Combating The Side Effects Of Treatment
Weight loss due to pancreatic cancer is common, but its causes can be complicated. Some are related to the tumor itself, in which case surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment can help. Others, however, are a result of such treatment.
Nausea, loss of appetite, or the change in taste that often accompany chemo or radiation therapy can be combated through diet and pharmaceutical strategies. These are most successful when tailored to each patient, Petzel explains. One persons diarrhea could be caused by fat malabsorption due to pancreatic enzyme insufficiency, while another may be suffering the effects of lactose intolerance, bacterial overgrowth, chemotherapy, or dumping syndrome from surgical resection. Enzyme replacement may solve the problem for some patients, while a low-fat, low-fiber, and/or dairy-free diet might do the trick for others.
Maintaining a healthy weight for pancreatic cancer patients can be critical to the success of their treatment. We know that patients who are able to maintain weight are more likely to get their scheduled doses of treatment, Petzel adds.
Here is some general advice Petzel offers for patients:
Additional nutritional advice can be found on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Oncology Nutrition website. The American Institute for Cancer Research also provides some culinary inspiration in its recipe archives.
Foods To Add To Your Diet Before Cancer Treatment
Protein: Prior to starting your treatment, Statner recommends adding enough protein in your diet to prevent sarcopenia, or muscle loss, which can occur as a result of cancer and cancer treatment. According to Statner, good sources of protein include:
Omega-3 fatty acids: Studies are emerging that show omega-3 fatty acids, especially from fish, flaxseed and walnuts, may help to lessen muscle loss, Statner says.
Cruciferous vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables which include broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, cabbage and arugula have long been known to hedge against cancer and cancer recurrence, Statner says.
Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables: She also suggests adding antioxidant-rich, colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet, such as blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, red peppers, papaya, plums and watermelon.
These antioxidant-rich foods seem to have cancer-fighting properties, as well as anti-inflammatory effects, Statner says. Eat the rainbow is a helpful way to remember to include these foods in your diet.
During cancer treatment, its helpful to think of food as another part of your healing regimen.
Lisa Statner, MS, RDN, an oncology dietitian at USC Norris, part of Keck Medicine
What Is Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy
Problems with digestion can be managed with pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy . You might have heard of Creon®, Pancrease®, Nutrizym® or Pancrex®, which are all types of PERT.
PERT replaces the enzymes your pancreas would normally make. You take capsules with food which help you digest your food.
Most people with pancreatic cancer will need to take PERT.
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Role Of Pancreas In The Human Body
The pancreas is a glandular organ located in the abdomen. This essential organ has two main functions:
Can Nutrition Play A Role In The Development Of Pancreatic Cancer
Although nutrition is critical, there is no clear evidence that poor nutrition causes pancreatic cancer. But diet can play a significant role after diagnosis. Nutrition is important for general health and can make a difference in how the body reacts to any insult, including cancer. Theres no miracle diet for cancer.
A lifetime of poor nutrition and inactivity can lead to obesity, which is a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer can cause weight loss and/or cachexia, which is a weakening of muscle tissue due to chronic illness. However, weight loss doesnt cause pancreatic cancer.
Heavy alcohol use can cause chronic pancreatitis and cirrhosis, which can lead to pancreatic cancer. Chronic inflammation in any organ can lead to cancer pancreas inflammation is no different.
Nutrition gives patients and caregivers a sense of control in a time where they have little control. Its one of the few things that a patient can do for themselves in the midst of a difficult diagnosis.
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Foods That Help Prevent Pancreatic Cancer
Discover healthy eats that can decrease your chances of getting pancreatic cancer! Here’s a list of super-foods that can help prevent pancreatic cancer the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States thanks to the abundance of cancer-fighting nutrients these healing foods contain. After getting familiar with the pancreatic cancer preventing foods listed below, check out our pancreatic cancer fighting recipes which feature some of the best pancreatic cancer fighting foods.
Note: Pancreatic cancer is a serious disease and requires immediate medical attention. The information on this page and elsewhere on this website has not been reviewed by medical professionals, nor is it intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a professional health care provider.
Diet And Pancreatic Cancer
Epidemiological and experimental studies have consistently shown the direct link between obesity, high BMI, weight gain and elevated risk of developing pancreatic cancer. As a consequence, it is logical to affirm that a high-calorie diet, and/or high consumptions of fats and sugars, predisposing over time to overweight or obesity, has a negative impact on pancreatic cancer risk. In addition, a high consumption of red meat has been found to elevate the risk of several types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer . On the other hand, there is also evidence that a healthy diet can have a role in protecting against pancreatic cancer. In the 2010 Dietary guidelines for Americans , the recommendation focuses on maintaining a healthy weight through consuming the right amount of calories and nutrient-dense foods, together with the suggestion of eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains .
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What Should I Avoid
Certain foods may be harder for you to digest, exacerbating your symptoms and making you feel worse. Any food that seems to worsen symptoms, such as diarrhea or vomiting, should be eliminated, at least temporarily. These foods can also increase your chances of pancreatic cancer recurring.
Foods to avoid include:
- Red meat and processed meat. These hard-to-digest foods have also been cited as possible causes of cancer.
- Greasy, fatty, or fried foods. High-fat foods can increase uncomfortable symptoms, such as diarrhea and gas.
- Alcohol. Heavy drinking may increase pancreatic cancer risk or worsen your symptoms if you have pancreatic cancer.
- Sugar and refined carbohydrates. If youre experiencing glucose intolerance or dumping syndrome, talk to your doctor about your sugar intake. Many people with pancreatic cancer have difficulty digesting simple carbohydrates and sugary foods or drinks. These foods also represent empty, non-nutritious calories.
Good: High Fiber Starches
You may think that starchy foods are an automatic no-no, but thats not the case, according to Healthline.com. The source says these following complex carbohydrates help keep your energy levels up, and wont spike your blood sugar like simple carbs will.
These high-fiber choices include potatoes, beans, lentils, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice, adds the source. It notes that you can also find folate in these foods, which is helpful for reducing the risk of developing pancreatic cancer in the first place.
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Read Our Information About Managing Problems With Digestion
We have lots of information to help you manage problems with diet
- Our booklet, Diet and pancreatic cancer, explains how the cancer affects your diet and digestion, how to take PERT, and tips for dealing with the different symptoms.
- Our leaflet about digestion symptoms explains the symptoms you might get if you cant digest your food, how PERT can help, and how to get help with these symptoms. Download the leaflet: Do you have problems digesting your food?
- Our fact sheet has detailed information about how to take PERT. Download the fact sheet: How to manage problems with digestion using pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy
You can order printed copies of this information.
You can also download a food diary to record what you have eaten, the pancreatic enzymes you have taken and any changes to digestive symptoms. Download the Food and enzymes diary
Before You Write Off The Poor Performers
Its important to keep in mind that this is a laboratory study showing only what a vegetable extract did to when applied directly to cancer cells.
The study does not take into account the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that indirectly support your bodys ability to repair, regenerate, detoxify, and heal.
Cancer is a product of a toxic body, so detoxing your body is critical in healing cancer.
For example, carrots are a potent source of beta-carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A supports your liver. Your liver is a critical component of your immune system because it detoxifies your body. Cancer is a product of a toxic body, so detoxing your body is critical in healing cancer, and so on.
Having said all that, it makes sense to focus on eating tons of the veggies that were actually killing cancer in the lab.
Also, this study confirms why what I did in 2004 worked.
I ate copious amounts of these cancer-fighting vegetables every day in my Giant Cancer-Fighting Salad, specifically spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, red cabbage, and garlic powder. I had no idea about leeks or else they would have been in there, too.
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Foods And Habits That Increase Your Cancer Risk
Inflammation is the underlying issue that dictates cancerous tumor initiation, progression and growth. Studies suggest that 30 percent to 40 percent of all kinds of cancer can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle and dietary measures! And other sources claim that this number is in fact much higher, with around 75 percent of cancer cases being lifestyle-related.
Here are examples of some cancer-causing foods you might not realize are in your diet:
1. Processed Meats
While quality meats, fish and dairy products can be included in an anti-cancer diet, processed meats are definitely something to avoid. The American Cancer Society states on their website that The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified processed meat as a carcinogen, something that causes cancer. And it has classified red meat as a probable carcinogen, or something that probably causes cancer. A recent meta-analysis of 800 studies found evidence that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.
Processed meats are those that have been treated, altered or preserved to improve taste and prolong freshness. They can contain additives such as nitrates and tend to be very high in sodium. A clue that is a meat is processed is if its been prepared in any of the following ways: salting, curing, smoking. Examples of processed meats include hot dogs, ham, bacon, sausage, and some deli meats/cold-cuts.
2. Fried, Burnt and Overly Cooked Foods
Diet Tips For Reducing The Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer
While no diet alone is scientifically proven to prevent pancreatic cancer, there are steps you can take to eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight which can greatly reduce the risk. Here are our tips:
Choose a mostly plant-based diet including vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, and lentils and avoid highly processed foods with added gar and fats.
When choosing dairy products, consider reduced-fat or nonfat choices.
Limiting red meat to 1/3 or less of your plate can help reduce intake of saturated fat.When choosing red meat , choose lean cuts like sirloin, loin, round and 95% lean ground meat.
Avoiding high fat processed meats like bacon, salami, salami, sausage and hot dogs can significantly reduce fat intake.
Go easy on condiments like mayonnaise, honey mustard, salad dressing or queso- type dips. Instead choose salsa, mustard, vinegars or hummus.
When choosing desserts, opt for fruit-based desserts and/or smaller portions.
Evaluating beverage choices can help reduce added sugar and fat consumption.Many specialty coffee, chai tea, dairy-based frozen drinks, or smoothies contain a lot of sugar and some added fat.
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Final Thoughts On Cancer
- Cancer-causing foods, as opposed to cancer-fighting foods, include those that contain pesticides, additives, added sugar or artificial sweeteners, processed meats, burnt foods, fried foods and other chemicals. Examples of cancer-causing foods and ingredients are french fries, hot dogs, deli meats, sausage, ice cream, refined rice and other gains, high fructose corn syrup, processed vegetable oils, and trans-fats.
- To follow an anti-cancer diet, lower your toxin intake, support the bodys cleansing and detoxifying processes, get enough vitamin D, upgrade your water and eat unprocessed nutrient-rich foods in addition to cancer-fighting foods.
- Some of the top cancer-fighting foods include cruciferous veggies, leafy greens, berries, orange and yellow veggies, herbs and spices, cultured dairy products, nuts, seeds and healthy fats like coconut or olive oil.
Avoid Sugars Carbohydrates And Fats
To help stabilize your blood sugar levels, avoid sugary foods and beverages. Also, when you consume carbohydrates, try to balance those foods with healthy protein sources, such as fish, poultry, lean red meats, beans and low-fat dairy products. Finally, keep in mind that high-fat foods may be difficult for your already taxed pancreas to handle.
A further benefit of proper nutrition is that it will also help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, which will be critical to the success of yourpancreatic cancer treatment.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you are encouraged to talk with a specialist in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. To request an appointment, please call or complete our new patient registration form online. Your cancer diagnosis is our top priority, and we will connect you with a cancer expert within one day.
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Healing Foods For The Pancreas
Focusing on a plant-based diet supports healthy pancreas. A variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains at each meal provides fiber, lean protein, and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that prevent inflammation, improve gut health, and control blood sugar.
Choose foods that are natural anti-inflammatories and also have antioxidative properties to protect the digestive system and mitigate cellular damage.
The following are important foods that help in healing the pancreas and maintaining its health.
Here Are The Top 10 Anti
The #1 most powerful anti-cancer food was garlic.
Garlic stopped cancer growth COMPLETELY against these tumor cell lines:
Here is an excerpt from the papers abstract:
The extracts from cruciferous vegetables as well as those from vegetables of the genus Allium inhibited the proliferation of all tested cancer cell lines whereas extracts from vegetables most commonly consumed in Western countries were much less effective. The antiproliferative effect of vegetables was specific to cells of cancerous origin and was found to be largely independent of their antioxidant properties. These results thus indicate that vegetables have very different inhibitory activities towards cancer cells and that the inclusion of cruciferous and Allium vegetables in the diet is essential for effective dietary-based chemopreventive strategies.
- Allium and cruciferous veggies stopped cancer cell growth.
- Commonly consumed vegetables did not work as well.
- The antioxidant content of veggies was not a key anti-cancer factor.
- Different vegetables work for different cancers.
- Allium and cruciferous veggies should be eaten to prevent cancer.
So the most commonly consumed vegetables in Western countries had very little effect on cancer cell growth.
The top three account for 60% of the vegetables we Westerners are eating. 32% of our vegetable intake is potatoes, and half of that is actually french fries. Nice.
An interesting note:
Yes, I did.
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Eating Right Can Help Your Pancreatic Cancer Fight
As the source of insulin that helps in the regulation of blood sugar and of enzymes that help break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, the pancreas is a key part of the digestive system.
So its not so surprising that cancer of the pancreas can bring with it significant nutritional challenges. Successfully addressing these challenges, however, brings multiple rewards: it can enable and enhance treatment, boost day-to-day well-being, and support healthy recovery.
Tips For Sticking To A Strict Pancreatic Cancer Diet
As a specialist in oncology nutrition, what is your advice to pancreatic cancer survivors who want to eat a nutritious diet but have a problem sticking to a strict routine and get bored with the same food?
After treatment, there will be a new normal eating routine for you. This is different for everyone.
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Alkaline Foods Can Help Fight Pancreatic Cancer
So, youve been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Youve gone through conventional methods, but you STILL WANT MORE. You know theres SOMETHING ELSE. Well, youre right. There is something else. Did you know that alkaline foodsare the BEST foods you can give your pancreas to help heal itself?
The pancreas is a gland thats essential for proper digestion. The pancreas produces alkaline pancreatic juice naturally it has a pH level between 7.8 and 8.0. According to the pH scale, thats within healthy range .
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Healthy 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
So when you eat foods such as pork , beef or drink coffee, alcohol or sodas especially colas on a continual basis you are creating an acid environment. This leads to a chronic problem called acidosis. A constant acid environment or acidosis is the major root of sickness and disease and will finally develop into various diseases including cancer!
Since the pancreas is a gland thats naturally alkaline, is essential to digestion and is directly affected by the foods we eat, an alkaline diet would be the BEST support for your pancreas. You can help turn pancreatic cancer around by including more Alkaline Foods in your diet. Heres a partial list: