The reason why mesothelioma cancer patients ask their doctor about diet and mesothelioma is because they want to go beyond the usual mesothelioma life expectancy. They don’t like the mesothelioma prognosis – and with good reason. It’s not good! They believe that it’s possible that a proper diet for mesothelioma may do exactly that – extend their life.
Interestingly, the subject of diet and mesothelioma isn’t one with a lot of studies. Researchers at big universities and hospitals are more concerned with some of the latest medications or chemotherapeutic agents, generally speaking.
This should be changing soon, as the literature is full of research studies that support the important role of food in causing cellular change on multiple levels. For example, foods contain functional ingredients that have anti-cancer, anti-metastases, immune system boosting, and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating these foods a few times a day can cause a shift in the patient’s health. There can be a war on cancer, even mesothelioma cancer and increase mesothelioma life expectancy using diet and foods.
Study #1. Carrots and Tomatoes Increase Mesothelioma Life Expectancy?
In the 1990s, the American Health Foundation (Epidemiological Division) in New York published a study in the British Journal of Cancer. They ran a case control study of 94 men and women with malignant mesothelioma and 64 patients without cancer as a control. Their mission was to determine the odds associated with consumption of carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables.
They found that tomato consumption was associated with a 50% reduced risk of cancer. Eating carrots decreased the risk of cancer by 20%. Their conclusion was this: “These results provide some justification for the hypothesis that provitamin A or beta-carotene may decrease the risk of mesothelioma.
Study #2. Oops… Disobedience to Mom Caught Up with Them
At the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, researchers compared diets of 37 patients with malignant mesothelioma of the pleura or peritoneum to 37 controls. They were looking for any type of dietary pattern that could predict who would or would not get mesothelioma cancer. Sure enough, they found one.
Those who had mesothelioma cancer did not eat their vegetables (like their mother told them to!). Yes, those who had mesothelioma cancer less frequently ate homegrown produce, cruciferous vegetables and all vegetables combined than did the controls.
The greater the consumption of vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula, cabbage, collard greens, daikon, broccoli rabe, turnips, bok choy, kale, horseradish, wasabi, watercress, rutabaga, mustard, radish and kohlrabi – the lower the chance that they had mesothelioma cancer and eating vegetables can also increase mesothelioma life expectancy.
Study #3. Starve the Darn Tumor… Why Not with Diet for Mesothelioma?
Back in 2010, researcher William Li presented a TEDx talk called Can we eat to starve cancer? His talk has over 1.1 million views, possibly many with cancer or their family members. Li discusses how using naturally-occurring foods can inhibit the process of cancerous tumors spreading through the body. They spread by angiogenesis. These foods are called angiogenesis inhibitors.
Angiogenesis means growth of new blood capillaries. Cancers start out as small nests of cells without a blood supply. However, when angiogenesis works properly in the body, it’s one of our most important defense mechanisms against cancer metastases. It will prevent the growths of tumors and prevent metastases.
Cancer becomes deadly when the cancer cells release factors that grow new blood vessels. Once these new blood vessels affect the tumor, a feeding source is given to the tumor, and the cancer can spread.
Cutting off the blood supply to cancers is different from chemotherapy. It’s called anti-angiogenic therapy. Blood vessels to cancers are highly vulnerable to angiogenesis inhibitors; without a blood supply, the cancer dies and mesothelioma life expectancy increases.
Use Diet to Cure Cancers
Li created a cocktail of angiogenesis inhibitors from foods. Testing it originally on a dog given three months to live with a large abdominal tumor, the dog’s mesothelioma life expectancy was extended six times the survival that was expected. In his next study with 700 dogs, he proved that the angiogenesis inhibitors theory worked well. Complete remissions were seen in the animals treated for a wide range of cancers. However, the treatment did not work for all dog patients.
Add Up All the Evidence
In the year 2004, anti-angiogenic treatments were added to chemotherapy treatments for patients with cancer. They have increased survival by 70-100% for several types of cancer. Unfortunately, asbestos lung cancer or mesothelioma cancer has not been one of the types of cancers treated. This may be because mesothelioma is actually considered a rare form of cancer and mesothelioma life expectancy is very short.
Diet accounts for 30-35% of environmental cancers. That means that someone’s diet contributed to the development of cancer. Perhaps they ate high sugar foods, which feeds microscopic cancer nests in the body, or their diet was full of processed, GMO and chemical/pesticide-laden foods that just didn’t offer any nutrients or health protective effects. Dietary deficiencies of vitamin C, A, selenium, zinc, and vitamin D have already been found to contribute to higher rates of cancer in the populations tested.
If you ask Li the question, can we eat to starve cancer, his answer is Yes. He believes that we can prevent the microscopic cancer nests from growing. And this may be the most important key point for mesothelioma cancer and asbestos cancer patients – and those who have been exposed to asbestos. We already know that there’s a latency period. This is a period of time between exposure to asbestos and the actual mesothelioma cancer diagnosis or asbestos cancer diagnosis. What if during the latency period someone ate a diet for mesothelioma based on angiogenesis inhibitors?
Foods That are Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Here’s a list of foods with natural inhibitors of angiogenesis:
• resveratrol – inhibits it by 60%
• red grapes
• bok choy
• sea cucumber
• olive oil
• maitake mushrooms
• grapeseed oil
• red wine
• dark chocolate
There’s food synergy that occurs when you mix several of the foods together in your diet. For example, you wouldn’t choose only one of the foods on the list and just eat that one. You’d want more of a broad spectrum approach, incorporating as many of the angiogenesis inhibitors foods in your diet daily.
There are two precautions here though:
- Tuna is generally high in mercury, and high levels of mercury suppress the immune system. Thus, tuna should not be eaten more than twice a month.
- Did you see the dark chocolate on the list? This doesn’t give you a license to eat it several times a day, especially the high sugar brands. Remember that sugar feeds cancer.
Study #4. Will Diet for Mesothelioma Work?
There is evidence in humans that food angiogenesis inhibitors work. One Harvard study of 79,000 men found that over the course of 20 years, men who consumed two to three servings of cooked tomatoes per week had up to a 50% reduced risk for developing prostate cancer. Yes, prostate cancer is definitely different from mesothelioma cancer… but one of the naturally-occurring ingredients in tomatoes is called lycopene, and it works against angiogenesis. It prevents those new blood vessels from feeding the tumors, thus starving it to literal death.
In the Harvard study, the men who ate more than 3 servings of cooked tomatoes per week had a lessened chance of metastases when they had prostate cancer. The researchers verified that they actually had a reduced blood supply to their tumor.
Li recommends that cancer patients ask for FDA-approved anti-angiogenesis treatments. He also suggests that every cancer patient ask himself or herself what can be done that their doctor can’t do. The answer here is to feed yourself foods that nourish, heal, and starve the tumors to increase mesothelioma life expectancy.
Mesothelioma cancer patients can add ‘good’ foods to their diet; foods that actually have a purpose in their health. Use knowledge and take action. Combine diet with the rest of your medical treatment. Change your mesothelioma prognosis and your mesothelioma life expectancy by taking an active part in the healing. After all, you still have to eat… why not do the eating part in a way that makes sense?
Muscat, J.E. and Huncharek, M. Dietary intake and the risk of malignant mesothelioma. Br J Cancer 1996 May;73(9):1122-5.
Schiffman, M.H., et al. Case-control study of diet and mesothelioma in Louisiana. Cancer Res 1988 May 15;48(10):2911-5.
TED talk. William Li. Accessed Feb. 20, 2020. https://youtu.be/B9bDZ5-zPtYMucci LA, Powolny A, Giovannucci E, Liao Z, Kenfield SA, Shen R, Stampfer MJ and Clinton SK. Prospective study of prostate tumor angiogenesis and cancer-specific mortality in the health professionals follow-up study. J Clin Oncol 2009;27(33):5627-3