Hello, my name is Stephen. This is my story about cancer. I am in remission from high volume aggressive metastatic prostate cancer as well as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Summer 2011: diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason score of 10 out of 10) at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, MA, USA. Eligard treatments were started immediately (androgen deprivation). Eligard is a trade name for the generic drug leuprolide; later I would be switched to Lupron Depot another trade name for the same drug and stay on it until February 2018.
June 2011: First external radiation treatment, repeated every weekday for 8.5 weeks. Prostate removal not possible because cancer had spread a little beyond the prostate – T3N1.
Summer 2016: chemo therapy because cancer had metastasized to bone sites, mostly on spine.
About the diet
At this time I was following a low carbohydrate high fat diet (LCHF) that had successfully put my type 2 diabetes in remission (link). The “high fats” are: animal fats and olive and coconut oils, but NO “vegetable oils”, (vegetable oils are highly industrially processed seed oils that are highly inflammatory: see Nina Teicholz – ‘Vegetable Oils: The Unknown Story’).
I experienced no nausea during chemo (b/c of LCHF?) so took no medication for it.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by too much insulin being secreted by the pancreas in response to high blood sugar (glucose); a metabolic disease. An alternate school of thought in cancer theory and research is that cancer is also a metabolic disease, not caused by genes.
So, after watching this video, I decided to double down on my diet/lifestyle and stop eating any and all carbohydrates to drive my insulin as low as possible; so no foods from plants – like our ancestors before agriculture was invented. I mostly eat grass fed and finished: beef, tallow, and butter, and pasture raised chicken eggs (in the wild chickens would eat insects, grubs, snails, etc. – NOT plant foods); sometimes bacon and bacon grease (lard). The beef is lightly cooked to preserve nutrients. Low carb communities call my diet zero carb (ZC).
After a few months my oncologist declared my cancer in remission, saying it was “remarkable” and to “keep doing what you’re doing.”
One side effect of hormone therapy is bone loss, osteopenia to osteoporosis, because of the extremely low sex hormones (testosterone in men). Lately my osteopenia has gotten worse. So, since I was in remission, I asked my oncologist if we could stop the Lupron injections. He wrote:
“Certainly we could consider intermittent therapy. You do have a very aggressive cancer, successfully controlled, so we would have to be very careful. … Note: it may take 6 – 12 months for testosterone to rise.”
So my last Lupron injection was on 2/21/2018, ending the use of any and all medications, except diet/lifestyle.
My 5/31/2018 PET bone scan showed that all the metastasized sites had disappeared!
Starving the cancer
All cells express appropriate hormone receptors on their surface membranes. Prostate cells express testosterone receptors and hormone/androgen deprivation therapy drives testosterone levels very low. But all cells express insulin receptors and cancer cells express an over abundance of insulin receptors because they need to collect a huge amount of glucose to drive their growth. (The Insulin Receptor: A New Target for Cancer Therapy)
That’s why I’m now targeting with my no-plant (zero carb) diet, an extremely low insulin level to deprive cancer cells of glucose. You could call it “Insulin Deprivation Therapy”.
Meanwhile, normal cells can get their energy requirements from fatty acids and ketones (which cancer cells can’t use because of their uniquely deranged / damaged metabolism).
Exercise helps too
Oh, I also have been doing light to moderate exercise ever since my oncologist recommended it in 2011. It lowers insulin and glycogen stores, among other things. I walk 2-3 miles / day and take a couple of cardio and strength training classes at my local senior center. I’ve recently read and am starting to follow recommendations in this book.
Remember, though, “you can’t outrun a bad diet”. So both are important for optimal health.
Learn through trial and error
I hope others will be encouraged enough by my (highly successful) n=1 experiment to try it themselves. As with any n=1 experiment, if you experience any adverse effects STOP.
BUT, even if it works for you expect only negative reactions, sometimes very emotional, from doctors and dietitians. The best you will probably get, as did I, is “keep doing what you’re doing.”
Also, some people who reduce their carbs to keto or ZC levels find their cholesterol levels rise, as did I. But I’m not worried because World Health Data shows people with higher cholesterol LIVE LONGER. Dave Feldman’s research is revealing the possible mechanisms for this lower mortality (link)