Fasting and chemo

I’m due to start TCPH treatment next Wednesday and oncologist has warned it will make me feel shi**! (His words ) 

has anyone got any experience of fasting during chemo? 



I’ve no experience of fasting but my weight dropped to 6st 4lbs during chemo and it was very problematic. I did feel like s*** but not everyone does. We all respond differently to treatment so I’m surprised your oncologist said you will feel bad. I would ask your team what they’d advise. Certainly, fasting should be medically supervised.

The process of chemo is prepared for all the worst potential side effects. The first part of the treatment involves an IV anti-emetic, antihistamine and steroid which reduces potential immediate side effects. The pharmacy gives you a goody bag of everything you might need, like anti-emetics, laxatives, creams. Consequently, you might never experience most of the side effects. True, fatigue can hit hard but, for many women, it’s only a few days and a minor inconvenience. Personally, I was knocked for six and useless for the duration -but that’s just me. If there’s solid evidence that fasting works (not anecdotal, not from a search engine - avoid Google, it doesn’t understand the emotional aspects of breast cancer) go for it but do it in conjunction with your team.

I wish you all the best in your treatment, Jan x

I’m doing fortnightly EC and have been using prolon fast mimicking diet which is marketed in the US as chemolieve. There are animal studies showing efficacy of FMD in decreasing side effects and improving tumour response. There is a recent study which suggested FMD may prevent need for dexamethasone, but there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove efficacy the data did suggest further research required and promising. FMD is £190 so not cheap there are probably DIY options online but not scientifically trialled ones. The other suggestion is 48 hours of pure fasting but this could be adverse for people who are low weight, struggling with bone marrow supression or have underlying conditions like diabetes. 

I did 4 days including day of first cycle, and 3 days including day of 2nd cycle. I had a week of feeling rough but functional and then a week of normality including full return to normal sport. It’s hard to know if this was due to FMD or not, but I feel now I need to continue.  When I switch to weekly PC I’m not sure how to do it, perhaps try 36 hours of fasting or 2 days of FMD.

I am hoping to decrease my dex for next EC cycle as I have terrible insomnia on it. But my understanding is that on PC they insist on dex to prevent hypersensitivity reactions. 

Most important thing is to check with your oncology team if they known about fasting and if it is suitable to you as an individual

good luck!