My mother has recently been diagnosed with stage 0 leukemia. The doctors say that there is no treatment done at such a stage, but my sister and I are curious. We both believe that diet can have a positive impact on the growth/ development/prevention of cancer. We would like to know the following:
- Are there some good guidebooks to which we may refer?
- What are your dietary recommendations for someone such as our mother?
It is true that what you eat or don’t eat plays a big role in most cancers as does your heredity, lifestyle, and environment. However, with leukemia, what you eat has not been shown to be a factor except in childhood leukemia. One study found that children who eat oranges, orange juice and bananas in the first two years of life have a 50% reduction in the incidence of childhood leukemia between the ages of 2 and 14. The consumption of fruits and fruit juices high in vitamin C and/or potassium may reduce the risk of childhood leukemia. They did not find an association between the consumption of hot dogs or lunchmeats on the incidence of childhood leukemia.
A healthy eating plan with enough vitamins and minerals to meet your mom’s Recommended Dietary Allowance is recommended. She should eat a wide variety of foods including fresh and frozen. See the My Plate for more information about the recommended number of servings per day for a healthy eating plan. Weight loss at this time would not be recommended and it may negatively impact your mom’s immune system.
There is some promising research about low-fat vegetarian eating plans that include soybean foods such as soy milk, tofu, and other soybean-based products. Soy is not specifically recommended for leukemia and is contraindicated in estrogen-dependent breast cancers. For information about the food and physical activity, cancer connection read this by the American Cancer Society.