Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 17, 2017 - What Am I Taking After Chemo to Fight This Cancer?

I am taking a step back and rethinking all of what I am putting into my body to continue this fight against my cancer.  Whatever I am doing seems to be working.  I won't know for sure for another two weeks when I get my next PSA test, but I can't complain about my current health.

I'm using a three-prong strategy:


1.      Vitamin D – There is a school of thought that says that deficiency of vitamin D is a major contributor to the spread of cancer.  Another says that many holistic therapies require the combination of vitamin D and the therapies to be effective.  Several sources say that the ideal preventative is to be sure that you have 4000 IU/day of D.  A very well balanced meal will provide 1,250 IU so I am sure to take 4000 IU in a D3 capsule every day.  It is possible to overdose in D but the amount would be much higher than this.
2.      Modified Citrus Pectin – This has been shown to improve outcomes of chemotherapy.  Its active mechanism is blocking cancer cell aggregation, adhesion, and metastasis because of its effect on galectin-3.  It can also have an effect in chelating toxic heavy metals.  I am taking 1/3 the dosage I was taking during chemo.
3.      AHCC – One study showed that AHCC could enhance the activity of natural killer cells in test tubes and animal studies suggest that AHCC has antioxidant effects and can improve the response of the immune system in chemotherapy-weakened immune systems.  This has not been proven in human studies but is used with chemotherapy in Japan.  It was shown to lessen the effects of chemo on the immune system.  I took it mainly for this reason. 
4.      Turkey Tail - When I was researching this article I ran across Turkey Tail (AKA Cordyceps or CS) mushrooms, taken in liquid, liquid capsule, or powdered form.  The ongoing studies have shown Turkey Tail to have many anticancer effects, such as attacking cancer stem cells, inhibiting metastasis, and it has even shown to protect against bone loss.  I am going to switch from AHCC to Turkey Tail.  .
5.      Saw Palmetto and Stinging Nettle Root – Taken together, the chemical theory is that this attacks free cancer cells.  All I know is that it reduced my PSA by 20% in only two weeks.  It is said to have similar effects to Finasteride without side effects.
6.      Broccoli sprouts – Although broccoli itself is definitely good in an anti-cancer diet, the benefits of broccoli sprouts have been shown to be much greater than mature broccoli.  This is because sprouts contain an abundance of myrosinase, which is an enzyme needed for the formation of sulforaphane, the cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory component in broccoli. Broccoli has myrosinase, but cooking can destroy it.  Anecdotally, a friend who has had recurring bladder polyps is taking broccoli sprouts and after taking the sprouts for a month, experienced his first polyp-free exam.
7.      Multivitamin – I take one Costco senior multivitamin tablet every day.  I am hoping that this will make up for some of the vitamins and minerals I don’t get in my diet.  This is my main source of vitamin C.  I could probably stand to take more vitamin C.
8.      Omega 3 – I take one fish oil capsule per day with the intent to deal with cholesterol.
9.      Magnesium – I take this to deal with swelling in my feet, thanks to the hormone-blockers that my doctor has me taking.
10.  Potassium – I take this to deal with neuropathy and tremors.  At first I had these symptoms by now I have practically none of these symptoms.
11.  Rhodiola Rosea – This is a Russian herb that is an adaptogen that helps the body heal from physical and emotional stress.  The Russians have used this with Olympic athletes because it improves their performance in strenuous exercise.  It has also been shown to increase mental performance and last, it has killed bladder cancer cells and leukemia cells  lab experiments.  Last, it does increase the lifespan of fruit flies by 25% in repeated experiments.  I have noticed that in taking it I feel more energy, regaining some of the energy I have lost due to the hormone-blockers.  Note:  There are some possible drug interactions, so no caffeine, no anti-depressants, no P-glycoproteins and no substrates of Cytochrome P450 3A4 (Biaxin, Cardizem, Sporanox, Nizoral, Ketek, grapefruit juice erythromycin, etc.).


The main premise that I operate on is that sugar feeds cancer.  Carbohydrates are converted to sugars in the body.  Hence carbs are bad.  Secondarily, it is said that processed foods with all of their chemicals also has a causal relationship with cancer.  Also, consuming an overabundance of certain foods can indirectly or directly cause cancer to grow.

On the plus side, we all have been indoctrinated to think that leafy dark green vegetables are good for fighting cancer.

Other than these “truths” there is a lot of noise around the best diet for people fighting cancer. 

1.      The Budwig Protocol – This is built around flaxseed or linseed oil and cottage cheese as well as vegetables, fruits and juices.  Processed foods, sugar, and most other dairy are no- nos.
2.      The Ketogenic Diet – This is a high-fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet.  The idea is that the fat replaces the carbs, putting the body into a metabolic state called ketosis.  The body is then living on ketones instead of glucose, that has many health benefits, not the least of which is a treatment for epilepsy.  This diet has lots of chicken, fish, beef, pork, cream, butter, mayonnaise, low-carb fruits and vegetables.
3.      The Atkins Diet – This is close to the Ketogenic diet.  The modified version of this diet places no limit on calories or protein.
4.      The Paleo Diet – This is a diet based on what cave men and women ate, so there is no dairy, grains, or processed foods.  It includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meat, seafood, and coconut oil.  It doesn’t include the farm-grown vegetables like corn 

All of these diets have one thing in common:  limit sugar/carb intake.  But which one?  Many doctors prescribe the Ketogenic diet to patients that have cancer—especially brain cancer.  This may be a good choice, but it does have its side effects and is not all that appetizing.

The real problem is that the medical profession has not collected the data and therefore doesn’t have the evidence to correlate particular food intake and particular forms of cancer.  The only thing that is known is that certain foods provide certain benefits.

So, Kathe and I have formed the Les & Kathe Cancer-Fighting Diet, consisting of the following:

1.      Trying to eat only organic foods and avoiding all processed foods.
2.      Drastic reduction of sugar and carb intake.
a.       As a treat, the limited use of natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar, monk fruit sugar and some stevia
b.      Avoidance of manufactured sugar substitutes such as saccharin and aspartame
3.      No cow milk and reduction of all milk products
a.       Use of coconut oil and almond milk
b.      Limited intake of hard cheese and plain yogurt
4.      Increase of leafy dark green vegetables
5.      Limited intake of low sugar, antioxidant fruits such as blueberries and strawberries
6.      No high sugar fruits like mangos, oranges, cherries
7.      Smoothie every breakfast - The smoothie consists of one solid cup of spinach and kale (little frozen pieces), pea protein powder, turmeric powder, unsweetened almond milk, potassium/magnesium supplement, chia seeds, blueberries or strawberries, broccoli sprouts, and walnuts.
8.      We eat chicken, tuna, other fish, some beef, and (I eat) some ham  
9.      Snacks consist mainly of walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, almonds, almond butter, and occasional fruits such as apples or white peaches
10.  Kathe has picked up a Paleo Sweets recipe book, so we have had some cookies with a little maple syrup or honey as sweetener.

11.  Lots and lots of water. 

We will both admit that the diet gets boring.


This is the woo woo part.  We both feel it is essential for the immune system and for healing that we maintain a positive attitude.  This is not always easy if the patient is in pain or suffering in other ways, but maintaining a positive attitude is much easier with the support of my loving wife, friends, relatives, and a strong faith that God will help in helping maintain a positive attitude and in giving us wisdom to make the right choices.

It is really important to minimize stress.  This is not easy in today’s environment.  Avoiding the news is nearly impossible.  We try our best, realizing that there is so little we can do anyway.  There is political, social, business and, last but not least, financial stress.  This last one is not easy when we know how much these drugs and treatments cost and may cost in the future.  To our benefit, Kathe is a Medicare guru, so I have the best supplement insurance available.  So far we have had to pay very little out of pocket (I won't mention the supplements and organic foods).  I therefore thank Kathe and for this major stress-reliever.

Next appointment:  August 31st with the oncologist and labs 

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