As a survivor, I applaud Dr. Darling’s article on nutrition, exercise and relaxation in regards to breast cancer prevention. However, I want to point out that the jury is still out on whether sugar causes or feeds cancer. The Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson Cancer Center and The American Cancer Society, organizations funding and conducting research to eradicate cancer, have published articles that sugar does not cause cancer. Sugar is vital to the growth of all cells, not just cancer cells. Studies also show that sugar deprivation does not stop cancer cells from growing.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, people told me to stop eating sugar. Chemotherapy was so difficult and devastating to my overall health that I started to find the comment offensive. If one can eat at all during chemo, it is a miracle. I don’t think sugar caused my cancer nor was it ‘a fluke’ because I am BRCA negative. I do think the fact that my maternal cousin, aunt and great aunt and I all had the same kind of breast cancer is more than a coincidence. Fortunately, researchers are working overtime to identify additional cancer markers.
I once asked my surgeon, Dr. Lisa Curcio, what made my cancer ignite and grow? While she thinks diet and exercise are important, she believes that stress and environmental toxins are causing the current increase in women’s breast cancer.
So if a piece of chocolate or a bowl of ice cream lower your stress, I say, “Go for it.” And if a friend of yours is diagnosed with breast cancer, don’t tell her to give up sugar. Bring her a healthy soup, a little cupcake and a funny movie. She needs comfort food and laughter as she battles for her life.
Christine Fugate, Laguna Beach