Sending cancer into remission using food.

Katharyn Brady By Katharyn Brady, 18th Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Recovery & Coping

After being on the "cancer train" for two years, I have decided to take a new approach to pushing the cancer into remission and am chronicling this new journey.

The beginning of the journey with cancer.

At the age of 55, I had been someone who enjoyed good health. However, in April of 2013, while in the shower, I found a lump in my right breast. In May of 2013, it was biopsied and diagnosed as benign. The doctor determined that we wouldn't remove it, but watch the tumor per the standard course of action. But the relief of a benign diagnosis was short lived. In October 2013, the tumor began to grow very quickly and was removed. No longer did I have a diagnosis of benign Fibroadenoma, but now it was diagnosed as a very rare sarcoma; Malignant Phyllodes Tumor. Only 500 people (mostly women) receive this diagnosis in the US each year. In addition to it being rare, it's rare that it is malignant and it's rare that it metastasizes.

With this initial tumor, it was determined that radiation would prevent a recurrence. As I approached the 30th of 33 sessions of radiation, a new tumor appeared on the left side of my lower torso. It was removed, biopsied and diagnosed as a metastatic Malignant Phyllodes Tumor. Now, I was adding an additional rarity; metastasizing right under the skin instead of in an organ. At this point, I had survived cancer twice. The doctor assured me she got negative margins when she removed the metastatic tumor which meant no cancer cells were left behind. But, within weeks, a new tumor appeared on the same side but in the upper part of my torso just right below my ribcage. The following week, another tumor appeared in my left breast. Wow! I was stunned and saddened. Was this journey ever going to stop. I felt like I was in a train and the doors were locked. Was there any way out of this?

Believing I was finally cancer free.

Metastasizing 3 separate times with no stopping in sight, I found a new medical team who had more experience with Malignant Phyllodes Tumors. The new medical team believed that I should receive 5 cycles of chemo therapy. During each cycle of the chemo therapy, I would be admitted to the hospital for 5 days. It was necessary to administer the chemo while hospitalized so the nurses and doctors could monitor and manage the side effects. After taking some time to process my decision about this course of action, I agreed to the chemo therapy. I wanted this cancer to stop growing in my body.

In April of 2014, I was in my 3rd cycle of chemo therapy. The chemo appeared to be working as the tumors were shrinking. Once I completed the 3rd cycle, I had a PET scan. In preparation for this scan, a radioactive glucose substance was fed intravenously through my veins. I then waited 45 minutes for the substance to course through my body. The technician escorted me back to the large, open PET scan machine. I placed my arms above my head and then was fed through the PET scan donut a number of times as it took each image. A few days later, the scan results came back and they diagnosed the tumors as being non cancerous. It was confirmed. The chemo was working.

My doctor and her tumor board agreed that we should stay the course for another 2 cycles of chemo. We also agreed that if the tumors weren't completely gone by the end of the 5th cycle of chemo therapy, we would surgically remove the tumors in August of 2014. All was looking fantastic. I was beating cancer. I was winning. By the time the surgery date arrived, only 1 tumor remained. The tumor that had been in my left breast was gone. All of the imaging, mammogram, MRI and ultrasound confirmed it was gone. That was an additional blessing and miracle.

The cancer returned for the 5th time.

Once I completed chemo therapy, I had to recover from the fatigue it caused. That took months. I was finally able to return to work in November 2014. It looked very promising. In April 2015, I celebrated one year since the first time I was told the cancer was gone. I believed I was finally going to live my life fully.

Unfortunately, the following month, May 2015, a new tumor appeared. I was once again back on that figurative train. Lots of imaging was performed which was inconclusive. So, the tumor was removed, biopsied and diagnosed once again as Malignant Phyllodes Tumor.

Radiation Treatment - to have or not to have?

This new tumor was surgically removed and diagnosed as Malignant Phyllodes Tumor. We were able to rule out cancer in any other part of my body through a PET scan. Therefore, the tumor board recommended radiation to the area.

I spoke of my concern of even more radiation to my body with each doctor that I met with (surgeon, oncologist, radiology oncologist). When an area is radiated in your body, that area is compromised if you require further surgery. In addition, the radiation can create specific side effects. I learned that without radiation, I had an 80% chance it wouldn't recur and with radiation, there was a 97% chance that it wouldn't recur. I was not given a 100% guarantee of it not recurring. But, the side effects caused me to really consider my options.

If I chose radiation, there was a very strong possibility that I would lose the mobility of my left leg. There was also the possibility (although not probable) of contracting leukemia due to the radiation. Lastly, there was a strong possibility of being diagnosed with a different type of sarcoma.

My conclusion was that although, there was a strong probability that radiation would keep tumors from recurring in this area, there were also some very serious, life altering side effects that were likely to manifest as a result of the radiation.

Could food be my answer?

Having two years experience with this journey, I took pause. My opinion was that for whatever reason, my body continues to create this type of cancer. Each of the therapies only solves the cancer that is happening right at the time, i.e., the first 33 sessions of radiation prevented recurrence, but didn't prevent metastasis. Chemo took care of the two tumors that were in my torso and left breast but didn't prevent a new tumor from developing.

I reached out to my support group to discuss my options. It was at this time I learned of a woman who had been diagnosed with Malignant Phyllodes Tumor and had opted only for surgery and not radiation or chemo therapy. Instead, she changed her diet. She went vegan. She was successful for two years. She went off her diet and the tumors returned. She went back on the diet and once again she remains cancer free.

I have another friend who had clear cell ovarian cancer and was given 6 months to live with chemo therapy. She did one cycle and stopped. It made her so sick. Instead, she embraced a vegan diet and added a few other daily nutritional supplements like organic apricot kernels, Essiac tea and medical marijuana. My friend has been in remission for almost two years.

Changing my diet.

I bought a couple of books to read different ways people have used diet to put cancer into remission; "The Gerson Therapy" by Charlotte Gerson and Morton Walker, D.P.M. and "The pH Miracle, Balance your Diet, Reclaim Your Health". After reading the books, I spoke with people who had adopted the vegan diet to get different ideas.

After all of my reading and research, I decided that I wouldn't choose radiation. But, first let me make a disclaimer:

I am not suggesting that people should not use conventional methods. Everyone has to make the decisions and choices they feel are best for them as we live with the consequences of our choices. There are no guarantees that going vegan will make a difference, although I believe it will. My history shows that Phyllodes is not easily tamed and was not tamed through surgery, radiation nor chemo therapy. Therefore, I am willing to gamble on this new strategy rather than conventional treatment.

My belief is that my body needs to become an inhospitable host where cancer is not able to live. I will work on fine tuning my diet and transform it into vegan.

Although I've been focusing on a healthy diet for the past few years, going vegan will be a fairly big change. I've always eaten meat. I'll be writing about my experiences since it will be therapeutic, as well as, writing will keep me accountable, disciplined and focused.


Cancer, Cancer Cells, Cancer Diagnosis, Cancer Fighting, Cancer Prevention, Cancer Treatment, Health

Meet the author

author avatar Katharyn Brady
I have survived cancer multiple times. It took 8 surgeries, 33 sessions of radiation and chemo therapy. My focus is on being healthy in mind, body and spirit and helping others do the same.

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author avatar vandana7
18th Jul 2015 (#)

I am so sorry that cancer is returning so often. I guess you have read more on the subject than me by now. I can only wish that you get well. Your content touches my heart.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
18th Jul 2015 (#)

Thank you Vandana7. I am believing I found the secret to managing it.

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author avatar Shamarie
18th Jul 2015 (#)

Great article, Katharyn! I hope that you get well soon. God bless!!!

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
18th Jul 2015 (#)

Thank Shamarie. I am doing well now. The cancer is out of my body. The goal is to now keep it that way.

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author avatar vandana7
18th Jul 2015 (#)

And your face has what shall I say naughty or impish charm even without hair. You prove hair is not necessary for remaining full of life and beautiful. Brave girl!

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
18th Jul 2015 (#)

Thank you Vandana7. You are so kind.

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author avatar Adrienne
23rd Dec 2017 (#)

Thank you for sharing your story/journey. I have a phyllodes tumor (waiting for final results from biopsy) has grown to 10 cm after watching for several months. Have gone raw vegan last two weeks, contemplating Gerson or some version of that.

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