Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Fasting and chemotherapy

My mother-in-law who lives in Switzerland told me today that fasting before chemo and the day after chemo is becoming a very common practice there and other places in Europe.

I have no opinion on this myself, just wondering if anyone here has experience with this. Reasearch has be done on it, here's one of many articles on the subject:

osher.ucsf.edu/patient-care...

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I fasted for almost 2 days before and the day of chemo but ate that afternoon or early evening... Because at that point I was starving! I had almost no nausea.

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I have been doing the same with the same results. It is my understanding that the fasting places healthy cells in a protective, non-growth mode that makes it less likely that they will be impacted by a chemical agent that is designed to attack the fastest growing cells like cancer cells.

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My sister in law who is an oncologist (gynaecology) recommended that I fast for 3 days (2 days before and day of) in conjunction with chemo. I asked my MO about this, and he said that there is no evidence to support this. But nor did he try to dissuade me from doing it, and he is happy for me to fast as long as it doesn't cause any issues..

So after 4 rounds of chemo I am happy with results. Minimal side effects (my beard has fallen out but I still have hair on head), no nausea, no fatigue. And good results - PSA down from 47 to 3.6 after 3rd round.

For my 4th round I pushed myself one day extra. I fasted for 3 days before, and day of, chemo. I walked for about 12 km after chemo so did not suffer any ill effects from lack of food, or from chemo.

I dont have a control group so it is impossible to say that results would be different if I didnt fast. But, since results are so good, I will stick to the plan.

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You are very strong indeed. Good work !

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It's pretty well documented that a 3-day fast significantly boosts the immune system. It also reduces many of the toxicities of chemotherapy. You can find multiple papers on pubmed. I've learned that most people don't like to read medical papers, so here's a link to an article summarizing some recent research:

telegraph.co.uk/science/201...

"Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

"Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy."

...

"Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy.

" "While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy," said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital."

There are doctors who are skeptical, but that's OK, that is how science works.

A 3-day fast is unlikely to hurt you. I discussed it with my doctors, as usual some were supportive and some were dismissive. But none of them offered any argument or evidence that it would hurt me.

Reducing chemo toxicities is a major benefit. Many chemo patients experience significant nausea and lack of appetite, so fasting isn't so great a sacrifice. If fasting reduces the nausea and after 3 days you are good and hungry despite the chemo, then fasting gets you back on good nutrition that much sooner, another possible benefit.

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Thanks, I did find there has been some research going on. Apparently, they are doing this quite extensively in Europe.

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I watched a video “ Fast & Live” and I fasted 2out Of 5 per wk during radiation .I bought the theory that in a fast all cells are weakened and the bad cells can be eliminated more efficiently in that weakened state. I would do it again if I’m faced with chemo.

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The second part says that the hardest work that your body performs is digestion .By not eating you are saving that energy normally spent on digestion. First things dogs do when they’re sick is to lay down and not eat until the illness passes.

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