I'm new and wondering about best diet/supplements

I'm 46 years old and a weeny bit grumpy that I've got this horrible disease especially so young. I've never done this whole forum thing but having read various posts I'm impressed by the positivity of you ladies so thought I'd give it a whirl!

I'm grade IIIa according to the nice doctor and once I've got over the total hysterectomy, ovaries, omentum and lymph node removal I will be starting chemo. My question for you ladies is about diet. I've read lots and there seems to be quite a bit about supplements eg shiitake mushrooms, green tea and many others. Also eliminating or reducing dairy. Has anyone gone down this route? Were you told not to or did they say it might affect chemo results?

I am determined that I'm not going to wallow in feeling sorry for myself and want to equip myself with the best arsenal to support my body to defeat this. Food, exercise and mental attitude! Any advice please?

31 Replies

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  • Hi Emsymits,

    Sorry you had to come and find us, but welcome to the group! It's a bit crap to be told you have OC, so we can all sympathise.

    I was 38 when I was diagnosed as stage 3, 39 now. I was told I was 'no evidence of disease' in October last year. I wasn't too much into supplements and diet when I was on chemo, although I ate carefully and made sensible choices, but since finishing I have become a lot more interested, although I am by no means at an extreme of anything. I do try to drink a bit of green tea (but I don't really enjoy it, so only have a cup a day, if that!), and I have certainly reduced dairy, but not cut it out completely. I've upped my vegetable intake, and eat veggie 2-3 days a week, eat more fish, and drastically reduced refined sugars. I take a couple of supplements, but again I'm not extreme. I have chosen to go down the 'off label' drug route however, which isn't really supported by the NHS so I have done it privately (although I did tell my oncologist I was doing it). It's all a bit of a minefield of different information out there!

    Sending you a big hug,

    Yosh x

  • Thanks so much for your reply! With the green tea I know what you mean. It is let's say an acquired taste. I've found green tea with mint just tastes of mint so I use that one. Also I've found powdered green tea great to add to a smoothie as you don't taste it!

    It's fantastic you have no evidence now. Really gives me hope I can also fight this. The general stats are scary so hearing it's possible is great.

    Keep healthy,

    E

    X

  • Hi Yosh, like your attitude towards healthy eating. I am alway interested in what others with oc are doing especially when it comes to food. Take care Cindyxx

  • Hiya

    Welcome to the group no one wants to join! One of the reasons it works is that people share their experience and wisdom- so you can ask pretty much anything.

    Personally- I was happy to eat whatever I fancied while on chemo ( whilst sticking to the rules). Probably should have eaten less sugar and fat on balance but generally ate reasonably healthy. Only now after a year of Avastin am I starting to think that I should look at my diet again. It is a long haul...so there's plenty of time to change your diet if you want to but I would avoid trying to take on something new whilst also coping with chemo xx

  • Hi luv,

    There is so much out there and I have spoken to my onc and I have decided a little of what you fancy, a good balanced diet,lots of fruit,vegetables and nuts,seeds,quinoa and anything else recommended to you specifically.

    It's all you can do, but a positive attitude and a determined to fight helps imendously,

    Love

    Carole xxx

  • Hello Emsymits

    The shock in finding out you have OC is very tough.

    But you'll develope strength to get through this journey, believe me.

    Don't do any silly diets or take supplements while your fighting cancer as they can work against your treatment. Always ask your oncologist about the things your thinking of taking.

    Eat what you fancy it's allowed while your in battle.

    I wish you well xxxx

  • Hi. I was diagnosed stage 3 at the age of 48, still here in my tenth year NED and working fulltime. I didnt/havent changed my diet at all, perhaps I shouldve done as I have put on a good few lbs! Having said that I continued to eat a healthy balanced diet. I hope your chemo goes well xx Kathy xx

  • Thanks so much. It is stories like yours that I need to hear. So much data refers to older patients so real people in the same age range beating it is fab! I shall think of you in what are bound to be some low moments.

    Thank you.

    Xx

  • So sorry you are joining us at your young age. I was 60 so in the more usual age group. Now 63

    It is a horrid shock to get the news.

    I wish I had known about this site at the beginning when it's hardest.

    The support is amazing and I read every day.

    Whilst on chemo I would just eat what I fancy. It affects your taste buds and stuff you loved you might hate and visa versus.

    All the detoxing stuff and supplements can work against the chemo I was told as the chemo has to be toxic to work on us. Not sure about this

    When on chemo a bit of what you fancy is a great treat and you deserve a treat I have a bad taste in my mouth and the tiniest sip of my hubby's beer in wonderful but naughty

    Ginger and lemon tea has been great for me. Great for any sickness you might have with the chemo. Hope you get through the treatment without problems

    Lots of love and virtual hugs

    Loretta x

  • Hi Emsymits,

    I'm a bit older than you at 51, albeit it's no less of a shock believe me. Especially as I had spent the previous 9 months pre-diagnosis on a health & fitness journey, had lost 15kg & was a regular gym-goer!

    I'm working with a nutritionist, who has been in touch with my oncologist. Have taken supplements since the start, & truthfully did not find the chemo as tough as I'd expected.

    I took Propax Gold, Aloe Vera Gel drink, Milk Thistle, & a mushroom supplement called Coriolus. We changed direction slightly for my surgery to something that would help aid my recovery. I would suggest, if interested find someone reputable to help you. Mine was recommended by my Homeopath friend (I'm also taking a remedy she recommended) and has beaten breast cancer & has written a book called 'Eat to outsmart Cancer'.

    I've not altered my diet hugely as I already eat fairly well, no processed food, no alcohol (my choice, (a) I don't fancy it, & (b) why would I voluntarily put more stress on my liver to rid the body of the toxins?) plenty of veg, & whilst I was told to try & limit dairy, I still enjoy a coffee with milk (my little treat!!) and cheese, but I do try and limit my sugar intake, only having the occasional treat.

    Everyone approaches this differently. I'm sure if you want to try this, there is plenty of info available.

    Best of luck

    Sarah xxx

  • Hi

    Thanks. I think your approach is very sensible and mirrors what I think I'm going to do (now I have a slightly calmer head on!). With hindsight I've eaten a lot of dairy and am a sugar addict. Living with 3 menfolk who are obsessive carnivores I've also probably eaten far too much red meat too!

    Interestingly having not had refined sugar for about 4 days now, my sugar free dark chocolate was yummy whereas before it had a slightly weird taste. I'm writing this whilst having a proper milky cuppa. 😉

    Thanks for the supplement info which I'll look at. I'm of the view that if I can bolster my body's nutrition all the better. The rather full on American book about beating cancer through food/supplements says you can lessen chemo symptoms thru nutrition but I'm going to not rush and may take nutrition advice like you have.

    Thanks

    E

    X

  • Welcome to our lovely friendly forum, none of us want to be here but we are so very glad we are. There will be somebody here who will have experience very similar to yours that will be able to be really specific to your diagnosis.

    I would suggest that while you have your surgery and chemo you just have a really good balanced diet, have a little of everything you fancy, your body is going to be very busy getting better so don't give it loads of sugar and fat to deal with too. Be kind to your liver it is going to be very busy. I was naughty and really overloaded on chocolate and then had to shift the weight, hindsight is marvellous. Just be sensible. I wouldn't suggest eliminating anything you normally have unless it starts to affect you. I'm no longer able to have bread and anything with yeast in it, so there goes the wine and bud too 😏, but small price to pay, green tea is fine but too much has been shown to be irritating to your tummy, so it's everything in moderation and whatever makes you feel good, (there's a song in there somewhere 😂)

    Just concentrate on getting better, sending you lots of welcoming and positivity hugs and encouraging love ❤xx Jane

  • I found the steroids made me put on weight and was starving. Then no appetite at all. I think on chemo a little of what you fancy does you good. I then joined slimming world. You have to be careful with supplements on chemo.

    I was your age when diagnosed am 50 now and felt put out when everyone told me it was an old persons disease. It actually isn't. Cancer has no bias.

    Best of luck with treatment

    LA

  • Hubby and I started to juice and I drank some very interesting colour combinations when I was first diagnosed, after surgery and during chemo! Then I realised I didn't enjoy them so stopped! I tried to just eat healthily , no supplements or anything.

    Take care

    Clare xx

  • Thank you so much ladies for replying so quickly! I luckily have a very supportive husband and family but until I got your replies I hadn't realised how much I needed to hear from other people with the disease. It is especially great to hear from others who are younger and who have managed to beat it.

    I had got a bit caught up with the inevitable Internet research and reading an American book about foods/supplements to beat cancer. I've decided to take a step back and just modify my diet rather than going extreme with supplements. It's interesting to hear others have limited dairy and excluded refined sugar (I'm a sugar addict) I'm going to tip the balance towards veggies and try organic. (Less toxins may help?) I've realised that life without cheese would be unbearable! That said I'm going to limit dairy as I ate I lot of it.

    I did see something useful about how to combat the finger and toe tingling from chemo so when I've found it I will post it in case others find it of use.

    Keep your info coming ladies!

    Hugs to all.

    E

    X

  • I think as someone said further up, you're in it for the long haul, so you don't need to make drastic changes overnight. I would have thought that it's hard to stick to radical changes enforced all in one go. For me, it's been a gradual process (also married to a carnivore!), but even he appreciates my meat-free efforts now. Doing it this way means it has become part of my routine, and other than Christmas, I've managed to stick to my changes.

    Good luck, and we are all here for you, whatever your question.

    xx

  • I am so heartened by all the replies suggesting moderation and balance. Since my own diagnosis in October (stage2a Mmmt/germ cell) I've had all kinds of people tell me to take chaga mushrooms or B17 (arsenic, anyone?).

    My oncologist said no, no, no. And I agree. Apparently, some of these untested supplements may actually protect the cancer cells from the chemo.

    As for the sugar and dairy, Ive given up neither. I eat a high protein, mostly whole foods diet, rich in fiber and have plenty of treats too.

  • Forgot to say that when I was first diagnosed I was given a recipe book called Rainbow Recipes by Chris Woollams and Barbara Cox. Full of healthy recipes and worth a look, put together for 'anti- cancer recipes.

  • I looked at this guy's website before but he was a bit full on. The cookbook sounds a good idea as I need to keep food interesting as otherwise I'm going to get bored. The one I have at the moment is good but seems to have chilli flakes in everything!😀

  • Oops wasn't him it was some other guy who rejected chemo and went hard core vegan. I've read so much I'm getting mixed up. Time to calm down and take stock rather than more research I think!

  • We've eaten some of the recipes which were delicious and quite straightforward including a fab broccoli soup however now I'm on a low fibre/low residue that's out of the window!!!

    Good to try and have a variety of foods

    Clare 👍🏻

  • Forgot to say I've ordered the rainbow book. Thanks for the tip.

    Xx

  • I also picked up a free MacMillan recipe book from my Chemo Unit which gives more options x

  • Hi and welcome, you're allowed to feel even a bit more than a tiny bit grumpy, it is a horrible shock getting this diagnosis!

    I'm 51 now and was diagnosed almost 3 years ago. Unfortunately I have had recurrences but am still getting on with life! I did cut out pretty much all dairy and used almond milk for quite a while, which wasn't too bad. I also cut down on red meat. I must admit since my recurrences I have tended not to worry about having meat and dairy so much! However I have continued to try and eat more fruit and veg and use organic as much as possible. I think I may have read the same American book! It is a bit extreme I think, and with the supplements on chemo I thought it sounded as if your doctor would have to be fully on board with it and know which ones were safe and which weren't and in the Uk most oncologists mine included don't hold with supplements, especially while on chemo. So it is difficult unless you can find a qualified nutritionist or doctor with a proven reputation with supplements for cancer.

    The only thing my doctor did recommend whilst on carboplatin was a liquid iron tonic which I've now forgotten the name of - to help keep the red blood cell count up as this can be hit hard by chemo and can cause delays in treatment if too low.this did also have some vitamins in it. Floradix, that was it! But always check with your oncologist before taking anything.

    Hope you are getting over the op, gently does it. Rest as much as you need and do gentle walks to regain strength. Hope the chemo journey will go smoothly. It's not easy but it is nowhere near as bad as I feared at first.

    Best wishes

    Madeline xx

  • Thanks. I've just got a bottle of Floradix so very useful to know. As I had to have blood transfusion after the op I thought that would be a good way pre chemo to get my red blood cells back up. I'll definitely ask my onc about during chemo too. Xx

  • Hello E, so sorry you have had to join us all but this is the best place to come! I am 57 diagnosed Oct 1916 Stage 111b currently on Cycle no 4 of 8 IV/IP Cisplatin and Paclitaxel. I have done a total diet change since disease suspected, all organic fruits and veg (as much as possible) wash all fresh produce in vinegar water for 10 mins, free range chicken and lots of fish, no sugar, dairy or alcohol but if I want allow myself a small treat on special occasions. I drink fish grated ginger in hot water as my tea and honestly, after losing 10 kgs which I feel sure is diet not disease related, my skin has never looked better, the onc nurses say I am smashing the chemo and I have relatively few side effects (long may that continue!!). I also have weekly acupuncture and between cycles take some herbs to boost immune system and digestive system. Although this is not for everyone, I have found it easy and feel so good despite everything else going on. Good luck with whatever you decide and very best wishes for the next part of your journey. Take care and stay strong! x x

  • Thanks for letting me know your experience. In a panicky moment last night I was wondering if altering my diet pre chemo might make it less effective. I need to stop looking at research docs on the Internet as managed to scare myself last night and had a bit of a wobble. Interesting that you have ginger as hubby who has also been researching came home with ginger and ground linseed last night as he read I need those. I'm also going as organic as possible although made the mistake of letting hubby buy the organic chicken for Sunday's roast and he nearly fainted at the cost! Apparently I'm worth it though! 😀

    Off to make my superfood smoothie!

  • Haha!! The good thing is that he still bought it😀 and the ginger and linseed were good buy too. Stay strong and keep that humour and sometimes it's good to walk away from that research!! This forum has been my best research site, the ladies are amazing. Good luck with everything. X

  • Hi there. Prior to diagnosis, I was so healthy. We'd always eaten fairly well - both cook & both interested in eating fairly well - but never pedantic about anything. No diets, no supplements. I also ate lots of fruit. It was a shock to be diagnosed. When on chemo, my onc said to eat whatever you are able to, as said above, a lot of food doesn't taste the same and so you have to work out what you can eat. I've been on this OC treadmill for a bit over 5 years now. I don't bother so much with the fruit now - well it turned out not to be what was keeping me so healthy (I'd thought it was) but I do still have fruit every day. The Mediterranean diet is supposed to be the healthiest - it always just seems good sense. Here's a quote from I forget who : eat food, not too much, mainly plant-based.

    Good luck. Pauline

  • Hi Emy,

    I have read your post and was looking for same advice myself.While going through different msgs I came across one msg from a lady don't remember the name about Budwig diet.Can you tell me who was she please just want to learn about that.

    Thanks a lot

    Shabs

  • Hi. I hadn't heard of that one but have just found a load of info on cancertutor.com. Maybe worth a read?

    E

    X

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