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Fasting during Chemotherapy

Posted 10/12/2016

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  I will admit that this article was news to me. I had not heard of people opting to fast during chemotherapy, and it surely sounds difficult! My own experience was that, although eating did not necessarily make me feel better, not eating definitely made me feel worse. During treatment, most of us turn to our own comfort foods, and keeping something in our stomachs usually helps settle them.

  The theory behind this fasting is that healthy cells then stop using energy to grow and use their energy to try to preserve themselves. Since cancer cells are marked by uncontrolled growth, they presumably cannot stop growing, and are therefore more vulnerable to chemotherapy drugs. Is this really true? No one seems to know.

  This short article and podcast from Cancer Net talks more about this possibility. I would add that, if you are considering it, please speak first with your doctor.

Fasting During Cancer Treatment. Is It Safe?

There are a lot of mixed messages when it comes to fasting and its relationship
with cancer treatment and prevention. In this podcast, registered dietitians Annette
Goldberg and Suzanne Dixon give their expert insights on what fasting is, its use during
cancer treatment, when fasting may be helpful, and who should avoid fasting.
What exactly is fasting? Find out exactly what “fasting,” “intermittent fasting,” and
“calorie restriction” mean [4:20]. Annette Goldberg also describes popular fasting
diets, such as the fast-mimicking diet (FMD) and 5:2 diet [5:57].
What is the reasoning behind fasting during cancer treatment? When someone fasts, healthy cells stop
expending energy to grow and instead direct that energy to protect themselves. The theory behind fasting in
cancer treatment is that cancer cells can’t stop growing and are therefore more vulnerable to chemotherapy.
There is currently not enough evidence from studies in humans to be sure that this is the case

Read more:

And the podcast:


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