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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 01-19-2015, 11:07 AM   #1
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AlaskaAngel's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,018
Standardized annual metabolic monitoring

Is the concept of implementing standardized annual metabolic monitoring by labs as a standard practice just too simple (or too complicated) for our medical providers to use?

Instead, we just keep depending upon the hit and miss of annual radiation exposure applied based on age (also a matter of controversy).


Maybe if somebody dressed the idea up with expensive modern technogeek equipment it would become more "popular" with medical providers?
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
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 285
Re: Standardized annual metabolic monitoring

I think it should be discussed with each patient about having a nutritional and hormonal panel done before treatment starts. I asked my medical oncologist when J was first diagnosed "don't you want to understand why this disease developed in me?" He replied that it wasn't going to change how he treated me with chemo. My chinese medicibe provider stated that my cancer was a systemic disease and the tumor was symptomatic of that imbalance -- and I agreed because I could see I was depleted (extended breastfeeding of two kids plus a lot of stress). I sought out the care of a naturopathic oncologist who was trained to look for and work on nutritional deficiencies, before I started chemo. He checked my serum zinc, serum magnesium (RBC magnesium is more definitive of stores in the body I later learned), ceruloplasim (copper-binding protein), ferritin (iron stores), and D3. Except for my copper levels being sky-high, everything else was severely depleted. Things like magnesium and iron deficiencies won't show up unless you look for them as the body pushes available resources into "production" as it tries for homeostasis even in a state of depletion.

Magnesium is critical for metabolic functioning in the body plus liver detox. Once you hit a state of Hypomagnesemia it takes a long time to recover. I supplemented cal-mag, soaked my feet or had epsom salt baths, sipped Natural Calm magnesium beverage, and took teaspoons of coconut oil -- all items I researched on my own as it turns out that the body best absorbs magnesium in small quantities taken frequently. I was given Carboplatin as one of my chemo agents and it is known to deplete magnesium in the body -- I learned while reading the prescribing instructions. This is what my oncologist didn't understand and standardized treatment could have killed me but for my good diet, alternative care and supplementation.

My naturopathic oncologist had me lower my intake of copper-containing foods (coffee,chocolate, seafood) and I took 60 mg of zinc a day which raised my zinc and depleted my excess copper levels over many months. It turns out that zinc is key to production of digestive enzymes by the pancreas, without which you will have digestive issues and malabsorption. Chronic stress, dehydration, illness and too much exercise are all depleting of zinc in the body -- I'm guessing that cancer treatment exacerbates this imbalance for many patients -- but they never look.

I'm still working on boosting my iron stores but taking zinc or calcium at the same time might inhibit absorption of iron, while vitamin c aids absorption. Go figure that cucurmin, a commonly touted supplement also binds with iron so it isn't great if you are anemic. I read also that if you are overweight and have a fatty liver then your iron sbsorption might also be compromised.

Vitamin D is best absorbed from sunlight, compared to supplements or good sources, but all forms require a healthy gut and available magnesium to shift it to its activated form. We spend too much time inside and 80% of Anericans are thought to be magnesium deficient - soils are depleted and modern farming methods are inhibitory of soil microorganism ability to fix magnesium for plants absorption.

These blood levels are easily taken by any lab, the problem is that regular docs aren't trained in how to address any findings, it just isn't part of their education. They might tell you to take more magnesium but you might end up with diarrhea and calcium dysregulation instead of restoration, and you probably should take it with D3, phosphorus and K2.

I could go on but I KNOW there is more that we can do to try to rebalance our bodies -- based on sound nutritional science and actual studies of cancer patients -- it just isn't part of the cancer conveyor belt of treatment so you have to seek it out on your own.
  • Dx 2/14 3b HER2+/HR- left breast, left axilla, internal mammary node (behind breast bone). Neoadjuvant TCHP 3/14-7/2. PCR 8/14 LX and SND. 10/21-12/9 Proton therapy to chest wall.
  • Dx 7/20/15 cerebellar met 3.5x5cm HER2+/HR-/GATA3+ 7/23/15 Craniotomy.
  • 7/29/15 bone scan clear. 8/3/15 PET clean scan. LINAC SRS (5 fractions) Sept 2015. 9/17/15 CSF NED, 9/24/15 CSF NED, 11/2/15 CSF NED.
  • 10/27/15 atypical uptake in right cerebellum - inflammation?
  • 12/1/15 Leptomeningeal dx. Starting IT Herceptin.
  • 1/16 - 16 fractions of tomotherapy to cerebellum, break of IT Herceptin during rads, resume at 100 mg weekly
  • 3/2016 - stable scan
  • 5/2016 stable scan
  • 7/2016 pseudoprogression?
  • 9/2016 more LM, start new chemo protocol and IV therapy treatment with HBOT
  • 11/2016 Cyberknife to temporal lobe, HBOT just prior
  • 12/2016 - lesions starting to show shrinkage
  • 8/2017 - Stable since Dec 2016. Temporal lobe lesion gone.
  • Using TCM, naturopathic oncology, physical therapy, chiro, massage, medical qigong, and energetic healing modalities in tandem. Stops at nothing.
  • Mother of 2 boys - ages 7 and 10 (8/2017) and a lovely partner with lots to live for.
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