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Diet and Nutrition By popular demand our nutritional message board. This board will be monitored by a Registered RD who is certified in oncology by the American Dietetic Association

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Old 11-04-2010, 07:43 AM   #81
Soccermom
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

FYI !
Check to see if there is a "Cancer Support Community" in your neck of the woods (formerly Wellness Community which has merged with Gildas Clubs nationwide)... they offer FREE programming for Survivors,current patients, AND their Caregivers.
I have been taking Pilates among other things for a year at NO CHARGE.They also offer, Tai Chi, Yoga,exercize for BC survivors,Quigong and Relaxation classes as well as many different types of support groups and seminars.
PLEASE check them out..wonderful wonderful folks and they all "GET" it and us!
If you travel out of state you may use a facility in that state FREE of charge as well.

http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org/

Hugs,Marcia

Last edited by Soccermom; 11-04-2010 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:49 PM   #82
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

I'm 39yrs old but thought I would share what worked for me. Prior to this year, I exercised (strength / core training) and walked a couple of times a week but never lost any weight. In January, I decided that I wanted to lose 20lbs to return to my ideal body weight. How? Counting Calories was the key to my success not exercise. Yes, I think that exercise is important for your body but not necessarily the answer for losing weight. I LOVE to eat and although for the most part I ate healthy I ate a lot. There is a free online tool called www.myfitnesspal.com which makes it a breeze to count calories and track your health goals. The website will allow you to plug in your age, height, weight, and how many days per week you will exercise. It will return to you the number of calories you should consume each day to meet your goal. The site also contains a massive food database for grocery items as well as meals consumed at restaurants which will make it simple to count your calories. This was great for me because I was not expected to deprive myself from my favorite foods - it was realistic & only required planning. In 12 weeks, I went from size 14 to size 8 by controlling portion sizes, counting calories, and making sure I ate every 2hrs. (small midmorning, afternoon, evening snacks to help keep metabolism up) Best Wishes with obtaining your personal goal.
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6/14/2010 - Self discovered Lump; Age 39
6/24/2010 - Biopsy results confirm breast cancer
Right breast, invasive ductal adenocarcinoma
HER2neu positive, BRAC I & II negative
7/8/2010 - Lumpectomy right breast, sentinel lymph node biopsy, & port-a-cath installed on left
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:16 AM   #83
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

Hi Msleslie!

Your suggestion is an excellent one for the women here who are premenopausal or perimenopausal and should work well for them, and there are many younger patients here. Part of the problem for breast cancer patients is that there are so many important differences among us.

The vast majority of breast cancer patients are over age 55 and postmenopausal, which changes not only their ability to process nutrients but also their body composition. They form more fat around the middle, and more fat deposits around the organs inside the abdomen. When they drop their caloric intake to the point where younger patients would tend to lose weight with exercise, instead their metabolism goes into a form of "starvation mode" and becomes more efficient than yours, and instead of losing weight they just continue to exercise and diet, exercise and diet, without success.

But also, there are those among us at all ages who have other disease processes besides breast cancer that limit their ability to vigorously exercise, and yet they still need help with losing weight they have gained with steroids and chemo.

We really do need more emphasis from our caretakers on finding ways to match our individual metabolic capabilities, with the help of registered dietitians who specialize in oncology.

A.A.
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Dx 2002 age 51
bc for granny, aunt, cousin, sister, mother.
ER+/PR+/HER2+++, grade 3
IDC 1.9 cm, some DCIS, Stage 1, Grade 3
Lumpectomy, CAFx6 (no blood boosters), IMRT rads, 1 3/4 yr tamoxifen
Rads necrosis
BRCA 1 & 2 negative
Trials: Early detection OVCA; 2004 low-dose testosterone for bc survivors
Diet: Primarily vegetarian organic; metformin (no diabetes), vitamin D3
Exercise: 7 days a week, 1 hr/day
No trastuzumab, no taxane, no AI
NED
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:05 AM   #84
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

msleslie,
I applaud your efforts in improving your health and reaching your goal weight. It is not an easy task but so important. Thank you for posting.

AA, keep us posted on your progress and status with the new metformin component.

Tanya
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #85
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Thumbs up Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

Hi All,

I have an Rx for metformin but have not yet tried it, mostly because I've stayed NED and am 9 years out and am as puzzled by all the triggers and pathways for breast cancer as everyone else.

But I just wanted to post an update all the same for those who have expressed an interest over time in my original wish for somone to help those of us (mostly postmenopausal) who diet and exercise without any real effect:

http://her2support.org/vbulletin/sho...10395#poststop

It seems I am getting pretty much what I wished for (hopefully, for better, not worse!)

http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.or...16/6/1695.full

There were a few things about this that were especially interesting to me that I thought I'd mention.

"Currently there are several potential markers studied at the preclinical level that relate to metformin mechanisms of action. They constitute the ideal initial set to explore, and include components of the IGF1R axis, the AMPK and PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and metabolism serum markers such as insulin, c-peptide, and leptin. The above mentioned clinical trials should serve as the training and validation sets to develop biomarkers of response that can be used to personalize metformin-based cancer therapy."

To have MARKERs to help us out would be pretty nice!

What surprises me is that they don't mention any likely beneficial effects in addition for these patients due to weight management that reduces their overall morbidity. A missed opportunity...

Another missed opportunity is.... I wonder what the numbers would look like if they not only did metformin but an arm that included vitamin D3 supplementation. I wonder if there is an additive effect or not, or any interaction between metformin and vitamin D3.

RB discussed vitamin D3 years ago on the forums here for consideration. Here also is a later post by Rich:

http://her2support.org/vbulletin/sho...ight=metformin

AlaskaAngel
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Dx 2002 age 51
bc for granny, aunt, cousin, sister, mother.
ER+/PR+/HER2+++, grade 3
IDC 1.9 cm, some DCIS, Stage 1, Grade 3
Lumpectomy, CAFx6 (no blood boosters), IMRT rads, 1 3/4 yr tamoxifen
Rads necrosis
BRCA 1 & 2 negative
Trials: Early detection OVCA; 2004 low-dose testosterone for bc survivors
Diet: Primarily vegetarian organic; metformin (no diabetes), vitamin D3
Exercise: 7 days a week, 1 hr/day
No trastuzumab, no taxane, no AI
NED
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:17 PM   #86
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

Happened to see this old article posted by one of the members long time ago. Thought this might be a logical place to share:

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2007/11/...cer-survivors/
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:09 AM   #87
Mary L
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

I just read one of the posts in which Metformin was discussed. I have been on Metformin for the last 6 years and I wonder if it has helped in my remaining ned???
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:43 PM   #88
TanyaRD
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

Jackie,
Thank you for posting this great article. This is an area of passion for me as I think it is a missing component in cancer care for the most part. There are some centers that do it well (survivorship care) but most don't. Unfortunately, it tends to be one of the first services to be cut when money gets tight. This article is a good reminder of the importance of such services.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:42 PM   #89
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Metformin

In the period since I last posted, I started a very very low dose of metformin. It has taken a little trial and error. I am still on just a tiny dose of it. But my appetite is less and my general digestion has improved, including elimination.

Where I struggled before with slow weight gain, that has not continued. Weight loss is minute (possibly because of the tiny dose I'm taking), but my work is sedentary and so contributes to that slowness as well.

With taking just the small dose I have no problems with diarrhea, etc.

It was difficult after tx at age 51 to exercise and lose weight but I did and got down to my original weight level; it gradually became more and more difficult with aging, and finally became impossible to even slow down any weight gain, even with exercise and diet. It became a pretty impossible situation for me.

If metformin is helpful in prevention for breast cancer patients in additional ways, so much the better. It helps me at least to lose the weight that is KNOWN to be an additional risk factor for recurrence.

AlaskaAngel
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Dx 2002 age 51
bc for granny, aunt, cousin, sister, mother.
ER+/PR+/HER2+++, grade 3
IDC 1.9 cm, some DCIS, Stage 1, Grade 3
Lumpectomy, CAFx6 (no blood boosters), IMRT rads, 1 3/4 yr tamoxifen
Rads necrosis
BRCA 1 & 2 negative
Trials: Early detection OVCA; 2004 low-dose testosterone for bc survivors
Diet: Primarily vegetarian organic; metformin (no diabetes), vitamin D3
Exercise: 7 days a week, 1 hr/day
No trastuzumab, no taxane, no AI
NED
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:16 AM   #90
TanyaRD
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

AA,
It is great to see a post from you! I am glad to hear you have seen positive results from a very small dose of metformin. Please keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:20 AM   #91
AlaskaAngel
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Recognizing the problem and defining it clearly

Glad to see you too, Tanya!

On an entirely subjective level, I feel that the metformin may also have slightly increased my general energy level, as well as (very oddly) returned to me some of my sense of taste and smell that was lost at the time of original treatment, although I can't measure those things or explain why that would be so.

I do think that part of the honest recognition by the medical profession about the very real problems encountered by patients who have undergone treatment that handicaps addressing the problem effectively is the lack of a specific term (or terms) to identify and express it accurately. One patient has posted on the general forum about her success with weight loss using metformin through the assistance of her medical provider and she uses the term "insulin resistance". At a visit with the endocrinologist that I had in which he used a wide range of lab tests and my history in the consult for me, he could not give me any name for the problem as he felt it certainly was not diabetes, but he wasn't using the term insulin resistance either. The registered dietitian that I saw at the Seattle cancer center doesn't have a term for it either.

That makes it also harder to deal with in terms of after-treatment and long-term prevention and care because insurance companies don't have a clear way to authorize the treatment for it.

That is a suggestion of sorts on my part. Thanks SO much for your continuing interest in our welfare, Tanya.

AlaskaAngel
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Dx 2002 age 51
bc for granny, aunt, cousin, sister, mother.
ER+/PR+/HER2+++, grade 3
IDC 1.9 cm, some DCIS, Stage 1, Grade 3
Lumpectomy, CAFx6 (no blood boosters), IMRT rads, 1 3/4 yr tamoxifen
Rads necrosis
BRCA 1 & 2 negative
Trials: Early detection OVCA; 2004 low-dose testosterone for bc survivors
Diet: Primarily vegetarian organic; metformin (no diabetes), vitamin D3
Exercise: 7 days a week, 1 hr/day
No trastuzumab, no taxane, no AI
NED
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:42 PM   #92
AlaskaAngel
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Re: Breast cancer, and seeking advice

Hi Tanya,

I am posting this here as well as on the main forum. I continue to do well on a daily small dose of metformin, and am very thankful for it. I first asked the question about it at the beginning of this entire thread a couple of years ago.

Another HER2 patient brought this to my attention:

http://www.news-medical.net/news/201...or-growth.aspx

Combining the actions of metformin and trastuzumab could conceivably even provide better results than current therapies.

AlaskaAngel
__________________
Dx 2002 age 51
bc for granny, aunt, cousin, sister, mother.
ER+/PR+/HER2+++, grade 3
IDC 1.9 cm, some DCIS, Stage 1, Grade 3
Lumpectomy, CAFx6 (no blood boosters), IMRT rads, 1 3/4 yr tamoxifen
Rads necrosis
BRCA 1 & 2 negative
Trials: Early detection OVCA; 2004 low-dose testosterone for bc survivors
Diet: Primarily vegetarian organic; metformin (no diabetes), vitamin D3
Exercise: 7 days a week, 1 hr/day
No trastuzumab, no taxane, no AI
NED
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