Fasting whilst on weekly Taxol x 12?

Hello! I am starting chemo in 10 days and I have been reading about the benefits of a 72 hour fast to: lessen side effects, make cancer cells more vulnerable to the chemo whilst protecting the healthy cells. I know it can be quite controversial and there have been limited clinical studies but there has been a lot of discussion around this for many years now… As I’m on a weekly regime, it’s not sustainable to fast 3 days out of every 7 but maybe for the day before and the day of chemo? What are your thoughts please? I am planning on asking at my next appointment but my oncologist had never heard of anyone doing this… which surprised me! Any general help appreciated.

Hi, Sarahc. I have been reading up on fasting-mimicking-diets for chemo too. I stuck to a low protein, low fat diet the day before and the day of chemo. My onco team didn’t endorse it but they didn’t dismiss it either. The only major side effect I experienced was constipation (and how!) but maybe I wasn’t drinking enough water? I’m interested to see what you think🤔

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Sounds good. Is the low protein/fat important or is it the calories? Do you eat carbs? Hard to know what to do for the best isnt it? So many questions!

Hi craicin-up, I’m on 4xEC 4xPaclitaxel 2 weekly. Had 2 EC so far (3rd today) I did the same as you with diet and same as you had no real side effects except terrible constipation! Managed to keep that under control on second cycle with meds from nurses. Fingers crossed it works again today :crossed_fingers: :grinning:

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Hello sarahc_123

Thank you for posting.

It’s understandable that you have questions prior to starting chemotherapy.

Many people want to find out more about the benefits of good nutrition during treatment and there has been a lot of research interest in this subject. As @craicin-up and @mojo2 say, some people choose to try different approaches.

There have been limited trials into fasting when receiving chemotherapy. The studies include small numbers of patients and multiple variables which make results difficult to interpret. You may find it helpful to read this recent [systematic review paper](Therapeutic Fasting in Reducing Chemotherapy Side Effects in Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis - PMC which gives an overview of the research.

The best person to discuss this further with would be your oncologist.

You may find our information on diet during breast cancer treatments helpful and as @mojo2 says it is important to discuss any side effects with your team who can offer medicines and other approaches to prevent or reduce them.

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events.

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