Does sugar feed cancer and are mammograms dangerous?
Does sugar feed cancer and are mammograms dangerous?
Cancer has a sweet tooth! After cancer surgery and the treatments involved, like chemotherapy and radiation, the patients are offered snacks and meal replacements. These snacks or meals that are given with the intention to help patients make sure they don’t lose more weight are sugar-rich. And guess what; cancer feeds on sugar.
Compared to our normal cells, cancer cells have 10-50 times more insulin receptors. These cells have mitochondrial dysfunction and a regulation of PKM2. This facilitates glucose dependence, anaerobic glycolysis, and the overproduction of lactic acid.
Damages caused by sugar during cancer
Consuming carbs regularly is never good, healthwise. When it comes to cancer, it’s even worse. Let’s take you through how sugar can impact health during cancer.
Pastries, ice creams, cookies, chocolates, and even whole-grains can cause insulin resistance, affecting cancer in several ways. Cancer cells are unable to produce energy to its full capacity. Due to their damaged mitochondrial structures, they perform glycolysis rather than aerobic respiration. Glycolysis is the process of breaking down sugar and is a pathway that is different from the usual way energy is produced in the body. As a result, the cancer cells must regulate glucose intake to enable its rapid division and growth.
Glycolysis also favors cancer growth in several ways, which is why a ketogenic diet has been thoroughly researched and shown to limit cancer growth. A ketogenic diet that removes carbs from the diet menu cuts off the primary fuel supply to cancer cells. However, there are routes through which sugar accelerates cancer growth.
White blood cells are the immune system’s main mechanism to fight off infections and other foreign particles from entering our body. White blood cells require vitamin C to operate at their full capacity. However, humans are unable to produce vitamin C by themselves, and therefore, we receive this nutrient from foods to transport it to the cells in our body.
Our body is then able to retain and repurpose vitamin C through the antioxidant system present in the body. Now, both glucose and vitamin C require insulin to enter through the Glut-1 receptor. This receptor is present on our cell membranes and glucose has a higher affinity for this receptor, which means that vitamin C gets neglected in the presence of glucose. This happens during the times we have more sugar than consuming vitamin C.
As a result, with high blood sugar levels, vitamin C is inhibited from entering white blood cells, reducing our chances of developing strong immunity. So, while cancer loves sugar, the lack of vitamin C makes it difficult for our immune system to back us up to fight cancer.
There is a function called phagocytic index which measures the performance of white blood cells. Phagocytosis is the process white blood cells destroying foreign pathogens within the body, and breaking them down into benign products. So, it’s important to have a high phagocytic index in order to have the best chance to target cancer cells via the immune system.
As glucose and vitamin C battle each other to enter white blood cells, high levels of blood glucose tend to lower the phagocytic index. This process works against the body’s ability to fight against cancer.
Likewise, cancer feeds on sugar via some pathways, proteins, enzymes, and genes. Therefore, sugar plays a significant role in activating pathways or triggering the mutation of certain genes responsible for tumors.
Do Mammograms worsen the effect of cancer?
A mammogram is a breast cancer diagnosing test. It involves exposing the patient to low doses of X-rays. Indeed, exposure to radiation can create the risk of developing cancer. However, since a mammogram involves low doses of X-rays, it’s not likely to cause cancer on immediate effect.
That said, increasing the frequency of mammograms on one person, that is, through repeated chest X-rays can raise its likelihood of developing cancer.
Researchers suggest that mammograms are usually safe for people with average-risk. However, higher breast densities may cause problems like false positives. False positives may lead to over-treating a certain growth that does not require treatment.
While mammograms can help diagnose breast cancer at an early stage, they have some associated risks.
Apart from the chances of receiving false positives, about 20% of cases show false negative reports. This leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
How to restrict cancer growth
Firstly, reduce sugar intake, which means stay away from pastries, chocolates, and sweet treats as much as possible. A few other ways include:
Follow a ketogenic diet
Improve bowel mobility
Commit to intermittent fasting under your doctor’s guidance
Control your protein intake
Shift to using MCT oils
Have quality salts in your meals
Improve your sleep cycle
Develop a proper routine to ensure that sugar does not worsen the chances to fight cancer.
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