Kidney Cancer Diet and Nutrition
If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, you are probably wondering what things you can do to help treat your cancer — or at least improve your symptoms. Changing your regular diet to a kidney cancer diet is something you can easily control.
According to the Kidney Cancer Association, the relationship between cancer and diet is not clear. A poor diet may contribute to causing cancer, but can improving diet improve the outlook of cancer?
Research still needs to be done, as there is little evidence at this time regarding diet changes and treatment of cancer. But that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from taking a look at your current diet and making some changes.
It is estimated that diet is a factor in the development in 35% of cancers. Being obese may be a risk factor in the development of kidney cancer.
It can be tough to develop cancer and think that it was your fault (guess what – it’s not!) Changing your diet significantly is not considered to be curative, but it is believed to be significantly supportive.
According to the Kidney Cancer Association, “A healthy, well-balanced diet helps the patient maintain strength, prevents body tissues from breaking down, prevents infection, and promotes the regeneration of normal tissues. Eating right is especially important if you are undergoing cancer therapy. Many foods can be beneficial.”
Does Diet Have an Impact on Developing Kidney Cancer?
Well, the jury is still out, but according to Reuters, eating red meat may increase your risk of developing kidney cancer, while consuming a diet high in vegetables may have a protective benefit. Also of note is that people with diets high in white bread and white potatoes were at a greater risk than those who ate the foods with less frequency.
In regards to eating red meat, the study found that people had to eat quite a bit of it to boost their odds of developing kidney cancer – five or more times per week.
However, research still needs to be done as the study was not large enough to say with certainty that red meat, white bread, and white potatoes grossly increases your risk of developing kidney cancer.
It is important to note that while supplements may play a significant role in your health, they should only be taken at the advice of your physician. Research has not yet proven that megadoses of vitamins (for example, vitamins A and C) are helpful in the treatment of cancer unless you are deficient in these vitamins.
A large dose of vitamin A may interact with medications, have undesirable side effects, and be toxic to the body while a large dose of vitamin C can cause kidney stones. For a person who has had a nephrectomy due to kidney cancer, a large dose of vitamin C may be damaging to the remaining kidney.
The Research of Supplements and Kidney Cancer
Being said, a 2016 research study conducted at UC Davis found that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) “reduces renal cell carcinoma invasiveness, growth rate, and blood vessel growth when combined with the anti-cancer therapy regorafenib.”
DHA is a fatty acid that is found in fish and fish oil supplements.
This was a groundbreaking found because according to Robert Weiss, professor of medicine at UC Davis and chief of nephrology at Sacramento VA Medical Center, “Most renal cell carcinomas learn to escape therapy after a couple of years. A simple additive, which is completely non-toxic, could have a positive effect on disease, even rescuing regorafenib and similar therapies from resistance.”
Unfortunately, the benefit seems to be peculiar to the synergistic action of DHA and regorafenib. At this time there is no proof about how taking a fish oil supplement or eating lots of salmon will have an impact on kidney cancer on its own, or with a different type of medication – at least not yet.