Radiation Therapy Cancer Treatment Infographic

Radiation Therapy Cancer Treatment

Helpful Tips and Tricks

If you are about to go through Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy
for your Cancer Treatment, it can be extremely scary.  Probably because you already know that the radiation
from radiotherapy is very toxic, dangerous and can cause a very long list of potentially
severe short and long-term side effects.

Not to mention, having been diagnosed with cancer is scary
enough in itself then being told you have to do radiation treatment for your
cancer.  For that I am sorry about your
cancer diagnosis and having to go through all of this stress and turmoil.  Hopefully this information will help you get through
your radiation and/or chemotherapy cancer treatment with flying colors and
amazing long-term success.

This article will hopefully help provide information for you
on different statistics related to radiotherapy, nutrition, diet and more in
hopes of helping you get through it as best as you possibly can.

All geared for
educational purposes only, not meant to treat, diagnose or cure.  Therefore, I am writing this article to give
you a little bit of knowledge and research to help you minimize the side
effects, decrease re-occurrence rates and maximize the benefits of using
Radiation Therapy for fighting of Cancer.

The Truth:

  • Too much radiation at once or over a long period
    of time can be fatal.
  • 20 year research of Breast Cancer and Heart Disease
    comparing Radiation vs Surgery1: Radiotherapy showed a…

    • 30% Higher incidence of Heart Attacks
    • 100% Higher incidence of deaths from Cardiovascular
    • 150% Higher Ischemic Heart Disease deaths
  • Many Side Effects such as Anemia, Burns,
    Loss of Smell, Hair Loss, and MANY more due to Radiation damaging all cells,
    not just cancerous cells2
  • Radiation Therapy Kills Cancerous Cells but can
    also make Healthy Cells Cancerous
  • Lymphocytes (your immune cells) can often be
    impaired leading to other major diseases
  • Radiation can stimulate Angiogenesis20
    causing tumors to grow back quickly post-radiation
  • Oncogenesis: Radiation damages and/or destroys
    DNA in ALL Cells.  If only ½ DNA is damaged,
    then the damaged cells survive and you get even more mutated cancerous cells (Oncogenesis)
  • Statistics can be very misleading: A success
    rate from one treatment can be claimed as being extremely high. Yet you can die
    from a different Cancer diagnosis.
  • Many Oncologists have very little to no
    training in nutrition29,30
  • Malnutrition is a prognostic indicator for
    outcome in Cancer patients269
  • Up to 80% of patients with cancer are
    malnourished which can increase risk of Cancer and death29 (I
    personally think it is much higher)

I know these statistics can be scary, however I do not
mention this to scare you. I share them with you to help you understand that
many factors are at play when going through radiation therapy, it is not black
and white and there are things you can do to help reduce these risks.  My 22 years of experience has shown me that
most oncologists don’t provide much, if any educational information to show the
possible consequences and/or nutrients you can use to help aid you in recovery and
minimize side effects.

Not all Oncologists are the same, and if you have one that
is very thorough with this information then you have a keeper.  Ultimately this is about YOUR health and YOU
ARE NOT DISPOSABLE!  Your doctor is
working for you, so please be open and free to ask questions, express concerns
and make comments.  If he or she doesn’t
like it, then find a new one.

Remember, every doctor is different, and every Doctor is
only as good as his training, research, experience and retained knowledge.  Your life is on the line here and I
personally feel we all should take some accountability into our health and gain
as much insight and knowledge as possible as to help us make an informed
decision vs doing something immediately out of a fear based decision.

After many years, I can’t even come close to recalling how
many Oncologists and Cancer patients have told me that nutrition doesn’t play a
role in cancer to just eat whatever you want.
From my experience and research this is 100% scientifically not true!  Plus, it just makes plain sense that we are
the result of what we eat and put into our body.  So, if we eat good healthy food, shouldn’t
that help us get healthy?  Vs if we eat
bad toxic food, wouldn’t that cause us to be toxic and unhealthy?

Now that you have a little insight, let me go over some
research I have found that may help you get through your Radiation Treatment
for your Cancer with a much higher success rate, dropped re-occurrence rate,
and with a lot less side effects.  In fact,
many people using strong nutrition in addition to their Radiation Therapy have
said that they pretty much had very little to no side effects and had a great
outcome.  Again, please consult with your
Oncologist before self-prescribing any nutritional products because some
nutrients can interfere with certain protocols and/or Cancers.  But if it was me and something made sense,
sounded super healthy for me, and my Oncologist said no to it, then I personally
would ask for studies, proof and why is he saying no?  Is it an opinion or a researched conclusion?

Natural Support when going through Radiation Therapy:

  1. Most patients can tolerate Radio Therapy fairly
    well when done properly, especially if you incorporate the following supportive
    guidelines to help strengthen your healthy cells for protection from the toxic
    exposure of Radiation:
  2. Eat a Healthy Diet: Plenty of Organic Fruits, Vegetables,
    Organic Meats, Wild Fish, and plenty of Purified Water.
  3. Relaxing Stress Reduction Techniques Like Yoga
    and Meditation and Avoid Unnecessary Stress
  4. Lifestyle: Regular Exercise (even simple walks),
    No Smoking
  5. Supportive Daily Nutritional Supplements to
    Start 1 Week Before Treatment and During:

    1. Antioxidants3,15,17,24,25,26,27
    1. L-Glutamine4,5,6,18
    1. EGCG7,8
    1. Siberian
      Ginseng (eleutherococcus)9 200-400mg
    1. Probiotics
      for Enteritis/Diarrhea10,13 5-10 billion live
    1. Shark
      Liver Oil 600-1200mg
    1. Fish
      Oil11,12,18 3-6g
    1. Vitamin
      A14 5,000 IUs
    1. Vitamin
      C (ascorbic acid)15,22 2000-4000mg
    1. Gingko
      Biloba16 80-120mg
    1. Selenium17
    1. Curcumin19,23  500-1000mg
    1. Melatonin
      28 20mg at bedtime
  6. Top Tips Before Radiation
    1. Avoid
      Sugar: This can give you an 8 times better response to Radiation Therapy
    1. Eat a Ketogenic Diet: This too enhances Radiation
      results, gives lower tumor recurrence and signaling21
    1. One
      Week Before Avoid:

      1. Oil-Based
        Skin Care Products
      1. Manganese
      1. Iron
      1. Copper
      1. Rehmannia
      1. Cinnamon
    1. Bonus:
      It’s ok to have one glass of Organic, New Zealand or Italian Red Wine Daily

If you are scared and unsure what to do or take, it is
always safe and never hurts to avoid sugar, eat healthy, exercise to tolerance
and get your antioxidants from Organic fresh food sources such as:

Small red Beans, Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Chard,
Spinach, Yam, Squash, Blueberries, Cranberries, Blackberries, Strawberries,
Small Red Beans, Red Kidney Beans, Artichoke Hearts, Blackberries, Prunes and

Every person and cancer is different and some nutrients can
interfere with Radiation Therapy so always consult with your Oncologist before
self-prescribing any nutritional supplements or regimen.

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA.  The nutritional information, suggestions, and research provided are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease and should not be used as a substitute for sound medical advice.  Please see your health care professional in all matters pertaining to your physical health. This article was written for educational purposes only by Dr. Dylan Foster, DC, PScD, CFMP, ONC.  of www.PostChemoNutrition.com.  Everyone and every situation is different.  Please see your health care physician for any of your healthcare needs.

Sources and References

1. Long-term cardiac morbidity and mortality in a randomized trial of pre- and postoperative radiation therapy versus surgery alone in primary breast cancer. Radiother Oncol. 1998 Aug;48(2):185-90.  Gyenes G, Rutqvist LE, Liedberg A, Fornander T.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9783890

2. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/radiation-therapy/side-effects

3. Antioxidants and other nutrients do not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy and can increase kill and increase survival, part 1. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Jan-Feb;13(1):22-8. Simone CB 2nd, Simone NL, Simone V, Simone CB.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17283738

4. Double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial on intravenous L-alanyl-L-glutamine in the incidence of oral mucositis following chemoradiotherapy in patients with head-and-neck cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Aug 1;65(5):1330-7. Cerchietti LC, Navigante AH, Lutteral MA, Castro MA, Kirchuk R, Bonomi M, Cabalar ME, Roth B, Negretti G, Sheinker B, Uchima P.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16765532

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6. Oral glutamine is effective for preventing oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy in colorectal cancer patients. Oncologist. 2007 Mar;12(3):312-9. Wang WS, Lin JK, Lin TC, Chen WS, Jiang JK, Wang HS, Chiou TJ, Liu JH, Yen CC, Chen PM.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17405895

7. The Survivin-mediated radioresistant phenotype of glioblastomas is regulated by RhoA and inhibited by the green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate.  Brain Res. 2006 Feb 3;1071(1):1-9. McLaughlin N, Annabi B, Bouzeghrane M, Temme A, Bahary JP, Moumdjian R, Béliveau R. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16412397

8. Protective effects of EGCG on salivary gland cells treated with gamma-radiation or cis-platinum(II)diammine Tichloride.  Anticancer Res. 2004 Sep-Oct;24(5A):3065-73. Yamamoto T, Staples J, Wataha J, Lewis J, Lockwood P, Schoenlein P, Rao S, Osaki T, Dickinson D, Kamatani T, Schuster G, Hsu S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15517917

9. [Stimulation of the immunological reactivity of cancer patients by Eleutherococcus extract]. Vopr Onkol. 1986;32(7):21-6. Kupin VI, Polevaia EB. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3526720

10. Medical prevention and treatment of acute and chronic radiation induced enteritis--is there any proven therapy? a short review. Z Gastroenterol. 2008 May;46(5):441-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1027150. Zimmerer T, Böcker U, Wenz F, Singer MV. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18461520

11. Enhanced radiosensitivity of rat autochthonous mammary tumors by dietary docosahexaenoic acid. Int J Cancer. 2004 Apr 10;109(3):449-54. Colas S, Paon L, Denis F, Prat M, Louisot P, Hoinard C, Le Floch O, Ogilvie G, Bougnoux P.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14961586

12. [omega-3 Fatty acid-containing diet (Racol) reduces toxicity of chemoradiation therapy for patients with esophageal cancer]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2008 Mar;35(3):437-40. Minami Y, Miyata H, Doki Y, Yano M, Yamasaki M, Takiguchi S, Fujiwara Y, Yasuda T, Monden M. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18347392

13. Prophylaxis of diarrhoea in patients  submitted to radiotherapeutic treatment on pelvic district: personal experience. Delia P, Sansotta G, Donato V, Messina G, Frosina P, Pergolizzi S, De Renzis C.  Dig Liver Dis. 2002 Sep;34 Suppl 2:S84-6.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12408449

14. Protective effect of vitamin A on acute radiation injury in the small intestine. Radiat Med. 1997 Jan-Feb;15(1):1-5.  Beyzadeoğlu M, Balkan M, Demiriz M, Tibet H, Dirican B, Oner K, Pak Y. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9134577

15. Effect of antioxidant vitamins on radiation-induced apoptosis in cells of a human lymphoblastic cell line. Radiat Res. 2004 Jan;161(1):48-55. Ortmann EK, Mayerhofer T, Getoff N, Kodym R. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14680397

16. Enhancement of radiation effect by Ginkgo biloba extract in C3H mouse fibrosarcoma. Radiother Oncol. 1996 Nov;41(2):163-7.  Ha SW, Yi CJ, Cho CK, Cho MJ, Shin KH, Park CI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9004360

17. The effect of selenium and/or vitamin E treatments on radiation-induced intestinal injury in rats. Life Sci. 2000 Apr 7;66(20):1905-13. Mutlu-Türkoğlu U, Erbil Y, Oztezcan S, Olgaç V, Toker G, Uysal M. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10821115

18. Modulation of postoperative immune and inflammatory response by immune-enhancing enteral diet in gastrointestinal cancer patients.  World J Gastroenterol. 2001 Jun;7(3):357-62.  Wu GH, Zhang YW, Wu ZH. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11819790

19. [Protective effect of curcumin against methotrexate-induced small intestinal damage in rats]. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2008 Jan;28(1):119-21.  Song WB, Zhang ZS, Xiao B. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18227041

20. The effects of radiation on angiogenesis. Vascular Cell volume 5, Article number: 19 (2013).   Peter Grabham & Preety Sharma. https://vascularcell.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2045-824X-5-19

21. The Ketogenic Diet Is an Effective Adjuvant to Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Malignant Glioma.  Published: May 1, 2012https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036197.  Mohammed G. Abdelwahab,Kathryn E. Fenton,Mark C. Preul,Jong M. Rho,Andrew Lynch,Phillip Stafford,Adrienne C. Scheck.  http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0036197

22. Interactions between ascorbic acid and the radiation of bone marrow, skin, and tumor. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Dec;54(6 Suppl):1281S-1283S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/54.6.1281s. Okunieff P. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1962583

23. The chemopreventive agent curcumin is a potent radiosensitizer of human cervical tumor cells via increased reactive oxygen species production and overactivation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.  Mol Pharmacol. 2008 May;73(5):1491-501. Javvadi P, Segan AT, Tuttle SW, Koumenis C. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18252805

24. Antioxidants and Radiation Therapy. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 134, Issue 11, November 2004, Pages 3207S–3209S, Published: 01 November 2004. Carmia Borek. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/134/11/3207S/4688649

25. Antioxidant and Prooxidant Properties of Carotenoids.  Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Volume 385, Issue 1, 1 January 2001, Pages 20-27 Andrew J.Young, Gordon M. Lowe.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003986100921490

26. [Relevance of the radioprotective effect of sodium selenite].  Med Klin (Munich). 1999 Oct 15;94 Suppl 3:39-41.  Rodemann HP, Hehr T, Bamberg M.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10554527

27. Pre-radiotherapy plasma carotenoids and markers of oxidative stress are associated with survival in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients: a prospective study. BMC Cancer. 2009; 9: 458.  Amrit K Sakhi, Kjell M Russnes, Magne Thoresen, Nasser E Bastani, Anette Karlsen, Sigbjørn Smeland, and Rune Blomhoff. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2813240/

28. Increased survival time in brain glioblastomas by a radioneuroendocrine strategy with radiotherapy plus melatonin compared to radiotherapy alone. Oncology. 1996 Jan-Feb;53(1):43-6. Lissoni P, Meregalli S, Nosetto L, Barni S, Tancini G, Fossati V, Maestroni G. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8570130

29. The views and practice of oncologists towards nutritional support in patients receiving chemotherapy;  Br J Cancer. 2006 Aug 21; 95(4): 431–434. A Spiro,C Baldwin,A Patterson, J Thomas, and H J N Andreyev. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2360668/

30. The need to advance nutrition education in the training of health care professionals and recommended research to evaluate implementation and effectiveness.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;99(5 Suppl):1153S-66S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.073502. Kris-Etherton PM, Akabas SR, Bales CW, Bistrian B, Braun L, Edwards MS, Laur C, Lenders CM, Levy MD, Palmer CA, Pratt CA, Ray S, Rock CL, Saltzman E, Seidner DL, Van Horn L. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24717343

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