It’s THE question we’ve all asked ourselves and our doctors at some point in this “journey,” I’m sure. But let’s start at the beginning…
Sheila Dillon, BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme Presenter, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2011. She had chemo etc. And yesterday the BBC published an article she wrote about cancer and diet, which I thought was absolutely spot on: http://goo.gl/jmJwK.
Ms. Dillon makes some excellent points…points that most certainly we have all wondered about at one time or another, as I said earlier. Namely, why do our doctors dismiss diet and possible dietary changes right off the bat? Why do they roll their eyes when we mention curcumin and other scientifically-backed, myeloma-killing, natural extracts? And why oh why (!) are myeloma patients undergoing chemo offered absolute crap food such as, and I quote from the above-mentioned article, “a white bread sandwich, a fizzy drink, and a chocolate bar or packet of biscuits.” You’ve got to be kidding me…
It’s maddening. Absolutely maddening.
Ms. Dillon also mentions curcumin (and other things, such as resveratrol). By the way, when you read “turmeric” in this article, think: “curcumin.” I really wish these two words were NOT used interchangeably, but it happens a lot, even though there’s a HUGE difference between the two: one is the spice (turmeric), the other is its active ingredient (curcumin).
And what we myeloma folks need is CURCUMIN, NOT TURMERIC.
Curcumin is the stuff that’s been tested on myeloma, in vitro and in vivo, including human clinical trials. Okay, ’nuff said. Let’s keep going…
Here’s an important excerpt from the article: “Our research confirmed that in most cancer centres in the UK, diet is still seen as almost meaningless in cancer treatment and aftercare.
Yet there is good science available on the subject, though not a lot of it is what medics call “gold standard” science.
There are almost no double-blinded, large scale, studies done on people because they are expensive, very hard to do and there is no financial incentive.
Who would make serious profit out of the discovery that mushrooms kill cancer cells?”
But the picture isn’t totally bleak: we, the patients, can CHANGE things (the status quo, that is). How? By telling our doctors about our research, our diet, the supplements we may be taking, etc. When I first began taking curcumin, more than seven years ago, very few people knew what it was. When I mentioned the word “curcumin,” all I’d get would be blank stares. But now, even our myeloma specialists know of its existence (case in point: a couple of years ago, at a patient-doctor meeting here in Florence, I spoke with Dr. Morie Gertz, of the Mayo Clinic, about curcumin, and he told me that several of his patients take it). They may still roll their eyes and say it won’t help, but hey, they know about it. That’s a big improvement…and I don’t get as many “eye rolls” as I used to! 😉 . So my final point is: things CAN change…but only if WE change ’em…and change we must, for our own health!!!
P.S. Another really good article that I read yesterday was titled “How doctors die”: http://goo.gl/CIuc5 In a nutshell, the article explains why doctors don’t die like the rest of us. Illuminating…A must-read for everyone…Highly recommended!
(Too bad there was no mention of diet, food, supplements, etc., but I suppose I’m asking for too much…!)