Resources

We offer a selection of Resources and Links to useful information.

Facts on nutrition, supplements and aromatherapy.

Books

Useful Books

Dr. Susan Love’s Menopause and Hormone Book: Making Informed Choices– Susan M. Love
A comprehensive reference book 

The Lymphoedema Handbook – Prof Neil Piller & Maree O’Connor
A reference book on the causes, effects and management of lymphoedema.

You Can Get Through This! How to Stay Positive When You’re Coping with Breast Cancer – Domini Stuart
A practical guide with suggestions with a diagnosis of breast cancer.

There is more to life than my right breast: A personal guide to breast cancer
Cyndi Kaplan-Freiman
Personal stories from women with breast cancer and practical and supportive advice.

Spirited women – journeys with breast cancer – Petrea King
Inspirational stories about women’s journeys with breast cancer.

She’s Got What? Carrie Lethborg & Angela Kirsner
A story book designed for parents to read to children aged 5 – 12 years.

When a Parent Has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children (USA)– Wendy Schlessel Harpham, MD.
A practical guide for parents about raising children while battling breast cancer. Includes information for the teenage years.

A guide for women with metastatic breast cancer (2001)
A free information guide about treatment of advanced breast cancer – National Breast Cancer Centre, ph: 1800 624 973 (from within Australia)

Advanced Breast Cancer: A Guide to Living with Metastatic Disease, 2nd Edition (Patient-Centered Guides) Musa Meyer
A reference book including practical advice and stories from women with metastatic disease.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer: A Survivor’s Guide for When Treatment Ends and the Rest of Your Life Begins – Marisa Weiss, Ellen Weiss;

 

Articles


CANCER RESOURCE CENTRE NEWSLETTER
You might be interested to read an article that was written in The Guardian recently entitled “There is a place for self-help in the treatment of cancer
It’s a response to a previous Guardian article by Barbara Ehrenreich that dismissed self-help methods.
The Ontario Cancer Institute research that I mention in the article has been carried out by Prof Alastair Cameron. His Healing Journey programme is an innovative educational process that has been shown to increase the quality of life of many people with cancer.

 

Nutrition

Current scientific research shows that what we eat makes a big difference to the ability of our immune systems to cope with disease. These guidelines help to strengthen the body physically and to promote healthy immune and repair functions. 

Seeing the Bigger Picture
Although what we eat is important, there are many other changes that we can also make to our lifestyle to promote well-being and support the immune system. This means that Amanita focus on the well-being and health of the whole person, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We believe that learning practical techniques that will help people to cope better with the day to day stresses of living with cancer, and to promote a less fearful attitude to illness, are as important as diet.

Recommended Foods

• Wholefood (i.e. nothing added or taken away), e.g. wholemeal bread, brown flour, brown rice.
• Fresh fruit and vegetables in season, lightly steamed, stir fried with olive oil, juiced or as salad – try to eat between 5 & 9 servings daily.
• Fresh fruit Juice
• Raw cereals (muesli), nuts, seeds, dried fruits etc. Try to eat some daily.
• Organically grown food, as available and affordable.
• Free range eggs
• Free range chicken
• Beans, pulses, lentils, (kacang kuda, kacang merah). These foods are also a good source of dietary fibre, but bran should be avoided, as it is too irritating to the bowel.
• Cold pressed oils for cooking and dressings i.e. olive oil, but do not heat to high temperatures
• If buying fish, stick to deep-sea white fish is preferable e.g. cod, salmon and the smaller oilier fish such as sardines and mackerel (ikan tenggiri/ikan kurau). These fish tend to be less contaminated.
• Variety. Avoid excessive dependence on any one food.
• Drink lots of filtered water. 2 litres daily is a good goal. Try to drink between meals.
• Herbal Teas
Eat less or minimal amounts of the following foods
• Red meat, i.e. beef, pork, lamb, and veal.
• Saturated fat, e.g. coconut milk, meat fat & skin, milk, cheese, cream and yoghurt. Use low fat varieties
• Smoked, preserved and salt cured foods.
• Refined sugar, i.e. any crystal form of sugar – use honey, fruit concentrates or maple
• syrup if necessary
• Excess salt – use small amounts of rock or sea salt or a low sodium soya sauce instead.
• Pre packaged foods
• Processed and refined foods e.g. burgers or pre-prepared ‘ready’ meals
• Caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate and coca-cola.
• Excess alcohol.
How to introduce change to your diet
It is worth remembering that food should always be a pleasure, so try not to be stressed by thinking, what can I eat? If your diet becomes stressful you can actually be undoing some of the good that you are trying to achieve. 

We are all unique individuals and our nutritional needs are different, so remember that these are general guidelines and may need to be modified according to your own requirements; for example, if you have problems with fibre or if you are unable to eat solids.

These guidelines have been developed for people with cancer and for general health promotion. If you have other health issues, please consult a nutritional therapist, dietitian or doctor before introducing any change to your diet.

Remember that it is important to have a balanced and varied diet. This is possible without animal products or processed foods, but if this is a new way of preparing food these changes may take a little time and organisation. Here are a few hints and tips to help you:

  • Start by adding a variety of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables so that these, along with cereals and wholegrain, make up a larger percentage of your diet.
  • A good way to shop for a variety of fruit and vegetables is by colour. Colour often represents a different nutrient or mineral, so if you’re missing a red or a purple in your basket, go back and get one.
  • Juicing is a great way of getting the goodness and nutrients from a wide variety of fruit and vegetables into your diet. Nutrients in fresh juices are easily absorbed and therefore juicing is useful for those with poor digestion. To avoid high levels of fruit sugars use more vegetables with fruit to sweeten.
  • If you are unable to cut out all meat, start by cutting down on portion size. Choose white meat or fish. If affordable and available buy organic.
  • If it is available and affordable choose organic produce, especially if eating raw foods, as fewer chemicals are used in the soil. However the biggest benefit to your health is going to be eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains – even if they are not organic. Soak non-organic fruit and vegetables for 15 minutes in water mixed with one tablespoon of vinegar before use.
  • Use wholegrain alternatives to wheat products such as pasta, and bread.
  • Use a variety of herbs, spices, fresh lemon & lime, tomato paste, garlic and ginger, dried mushrooms etc. These add flavour to dishes without the use of salt.
  • If you like a recipe when you or friends cook, make up large amounts the next time so that you can freeze individual portions for when you are busy, or if you feel too unwell to cook.
  • Main meals can take a little planning, especially if you are cooking for a family who may not be happy with change.You might like to get a no meat or dairy cookbook and try some recipes.
Give yourself time to eat slowly, enjoy your meals and relax afterwards if possible. How you feel about your food and whether you are enjoying it is very important. There is no need to let your eating become a chore! 

 

Supplements

Multi Vitamin and Minerals and Multi Anti-oxidants. 

Evidence suggests that supplements are best taken in combination and that the body needs as wide a range as possible of different nutrients. We therefore recommend that everyone supplements with a multi vitamin and mineral supplement every day. In the table below we give our recommendations and cautions for the dosages of supplements that maybe beneficial for people with cancer. Not everyone needs supplements and we advise caution when dealing with sales people with no nutrition knowledge.

Supplement Details Dose for people with cancer Dose for general health Important Notes
Beta Carotene If taken in combination with lycopene, take no more than 7mg at the same time, as at higher levels beta-carotene will inhibit the body’s absorption of lycopene 10-15mg a day 5-15mg a day Advice for smokers – we strongly advise that you stop smoking. If you continue to smoke research has show that it is not advisable to take synthetic preparations of beta-carotene – take natural beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a pigment that may occasionally cause the skin to turn orange – this is nothing to be concerned about. If this happens take the same dose on alternate days
Lycopene If taken in combination with beta-carotene, take no more than 7mg of beta-carotene at the same time to maximize uptake of lycopene 15mg a day 5-15mg a day Half a pint of carrot juice is equal to 6mg of beta carotene. Therefore to ensure the maximum uptake of lycopene do not take carrot juice at the same time as taking lycopene.
Vitamin C A buffered form such as potassium, calcium or magnesium ascorbate (not acidic form) is gentler on the stomach. 500-1000mg a day 500-1000mg a day If you take more than the recommended dose a day, build up to this gradually. If you find that your stomach is upset reduce the dose before building up gradually again – your stomach needs time to adjust
Vitamin E Best taken in combination with vitamin C and A 100-200iu a day 100-200iu a day If you have high blood pressure or are taking warfarin, aspirin or any other anti-thrombotic drug you should consult your doctor before taking vitamin E due to its mild anti-coagulant effect
Selenium Best taken in combination with vitamin C and A 100-200mcg a day 100-200mcg a day Best to take the natural rather than the synthetic variety
Omega 3 fatty acids Fish Oils
OR
1000mg a day to provide 500mg EPA + DHA a day 1000mg a day to provide 500mg EPA + DHA a day Should be taken with a multivitamin and mineral plus antioxidants. Take whole fish oil. Fish liver oils are found to contain heavy metals, and although low in dose are best avoided.
Flaxseed (linseed) Oil with DHA – vegan equivalent 1000mg a day 1000mg a day Should be taken with a multivitamin and mineral plus antioxidants
Optional Extra
Co-Enzyme Q10 Helpful if you are low in energy up to 100mg a day 60-100mg a day If you are taking warfarin you should only take co-enzyme Q10 with the guidance of a doctor
Probiotics Recommended for those with digestive disorders and during chemotherapy 1-2 per day, or as otherwise indicated on the label Dose as for people with cancer Choose one that includes at least a billion organisms.Keep probiotics refrigerated.

 

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