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  • Sugar and Cancer

    I just spoke with my brother on the phone. A friend of his is an R.N. in a prison in Ohio.

    The friend told my brother to let me know that there has been a recent finding that sugar feeds cancer cells, and told my brother to tell my son to leave sugary foods and drinks alone.

    Apparently there was a test done that showed sugar goes straight to cancer cells and the cancer cells attack and feed off the sugar??

    I may not be explaining this right.

    Has anyone heard anything like this before?

    Son Anthony DX 12/11/06
    L/O 12/20/06 Stage IIIA, 95% EC, 5% Yolk Sac
    4XEP 1/29-4/6/ 07
    AFP started increasing3 wks later
    Residual abdominal mass found on CT
    RPLND 6/8/07
    Cancer in pathology-
    80% mature teratoma, 20% Yolk Sac. --
    No adjuvent chemo and
    AFP normalised

    July 22, 2010 ---- 3 years all clear!

  • #2
    Originally posted by mstlyn

    Apparently there was a test done that showed sugar goes straight to cancer cells and the cancer cells attack and feed off the sugar??

    I may not be explaining this right.

    Has anyone heard anything like this before?
    Absolutely true. Cancer cells prefer to live on glucose through glycolysis. Putting too many complex carbohydrates into your blood slows the growth of cancer cells, and can force them to take an alternative growth path that makes them susceptible to cell death.

    Their appetite for glucose makes them detectable by P.E.T. scan, which is just radioactive glucose that the cancer cells start 'eating up' so that they can be detected by the scanner.

    Sugar isn't all bad though... if cancer cells are in the body, it is unlikely that you would be able to eliminate enough simple sugars (i.e. sucrose or sugar) from your diet to shift the cancer cells to the programmed cell death pathways. But you can slow the tumor growth enough so that they aren't detectable for a really long time, which might actually be a bad thing. In fact, in some chemo protocols, glucose is administered so that cancer cells divide faster, making them more susceptible to the DNA damaging effects of the therapy.

    My overall feeling about this matter is: Simple sugars should be avoided for many reasons (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.). After my diagnosis, I really lost my sweet tooth, as well as my affinity for alcoholic beverages.

    Hope this helps.

    djm
    Detected mass 10-6-06, Radical left I/O 10-10-06, Stage I seminoma, 1.5 cm primary, No LV invasion, No Rete Testis Invasion... Currently on Surveillance.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by djmac
      Absolutely true. Cancer cells prefer to live on glucose through glycolysis. Putting too many complex carbohydrates into your blood slows the growth of cancer cells, and can force them to take an alternative growth path that makes them susceptible to cell death.

      Their appetite for glucose makes them detectable by P.E.T. scan, which is just radioactive glucose that the cancer cells start 'eating up' so that they can be detected by the scanner.

      Sugar isn't all bad though... if cancer cells are in the body, it is unlikely that you would be able to eliminate enough simple sugars (i.e. sucrose or sugar) from your diet to shift the cancer cells to the programmed cell death pathways. But you can slow the tumor growth enough so that they aren't detectable for a really long time, which might actually be a bad thing. In fact, in some chemo protocols, glucose is administered so that cancer cells divide faster, making them more susceptible to the DNA damaging effects of the therapy.

      My overall feeling about this matter is: Simple sugars should be avoided for many reasons (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.). After my diagnosis, I really lost my sweet tooth, as well as my affinity for alcoholic beverages.

      Hope this helps.

      djm

      Interesting information you have posted here. My son didn't have much care for sugar. He did drink soda though. Since he began chemo he has been eating icecream, and drinking a lot of chocolate milk.

      So should he lay off the sugar, or keep consuming it so that it will show up in his tests?

      I know you said >> "My overall feeling about this matter is: Simple sugars should be avoided for many reasons (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.). After my diagnosis, I really lost my sweet tooth, as well as my affinity for alcoholic beverages."

      But you also said >>> "But you can slow the tumor growth enough so that they aren't detectable for a really long time, which might actually be a bad thing. In fact, in some chemo protocols, glucose is administered so that cancer cells divide faster, making them more susceptible to the DNA damaging effects of the therapy."

      I don't want to tell him to stop eating sugar if it will slow the growth and possibly make living cancer difficult for scans to find.
      On the other hand I dont want him to eat sugar if it can make the cancer thrive.

      Son Anthony DX 12/11/06
      L/O 12/20/06 Stage IIIA, 95% EC, 5% Yolk Sac
      4XEP 1/29-4/6/ 07
      AFP started increasing3 wks later
      Residual abdominal mass found on CT
      RPLND 6/8/07
      Cancer in pathology-
      80% mature teratoma, 20% Yolk Sac. --
      No adjuvent chemo and
      AFP normalised

      July 22, 2010 ---- 3 years all clear!

      Comment


      • #4
        I wouldn't do anything about a diet while chemo is in progress. You're main focus right now should be to make sure he gets enough calories, protein and fluid. The source of these doesn’t matter but he needs them
        As to the elimination of sugar I will try and find the link because this discussion has come up before. It's my understanding that even if we eliminate all processed sugar and just eat fruit and vegetables we will still be getting enough sugar to feed cancer. If you search the web you will find plenty of article s that discuss cancer feeding off of sugar. The sugar elimination diet is one of those wacky ideas that has me intrigued if I should ever get sick.
        Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

        Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

        Comment


        • #5
          Since simple sugars are in almost everything, I would have to agree that the chances of killing off enough to move the cancer into necrosis are slim, and definately have to agree that during Chemo you should eat ANYTHING your body can hold down. I went 4 days without a bite as the smell of anything caused almost instantaneous vomiting. For anyone who has this problem, my Onc put me on "EMEND" and it was awesome. Still didnt eat much but atleast I could stay in the next room if not the same as someone who was eating!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by djmac
            In fact, in some chemo protocols, glucose is administered so that cancer cells divide faster, making them more susceptible to the DNA damaging effects of the therapy.
            djm
            This is actually an important premise. Pretty much all of the chemo drugs used in TC mount an assault on DNA: bleo hits specific stretches of DNA and chops it into smaller pieces, etoposide blocks an enzyme that helps DNA unwind, and cisplatin cross-links DNA. DNA is most vulnerable during cell division, so it follows that actively dividing cells have the most propensity to be hit by chemo agents. Cell division requires energy, and the most efficient way to produce ATP (the cell's energy currency, if you will) is, as djm said, by glycolysis.
            "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
            11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
            12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

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