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Apr 21, 2020


“Doctor, can I eat seafood?” “If I take too many nutritional supplements, will it cause the tumor cells to spread?” “I have eaten three normal-sized meals, but I have recently lost a lot of weight. Should I take some supplements?”

In the department of Medical Oncology, we hear these questions every day, especially during the epidemic, and many cancer patients’ friends and family members are at a loss as to what to eat. So what foods can and cannot be eaten by cancer patients, and what is a healthier diet during treatment?

On April 16, in the third expert live broadcast of the ” Life Protection and GanoHerb’s Help” series jointly planned by Haibo TV – Haibo Beijing in collaboration with Cancer Foundation of China, 39 Health and Fujian Xianzhilou Biological Science and Technology Co., Ltd. China’s national-level famous TCM Doctor Du Jian, Dean of Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, explained the confusion of tumor prevention and dietary conditioning for cancer patients. Traditional Chinese medicine therapies and other cancer treatment means can work synergistically to reduce the side effects of surgery and chemotherapy.

Du Jian, Dean of Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Is cancer mostly caused by diet?

According to 2017 China Cancer Registration Annual Report,
Cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer are in the top ten cancers in China. These cancers mostly result from the diets and account for half of frequent occurring cancer types.

Why has the incidence of cancer-related to the digestive system remained high for many years? President Du said that cancer itself is a disease caused by multiple factors. Genetic factors account for only 20%, and 80% are caused by acquired factors. Dietary habits are one of them. To prevent cancer by mouth, a balanced diet, you should eat more whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruits and beans, eat less preserved food, moldy food and leftovers and should not blindly take supplements.

Only the usual health cultivation can prevent the disease in advance.

As for the prevention of cancer, Dean Du particularly emphasized a TCM feature – preventive treatment of disease, i.e. to scientifically prevent and cure cancer by prevention before disease onsetand preventing the disease from exacerbating.

“Most cancers are caused by the poor constitution and poor immune function.” When talking about how to assist treatment from the perspective of TCM, Dean Du emphasized that TCM assists in the treatment of cancer through the combination of strengthening the body resistance and eliminating pathogens, focusing on improving patients’ symptoms, reducing pain and improving their quality of life. At the same time, we must establish a correct concept and have a positive and optimistic attitude so as to help patients get rid of the mental distress caused by the disease.

Reishi helps the proper functioning of all internal organs and can store up essence, energy and spirit.

Because many diseases are caused by disorders of the internal organs, meridians and Qi movement, we usually judge whether a person is healthy according to his essence, energy and spirit. The person with affluent energy and blood seems energetic, spirited and healthy.

In reply to the question of what traditional Chinese medicine should be eaten during the cancer treatment period, Dean Du said that he would distinguish the patient’s constitution before giving a prescription. Dietary or medical therapy depends on whether the nature of the food or medication is appropriate for the patient. He suggested adjusting the patient’s body nature by the nature of food or medication. He took Ganoderma lucidum, a traditional Chinese medicinal material commonly applied in the clinical treatment of tumors, for example. Ganoderma lucidum is bitter in taste and mild in nature. It can help the proper functioning of five internal organs, detoxify the human body, support the healthy energy, strengthen the body resistance and eliminate the pathogens so as to cure the disease.

Live Broadcast Q&A

Question: During chemotherapy when the number of leukocytes is lower, can the patient eat Reishi mushroom?
Dean Du Jian’s Answer: Sure, Ganoderma lucidum is very recommended for patients receiving chemotherapy.  Ganoderma lucidum can help the proper functioning of the five internal organs. It is considered to be “magic grass”. It can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and soothe the mood of cancer patients.

Question: Is the saying that “Eating food similar in appearance to an organ of the human body is beneficial to that organ of the human body” correct? Should we eat more livers?
Dean Du Jian’s Answer: This question is very well asked, I will explain to you in this way. Our normal human body needs 41 kinds of nutrients, which must be supplemented by a variety of different foods, generally about 20 different kinds of food. This was mentioned in the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor two thousand years ago. What are these 20 kinds of food? They are five cereals, five fruits, five animals and five vegetables. How to replenish? We should follow the principle of replenishing what is missing in the body. We should first do a body composition analysis. The main components of our body are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, microelements, vitamins and water. These are the main compositions of the human body. Whichever component is lacking, you can replenish the lacking one. Can you “eat food similar in appearance to an organ of the human body is beneficial to that organ of the human body”? This can’t be used clinically. You can’t say it works so long as the shape is similar or the same.

Question: Can patients with “three highs” eat Reishi mushroom?
Dean Du Jian’s Answer: People with “three highs” can eat Lingzhi. Polysaccharides in Lingzhi is beneficial to human nutrition. Triterpenoids in Ganoderma lucidum also have anti-cancer effects. Although it does not lower blood pressure, it can help restore the patient’s internal balance in the body. Ganoderma lucidum can also help improve cardiovascular health and protect the liver.

Question: Can poor sleepers eat Ganoderma lucidum?
Dean Du Jian’s Answer: Yes. Taking Ganoderma lucidum can improve sleep. Reishi mushroom can help soothe the nerves, which is recorded in Compendium of Materia Medica.

Questions: Does t work if patients with advanced cancer take traditional Chinese medicine?
Dean Du Jian’s Answer: Yes. Taking traditional Chinese medicine can alleviate the pain and elongate the life for patients with advanced cancer. In fact, this question is very complex. Cancer can be divided into four stages: the first stage is early cancer, which can be cured; the second stage is mid-term cancer, which can also be cured if treated actively; the third or fourth stage is difficult to cure and patients with advanced cancer should consider the use of comprehensive treatments so as to improve the living quality and extend the life.

Question: Does the tumor grow as the increase of intaking nutritions?
Dean Du Jian’s Answer: It depends on whether the patient’s diet complies with the “Dietary Guidelines for Patients with Malignant Tumors”.