A Dietitian's Cancer Story Newsletter: Summer 2002

Summer Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story.

Thanks to all of you who gave such glowing feedback after receiving my first newsletter in May. Hundreds of new people have signed up for future editions of the newsletter. At this time I am planning to send out an Email newsletter quarterly. In between newsletters, remember to also check my web site at http://www.CancerRD.com for other new recipes, Q&A's, and links added since the last newsletter.

I would like to share this Chinese proverb with all of you.
"If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
      If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
          If you want happiness for a month, get married.
              If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
                  If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else."

Sharing my information with you gives me great happiness. Please feel free to share my happiness by forwarding this newsletter to any patients, friends/relative, or colleagues who would find it helpful.

I. Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms Info
II. Essiac Tea Web site
III. Red Lentil Stew Recipe
IV. Research projects funded by the proceeds from my book
V. Bladder Cancer/Antioxidant Therapy Clinical Trial Info
VI. AICR Web site's New Section on Cancer Survivor Info
VII Book ordering info
VIII Removal Instructions

I - CSA Information

I have been fortunate to have both my grown sons home with us this summer, which has led to LOTS more cooking (both frequency and volume!). We have enjoyed experimenting with many new and different varieties of vegetables supplied by a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm that we joined for the first time this year.
As members of this local CSA, we pay a fee at the beginning of the growing season, and then we receive a HUGE box of organically grown vegetables each week at least through October. Not only are we helping support a small family owned farm, we are supporting our local economy along with improving our personal health and the
health of our planet. You may find out more about CSA's, and if there are any CSA farms in your locality, at the following web site ,http://www.csacenter.org/statesfr.htm. Not all may be listed, and so also ask at a local natural food store, Farmers' Market, or food co-op if there are any in your area.

It is not difficult at all to consume a minimum of 9 servings of fruits and veggies daily when the refrigerator is FILLED with them.

II - Essiac Tea Information

So many people have asked me (1) what I know about Essiac Tea and (2) if I have used it. The short answer is "No, I have not used it at any point in my recovery." From the reading I have done, my opinion is that the tea is generally safe for cancer patients to take as a supplement or complement to conventional cancer therapies. However,
finding reputable information about the tea, reliable supplies at reasonable prices may be the difficult aspect of consuming this tea. There are many web sites to obtain information or purchase the tea, but the following web site http://essiac-info.org/index.html focuses on giving people unbiased information with the purpose of helping them sort through the maze of confusing and conflicting information available about this herbal supplement.

Special Note: I would NOT recommend using this supplement as your only cancer therapy. In addition, I do urge you to tell your oncologist the names and types of all complementary therapies you are using as part of your personal *healing recipe*.

III - Recipe - Red Lentil Stew

Never feel *locked into* following a recipe such as this to the letter. Feel free to experiment. To show you what I mean, I am listing both the original recipe and my own modifications based on what I had available in the house to make this quickly. My
family enjoyed this variation and couldn't think of any way to improve it. :-)

1 teaspoon olive oil (I used 2 teaspoons)
2 cloves fresh garlic (I used 3 and minced them 10 minutes prior to adding to the oil to maximize the cancer-fighting activity)
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups water
1-1/4 cup red lentils
2 potatoes, cubed (I didn't have any so used 2 cups of already cooked
whole grain rice that I added after the lentils were cooked)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped zucchini (I didn't have any so added 1 cup chopped
left-over cooked spinach and beet greens along with the rice at the end)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (used 1 Tbsp chopped fresh from the garden) (also added 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves from the garden)
pinch cayenne

Heat large soup pot to medium high. Add olive oil and heat garlic and onions until they are soft (about 2-3 minutes). Add other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered on low heat for ~ 20 minutes until lentils are tender. (Here is the
point where I then added the already cooked rice and spinach just so they would warm up but not lose their beautiful color and flavor.) Add a bit more water if you would like it more like a soup rather than a thick stew.

Variation: add about 1/3 cup of dried fruit like golden raisins or cherries. I did this and the slight sweetness provided a delightful occasional taste and texture contrast.

I served this with a large salad made of fresh greens, tomatoes, And avocados, whole grain bread, and fresh fruit for a complete meal.

IV - Research projects funded by the proceeds from my book

Many people have written to ask what type of research projects I have helped to fund with the proceeds from the sale of my books. The Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors' Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment helps to fund research projects focusing on nutrition strategies, either during treatment or recovery, to increase the chances
for long-term survival after a cancer diagnosis. My endowment is located at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in Washington, DC. AICR, founded in 1983, is the only non-profit cancer organization devoted exclusively to education and research about the nutrition and cancer connection.

A very brief synopsis of the two projects my endowment has helped To fund in 2001 and 2002 follows:

(1) Dr. Jennifer Grad, at the University of Miami, Florida, is conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial, testing the safety and efficacy of administering ascorbic acid (vitamin C) with arsenic trioxide in patients with chemo-refractory multiple melanoma (MM). One of the many outcomes that her research will determine is if the concurrent administration of vitamin C along with this particular type of chemotherapy will augment a MM-patient's responsiveness to this cancer therapy.

(2) Dr. Kara Kelly, at Columbia University in New York City, is conducting an observational study of the antioxidant and oxidative status of children receiving chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). One of the many outcomes being measured will determine if antioxidant and oxidation status as measured in the
blood and bone marrow are correlated with treatment effects. Results from this study will help determine if a randomized clinical trial involving antioxidant supplementation is warranted or if the need for antioxidant supplementation will be negated.

These are critical studies that need to be done to help answer the questions most cancer patients have regarding the potential risks and benefits of using a variety of antioxidant supplements concurrently with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. (see my Q&A regarding the use of antioxidants during therapy for further comments of mine on this question. http://www.CancerRD.com/FAQs/FAQ37.htm)

V - Bladder Cancer - Antioxidant Therapy Clinical Trial Information

As mentioned above, many people have written to me asking if antioxidants will help them improve their odds of recovering from various cancers, including bladder cancer. I have now posted extensive information on my web site (link here to the new FAQ on bladder cancer) about a current multi-site clinical trial for bladder cancer patients that
will be evaluating this question.

The protocol, led by Dr. Donald Lamm at the Urology Department of The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, is first randomizing patients into 2 different types of cancer therapy for bladder cancer. Then each of those groups will be randomized into 2 groups that will receive different levels of antioxidants from supplements as additional therapeutic intervention. Differences between response to treatment, including time to recurrence, will be determined. Patients are currently being recruited for this study at many sites around the country. My web site has information to help someone with bladder cancer find a study location (again link to the new FAQ on bladder cancer/antioxidants).

This is exactly the type of clinical trial that needs to be done for all different types of cancer. I hope many more research of this type is done studying each of the multiple types of cancer and therapies being used so that cancer patients (and their health care providers) have human data on which to make informed decisions regarding the use of
antioxidants concurrent with cancer therapy.

VI - AICR's new web site section for cancer survivor information

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has recently Launched a new section on their web site (http://www.aicr.org/survivor/index.html) with helpful cancer survivor information related to nutrition and exercise. Of particular interest is the new posting of the slides (http://aicr.org/surviveslides.html - site not assessible on 04/05) on nutrition and cancer survival presented at their July 2002 International Research Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer. The text of the presentations is not on-line, but much of the presentations can be gleaned from viewing the interesting slides.

AICR has expanded their mission to include nutritional concerns of cancer survivors in addition to continuing to support education and research on nutrition and primary prevention of cancer. The millions of cancer survivors thank you, AICR!

VII - Book Ordering Information

Thanks to all who ordered the remaining copies of the 2000 edition of my book at the discounted price. They are now all purchased, and the proceeds will be added to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors' Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in Washington, DC.

A copy of the updated and revised 2002 edition, which I published in April 2002, can be ordered from any bookstore (the new ISBN is 096672383X), library, Amazon.com, and directly from AICR by calling 1-800-843-8114. Quantity discounts are available from
AICR for orders of 10 or more books.

VIII - Removal from future Email updates from Diana Dyer.

I know that life changes with time. Thus, if you are not interested in receiving future updates and announcements from me via Email or have other subscription requests,
please Email that information to Newsletter@CancerRD.com.

For those of you who choose to remain on this list, be assured that I will never share your name or Email address with anyone.

I send my best wishes to all of you for health, healing, and hope!

Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD - Author
A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English and Spanish translation)
Available from AICR (call 1-800-843-8114)
My Web site: www.CancerRD.com

"Information and inspiration for cancer survivors"

Proceeds donated to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors'
Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment at the
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

>> Back to Newsletter Archives