Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Diet changes to kill the cancer – like no sugar

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    Hi everyone,

    My best friend was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma 2 years ago, and it has now come back and spread to his lungs and a few different subcutaneous lumps over his body and he’s only 29. He’s in the process of getting into a clinical trial out of Toronto comparing vemurafenib with a combination of dabrafenib and trametinib. To be in the trial he has to agree to not do other treatments at the same time and not to take any supplements. I’m wondering if anyone has had success in altering their diet such as going vegan and not eating any sugar. There seems to be a lot of stuff on the internet about these types of treatments.


    HI Nikki- This is going to sound terrible but Don & I sort of feel like we try & eat as close to natural as possible(processed foods are not a big part of our diet) & love the eat local( for us a lot of seafood) but life is short- ENJOY! Don is also a diabetic so we eat a balanced diet anyway. But again- enjoy your food but do what seems right to you & your best friend.

    Take Care, Karen

    Catherine Poole

    Eating locally grown, organic when possible foods will have the most nutrients. For instance eating strawberries shipped from across the country will have little freshness left. The only supplement I would ask about is vitamin D which helps the immune system. It is hard to get D in your diet. Sugar has not been proven to be harmful. Many supplements are not proven to be scientifically beneficial. I would avoid meat that is commercially produced as farming practices include use of hormones and antibiotics.

    Sounds like a very interesting trial! Let us know how it goes.


    Melanoma is different from other cancers. Most of the information that you will read about cancer diets online will tell you to become a strict vegetarian/vegan and while this is “mostly” true for people with breast cancer it’s not necessarily for people with Melanoma. I did a lot of research into diet when I was first diagnosed and most all of the “miracle cure” diet approaches were blanket “this will cure cancer” methods, but if melanoma were like other cancers then it would probably respond to treatments for other cancers, right?

    I tried an all vegan diet and from experience I can say that my body didn’t like it. I felt weak and tired all the time and I think (no proof) that the melanoma spread faster.

    My advice is to listen to your doctor… and do a lot of research specifically paying attention to advice that names melanoma. I’m not advocating for Alternative therapies but I found that Dr Gonzalez was one of the few alternative practitioners to specifically address melanoma. Mostly everybody in the Alt-Medicine/Homeopathy cancer world claims to have “the method” but everyone’s bodies are different and we are all designed to live in different parts of the world with different dietary needs.

    I would suggest listening to these http://zenithosis.com/HealingCancer

    Don’t think that they have a cure but listen to what they are saying and take it for what it’s worth. There is no silver bullet but that doesn’t mean that everything they suggest is wrong.


    Hi Nikki,

    I agree with Karen, in this case I think it’s best to eat what you enjoy, what agrees with your body to help keep up energy for the fight. Hope all goes well for your friend.



    Bob’s onc told him to eat whatever he likes/wants.

    He specifically said “if you like Haagen Dazs, eat it all day long”!

    My understading is that Stage IV patients need to try hard to keep their weight & strength up.

    Onc also told Bob that he needs to change his thinking about eating… It is no longer a pleasure, it’s a necessity like taking meds.

    So… Eat what you want & enjoy what you eat!


    4 years ago I modified my diet to a 90% vegan diet. It was great. I felt good and it seemed like I was doing something positive in addition to the medicine. So mentally it was a good thing too. My melanoma came back. I did a course of ipilumimab that didn’t work. I then went full on vegan and did a juice therapy as well. Went to Mexico to learn how to apply it properly. 100% vegan, all organic. It didn’t work. I had a ton of progression. After years of applying dietary principles and reading about cancer & nutrition I’m not a believer there is much of a connection to melanoma. After getting so sick the past few months I’ve reverted back to my younger days. I eat whatever I want when I want. It’s helped me put weight back on and feel stronger. I also am not stressing over the fact that food is playing a role in cancer development or suppression.

    I guess bottom line it’s an individuals decision. And I found depending on the extent of disease it can help or hurt. I just warn of going too far or buying into crazy alternative ideas. Initially I did enjoy being vegan, and it opened so many new food possibilities. Now I enjoy eating ice cream. Best of luck.


    Thank you so much everyone for all your advice, it really does help……it’s just so easy to buy into all the claims of curing this with diet…..we want so badly for all of this to end


    My doc said to eat anything I wanted because even vegetables ( carbs) convert to sugar and all our cells use sugar to thrive. Eating healthy things will help maintain a stronger immune system…something we need to fight off melanoma. I do have low Vit D and my endocrine doc at Moffitt put me on 10,000 IU daily.


    When I was initially diagnosed I changed my diet and excluded all sugar, white flour, fried food from my diet.

    I ate nearly all organic produce which included grass fed beef, butter, good oils et

    Had fresh veggie juices daily.

    On top of that I took a lot of supplements.

    I went and did detox clinics .

    I didn’t have a drink either for all that time.

    I got super healthy but I still had cancer and I still progressed to stage 4 unfortunately.

    I did everything I could to get myself in the best shape possible but at the end of the day like others have posted melanoma isn’t like other cancers. It is much worse in a lot of ways. It is highly personal and highly unpredictable.

    Catherine Poole

    The sugar theory was disproved. Healthy does mean local, organically grown if possible foods. Vegetarians have been proven to live longer. But there is a lot of misinformation and unproven facts about diet and cancer. Exercise has been proven to be helpful for both mind and body.


    Catherine Poole wrote:

    The sugar theory was disproved. Healthy does mean local, organically grown if possible foods. Vegetarians have been proven to live longer. But there is a lot of misinformation and unproven facts about diet and cancer. Exercise has been proven to be helpful for both mind and body.

    The thing is that it is bad for general health even if it doesn’t promote cancer growth.

    It impacts liver function, immune function can be implicated in leaky gut and candida problems etc

    So I think there is a strong case for excluding it from you diet all together especially when facing a life threatening disease.

    I found that my general health improved out of sight with the dietary changes I made even thou ultimately it didn’t stop the spread of the disease.


    I tried an almost-no-sugar diet for awhile. I also looked into supplements for awhile. These were things to do at several points where I felt like the disease was out of control and I had no influence on it. It feels better than to simply leave oneself in the hands of fate alone.

    But It bothers me now when I see patients get all kinds of advice about changing to some kind of ‘hairshirt’ diet, i.e. low ketone, low pH (or is it high pH?), as well as low sugar. I’m probably forgetting some others. This comes from both patients and non-patients. As if the effects of the disease aren’t bad enough, it’s ‘fun’ to torture someone by making their diet miserable. I know it’s not intentional, but it is b.s. and should be called out as such.

    All that said I think a healthy diet for the average healthy person is the healthy diet for most people dealing with most diseases too. It’s eating for health, not for the disease.


    Thank you, kylez. The diet thing is so frustrating. As if we don’t have it difficult enough.


    Catherine Poole

    The funny (maybe) thing is we get the most spam on this forum for supplements and diet scams. I feel there are many unscrupulous people who want to profit off of folks who are ill and desperate. There is no evidence that sugar increases the growth of cancer, that coffee enemas do anything but give you a good jolt of caffeine. So eat organic and low meat, only proven changes that are helpful with scientifically validated. Vegetarians do live longer! Exercise is even more key to good health.

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