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Online Story
  May 2, 2007 Wed
Nutrition maze - find your own dietary therapy
I ATTENDED a talk on cancer on April 28. The speaker advised cancer patients to drop chicken, red meat and dairy products from their diet.

He strongly advocates a plant-based diet for cancer patients.

During the Q&A session, cancer patients were confused by his dietary advice as most oncologists often advise them to continue with their normal eating habits.

This reaffirmed the common and longstanding situation where cancer patients and caregivers are often caught in a dilemma - not knowing which one is the worthy advice on nutrition for cancer patients.

I strongly feel that if only cancer patients and their caregivers are pro-active and willing to do their own research on cancer diet, I am sure that they will be able to determine the right kind of cancer diet based on their personal inclination and needs.

Indeed, there are many books on cancer diet available at the National Library and lots of reading materials can also be found on the Internet.

Since the launch of CancerStory.com, I have always shared my knowledge on the various types of diet therapies, and leave the choice of healing to the cancer patients and their caregivers.

On Aug 31 last year, an old classmate broke the sad news - she contracted third stage lung cancer. I pondered over the cause of her lung cancer as she is a non-smoker and a vegetarian for at least 20 years.

In February 2007, one cancer patient regretted for not heeding advice from her relatives to abstain from meat when her cancer relapsed. I urged her not to brood over it as the recurrence of cancer is unlikely to be caused by consumption of red meat - sharing my classmate's cancer experience.

The question remains unanswered - are animal-based products suitable for cancer patients? I would think that most people will be motivated to change/modify their eating habits if they know how animals are reared in the competitive business environment today.

Going for plant-based products may not necessarily be the best choice if these products are contaminated with pesticides. One may suggest that the healthier choice is to go for organic plant-based products.

Cost-constraint is the biggest obstacle to live on pricey organic products. Do we have certified organic farms in Singapore? The answer is none.

Hence, consumers must be discerning to know the difference between pesticides-free products and true organic products. Organic labels are also not regulated and verified in Singapore.

Some cancer patients become paranoid about their diets and put stress on themselves to plan a winning cancer diet. Remember that nutrition only forms part of cancer care.

My advice - eat within your means and be comfortable with your eating habits so that you will enjoy 'healthful and happy" meals. Your dietary therapy is unique.

Lee Soh Hong (Miss)

Founder, Cancerstory.com


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