What I wish I knew about Multiple Myeloma treatments 25 years later...

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Nutritionally Balanced Diet May Be Key to Myeloma

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“Eating a nutritionally balanced high-quality diet may lower a cancer patient’s risk of dying by as much as 65 percent, new research suggests.”

Patients diagnosed with difficult to treat cancers such as multiple myeloma (MM) must look beyond conventional therapy for treatment answers.  Average five year survival rate for the newly diagnosed MM patiant is 49% according to the ACS.

Sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer. According to the research linked and excerpted below a nutritionally balanced diet gives cancer survivors a huge survival advantage.

Dieting is short-term. Suriving multiple myeloma is about the long-term. I’ve lived with MM, an incurable cancer since early 1994. At this point my goals span from reducing my risk of treatment-related secondary cancers, reduce the effects of treatment-related side effects (chemobrain, chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, chemo-induced heart damage, hemorrahagic cystitis) as much as reduce my risk of my original cancer relapsing.

My point is that MM patients have larger, longer term goals making a nutritionally balanced diet the priority.

After reading about the ketogenic diet, the Alkaline diet[15],the Blood type diet[8] the Detox diet[18] the Grapefruit diet[17][23], Fruitarianism[19], Juice fasting[25], Macrobiotics[8], , 5:2 diet[14] and others, I have come to a conclusion about both me and diets.


I can’t diet. Or to put it another way, following one specific “diet” would be too narrow for me and my health goals.  I have come to apply Occam’s Razor to what and how I eat. Occam’s Razor applied to the diet of cancer survivors is that sometimes the easiest answer is the right answer. Or the simplest diet is the best answer.

Don’t misuderstand me. Undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and/or steroids such as dexamethasone can be so debilitating that the MM patient should strive to consume nutrition in the best way he/she can. Small meals, smoothies, juicing, ice cream, anything.

When I listed ice cream above, I was thinking of a nutritional secret…sort of. For those MMers currently undergoing therapy who have having difficulty thinking about food at all, should consider “boost” mixed into ice cream. My point is that the ice cream may make the smoothie pallatible while the Boost makes the smoothie nutritious.

Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? To learn more about anti-MM nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle therapies scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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Balanced Diet May Be Key to Cancer Survival

“Eating a nutritionally balanced high-quality diet may lower a cancer patient’s risk of dying by as much as 65 percent, new research suggests.

The finding that total diet, rather than specific nutritional components, can affect a cancer patient’s prognosis “was particularly surprising to us,” said the study’s lead author, Ashish Deshmukh.

Total diet, he explained, was one that appeared to be “balanced” and “nutrient-rich” with a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, proteins and dairy…

To explore the impact of nutrition on cancer, the researchers sifted through data collected between 1988 and 1994 by the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Almost 34,000 people were included in the survey, which asked all participants to offer up a 24-hour diet diary.

The team then used the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” as a yardstick for ranking the nutritional quality of the diets used by 1,200 people who had been diagnosed with cancer.

The USDA guidelines specify serving recommendations for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, dairy, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

In turn, all 1,200 patients were then tracked for an average of 17 years, with researchers verifying all subsequent deaths — up to 2011 — through the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics Linked Mortality Files.

By that point, half the cancer patients had died.

But the research team found that those who had consumed the most nutritious diets overall had a 65 percent lower risk for dying — either from cancer or any other cause — than those who had consumed the worse diets…

But the researchers noted that the overall strength of the protective benefit of eating well held up even after digging deeper to look at the specific risk of dying from certain types of cancer, including skin cancer and breast cancer.

“It is most critical that cancer survivors and their health care providers start talking about [a] balanced diet,” said Deshmukh. “It is also crucial that cancer survivors work with their dietitians to identify a balanced diet regimen, and then follow that regimen.

“There are no harms [from] healthful eating,” he added…”


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