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Has anyone heard about the Keto diet helping to fight tumours?

KylieGKylieG Member Posts: 57
edited November 2019 in Health and wellbeing
Googling and reading today I came across information that a Ketogenic diet has been clinically proven to reduce squamous cell carcinomas- I don't think breast cancers are those, but is there any information on a Keto diet helping fight breast cancer?  Anyone tried it?


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,264
    My understanding is that while there has been some work with a ketogenic diet in relation to brain cancer, it’s as yet inconclusive. As is a ketogenic diet and losing weight! This all gets a bit close to Paleo Pete for my taste. I understand the desire to do anything that will help, but personally I am quite keen on some clear evidence. The standard at the moment seems to be the tried and true - a balanced diet, lots of vegetables, fish, some fruit and dairy, some carbs, nuts, lighter on meat, light on alcohol and sugar. Best wishes. 
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,264
    PS also tried and true, beware of Dr Google. Anyone can put anything on the internet. 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,955
    Hi Kylie. My understanding is the only connection between food and breast cancer is that if you are overweight it increases your risk. And I think that's because fat cells produce estrogen and as 70% of breast tumours are ER+ being overweight provides a cancer with a steady supply of food.

    At a basic level, all food we put into our body is broken down to glucose, and all our cells use that to grow. Doesn't matter if it's a chocolate eclair or a celery stick, it all ends up as glucose.

    I'm open to hard evidence, so am happy to learn otherwise. If doing a particular diet makes you happy, go for it, but at this stage I wouldn't put too much tumour fighting store in any diet. K xox
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,374
    Agree with others be careful of Google as it is sometimes an opinion from a user not a professional!
    BCNA website has information on diet and exercise

  • CRMCRM MelbourneMember Posts: 82
    Thanks @Afraser and @kmakm for your logic.  I've developed major post treatment food anxiety, which I am sure a lot of people do after any serious illness. I'm obsessive/ neurotic about what my partner and I eat and end up in tears if I think I've eaten something 'bad' for me. I'm completely aware of how irrational my thinking is at the moment... just need to work on it!
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,264
    Take it slowly! If the worst you ever do is worry about what your food might  be doing to you, you are doing well! Even without bc, the food laws are bizarre. Eggs or not? Dairy is good for you or not? Variety has the benefit of limiting anything that next week might be discovered to be a Bad Thing. Having lost my taste buds during Taxol, I am still grateful for flavours I enjoy. A little of what you fancy is not a bad thing either. As you know, none of this is likely to have ‘caused’ anything, just as, sadly, it’s unlikely to cure anything. Best wishes.
  • Anne65Anne65 Member Posts: 371
    @KylieG @CRM The topic of "What foods can help fight cancer" is something most of us ponder during & after treatment. I am not overweight & am a fitness freak. I am a vegetarian & maintain a well balanced diet & am very interested in health & nutrition generally. After the dust had settled following my treatment, i too, went looking for books on the "magic" foods to eat following cancer. I did find brochures & info on the BCNA website, Cancer Council SA website & also material in the medical waiting rooms which i found very helpful & I knew these sources would be correct.
    A couple of months after my treatment, I was invited by Cancer Council SA to participate in a Healthy Living After Cancer programme that ran for around 12 months. It was done over the phone & run by Cancer Council SA in conjunction with the University of Queensland so I knew the info & advice would be correct & genuine. One section of this course focused on food & i remember asking the consultant "Are there any foods you can eat that will help you fight cancer or stop it coming back?" & she said NO. The recommendation: A healthy diet with more fruit, veggies & wholegrain was best & also a reduction in fat & sugar intake. Limit portion sizes & make healthy food choices. Another thing we can do for ourselves which is proven, is exercise & limit stress which go hand in hand.
    Try not to obsess over it & as long as you follow normal healthy eating & exercise, you will do the best you can for your body!! Good luck xx
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,406
    No diet specifically targets cancer. ..apparently keto cures everything if you read the claims.

    However. ..weight loss of 10% or maintenance if thin and exercise have shown a reduce recurrence.  
    So if you like the keto diet...I suppose try it.

    As with it all...it needs to be sustainable and something you can tolerate.

    Michael mosley has some great researched based diets for weight loss if you would like scientifically proven diets that benefit your health overall. 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,955
    @CRM It's an absolute minefield isn't it? I have problems (I suspect bigger than I think) round chastising myself for eating 'bad' food. On some days even one spoonful of ice cream or a single biscuit will start a torrent of internal abuse and I am overwhelmed with feelings of failure. I consider myself a rational sensible person! Yet my relationship with food is so often twisted. Somehow along the way it all went wrong.

    I'm trying to be kind to myself, straighten out those thoughts and make healthy choices. I've got 20kgs to lose and I really don't want to be worrying about this for the rest of my life. I hope you make some headway in rebalancing your relationship with food. Big hug lovely, K xox
  • KylieGKylieG Member Posts: 57
    @kmakm today I found out I have to start with chemo.  I went to the health food store and they have all kinds of interesting supplements that look like they would be good for cancer.  But then I think I saw something on my form that I should check before taking herbs.  Does anyone take any herbal remedies? in particular I was thinking of getting this one: http://https//www.medicinenet.com/methylsulfonylmethane_msm-oral/article.htm#what_is_msm_methylsulfonylmethane__and_how_does_it_work_mechanism_of_action

  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,725
    @KylieG My arthritis tablets have MSM, Glucosamine and Chondroitin. The Onco knew I was taking them and had no problems with it. The problem is, chemo interferes with the effect of a lot of other drugs, natural or not. I had a lovely all natural regime happening prior to BC and chemo. All of my treatments are now over but my body does not respond in the same way so I am having to start all over again with finding out what works specifically for me. Trial and error. It’s annoying but worth it.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,264
    Try the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre site to check out herbal interactions - mskcc.com. 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,374

    If you read through this link (thread on topic) it will give you the direct access to  mskcc

  • KylieGKylieG Member Posts: 57
    Thanks Iser, that link basically says not to take ANY herbs during chemo.  I might ask the oncologist about MSM though because while researching online I read a few studies that said doctors are giving it alongside chemo.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,955
    @KylieG I get the impression that a lot of oncologists won't countenance any kind of herbal supplements, but there are some who work with allied health. Just a couple of days ago I saw an Instagram post about all the supplements a woman in WA is taking during chemo.

    This is not to say that you should take these! Obviously you need to check with your doctors, but it's clear it can be done.

    This is the About Herbs search link:


    This website is recommended by BCNA and other professional organisations.

    How are you feeling about starting chemo? Big hug lovely, K xox
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