Ever since reading posts here about the Budwig Protocol and elsewhere about the favourable effects of Flaxseed on hens with ovarian cancer (!) I have been toying with the idea of taking it post chemo. However, having also read that flaxseed contains phytoestrogens, as does soy, this is not thought to be a good thing to take when you have OVCA. Even my oncologist, who is very much a take what ever you like in moderation person, did make a point of mentioning soy. Does anybody have any views/knowledge about this?


30 Replies

  • Hi Monique,

    I really woudn't take anything without first discussing it with your oncologist..

    Best wishes x G x :-)

  • Hi Gwyn

    Agree - unfortunately my Oncologist is very vague on anything to do with diet/supplements!

  • Dear Monique, nteresting you've been warned against taking soy. The Anti-Cancer Diet book lists this is a good food so I've added a repertoire of tasty Chinese dishes to my regular menus. I've also heard good things about Flaxseed mixed with cottage cheese and eaten in large quantities - i.e. Budwig. I say try whatever you think will help because it will make you feel better to be doing something positive.

    Friends and specialists say there is no way of knowing how this disease will progress in any of us. It can do no harm to be absolutely determined to survive and to keep yourself as fit as you can by eating a good range of food, taking lots of exercise, being conscious of the healing power of lungfuls of good clean air, and cherishing whatever makes you happy and contented.

    Flaxseed or not, I wish you well. Let us know what you think works for you.

    Love Annie xx

  • Dear Annie

    I think that the concern with Soy and Flaxseed is to do with estrogen sensitive cancers, so I am a bit cautious! I will run through it with my Oncologist again and see what she has to say. Being determined to survive seems a very healthy (though for me sometimes difficult) standpoint and lungfuls of good clean air sound delicious. Four more weeks of chemo and then I shall start thinking about a recuperative break somewhere that can provide just that.


  • Dear Monique,

    I was worried about you when I saw you'd posted 3 hours ago, then took a look at your profile and see you live in Singapore. I'm really sorry now that I mentioned good clean air. It's something we take for granted here. My friend demonstrated Hatha Yoga. It's not really for me as I'm far too busy rushing round but I can see the sense of it.

    It sounds as though you're really knowledgeable about diet and different forms of cancer. I didn't know about oestrogen sensitive cancers. Is this related to the BRAC1 and 2 type cancers? I'm adding to my list of questions for the oncologist next time I have a check-up.

    My oncologist, like Gwyns', is very blase about diet. Seems pretty basic to me that we are what we eat.

    Hope the remainder of your treatment goes well and that you are soon out in the fresh air enjoying a well-deserved break.

    xxx Annie

  • Hi Annie,

    I think you'll find Singapore as a very high level of fresh air, also good clean water system as well, being a very rich country they are very inovative in improving their environment I would think Monique is better off there than here.. LOL love x G x :-)

  • I must admit I didn't get down as far as Singapore when I visited Malaysia. It was the climate that I found difficult to cope with - very hot and muggy - but then I was in Penang and along the coast there. It wasn't quite like the bracing British coastline.

    I think in terms of treatment from what I hear we would be better off anywhere than in the UK - though that does seem to depend on which bit one lives in!

    xxxx Annie

  • Hi Annie,

    Yes I think you are right we are better of elsewhere for treatment... It would be hot and sticky for exercise.. What's that ? I ask myself haha.. exercise?? sorry I got the wrong end of the stick LOL ..I didn't mean to sound as if I know more...quite the opposite... I am not well travelled and certainly won't be now..love x G x :-) :-)

  • Hi Gwyn, I'm really glad you did mention about air-pollution as I wouldn't want to suggest Singapore isn't as clean in terms of air as anywhere else. It's just most cities are polluted - I understand, with the exception of Stockholm, which I saw on a TV programme has the best quality of air of any city in the world.

    I don't think you should resign yourself to not travelling. Never say 'never'. I met up with a friend of many years this weekend and we agreed to look into a skiing holiday next Spring. It might be 'pie in the sky' but no harm in thinking about it. There's certainly good air quality on top of a mountain! love you, Annie xx

  • HI Annie & Gwyn

    I am not sure how polluted Singapore is - but I can' think that we enjoy the freshest air here given the density of the population and the number of cars around! The thought of the bracing British air is highly appealing. Here I turn the aircon on and pretend....! I think I have been very lucky with the quality of healthcare I have received here, though of course it does depend on having health insurance. Also, we do not have Macmillan nurses here and in terms of emotional support, there is not a lot. The stiff upper lip attititude is alive and well!

    The skiing holiday sounds excellent Annie. I am wondering if I will be well enough for a weekend away at the end of my treatment (four more to go!). Sometimes I think I will, sometimes it seems like an impossibility.


  • Hi Monique . It is unusual for an oncologist/specialist to advice not to take something unless they have a good reason why . When i asked my specialist re tumeric he was ok with this and also recommended brocolli and all the bright colour fruit and veg . If you are really keen to use this when you see him again if you have not done so ask reason behind the decision . We all want to do as much as we can for long term remission so i understand .

    Hope this helps


  • Hi Ally,

    Yes I shall ask her to clarify her reasons, I wouldn't feel happy taking something she is dubious about, especially as in general she is pretty relaxed about these things.

  • Hi Ally,

    I don't think it is that unusual for an oncologist to advice you not to take certain things.. my oncologist advised me not to take echinacea tablets.. He also advised me to pass by him anything different I was going to take... love xG x :-)

  • Hi Gwyn ,

    I was also advised not to take echinacea, I used to take then in drop form mixed with water to ward off colds. So now I take vitamin C tablets. I hate colds x x

  • Hi Babs

    I seem to manage not to catch any colds while on chemo... But it is different for you going out to work.. when you mix more with people you bound to pick up a cold, as well as the fact you have young grandchildren.. I only have one granddaughter she is twenty now.. I did read somewhere that your body can't store vitamin C so I suppose that's why it's ok to take them.. But I don't know..best wishes for Wednesday's chemo. ( it's my birthday on Wednesday) so send my good wishes now in case I forget .. love x G x :-)

  • Happy birthday for Wednesday Gwyn!

    Love Margaret!

  • Thank you Margaret x G x :-)

  • Hi Gwyn, hope all ok with you . I do think he have their own views on things(right or wrong) and if they dont agree they will advice against , I know some ladies here who their consultant has said no to tumeric yet mine has said yes. I do have a lot of faith in my consultant which i think everyone should be lucky to have but may not



  • Hi Ally

    Yes they do seem to differ, but I am not talking about the oncologiist that I have now I don't know whether he has an opinion on anything, and feel I have to look out for myself..I was talking about an oncologist that I had when first diagnosed I really trusted him.. but he went off to do research in Cambridge.. The oncologist I have now.. I can't get the measure of him... and he certainly hasn't got the measure of me LOL... besides that I am not with him long enough to ask him anything.. as you've probably read from my comments before.. he does try to avoid answering any questions unless it's bad news haha hope you are ok as well. love x G x :-)

  • Hi Gwyn sorry to hear that . Must be very difficult as i think we are trusting others who should be looking out for us in this situation . Although anything we can do for ourselves is always good. I am good here . Had a really rough time with last chemo so not looking forward to next one . Hope 2nd last for a very long time

    Love Ally

  • Hi Ally,

    Yes my chemo was bad (twice)...I am hoping for a long remission.. I wrote a poem on chemo I don't know if you read it ? I think you will relate to it .. you will find it tagged under "Poems" called "chemotherapy" a lot of people could Identify with it

    Love x G x :-)

  • Hi Gwyn i did and yes i can fully relate to this !

    It is a hard road but if we want to survive then the route we must take . you have been through such a lot to get to this stage so sincere wishes for a long remission . I know i shouldnt moan as treatment to make me well . Find my mood really low in those days as well . Normally i am a really positive and upbeat person so find this really hard as well

    Dont know if you found this too



  • Hi all!

    My Finnish friend Irma was very into linseed & soy. I did consider it as a natural form of HRT some years ago but, with no menopausal problems did not bother. I asked a dietician about it and was told that the seeds dont break down and just pass through so do no good unless ground. With the stoma I would not be prepared to risk it, small seeds can irritate and even block it! I have been particularly warned to avoid peanuts! I am not sure what kind my cancer is except that it is platinum sensitive was 3C at diagnosis and seems to come back fairly quickly. I am currently back with the gynae for review on Aug 2nd as last treatment was surgical. If, as I suspect it is on the move again I shall be back with theonc and so ask all these questions!

    Margaret xx

  • Hi Gwyn Happy birthday wishes for wednesday . I hope you are doing something nice

    Ally xx

  • Hi Ally,

    Thank you, don't know what I'm doing yet, I am going out for a meal tomorrow night with my neighbours (five women) I keep my birthday free for my husband and my family, and some friends have invited my husband and myself out on Thursday... I am almost too busy for my birthday haha ... Love x G x :-)

  • Hi Gwyn were to fit it all in ?? . Have a great week and a fab birthday . Have seen your poem and left a comment

  • can someone please explain to me...

    sorry dont understand.. (im thick) why can u not take echinasia? and why is flaxseed and soy not good for u?

    i thought food like this was healthy

    xhen x

  • Hi Xhen

    I don't understand this properly either, which is why I am going to bring it up with my oncologist again, but I think what it is is that with Estrogen sensitive cancers, which ovarian cancer can be, it is of questionable merit to consume anything which contains Estrogen. Soy and Flaxseed contain phyto (plant) Estrogens, so even though some say they are really healthy things and have cancer fighting properties, others say stay away from them. I am seeing my Onc. on Saturday and will ask her to explain it to me then and come back with what she says, if I understand it!


  • Hi All, I have been reading all posts with interest as I too have highly oestrogen receptive OC and my oncologist advised me to stay away from HRT. I was also confused as to whether or not I can eat foods containing phytoestrogens, such as soy, flax, chickpeas or liquorice and fennel teas - if I drop them that's a huge part of my diet and food pleasure! I asked both my oncologist and a nutritionist what to do. My oncologist dismissed any concerns about these foods, saying the amount I'd eat would have a negligible effect, her concern is that I stay away from things like HRT or oestrogen/phytoestrogen supplements. The nutritionist thinks that phytoestrogens in these foods may help by blocking the body's physiological oestrogen from attaching to the receptors - I have seen something on this when searching online but there havn't been any conclusive studies. So I have gone with cutting out soya where I can (no milk, rarely have tofu now unless in miso soup, which I allow now and again along with occasional soy sauce when cooking.) I still take about 5-10g of whole flax seed with my cereal: as mentioned above, it just goes right through you; and have my chickpeas/humous every now & then. I hope this makes sense. I do trust my oncologist, she has also advised me not to take echinacea and knows I take a turmeric tincture put together by a trained herbalist I see - she just raises her eyebrows at that one! Take care xxx Kath

  • Hi Kath

    Thanks for this,it is very helpful. My oncologist said something similar, saying that eating moderate amounts of these foods would have a negligible effect. She pointed out that here in Singapore, if people were told to stay away from soy and its derivatives, an enormous part of their diet would be lost. She was a bit more wary about it in supplement form, so my flaxseed oil capsules will stay unopened. I was very glad you mentioned chickpeas - I didn't know they were phytoestrogens but even now that I do will go on eating them every so often.


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