Why a mastectomy when tumour gone?

Natasha I’m really worried by your posting. I am all for complementary therapies and like you I have completely changed my diet. I’ve cut out all dairy, sugar and artificial sweeteners, alcohol, red meat (and only occasional organic chicken), caffeine and greatly increased vegetables and fruit. I also have acupuncture. I also agree that both the surgeon and Oncologist would think this is a waste of time and nonsense. But like you I’ve lost a lot of weight and everyone has said how well I’m looking.
HOWEVER all of those changes have been in conjunction with surgery (double mastectomy and axillary node clearance one side), chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

I would urge you to look for research that shows any real evidence that only the changes you’ve made will keep you alive. The research evidence for current medical breast cancer treatment are well documented. I’ve looked at the stuff on the internet because believe me I’d love there to be something else. I can’t find anything that is conclusive at all (I do research for a living). There may be other stuff that works but it isn’t evidenced and how will you know this from other nonsense (people can make an awful lot of money selling cancer cures).

If you look at the books of Jane Plant or David Serban Schreiber for example both of them have also had conventional treatments as well as changing diet and lifestyle.

The problem with cancer is that you can feel very well until the later stages of it.

I am wondering why you think that surgery and chemo will kill you?

Elinda x

Hi Natasha, like elinda45 your post worrys me too.Of course its your decision to do what ever you feel is right for you,but dont you think that if curing cancer was as simple as changing your eating habbits and lifestyle that all cancer would be a thing of the past.These sites that claim these things are run by cranks who give false hope to people .I really,really hope that by this time next year you are not regreting your decision.You may feel well at the moment,I felt very well when I was diagnosed 2 years ago but am in no doubt that if I hadn’t had the treatment offered I would not be feeling so well now and may even be dead.

good luck to you. Mel xx


I was diagnosed both primary and then secondary (lymphatic system, spine and liver) in March this year. Have had 6 cycles of chemo (taxotere and carboplatin) and currenlty having herceptin, zoladex and letrozole. All with good results, tumour markers gone from over 240 to 18.6. Latest ct scan also showed tumour(s) in breast shrinking. From diagnosis I have been dairy free, no red meat and juice fruit and veg everyday to which I add manuka honey, flaxseed and a selection of herbs and spices. At last few meetings with Onocologist the idea of surgery/radiotherapy of the breast has been thrown up for discussion. I am really not sure which way to go with this. Any comments/advice would be gratefully received.



cancer treatments have been tested scientifically and whilst they don’t work for all women equally well, there is enough known about them through experimenting i.e. testing the treatment against the next best treatment to know that they work better than the alternative.

Changing your diet hasn’t been proved to be of benefit for breast cancer. The best treatment is surgery. If you have the kind of cancer that grows in the presence of oestrogen tamoxifen has been found to halve the risk of recurrence and of death

So if you have a high risk of recurrence and death it’s definitely the route I would go.

If you have low grade cancer which hasn’t gone to the lymph nodes, with a small tumour it’s more difficult to know what to do but knowledge is power. Going down the alternative route is no better than doing nothing in my view.


Hi Snoogle

There was an article about recent research in The Times recently - here is the online link. This might be helpful and something to discuss with your Onc.


good wishes
Elinda x


I’m another who is concerned by your post. You have every right to your own views - and to express them on here. And also to refuse treatment; it’s a free country, after all.

Whilst I’m all in favour of healthy eating (altho’ my diet is the unexciting lots-of-fruit-and-veg-plus-everything-else-in-moderation regime - we ARE omnivores, after all), I think it is first of all unwise to pin all your hopes, if any, on what you eat.

Breast cancer is a puzzle with, as yet, few hard and fast answers. I think it is generally agreed that diet may have a part to play in the development of the disease, I haven’t heard a great deal about how much it influences recurrence (but I’m willing to be informed) or controls an existing tumour. If treating bc were as simple as having, or adopting, the eating habits you have taken up, then this would already be clear, I feel.

There are plenty of non-smoking, non-drinking vegans and vegetarians with bc. To focus solely on diet is wrong. There are environmental and genetic issues to take into account as well, if not others.

If you were only diagnosed in August of this, I’m not surprised you still feel well. That’s what? 15 or 16 weeks, no time at all.

Yes, the treatments for bc are brutal. (And, to return to the main theme of this thread, I think a second opinion might be a good idea). But cancer is fickle, sometimes dormant for ages, insidious. These sledgehammer remedies are are all we currently have.

As for dying from chemotherapy. A few people do. Most live longer because they’ve had it. Ditto surgery - even more so, in fact.

You talk of enduring four biopsies, MRI, ultrasound and mammograms. I am very much afraid that you may soon be enduring far worse given the path you have taken.

By all means support you body as best can. But do it with the help of conventional medecine, not in defiance of it.

Please don’t give too much credence to miracle cures on the internet. If there’s one place you might expect to find them, it’s on a site like this and I don’t see any.

X to all


Hi Elinda, thanks for the link. This has been discussed already. My onc brought up the study, but exercised caution becuase this like many other studies are retrospective and distorted by the fact that it is usually people who are resonding better who are offered such surgery in the first place. The more I think about it the more I feel I should go ahead, but I worry about living without my breasts. They are part of who I am. I had to have major facial corrective surgery a some years ago and it took me a long time to come to terms with my face looking different, so I do have some experience to draw from. I think I need to have more information from my oncologist on the options available, radiotherapy and/or surgery and in which order, etc. Will be seeing him again on 1st December.

In response to the replies to Natasha. She is allowed to have her own views, we all have to deal with this in our own way. If I decided not to have surgery, I would hope that no one would think less of me for it. HOwever, that being said, noone can say what is the best path to take. I believe that the changes to my diet and lifestyle are complementary to the treatment; chemo, drugs, etc. and that niether would be as successful without the other. But that view may not work for others and I accept that.


Hi Snoogle

Good to see your Onc is up to date with all the research and can tell you about it in more detail. I understand your reticence about surgery particularly after what you’ve been through. Hopefully once you’ve discussed further with your Onc you’ll feel clearer about a decision.

I totally agree that it is Natasha’s body and life and up to her. I wouldn’t think less of anyone for any decisions they make about their body. The difficulty is on what to base our decision making.
It is true that there are issues about conventional medicine, drug companies etc but it doesn’t mean it’s all bad and ineffective. Unfortunately there is virtually no information/research about people who have gone down a non-conventional route and survived apart from largely anecdotal information.

I wish there was more - it would be wonderful. I would also love to see those involved in conventional medicine to be a bit more open-minded about some things at least so we don’t feel foolish if we want to discuss them.

I would like to hope that anyone who doesn’t go down the conventional route for treatment may consider being monitered at least to check the cancer isn’t getting bigger etc.

take care
Elinda x