Go google Peanut Butter brands for diabetics. The one my mom takes has no sugar, they only use a bit of sea salt to give it flavour.

You can also try Avocado Toast if you want to feel full longer. Tuna on Toast is also good. The key is choosing Low GI bread - Whole Grain Bread.

Mid morning Juice - Half a red cabbage, 1 carrot, green apple without skin and seed, Ginger, Lime, Spinach Stems. You can also add Kale if you want.

Mid morning Snack (if she's hungry) - A few bites of the ProtiLife Diabetic Chocolate Peanut Bar OR Gullon Sugar Free Wafer Chocolate Crackers. Google those brands, they make snacks and biscuits for diabetics.

Lunch Concept: 2-3 types of vegetables, 1 carbohydrate serving (1/4 cup), 1 serving protein, and if there is clear soup. 1 serving of fruit.

Example of Lunch - Boiled Red Spinach Leaves and drizzle with Olive Oil, Boiled Bell Peppers, OR Boiled Sweet Potato (IF she is eating Boiled Sweet Potato, I would not give her any other carbohydrates anymore). If she's not having Boiled Sweet Potato, then I do the following:

Sometimes I stir fry fish slices with a whole grain noodles and egg. You can also replace it with Brown Rice Pasta. OR Stir fry chicken breast with whole grain noodles and egg.

OR Tuna Egg Mayo (Go light on the Mayo) on some bread or Croissant.

OR Wraps (Choose whole meal wrap). Inside the wrap I'll always put 2-3 veggies (example lettuce, boiled tomato, boiled cauliflower), scramble egg and some chicken.

SOUP of the day: depending on what I cook. Sometimes I make Onion clear broth soup, OR Watercress soup, OR Lotus Root Soup, OR Pumpkin clear soup which is our favorite! You can eat the pumpkin slice and treat it as a veggie serving.

Fruit: HALF an orange OR Half a dragon fruit, OR 1 slice of watermelon, OR 8-10 grapes. (Grapes are typically sweeter, during earlier days, we had to test her blood sugars everyday after 2 hrs after dinner, and for my mom, 8-10 grapes are OK for her and it won't make her blood sugars go up too much, so test it for yourself how many grapes you can safely eat) OR 1 kiwi, OR some strawberries.

Actually for fruits, typically you can eat almost every fruit, you just need to find the RIGHT amount that you can eat that doesn't cause your blood sugar to spike up.

Afternoon Snack - 5 scoops of Nutren Diabetes Milk Powder, and again if she's a little hungry, she will take a few bites of diabetic biscuits.

Dinner Concept is the same as Lunch Concept.

But I'll cook Low GI rice if she already had noodles for lunch. For protein, I usually steam fish for Mom. Steam salmon or cod with olive oil and ginger slices, and then do a light soya sauce (reduced sodium) and put some sauce over the top and serve. If it's not fish, I'll cook some chicken which I marinate over night, with rosemary, pepper, sesame oil and light soya sauce to give it flavor.

Veggies: Boiled Cauliflowers OR Broccoli OR Asparagus, OR Spinach. These are the ones my mom would eat as they are soft if I boil them correctly. Sometimes salad. Go light on the sauce. My mom likes Roasted Sesame Sauce.

SOUP :Same as above. I usually cook a pot, so there is enough soup for lunch and dinner.

Fruit : Same as above.

AMOUNT OF Carbs per meal : Mom eats 1/4 cup per meal. That amount works for her. It keeps her full and doesn't cause her blood sugars to spike. Again, everyone is different, you may need to monitor and see what amount of carbs works for you and tailor it to suit you.

Hopefully that helps!

Dx 8/29/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 10/5/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/5/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/21/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 4, 2018 06:18AM Prairietwin2 wrote:

Thank you! Some of this is totally new to me so I will have to do some searching. I live in Canada so I will have to see about diabeti brands here. That was a lot of typing

Dx 1/17/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 18, 2018 08:58AM Pei128 wrote:

Hi Prairietwin2,

No worries, I hope it was helpful! Please post your updates, would love to hear from you what worked. Wishing you all the best in getting the blood sugar levels in control!

Dx 8/29/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 10/5/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/5/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/21/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 23, 2018 03:10AM nanette7fl wrote:

I'm also a diabetic non-insulin type II dx4 yrs ago. I only take Metformin 500mg in the am & pm. I eat or try to eat natural foods and very few pre-packaged foods. I cook 95% of the time from 'scratch'.

I'm only on my 3rd week of chemo but I haven't had any problems with my bs numbers since chemo started. For me I'm always surprised that the morning after chemo my fasting bs is usually between 125-150 which according to my primary is really good considering the Dexamethasone i get as a pre-med. For me my weakness is breads and potatoes so I have to really watch my intake. I eat as many fresh veggies as I can to substitute for my starchy cravings. (I choose by what I'm craving...crunchy- carrots, ce!very apples. Soft- applesauce or jello ect) I can't eat a lot of fruits or juices because the natural sugars in them make my A1C go crazy so if I want some i have to be more physical active to burn it off.

My DH and his Mom (passed away now) are both diabetics and I've cooked for them for the past 20 years and their sugars are MUCH lower than they used to be before me lol

Also with diabetes the key to getting the numbers down (for me and DH is to active.

Good luck & I'm sending prayers they find something to help lower your numbets

~Nanette Dx 10/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 12/4/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/4/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/28/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 4/1/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 6/29/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Feb 27, 2019 10:59AM Prairietwin2 wrote:

thank you for your reply. I am now working with a diabetes educator and seem to be improving. I find stress more than anything puts up my numbers. And that results in more high sugars. LOL - oh to be stress free!

No! Not stress free but less bothered by things.

Dx 1/17/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 27, 2019 05:09PM AliceBastable wrote:

I'm classified as type II diabetic. All I take is Metformin, once a day. My PCP has never, not ONCE, done a fasting blood sugar test on me. And sometimes my A1C is in the 5.5 range. I'm shopping for a new doctor; this one seems to classify EVERYONE as diabetic and then just throw Metformin at them.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Feb 27, 2019 05:16PM nanette7fl wrote:

AliceB... hi 8) I was diagnosed by fasting blood sugar after I presented my PCP with my symptoms. These days they don't do the 3 hour fasting sugar test much anymore. BUT I'd certainly demand a fasting sugar test. You're A1c is normal and could not mean diabetic condition. Personally I think its irresponsible of your Dr to not have tested you and just given you Metformin... he could given you something worse. Good luck with finding another Dr and I hope you find one who listens to their patients!

~Nanette Dx 10/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 12/4/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/4/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/28/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 4/1/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 6/29/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jul 28, 2021 04:26PM Onyxmom wrote:

Has anyone found that their A1C returns to the normal range after stopping Letrozole?

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