The befuddling world of cancer care

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Cancer Care

When it comes to cancer, there are things that I thought everyone knows.

Turns out it is not true.

The doctors are trained in chemo. Not nutrition or alternative care.

Now I would think that a doctor would try to be at least a little informed on things that their patients are reading or even trying. When I told my doctor some of the things I’m trying, he had no clue. What’s that? What does that do? Yet everywhere you look when doing research on cancer care, the same things come up time and time again. If you are an expert in cancer care, wouldn’t you want to be at least aware?

But they’re not experts in cancer care – they are experts in chemo. They can tell you the combinations of chemo that work the best for each cancer. They can tell you what drugs to take to combat the side effects.

My doctor does keep a close eye on my nutrition panels. I give him credit for that. He has even prescribed a couple of vitamins when my counts got low. GASP!

Everyone knows cancer feeds on sugar, don’t they?

I even had a nutritionist come to talk to me while I was hooked up. I told her that I was upset that they aren’t telling people to avoid sugar. I told her that I had read through the what to eat book from the American Cancer Society, and almost every recipe had sugar or high glycemic foods.

Her reply? “Well, sugar is an important fuel source.”

I was speechless. I said, but cancer feeds on sugar.

I don’t remember the exact words she used, but she essentially said it wasn’t true. I was livid! I said that is why they give you radioactive glucose for a PET scan! It makes the cancer light up like Christmas trees!

At which point I figured it was a waste of my time and energy to talk to this woman.

Here’s Mayo Clinic’s explanation –

Myth: People with cancer shouldn’t eat sugar, since it can cause cancer to grow faster.

Fact: Sugar doesn’t make cancer grow faster. All cells, including cancer cells, depend on blood sugar (glucose) for energy. But giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn’t speed their growth. Likewise, depriving cancer cells of sugar doesn’t slow their growth.

This misconception may be based in part on a misunderstanding of positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which use a small amount of radioactive tracer — typically a form of glucose. All tissues in your body absorb some of this tracer, but tissues that are using more energy — including cancer cells — absorb greater amounts. For this reason, some people have concluded that cancer cells grow faster on sugar. But this isn’t true.

However, there is some evidence that consuming large amounts of sugar is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, including esophageal cancer. It can also lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, which may increase the risk of cancer.

Does that make sense to you? Yeah, me either… Why would just cancer cells light up when all of your cells are hungry since you’ve starved before the test? I’m not buying it. As much as I would love to, I’m not going to run out and have a chocolate milkshake.

So essentially the conventional take on it is do what you want and have faith in chemo and radiation. We’ll poison and burn it out of you. Trust us.

Now obviously I don’t have enough faith in natural or alternative cures or I would have gone totally that route. They are curing, or at least putting cancer into remission with much more success than before with conventional methods. And the side effects are not as bad as they used to be. You don’t really see many true alternative success stories. Even Suzanne Somers had radiation.

And here’s the other thing about alternative care…

Its impossible for most people.

Have you ever tried cutting all sugar out of your diet? That includes bread, pasta, fruit, bottled salad dressings… Just try it.

One highly recognized  alternative method requires drinking 16 freshly made vegetable juices a day. It must be made right before drinking. And then there’s the 5 coffee enemas a day. The only other food you get is organic potatoes.

First – who has time for all that? Second – Who can stick with this for more than a week?

I did drink Essiac tea for a month before starting chemo. I also do cannabis oil.

Did it work at all?

At first glance, it appears not. My CEA numbers went up. But the doctor said that once you start killing the cancer cells that number will go up.

I think it was CancerTutor. com where I read that you don’t want to kill off too many cells too quickly because of the toxic waste they leave behind.

It’s all so frustrating. There is no certainty. You always feel like you’re about to jump off a cliff. You can’t see what’s below. You do your best calculations and…You just jump.

Do your research and then do the best you can humanly do.

How about you? Have you or someone close to you survived cancer? Do you have any pearls of wisdom to offer?


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