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Hello everyone! I was hoping you can help me with this as I am a bit confused. I have been trying to read up on nutrition and cancer. What I've been seeing is a lot of "no sugar" and "eat plant based". I know mostly it means that your diet should consist of its main ingredient being plant based and to avoid added sugars. I guess where I'm confused is, how to determine that fine line. I find it to be difficult to determine. I am so new to all of this and trying to be proactive with my health. I was never a big meat eater but I do eat a lot of take out as I'm not a big cook. I do love vegetables and so does my daughter. Do we still enjoy that takeout burger and fries with a double mocha frap from Starbucks or do we not indulge. So confused!

Sam

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HI Sam; one can write a book  just to answer your question. Supposing you are a lung cancer patient the answer depends on your weight, age, activity level, side effects, metabolism and other health issues you might have. The safest thing for you to do is to see a nutritional therapist that will run some tests and create a personal plan just for you. I wish you the Best.

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Hello Gary,

I apologize that I failed to mention that I am a new lung cancer patient just diagnosed a few weeks ago. I have an appointment to see a surgeon on Tuesday. Thank you for your input. I will be sure to ask the surgeon about seeing a nutritionist as I have become afraid to eat certain things for fear that it may be more harmful than beneficial.

Sam

I'm 50yrs old..

And I'm a girl.. LOL

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Hi, Sam,

I don't get all hung up on specifics like how much sugar. I think an overall healthy diet is good, but I've never seen anything credible to suggest having too much added sugar interferes in any way with cancer treatment. The only changes I've made are with supplements--my oncologist said there's some research to suggest that too much Vitamin C and fish oil are not great during treatment, so I cut those out. The supplements I take for a specific reason (Vitamin D and Calcium, recommended for my osteoporosis) and Lutein/Zeaxanthin for my eyes (recommended by my optometrist to help prevent macular degeneration, which is something I'm at high risk for) I'm continuing with--doc ok'd those. Doc also said multivitamin was fine (I don't always eat a perfectly balanced diet) but I eliminated anything else.

A nutritionist/dietician is a good addition to your team but I wouldn't stress too much about sugar. 

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Hi Sam .  I was tall and thin growing up .  My mother only had "sugar food"

on birthdays or special holidays. So  I never got in the habit of eating it but----

When I got lung cancer I got thinner and chemo made me nauseas ect. so----

They did not want me to loose any more weight  so-----------

they encouraged me to eat pudding , ice cream , jello, even candy to get some calories !

So  i got some weight back but also  developed some bad habits..  I am a 23 year survivor now !

It has taken me many years to drop my weight back to normal and brake those bad habits. 

I think that idea of seeing an nutritioniist is a great  idea.   Keep us posted.

Donna G

 

 

 

 

  

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It is a myth about sugar encouraging cancer growth. Of course, eating too much sugar is never a good idea but, as @LexieCatsays, don't stress out over it. If possible, choose organic foods.

When I was having chemo, I was instructed to stay away from salads and uncooked vegetables, as well as certain raw fruits without peels like berries, due to potential eColi contamination. Otherwise, there were no restrictions and the goal was to maintain or gain weight. I unfortunately failed that miserably due to painful radiation-induced esophagitis that thankfully has since resolved.

Seeing a nutritionist or dietician is a fine idea. But if you want to indulge, you'll get no judgment from me! 

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All of you are passing such excellent advice. I will for sure seek out a nutritionist. I will stop driving myself crazy with what I can and cannot eat and stop eating like I'm a hermit in hiding. It's good to know that I can come here for advice and words of encouragement! All of you are wonderful support! Thank you! :-)

 

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SamGirl50,

By all means indulge! I was diagnosed at 53. My wife, a dietitian and RN, told me it was impossible to think one could correct 53-years of poor diet choices while being treated for lung cancer. While in treatment, my appetite, normally robust, got on a bus and left. I started dropping weight and that is not good when chemicals are destroying a multitude of red and white blood cells, and the body needs enormous amounts of energy to replace them. So Martha started feeding the the only things with taste: chocolate mint ice cream with crushed Oreo cookies and cranberry juice!

I stopped losing weight and my blood counts recovered faster. 

Stay the course.

Tom

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Hi SamGirl.  

Everybody has given you some good info and advice. My naturopath advised against making any dietary changes while in active treatment. This makes sense to me. it's important to avoid losing weight while having chemo and/or radiation, or if you can't avoid it, minimize it. Two things it's important to get enough of are calories and protein. If you have chemo, you may have to eat whatever you can tolerate.

I had concurrent chemo and radiation for a non-lung cancer. The radiation affected my digestive system and there was very little I could eat that wouldn't cause nausea, vomiting and uncontrolled diarrhea. I didn't have a oncology nutritionist-- nobody suggested this to me. I had to figure out by trial and error with a lot of error. I lost 27 pounds in a couple of months. I could have used some help!  Getting on board now with a nutritionist will be especially helpful if you need to have chemo or radiation.

Bridget O

 

 

 

 

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Hi Sam,

We’re about the same age, it’s a humdinger of a question that I think boils down to your treatment, level of activity and what you can tolerate to maintain a healthy weight. 
 

I have one of those rare lung cancers, ALK, and did pay a nutritionist some serious money to clear the cob webs of conflicting advice especially sugar. 
 

Both the dietitian and the Integrative Oncologist put sugar and refined carbs on the top of the no-no list.  The guideline given was any serving to contain less than seven grams of sugar.  High fiber was important when looking at whole grain carbs.  
 

The team advised an anti-inflammatory diet designed by Andrew Weill MD

https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/anti-inflammatory-diet-pyramid/

Even with a pretty strict diet, curtesy of targeted therapy, I’ve gained 20 pounds.  A meddlesome but tolerable side effect.  
 

Nutritional counseling is expensive and worth very penny. 
 

Michelle

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