Fasting for improved health

Brooke3006 Member Posts: 3
edited January 2019 in Health and wellbeing
Hi everyone,

im new here and have a fairly recent stage 4 bc diagnosis. I’ve heard 72-hour water only fasts can be efficient to kill tumor cells and help protect your healthy cells from chemo. 

Does anyone here have experience with this? I’m also open to hearing the view from a BCNA staffer or nurse. 

My bc nurse didn’t think it was a fantastic idea but admitted she doesn’t know much in the area of fasting for health. 



  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,803
    edited December 2018
    Welcome to the forum @Brooke3006 - ask away on any question!  Tell us a bit more about yourself!  Have you had surgery yet?

    Ummm, I'd be erring on the side of 'caution' with this one, methinks.

    Out of interest - Who recommended this to you?   Once diagnosed, we hear many 'wonderful cure stories' from friends and acquaintances ..... most of which are rubbish!  :( 

    Drinking plenty of water AFTER chemo does help 'wash it out of your system' .... but care still needs to be taken - as drinking too much water can actually flush essential water soluble minerals that are required for the body to work properly.  
  • Blossom1961
    Blossom1961 Member Posts: 2,430
    Hi @Brooke3006 Sorry I like my food too much to help here. I do know that chemo made me so hungry My hands would shake as I was preparing my meal. I guess I am just recommending you to be flexible if necessary so that you don’t beat yourself up if you end up breaking the fast, should you decide to go ahead with it.
  • SoldierCrab
    SoldierCrab Member Posts: 3,449
    you might like to add some information here
  • Brooke3006
    Brooke3006 Member Posts: 3
    @arpie Hi and thanks for the warm welcome! 

    To answer your query, I had surgery in 2016 when I was stage 3 bc. Which cleared with all the treatment (chemo, surg, radio). Recent diagnosis in Oct was stage 4 mbc in lymph and lungs. 

    My boyfriend recommends the 72 hour fast, he has done a few (up to 5 days) and seen great improvements in health. However he’s not a chronically ill female undergoing weekly chemo (targeted & non-target) while working almost full time  so I’m not sure it’s appropriate for me to do this. Any advice is appreciated, thanks :) 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,803
    That's a bugger of a diagnosis, @Brooke3006 - I am so sorry to hear this.  My thoughts are with you as you got thru this next lot of treatment.

    Gosh, if you are working whilst undergoing Chemo, I don't think it would be a good idea, to be honest if you are not taking food to sustain you.   Water has absolutely no  nutrition - other than to keep you hydrated. 

    Before trying this cleansing diet - speak with your medical team - at least your GP, but specifically your oncologist & others in your support team.

    I'm with @Blossom1961 on this one - I just enjoy my food too much!   ;) 

    Take care xx
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,392
    There are some reports that fast mimicking diets (FMD) may be helpful, as in at least not harmful.  This is NOT a 72 hour water only fast but more like the 2:5 diets where you fast for a limited number of hours 2 days out of 7. Mind you what I have read implies that FMD is good for all sorts of things, as this sort of limited fasting tricks the body into using reserves but without actually reducing anything too critical. However, I’d be discussing it with your oncologist first, if he/she can see no harm then an FMD may be worth a go. You are clearly determined and wanting to get all possible benefits, very best wishes with your treatment.
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,606
    Sorry to read your diagnosis.  I can understand the well meaning behind the suggestions of diet et cetera 
    So important to discuss everything with your medical team.
    Sometimes supplements or certain foods  et cetera can play havoc  with treatment. 
    Take care and best wishes 
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    Intermittent fasting....where you do consume 500 cals 2 days a week (rather than just water) might be okay but I don't believe any of it useful for fighting cancer. You would  need to ask yourself if it's sustainable or will it increase fatigue and ability to have quality of life on treatment. Please discuss  pros and cons with your oncologist. 
  • AllyJay
    AllyJay Member Posts: 955
    For me, the whole dichotomy of what's good and what's bad for the goodies and the baddies, is a whole big mind blow.  We in this most wundebar club have in our bodies (or had in our bodies) both good and bad cells. If such and such wonderfood is going to strengthen the good cells in order to fight the bad cells, how do we know that the tables won't be turned, and the bad f***ers munch all the wonder grub and fight the goodies with renewed vigour? As for this modern day fixation with X amount of water to be glugged by the litre...why? According to this theory that tea and coffee dehydrate you, and that if you drink 200 ml, you will pee that much and more and will thus dehydrate. To offset this condition, you have to drink blah blah amount of water over and above the water in said devil drinks, food, milk, cold drinks and so on. Well bugger me...I should be a stick of dry biltong (jerky) by now as I loathe water by itself. So far, I've lived in a state of chronic dehydration for 60 years. My unschooled mind says to me that one would need all the nutrition and hydration that your body can get to fight back. It makes no sense to me that a body under stress by being starved of all the nutrients it needs at times like this, would be better off. But, as I've said...I'm just a frumpy old housewife, not a specialist oncologist. At least I'm not a snake oil salesman, flogging false hope.
  • Kattykit
    Kattykit Member Posts: 252
    I just eat a well balanced healthy diet, with the occasional lapse into junk food and the odd bottle of cider, I am currently NEAD, stage 4 we just need to do the best we can.
  • Carissa_BCNA
    Carissa_BCNA Member Posts: 252
    Hi @Brooke3006, firstly welcome to the network. I'm glad you've found us. All the comments already left here are spot on. It is important to discuss this or any changes you are thinking about making to your diet with your oncologist. If you haven't already, you may like to sign up to the My Journey online tool, which includes information on wellbeing and healthy eating. We are currently closed over the Christmas/New Year period but if you would like to speak to a nurse you can contact Cancer Council on 13 11 20. They will reopen on Monday from 9am (AEDST).
  • Brooke3006
    Brooke3006 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks everyone for your input, I’ll follow up with the Nutritionist at hospital. 

    Thanks also for the warm welcome to the forum and your well wishes for treatment. Likewise I wish you all the very best and a healthy, positive year ahead :)