No two cancers are the same and neither should your nutrition be. The most commonly asked question to dieticians and oncologists globally is “What Should I Eat?”. The answer is “It Depends”. It depends on the type of cancer, current treatment and supplements being taken, age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic information available. In short – the answer to “What Should I Eat” for Nasopharyngeal Cancer needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.
Foods like Almond and Beetroot should be eaten when undergoing Cyclophosphamide treatment for Nasopharyngeal Cancer. On the same lines, avoid foods like Common Pea and Corn with treatment of Cyclophosphamide for Nasopharyngeal Cancer. Also, Black Seed contains an active ingredient called Thymoquinone. Thymoquinone has CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Cyclophosphamide treatment and hence should be avoided.
You get the point – your nutrition needs to be personalized and it needs to be re-evaluated as soon as any of the conditions change. Create and follow a nutrition plan personalized to you to minimize adverse interactions of nutrition for cancers like Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
What is Nasopharyngeal Cancer?
Nasopharyngeal Cancer is a rare type of head and neck cancer that develops in the nasopharynx. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 0.44 per 1 lakh people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in people who are about 55 years of age, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in Asians as compared to White population.
Nasopharyngeal Cancer has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as TP53, TTN, SYNE1, and MUC17 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function.
The genetic abnormalities found in this Cancer can influence specific biochemical pathways to drive these cancer cells to aggressive growth and survive the ongoing treatment. In addition, lifestyle conditions or habits like smoking, alcohol consumption and BMI (Body Mass Index) can have a big influence on the response to your physician prescribed treatments for Nasopharyngeal Cancer. Numerous studies have consistently shown that your nutrition/diet – both food and nutritional supplements can adversely affect the treatment or be supportive or play no role. Hence, the triangulation of Nasopharyngeal Cancer genomics, planned or ongoing therapies and lifestyle need to be thoroughly considered to make decisions on what foods and supplements to consider and avoid while designing diet/nutrition plan. Also, it is important to note that when any of these conditions change, like treatment or lifestyle or cancer diagnosis – it may impact the nutrition and the nutrition/diet plan for this cancer may have to be redesigned.
Why Eating Right Matters for Nasopharyngeal Cancer?
In Nasopharyngeal Cancer, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including P53 Signaling, MAPK Signaling, Hypoxia, Cell Cycle, Hippo Signaling, Small Molecule Transport and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling plays an important role in driving the disease. All foods and nutritional supplements contain active ingredients which have a specific molecular action on different biochemical pathways. Hence, while the intake of certain foods and nutritional supplements as part of the diet may support a specific treatment of Nasopharyngeal Cancer, eating few other foods and supplements may lead to adverse interactions with the treatment or may increase the cancer progression.
Example Foods to “Not Eat” and Eat with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Nasopharyngeal Cancer
The nutrition for cancer always depends on the type of cancer, treatments and supplements being taken (if any), age, gender, BMI, lifestyle and any genetic information available. Here we show an example of nutrition/diet for Nasopharyngeal Cancer considering only one specific treatment.
Foods to Avoid with Cyclophosphamide treatment
Common Pea : Common Pea contains active ingredients such as Daidzein, Vitamin C, Sinapic Acid and others. Daidzein interferes with the impact of Cyclophosphamide in Nasopharyngeal Cancer by activating a specific biochemical pathway called Hippo Signaling. Hence, do not eat Common Pea with Cyclophosphamide treatment for this Cancer.
Corn : Corn contains active ingredients such as Aescin, Vitamin C, Genistein and others. Aescin interferes with the impact of Cyclophosphamide in Nasopharyngeal Cancer by activating a specific biological process called Cell Cycle. Hence, avoid foods like Corn with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
Foods to Eat with Cyclophosphamide treatment
Almond : Almond contains active ingredients like Vitamin E, Stigmasterol, Vitamin B3. Intake of Vitamin E along with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Nasopharyngeal Cancer causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Almond hence should be eaten with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
Beetroot : Beetroot contains active ingredients like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Retinol. Intake of Vitamin E along with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Nasopharyngeal Cancer causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Beetroot hence should be eaten with Cyclophosphamide treatment for Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
Should I take this Nutritional Supplement with Cyclophosphamide treatment?
Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 interactions with Cyclophosphamide treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Cyclophosphamide treatment efficacy in Nasopharyngeal Cancer. (Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018; Priya P Gor et al, Breast Cancer Res., 2010)
Foods to Eat After Cancer Diagnosis!
No two cancers are the same. Go beyond the common nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions about food and supplements with confidence.
What are the Symptoms of Nasopharyngeal Cancer?
In the initial stages, most cancers including Nasopharyngeal Cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, it may start showing symptoms.
Following are some of the signs and symptoms that may be caused by Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
- Painless lump/swelling in the upper neck
- Bleeding from nose
- Blood in saliva
- Ear infections
- Sore throat
- Hearing loss
- Double vision
- Fluid collecting in the ear
- Ringing in the ears
- Nasal congestion
- Hoarseness in voice
Though many of these symptoms may also be caused by various other health conditions, consult your doctor if you experience these symptoms to rule out the possible chances of Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
What are the Treatment Options for this Cancer?
The treatment for Nasopharyngeal Cancer may be decided based on different factors including the stage and extent of spread of the cancer, cancer characteristics, symptoms, patient’s general health and medical history, whether the cancer can be removed completely by surgery and whether the cancer was just diagnosed or had come back. The treatment options for this Cancer include:
- Monoclonal antibody drugs
- Palliative Care
Radiation therapy is the most common treatment regimen for Nasopharyngeal Cancer. As part of the diet, avoid including those foods and supplements that may adversely interact with the treatments for this Cancer.
The two most important things to remember are that cancer treatments and nutrition are never the same for everyone. Nutrition/diet which includes food and nutritional supplements is an effective tool which is controlled by you, while facing cancer such as Nasopharyngeal Cancer.
What food you eat and which supplements you take is a decision you make. Your decision should include consideration of the cancer gene mutations, which cancer, ongoing treatments and supplements, any allergies, lifestyle information, weight, height and habits.
The nutrition planning for cancer from addon is not based on internet searches. It automates the decision making for you based on molecular science implemented by our scientists and software engineers. Irrespective of whether you care to understand the underlying biochemical molecular pathways or not - for nutrition planning for cancer that understanding is needed.
Get started NOW with your nutrition planning by answering questions on the name of cancer, genetic mutations, ongoing treatments and supplements, any allergies, habits, lifestyle, age group and gender.
Personalized Nutrition for Cancer!
Cancer changes with time. Customize and modify your nutrition based on cancer indication, treatments, lifestyle, food preferences, allergies and other factors.
Cancer patients often have to deal with different chemotherapy side effects which affect their quality of life and look out for alternative therapies for cancer. Taking the right nutrition and supplements based on scientific considerations (avoiding guesswork and random selection) is the best natural remedy for cancer and treatment related side-effects.