Increasing the Survival of Cancer Patients

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

It would be difficult for anyone to disagree that superior nutrition has a protective effect against cancer. The question that remains is: Can optimal nutrition or nutritional intervention be an effective therapeutic approach for patients who already have cancer? Can the diet you eat make a difference if you have cancer? Scientific data indicates that the answer is yes.

Researchers looking for answers to these questions studied women with cancer and found that saturated fat in the diet promoted a more rapid spread of the cancer.1 Other researchers found similar results. For a women who already has cancer, her risk of dying increased 40 percent for every 1,000 grams of fat consumed monthly.2 Studies also indicate that high fruit and vegetable intake improved survival, and fat on the body increases the risk of a premature death.3

Similar findings are found in the scientific literature regarding prostate cancer and diet, indicating that diet has a powerful effect on survival for those with prostate cancer.4 For humans, too much animal food is toxic.

When it is consumed in significant volume, animal protein, not only animal fat, is earning a reputation as a toxic nutrient to humans. More books are touting the benefits of high-protein diets for weight-loss and are getting much publicity. Many Americans desire to protect their addiction to a high-fat, nutrient-inadequate animal foods. These consumers form a huge market for such topsy-turvy scientific sounding quackery.

Today the link between animal products and many different diseases is as strongly supporting in the scientific literature as the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. For example, subjects who ate meat, including poultry and fish, were found to be twice as likely to develop dementia (loss of intellectual function with aging) than their vegetarian counterparts in a carefully designed study.5 The discrepancy was further widened when past meat consumption was taken into account. The same diet, loaded with animal products, that causes heart disease and cancer also causes most every other disease prevalent in America including kidney stones, renal insufficiency and renal failure, osteoporosis, uterine fibroids, hypertension, appendicitis, diverticulosis, and thrombosis.6
1. Verreault, R., J. Brisson, L. Deschenes, et al. 1988. Dietary fat in relation to prognostic indicators in breast cancer. J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 89: 819-25.

2. Gregorio, D.I., L.J. Emrich, S. Graham, et al. 1985. Dietary fat consumption and survival among women with breast cancer. J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 75: 37-41.

3. Holm, L.E., E. Callmer, M.L. Hjalmar, et al. 1989. Dietary habits and prognostic factors in breast cancer. J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 81: 1218-23; Newman, S.C., A.B. Miller, G.R. Howe. 1986. A study of the effect of weight and dietary fat on breast cancer survivial time. Am. J. Epidem. 123: 767-74.

4. Breslow, N., C. W. Chan, G. Dhom, et al. 1977. Latent carcinoma of prostate at autopsy in seven areas. Int. J. Cancer 20: 680-88.

5. Glem, P., W. L. Beeson, and G.E. Faser. 1993. The incidence of dementia and intake of animal products: preliminary findings from Adventist Health Study. Neuroepidemiology 12: 28-36.

6. Fellstrom, B., B. G. Daneilson, B. Kerlstrom, et al. 1983. The influence of a high dietary intake of purine-rich animal protein on urinary excretion and supersaturation in renal stoen disease. Clinical Science 64: 399-405; Robertson, W.G., M. Peacock , and P. J. Heyburn. 1979. Should recurrent calcium oxalate stone formers become vegetarians? B.J. Urol. 51: 427-31; Bosch, L.P., A. Saccaggi, A. Lauer, et al. 1983. Renal functional reserve in humans, effect of protein intake on glomerula filtration rate. Am. J. Med. 75: 943-50; Effects of acute protein loads of different sources on glomerula filtration rate. 1987. Kidney International 32 (22): S25-28; Kerstetter, J. E., and L. H. Allen. 1989. Dietary protein increases urinary calcium. J. Nutr. 120: 134-136 Breslau, N.A., L. Brinkley, K.D. Hill, and C.Y.C. Pak. 1988. Relationship of animal protein-rich diet to kidney stone formation and calcium metabolism. J. Clin. Endocr. And Metab. 66: 140-46; Chiaffarino, op. cit., p. 395; Wiseman, M.J., R. Hunt. A. Goodwin, et al. 1987. Dietary composition and renal function in healthy subjects. Nephron. 46: 37-42; Appleby, P.N., M. Thorogood, J. I. Mann, T.J. Key. 1999. The Oxford Vegetarian Study: and overview. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70 (3): 525-31S; Nordoy, A., and S.H. Goodnight. 1990. Dietary lipids and thrombosis: relationship to atherosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis 10 (2): 149-63.
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