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Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. Men can also develop breast cancer, although this is rare. This group is for anyone affected by breast cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

Soya or not? HER2+ Report after meeting dietician

No. of entries: 11 | Posted on 7 Dec 2012 1:09 PM

Soya or not? HER2+ Report after meeting dietician

  • Hi Ladies, As promised here is what the French dietician from the oncology hospital where I am being treated said to me following all my questions about what I can and cannot eat. I am grade 3 HER2+ IDC. - her2 positive and soya. I was told to avoid soya as there are current studies into Her2+ breast cancer and soya not being a good thing. The are only studies but indications are that soya could actually encourage HER2+ cancer. Just so you know, I have basically given up red meat, milk products, sugar, alcohol and cakes and biscuits since being diagnosed...... - there are no studies that indicate cows milk is bad for cancer patients quite the opposite you need the calcium. 3 portions of milk products a day recommended - they do not recommend that you stop eating red meat - quite the opposite but you need to mix it up with chicken, eggs and fish -Regional, seasonal fruit and veg only and 5 portions a day, every day. She said no need to juice or eat massive amounts of broccoli (as I have been doing) . You should try and only eat food in season and wherever possible from the region where you live. - sugar in moderation - food should be a pleasure - wine no more than one glass a day They recommend a balanced diet with 5 portions of fruit and veg a day BUT exercise is imperative every day, it is the only thing actually proven to help avoid reoccurance of breast cancer. So, that's news to me! I would just stress that this was information given to me asking specifically about HER2+ cancer. But does explain why they just gave me duck breast and chocolate mousse for lunch! Carol
  • Hi Eider

    I have also given up dairy products (including milk) and have almond milk as an alternative which is really nice. In fact, I would never go back to cow's milk now! I avoid red meat completely (never was that fussed) and eat chicken, turkey and loads of fish. I have been told about the rainbow diet by various people and it makes good sense to me. Lots of colours on your plate - and never a 'beige plate' - think finger buffet!!

    I have had one luxury since finishing treatement (MX, chemo and rad) and that is a personal trainer. When I came out of treatment I was about a stone underweight, weak and scared. I started with brisk walks 2 years ago and now do a full hour in the gym twice a week plus swim twice a week (that's not with the trainer by the way!). For me it is alll about taking back some of the control that cancer can rob you of. Statistically I have a better than even chance of a recurrance but I am at least doing my best to keep my body strong and by doing so I am not so stressed either - in fact I have days when I feel really happy and dare i say it, carefree - something that I never thought I would feel again.

    i am back at work full-time so I think I deserve my trainer and he is great, knowing my history. I will be having a few weeks off in the new year when I have my recon but I will be back with him as soon as I can post surgery.

    Love and hugs to all


    Karen xx

  • Thanks for that Carol ....will you be joining me on Tamoxifen too ? My HER2 status in weird first was going to be given Herceptin and pathology then diagreed as I am on the balance - i'm always odd.

    The diets interest me and I guess it's all about sensible eating and cutting out too much cr*p. A little of what you fancy is a good thing. I'm one of the percentage of people that gained weight from chemo so Unlike you Karen I want a PT to work with me to take that off before Tamoxifen makes me gain more and I get more restrictions - funny old thing life isn' it ?

  • Really interesting, thanks. I have been referred for personal training, in my area you can access12 sessions post treatment through a 'survivors' after care service. apparently the results are fantastic. I have fatigue and the fatigue nurse promises me that the training will greatly help me, being physically fitter helps your body and mind function better. I have kept up walking throughout treatment - experts may not agree on the best diet but they do agree on the benefits of exercise.
  • Hi Sassy, I am only 10% ER+ so Tamoxifen hasn't been mentioned as yet. I have the rads to go through next IF I don't need more surgery or more lymph nodes out. I don't even have a next appt with the oncologist. Carol
  • Thanks for that.  I too have given up soya.  In the two years prior to diagnosis I had significantly increased my intake as I considered it a healthy protein source.  I was having various types, tofu, soya milk, edame beans generally every day.  I am also HER2+.

    I have been told that daily moderate exercise is good too, although excessive exercise has apparently been shown to increase recurrence risk.

  • I had also really upped my soya thinking it was actually protecting me from cancer - Starbucks soya latte, tofu etc etc etc . What is excessive exercise? Not that I think I'm likely to be doing it but to be on the safe side. Currently walking the dogs for an hour a day, frankly not upto anything else. Carol
  • Exercise is really personal to everyone too !!

    What to some maybe excessive is normal to others, prior to diagnosis I was like an athlete so what I want to get back to maybe excessive to some but not for others. I'm not sure I agree with that statement too as look at Lance Armstrong - he's not had re-occurrence and trains professionally. Do what you can do :)

    Breast Cancer has no rhyme or reason, I didn't meet any criteria to have it or not to have it :) I was fit, exercising, relatively young and no family history.

    I think it's a simple balanced diet, like your dietician said, little treats , no point going through this to be miserable on macrobiotics that can't prove it will keep it at bay. Exercise for health benefits, bone density, endorphins, socialising and making you feel confident. Do to the level you enjoy and can cope with : ) No pressuring yourself !! Exercise is my life and I've get up through chemo as much as possible and would definitely say it's helped reduce my fatigue and keep more balanced moods :)

    For us all to go through this , I just think do things that make you happy and less stressed, there isn't substantial evidence or research on stress but it sure doesn't help ..Don't worry - be happy !!

    Thanks for sharing all the helpful tips ladies xxx.

  • Thanks for that.

    I got really shouted down on her by someone not long after I was told I had cancer by someone who was saying we should all give up meat and dairy.

    I try and eat a good diet meat veg and fruit, I dont do fish unless its in batter.

    I have propley put on 3 stone during my Chemo and rads and am now on Taxiofirm I was over weight before I started as im a picker with a sweet tooth, going to try and lose some weight in the new year as it is really the only thing getting me down at the moment.

    Having Herceptin every 3 weeks now but feel prettty good and positive about everything:))

    Good luck everyone and enjoy life



  • Hi Caz, I had blinkin well given up meat and dairy and sat in restaurants and refused puddings whilst everyone else was tucking into creme brûlée! The thing I have been doing is walking the dogs for an hour an day and I guess that is what has kept my weight down, we adopted a small puppy about a year ago who was seriously under nourished and then turned into a red setter (See my ohoto) She absolutely has to have an hour minimum every day so I have to go out. It's the best thing that happened to me (and her) she was also very good at cuddling on the sofa during chemo! Carol
  • Sorry - just a simple 'aside' - my friend, a five-year BC survivor, was told by her GP "The best thing I can prescribe for you now is a DOG!" I have a dog who demands to walk for an hour every day, come rain, shine... or hurricane!

    Best wishes