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Good day,

my mother was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer last year and have her right breast removed ( 1 month after discovery ), after the operation the doctor suggest her to undergo a chemotherapy but she was hesitant to do so because of its side effects (falling hair / affecting even healthy tissues / etc ). Then a her friend suggest her to go to a man ( known pastor that practice medicine , (im not really sure about it )). and This man suggest my mother to only eat very natural food and restricted her from eating any kind of food that has any kind of non-natural process in it.

Im just wondering if it really helps her, because she drops too much weight (Im not really sure if its because of the diet or side-effect of operation ),shes not even taking medicine for cough and any pain-reliever tablet (if she has tooth ache) and when we have a celebration in our house and prepare some food ( ice cream/cake/pasta/viand etc ) she look really pitiful because she is not allowed to eat any of it and we feel sad as well and its been a year now since.

Just want to hear if Its really worth it or it will just worsen her illnesses (because maybe shes missing the nutrients that this foods give e.g beef, pork) any kind of advice is really appreciated.

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The problem with these diets is not only do they not treat the cancer, but the false hope they offer prevents people (in this case, a woman with breast cancer) from receiving treatment that does reduce or potentially even eliminate the cancer.

Breast cancer is a common cancer in women, and it was politicized a couple of decades ago, meaning the discrepancies in funding for research (which was strongly geared towards studies of male diseases) was brought to light.

In 1993, a private philanthropist gave a generous grant to study the role of diet in preventing cancer progression because he/she believed that female cancer survivors should be able to make decisions without having “to rely on folklore, rumor and hearsay.

One of these studies was The Women's Healthy Eating and Living study.

Studies available then indicated that plant-derived foods contained anti-carcinogens. It was believed that a diet high in vegetables and fruit probably decreased breast cancer risk and that a diet high in total fat possibly increased risk. That belief was put to the test in the WHEL study.

The study subjects were previously treated early stage breast cancer. These women had been treated for breast cancer, that is, they were not only diagnosed, but had followed all the recommendations for breast cancer treatment at the time. This was a group for which there was high hope.

The diet was very intensive, very high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat. Blood tests confirmed that the women were indeed on the diet. Unfortunately, no difference in breast cancer recurrence or death from breast cancer was found.

In conclusion, during a mean 7.3-year follow-up, we found no evidence that adoption of a dietary pattern very high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat vs a 5-a-day fruit and vegetable diet prevents breast cancer recurrence or death among women with previously treated early stage breast cancer.

If hair loss is a major concern to your mother, please let her know that some patients have responded very favorably to "scalp cooling" during chemotherapy. The theory is that cooling the scalp causes vasoconstriction and thus less drug to the scalp. An early study is referenced below.

Influence of a Diet Very High in Vegetables, Fruit, and Fiber and Low in Fat on Prognosis Following Treatment for Breast Cancer: The Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Randomized Trial
Prevention of chemotherapy-induced hair loss by scalp cooling

  • Thank you very much for pointing that out sir/ma'am @anonggoodnurse.. Is also not taking any kind of medicine (for cought/fever/toothache) could help by any means? or its just another hearsay or myth.. – melvnberd Jul 9 '15 at 20:22
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    Another myth, I'm afraid. – anongoodnurse Jul 9 '15 at 20:29
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Cancer starts when the growth of a cell is no longer controlled by the body, but the cell replicates itself without control (due to changes in the DNA) (refer to http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancerbasics/what-is-cancer). Diet is known to alter the risk of developing cancer but cancer cannot be cured by a healthy diet.

In fact, the cancer needs a lot of nutrients for its growth. It is organized in a way that it actually gets more nutrients than the rest of the body (which is part of the illness). This quite often causes a weight loss in people suffering from cancer. Often enough the rest of the body does not get provided with enough nutrients, so other organs are impaired. It is strongly advised to provide the body with enough energy during illness.

Secondly, processed food in general is not considered bad for the body.

Now, your mother's case cannot be adressed individually here. You couldn't be able to provide sufficient information for that. But in general, I would strongly advise your mother to stop this diet. She is obviously suffering from malnutrition at the moment. This can actually worsen the prognosis. Please go and see a doctor and talk about other options.

  • Thanks for your opinion sir @Ihkavs.. yeah.. that is also what I thought about the diet, its not only affecting her physical condition but also emotionally. again thanks for the advice :) – melvnberd Jul 9 '15 at 12:22

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