Chemotherapy and Radiation Support

Using foods to support cancer treatment

by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist

Client name and identifying information changed

Libby an 85-year-old client, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a radical mastectomy to remove both breasts and surrounding lymphatic tissue. Initially she wasn’t going to have any treatment because of the potential risk at her age, and some thought that she may not live any longer with or without the treatment.

But Libby was otherwise very strong and decided to go ahead with the treatment plan. Once the program was started, she was on a roller coaster of treatment regimes, including chemotherapy and radiation, as more spots were found in other parts of her body where the cancer had spread.

After a few weeks of treatment Libby came to me as she felt her life force being stripped away from the treatments.

Due to family pressure, she decided to stay with the medical regime for a while but wanted to see what else could be done to support her. Her doctors told her to keep her weight up by eating anything that was high calorie, such as pizzas, hamburgers, chocolate, bread, pastry and so on.

But her weight was dropping no matter what she ate (she was a tiny lady as it was) but she just didn’t feel good about what she was eating.

I asked her what would feel good to eat and she replied she had been craving broths but knew that they didn’t have many calories in them. Her body also craved fats, but she would vomit every time she ate animal fats.

I thought that broths and soups would be great for her as they are easy to digest and loaded with minerals. I shared some easy to make recipes and suggested she try eating some coconut fat with creamed coconut and to add coconut oil to the soups and broths. She loved that idea.

After a few weeks of eating broths, soups full of pureed vegetables, coconut oil and creamed coconut (with raw cacao added for her choc fix) she said she felt heaps better and was coping with the treatment much better.

Later she decided that she didn’t want to continue with the treatment as the doctors said she wasn’t responding to what they were giving her. Instead, she decided to live for the rest of her days with good healthy food choices as she had never felt better.

Several years have passed and I keep in contact with her family (who are also clients) and so far, she is still going well.

Please note that I did not recommend she stop any treatments; this was a decision made between Libby and her doctors.

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