The ambrosia myth

Myth 4 – the ambrosia cure

In ancient Greece people used to believe that consuming ambrosia could make you immortal. It was the food and drink of the gods. Since being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer I’ve realised a lot of diet advice is stuck on the idea of a magical food or drink item existing.

If you search online for cancer cures, I can guarantee you’ll find details of that one magical item that once consumed will make you immortal or at least cure your cancer. In recent weeks I have found recommendations for:

  • Red liquorice
  • Tumeric tea
  • Green tea
  • Tea of pretty much any variety
  • Plants (including roses – I’m hoping without thorns!)
  • Olive oil
  • Carrots

I believe that the NHS is always looking for the cheapest option out there. My treatments are not cheap. If green tea cured cancer I’m fairly confident the NHS would swap my £5000 a month of treatments for £20 a month on tea. I understand that being British I’m meant to believe that tea is the cure for everything, but it will NOT cure cancer. I wish it was that simple.

Some of the above food and drink tastes great, but I have found no scientific evidence that it can cure cancer. Roses in my opinion are best kept in the garden looking beautiful.

Rather than finding the modern ambrosia to prevent or cure cancer I would remind everyone to check their medication and see if there are any food or drink items they should avoid. For me grapefruit is most definitely off the menu as it can stop 4 of my drugs from working. There is a useful scientific overview at:

Cancer Research UK overview of foods to avoid

It is true that eating healthily can reduce your risks of some cancers. Eating healthily can also help with some side effects of treatments. I don’t deny that. But I also don’t believe there is a magical ambrosia cure out there.

So if there isn’t a magical one item cure, what about the so called anti-cancer diet plans out there?

Myth 5 – the magical diet cure

I’m not a scientist but I do trust scientists. Therefore I will always try and follow their advice. As noted above eating healthily can reduce your risk of developing some cancers. So can reducing your consumption of alcohol. However, many cancers are sadly unavoidable 😢. Cancer Research UK state that 1 in 20 cancers COULD be prevented by a healthier diet. That’s a lot of cancer that isn’t caused by what you eat.

As I’m not a scientist (seriously I still can’t believe I passed GCSE science) I’m just going to link to the guidance from the actual scientists on a couple of the most recommended so called anti-cancer diet plans advertised on social media.

The Keto Diet from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Keto Diet from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre

The alkaline diet from Cancer Research UK

The sugar free diet from Cancer Research UK

These are just a few of the diets regularly recommended on social media as cancer cures. As you can hopefully see from these links, scientists don’t really agree. I trust scientists over myths. Don’t you?

One key lesson I’ve learned is that with cancer you sometimes don’t have much of an appetite. If all you can cope with eating is chocolate cake, then go ahead. You aren’t going to doom yourself with a treat. That’s why I hate fake diet cures. They just cause stress and guilt. Eat and drink what you can.

As always thanks for reading. Any comments or feedback are much appreciated. I’ll be back soon with more myths about cancer to battle against.

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