Yes, you're right, it's better to avoid sugar for your health . Because it acidifies the body. If it is absolutely impossible to live without sugar, then you can first replace it with honey or stevia. This will be better for the body.
Great information Appletree, thanks for posting.
I have diabetes type 2 but still indulge the sweet tooth, just not excessively.
Personally I now try to stay away from any food or drink which have chemicals added. I feel my body has enough to cope with , with all the cancer meds I’m on. That is especially with regard to pretend sugars in reduced sugar drinks. However, it’s all very personal . There is an advice sheet out there somewhere on ditching chemicals . X
My consultant told me excess fat produces oestrogen in post-menopausal women therefore I am determined to lose my excess stone or so as well as curbing alcohol . More veg lots of chicken and fish etc .
But sugar itself is not the issue . The cake thing probably isn't great but it doesn't bother me as much as the head shaving to raise funds which I find really insensitive
Just to say, the evidence suggests that obesity increases the risk of cancer, but is not directly causal, otherwise, anyone who is overweight (or for that matter, who drinks a load of fizzy drinks) would get cancer, but this does not happen. Conversely, cancer also occurs in those who are young, fit & of healthy weight, although, of course, the incidence is lower. As ever, just getting older, is the major risk factor & we can’t do anything about that!
Obviously, a healthy lifestyle helps & is a good thing to do, as many of us do after a bc diagnosis.
It is totally inappropriate for mcmillan to promote the bake days. Obesity causes cancer sugar is one of the main causes of obesity it is also highly addictive. There is recent evidence to show that fizzy drinks directly cause cancer. The sugar industry is unfortunately very powerful
I must apologise. My post earlier in the year said Manuka must be 30% upwards That was incorrect, and it meant to say 15% and upwards.
Have been off radar a while. Hope everyone's well.
Thistle and Anniej - Yeh, Manuka honey. There's got to be something about it if Christies are recommending it. I started reading up on it, then got diverted. But one thing being recommended was to rub on your teeth, AFTER brushing, it having such a powerful antibacterial action, so that's fantastic about cold sores and other multiple benefits you've found, Anniej. An aside, I was interested to read an amusing Mail article that was exposing the poor quality of small jars of Manuka sold at Harrods for 56 pounds, and Sainsbury's came 2nd, with Harrods at 10. Thanks for the purchase tip Anniej though. I hope you're chemo is now all over - Finito and you're well recovered.
Thistle - Glad you liked the recipe. Sounds good with cherry toms and "booby" courgettes (won't need so long to cook as the rest). I enjoyed being transported away in your head to Greece (also your droll s.o.h. ). Used to love it, but switched to Italy in latter years. Unlike yourself, I'm NOT on hormone treatment, so my hot flushes are natural pain-in-the-backside ones. Wouldn't recommend you try without checking, but I've been trying Acetyl-L-Carnitine&Alpha Lipoic Acid the last month. It's very much helping with flushes, and boosting energy. I can understand your "jumpiness" about your node situation.
Keep well everyone, Delly xxx
Hi ladies, as well as the free Macmillan recipe booklet can I suggest the Royal Marsden recipe book, and also the Maggies centre recipe book. Both are full of good advice and recipes for before, during and after treatment, as well as dealing with nausea, loss of appetite etc. There is also lots of information that has helped me change my eating habits for the better. So far, every recipe I've used has been superb. Happy cooking. X
Hi Delly, I'm a great believer and user of Manuka honey. Nothing to do with sweetness but with what I believe are it's healing powers. I take a teaspoonful every morning. I've never had any mouth ulcers, vaginal thrush, splits on my fingers or feet throughout my chemo or rads. I dab it directly onto cold sores and they're gone within 24 hours. I can get the odd cold sore when my neutrophils drop - which is every cycle - as I'm on Letrozole and Palbociclib. I haven't had any colds, sore throats etc since I started this journey 22 months ago. The penny sales at the well known health store are great for stocking up. The higher the strength the better. Do not subject to heat in tea or on toast. X
Here are some tantalizing recipes on Macmillan, specifically designed for people with cancer. Each recipe gives advice on the treatment side effects it might help.
As regards vitamin and mineral supplements, I really would ask your Oncologist/Breast Care Nurse/GP, preferably all three of them, as to what they advise. I wouldn't buy anything over the counter without asking them first.
I am already prescribed Vitamin D for bone health by my GP on account of osteoporosis. This is likely to be especially beneficial now I am on Anastrozole. Blood tests some years ago showed I was severely Vit D deficient. I still have regular blood tests.
I am also given Vit B complex on prescription and also Folic Acid.
For some years now I have been given Glucosamine on prescription as there is some suggestion this can be good for osteoarthritis in the knees. More recent research calls some of the earlier findings into question, suggesting Glucosamine might not be beneficial, but my GP is still prepared to prescribe it for me as it does appear to help to reduce my knee pain.
If you need vitamins and supplements, you should be able to get them on prescription through your GP. It's as well not to buy them over the counter in Health Food stores, as there are no controls over the standard and content of such preparations. Pharmaceuticals in the UK are closely scrutinised and have to be licensed; there are no such controls over what are designated 'health foods'. So called 'Natural Remedies' can be dangerous on account of there being no controls. Most medications are derived from natural plants, including drugs that are highly poisonous.
Do get your doctor's/nurse's advice before buying anything yourself. A great many companies claiming to produce 'safe natural remedies for xxxxxx' are simply raking in money from trusting individuals who might be benefiting psychologically by placebo action, but not physiologically, and who could do themselves more good by spending their money on healthy foods they enjoy.
Essentially, we are being advised by the NHS to:
• Keep a sense of control by managing a broad and healthy diet which we enjoy, will give us satisfaction and alleviate boredom with its variety, whilst not getting bogged down by sources of misinformation, backed by commercial concerns with an axe to grind.
• Keep stress down by not relying heavily on Google which can lead us to sites full of misinformation, and make us neurotic about our health.
• Keep to advice from reliable sources, backed up by scientific research, specifically:
Breast Cancer Care
Cancer Research UK
which between them cover most concerns, provide reliable, evidence-based advice, and advise against using over-the-counter vitamin supplements and herbal medications without first getting clearance from your Oncologist/GP/Breast Care Nurse, or all three.
In addition to my extracts from and links to 'Cancer Research UK' advice on healthy eating, you might find the following Macmillan information useful and cheering.
Research shows that being overweight increases the risk of developing some types of cancer. There are many reasons why people are overweight, but an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are often factors.
How our diet affects the risk of developing cancer is complicated, and we still do not completely understand it. Research suggests that eating fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of certain cancers.
What we do know is that a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise helps us keep to a healthy weight. This can help reduce the risk of developing some cancers.
The main groups of nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, fats, fibre and fluids. A healthy, balanced diet gives you all the nutrients you need to keep your body working well. For most people, this includes:
Drinks should be mainly water or tea and coffee (without sugar). If you drink fizzy drinks or squashes, try to reduce the amount you drink and have the sugar-free types instead. Try to limit the amount of fruit juice you drink as well.
Having a healthy, balanced diet is one of the best choices you can make for your overall health. This includes thinking about what and how much you drink too. Many people find making the decision to follow a healthy, balanced diet helps give them back a sense of control. It can also help you feel that you are doing the best for your health.
Speaking for myself, trying to follow strict rules is too stressful and effectively takes away my own control. I end up breaking all the rules anyway.
Having a list pinned to the fridge of the most important food sources can be quite helpful, so I can maintain a broad picture in my mind of what I am eating from day to day, wihout having to plan in detail.
Ultimately, we can only reduce the risk of a return of cancer, we can't eliminate it. There are so many factors influencing our bodies, including the good old ageing process. Our bodies are made up of cells which keep replacing themselves. Faulty cells develop in ageing bodies; it's a little like producing a photocopy of a photocopy which is itself a copy of a photocopy.
There is only one certainty in life and that is ........ I hate to say this ........ death. We might as well enjoy life whilst we have it; that is surely only healthy.
Have to say a big thank you for such informative posts, I am currently investigating what supplements etc, and diet, will be of most benefit to me, (have just finished rads, no chemo as not beneficial I was told, but with 2 nodes being positive I’m jumpy about that). I’ve always taken supplements, but am now on Letrozole and not sure if I should be avoiding anything..
Delly, the Manuka Honey thing is interesting, on my coasts through this forum, (done a lot of coasting!) I’ve found many a mention of it, and a friend of mine is currently on chemo “tablets” after having a tumour removed from her upper bowel, and was bought a couple of jars by her daughters...(Those girls research stuff a lot, and bought her what she calls “Cows Udder Cream” 😄 for her hands and feet.. Udderly Smooth Cream I think, and she loves it.) ..She’s not sure yet of the benefits of the honey, - is finishing her second jar now..but feels it’s helped with less nausea etc. Was thinking of getting some myself, I’ve been going to Greece for a long time now, and the old folks there (usually very old indeed.) have this ritual of drinking native honey every morning in hot water, a spoonful or so.Their honey is very dark, almost black, depending on the area it comes from, and looks like Manuka. And let’s face it, the Greeks love their sweet stuff...their desserts make your teeth ache just to look at them...
Loved the Pan roasted Med veg recipe too, I was thinking of doing that with a few of my friend’s cherry toms thrown in, and it will be a good way of using up these weird round (almost boob-like 😳 ) courgettes she’s given me too !!
(And I absolutely love sprouts...but never tried them with choc or vodka - feel I’m missing out there...)
Any advice on vits and things to take would be appreciated, I’m through menopause at 64 but have had a few hot flushes with Letrozole, and do have painful knees, need to lose weight I know, I’m going to start again on the Chondroitin/Glucosamine, and might resort again to Rose hip extract, it’s expensive but pretty effective, if it’s ok for me to take... Also struggling with anxiety, low moods and meltdowns, like so many others on here, so hope feeling ‘sort of’ healthier (and counselling) will help there...🤞🤞🤞...
Mavit - I got into an interesting, in depth chat with an elderly couple (as I often do with strangers, and not that much older than myself !) when having a coffee in a local store, not long ago. It transpired that she had had cancer, and attended Christie's up here in S. Manchester for chemo, where they were extolling the newly found benefits of Maneuka honey for chemo patients, and so were highly recommending it to everyone. But . . it has to be strength 30% and above for it to be beneficial.
I haven't looked into what these particular benefits are, but I've just reminded myself to. Perhaps we could all research into it on here??
I'm guessing that one of them is that, as with grapes and grape juice, it's one of the purest forms of energy that your body can easily and immediately absorb, and is why grapes are excellent to give to ill or recovering patients.
Of course, it's a form of sugar, but a natural and unrefined one.
A downside is, that it's very expensive. I immediately went to buy some from Sainsburys, 30% was £16 for a jar. The higher the strength, the better apparently. But I then went to see a friend with a nasty cold, and gave it to her along with a bag of lemons (I know - so selfless!!). So I must get some more and look into it.
Lots of love to everyone, Doolally xxxxxxxx
The scientific view is that the claim that sugar feeds cancer is a myth. There is a great deal of seriously misleading information distributed on the Internet.
The most reliable sites for cancer information, as advised by my BCN and Oncologist, are:
Breast Cancer Care,
Cancer Research UK.
You might find this Cancer Research UK site cheering and very helpful:
Here is an extract.
Don’t believe the hype – 10 persistent cancer myths debunked
Myth 4: Cancer has a sweet tooth
Another idea we see a lot is that sugar apparently ‘feeds cancer cells’, suggesting that it should be completely banished from a patient’s diet.
This is an unhelpful oversimplification of a highly complex area that we’re only just starting to understand.
‘Sugar’ is a catch-all term. It refers to a range of molecules including simple sugars found in plants, glucose and fructose. The white stuff in the bowl on your table is called sucrose and is made from glucose and fructose stuck together. All sugars are carbohydrates, commonly known as carbs – molecules made from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Carbs – whether from cake or a carrot – get broken down in our digestive system to release glucose and fructose. These get absorbed into the bloodstream to provide energy for us to live.
All our cells, cancerous or not, use glucose for energy. Because cancer cells are usually growing very fast compared with healthy cells, they have a particularly high demand for this fuel. There’s also evidence that they use glucose and produce energy in a different way from healthy cells.
Researchers are working to understand the differences in energy usage in cancers compared with healthy cells, and trying to exploit them to develop better treatments (including the interesting but far from proven drug DCA). But all this doesn’t mean that sugar from cakes, sweets and other sugary foods specifically feeds cancer cells, as opposed to any other type of carbohydrate. Our body doesn’t pick and choose which cells get what fuel. It converts pretty much all the carbs we eat to glucose, fructose and other simple sugars, and they get taken up by tissues when they need energy.
While it’s very sensible to limit sugary foods as part of an overall healthy diet and to avoid putting on weight, that’s a far cry from saying that sugary foods specifically feed cancer cells.
Both the ‘acidic diet’ and ‘sugar feeds cancer’ myths distort sensible dietary advice – of course, nobody is saying that eating a healthy diet doesn’t matter when it comes to cancer. You can read about the scientific evidence on diet and cancer on our website.
But dietary advice must be based on nutritional and scientific fact. When it comes to offering diet tips to reduce cancer risk, research shows that the same boring healthy eating advice still holds true. Fruit, vegetables, fibre, white meat and fish are good. Too much fat, salt, sugar, red or processed meat and alcohol are less so.
Also, this post, “What should you eat while you’re being treated for cancer“, is packed with links to evidence-based advice from our CancerHelp UK website. And this post, from the Junkfood Science blog, explores the science behind sugar and cancer in more detail.
The general advice I've been given is eat a variety of foods, with a balance of fruit, vegetables and protein, fibre and some carbohydrate. Eat sensibly and don't overeat or starve yourself. Have some treats but either avoid alcohol or keep intake very low, and don't smoke. Keep an eye on your weight and remain within your body mass index ideal range. Take regular exercise and give yourself a variety of things to do during the day so you don't get bored and comfort eat.
Enjoy what you eat and eat what you enjoy, and don't worry about it.