I have just been dealt a huge blow. My doctor has advised me that I have a large growth (7 centimeters/3-1/2 inches) in my right kidney.
Sorry to hear about your news and am sure it is upsetting and difficult for you.
My question is, can a healthy lifestyle shrink a growth that is most likely cancerous? I know of the television cooking show host, Christina Pirello, who had leukemia and had only a short time to live. She changed her lifestyle and began eating a macrobiotic diet and has been cancer free for over 13 years.
What are your thoughts on reversing, shrinking or just keeping cancerous tumors from growing rapidly by using diet and lifestyle? Is there any documented data available?
There are lots of stories of people reversing and/or halting cancer, and/or shrinking tumors but not much of it is actually confirmed.
However, either way, there is good evidence about the effect of diet/lifestyle on cancer incidence, occurrence and growth rates.
For instance, when I was with the last center, we published several studies that in just 21 days, certain risk factors for breast, prostate and colon cancer were reduced by around 50%.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 86: 1419, 1994; Nutrition and Cancer, 31: 127,1998; Nutrition and Cancer, 38: 158, 2000; The Journal of Urology, 166: 1185, 2001.
In 2005, we reported that men with prostate cancer were able to avoid aggressive treatment, surgery, radiation, etc., by exercising regularly, increasing their fruit-and-vegetable intake, and reducing dietary fat to 10% of total calories.
This is part of the Ornish study that was asked about which is still "in progress" and will take time as it is about watchful waiting on prostate cancer. But, so far, the results are excellent and few if any in the watchful waiting group are advancing to where they need intervention.
Journal of Urology, 174:1065, 2005
In addition, studies on prostate cancer showed that growth rate was slowed dramatically in just 12 days
Prostate, 56: 201, 2003
In another study, we showed that blood samples of men who went thru the program (14 days) were 13 times more effective at killing off prostate cancer cells than blood samples taken from the very same men before they went thru the program. (Cancer Causes and Control, 13: 929, 2002. Prostate, 56: 210, 2003)
Now, these were on colon, breast, and prostate, which are more likely to be effected by diet and lifestyle. We did not do any research on kidney cancer.
However, knowing these dramatic results have been documented should only be good news and encouraging for you.
I am continuing to eat the McDougall program, but I did realize that I am eating mostly legumes for fullness. From my research into kidney disease etc., I read that the use of legumes in the diet is not recommended because of the excessive proteins. I suspect I should switch to grains and potatoes to obtain the fullness that I require, right?
The issue around legumes is that they are higher in protein and it seems that higher protein diets, regardless if it is from animal or vegetable protein, may "feed" cancer cells, (the protein can raise IGF-1 levels) so a lower protein diet is often recommended. This doesnt mean you can not eat legumes, as part of your healthy diet, but you may want to limit them to no more than a serving or two a day at most.
I would recommend you focus more on fruits, veggies, starchy veggies and intact whole grains for your bulk.
Also, make sure you are using no oils and keep your fat intake as low as you can, but make sure you get in enough omega 3s. A TB or 2 of ground flax a day can do that for you.
By the way, I wll be coming to the 10-day program at the end of March and will be bringing copies of the CT and Bone Scan reports and films for Dr. McDougall to review - I hope that's appropriate?
I look forward to seeing you then.
Jeff Novick, MS, RD