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What should I Eat?

is the most common question asked by cancer patients.
Choose food and nutritional supplements which reduces adverse interactions with your cancer treatment and support them.

is the most common question asked by cancer patients. Choose food and nutritional supplements which reduces adverse interactions with your cancer treatment and support them.

Get your personalized nutrition plan for cancer at 

Get your personalized nutrition plan for cancer at

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Which 3 Foods to Avoid for Salivary Gland Cancer?

Apr 14, 2021

Home » Blogs » Which 3 Foods to Avoid for Salivary Gland Cancer?

Highlights

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 Salivary Gland Cancer needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.

Foods like Barley and Blackberry should be eaten when undergoing Vincristine treatment for Salivary Gland Cancer. On the same lines, foods like Buttermilk and Cherry should be avoided with treatment of Vincristine for this Cancer. Also, Black Seed contains an active ingredient called Thymoquinone. Thymoquinone has CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Vincristine 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 Salivary Gland Cancer.



What is Salivary Gland Cancer?

Salivary Gland Cancer is a rare cancer that develops in the tissues of the salivary glands. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 1.31 per 1 lakh people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in people who are about 64 years of age, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in White population as compared to Black population.

Salivary Gland Cancer - Symptoms, treatment, diet, foods

This Cancer has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as TP53, NCOR2, GRM8, and PER1 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 Salivary Gland 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 Salivary Gland 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 Salivary Gland Cancer?

In Salivary Gland Cancer, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including P53 Signaling, MAPK Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Hypoxia, Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition, Oxidative Stress and Cell Cycle 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 Salivary Gland 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 Vincristine treatment for Salivary Gland 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 Salivary Gland Cancer considering only one specific treatment.

Foods to Avoid

Buttermilk : Buttermilk contains active ingredients such as Lauric Acid, Retinol, Myristic Acid and others. Lauric Acid interferes with the impact of Vincristine in Salivary Gland Cancer by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, do not eat Buttermilk with Vincristine treatment for this Cancer.

Cherry : Cherry contains active ingredients such as Chrysin, Vitamin C, Chlorogenic Acid and others. Chrysin interferes with the impact of Vincristine in Salivary Gland Cancer by activating a specific biochemical pathway called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. Hence, do not eat Cherry with Vincristine treatment for this Cancer.

Foods to Eat

Barley :  Barley contains active ingredients like Beta-sitosterol, Vitamin C, Linolenic Acid. Intake of Beta-sitosterol along with Vincristine treatment for Salivary Gland Cancer causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Barley hence should be eaten with Vincristine treatment for this Cancer.

Blackberry :  Blackberry contains active ingredients like Hyperoside, Myricetin, Cianidanol. Intake of Hyperoside along with Vincristine treatment for Salivary Gland Cancer causes a decrease  in a specific biochemical pathway which is called PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Blackberry hence should be eaten with Vincristine treatment for this Cancer.

Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Salivary Gland Cancer?

Black Seed : Black Seed nutritional supplements contain active ingredients such as Thymoquinone which have CYP3A4 interactions with Vincristine treatment, and hence should not be used. Also, Black Seed supplement does not show benefit on other biochemical pathways that could improve the Vincristine treatment efficacy in Salivary Gland Cancer. Hence avoid taking Black seed supplements with Vincristine treatment for this cancer. (Ahmed A Albassam et al, Saudi Pharm J., 2018; Pius S Fasinu et al, Front Oncol., 2019)

Palliative Care Nutrition for Cancer | When Conventional Treatment is not Working

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What are the Symptoms of this Cancer?

In the initial stages, most cancers including Salivary Gland 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 Salivary Gland Cancer.

  • A lump in the jaw, neck or mouth
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Numbness/ Muscle weakness on one side of the face.
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth
  • Persistent pain in the salivary gland

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 Salivary Gland Cancer.

What are the Treatment Options for this Cancer?

The treatment for Salivary Gland 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:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Palliative care

As part of the diet, avoid including those foods and supplements that may adversely interact with the treatments for this Cancer.

In Conclusion

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 Salivary Gland Cancer.

“What should I eat?” is the most frequently asked question to cancer dieticians and physicians. The right answer depends upon cancer type, underlying genomics, current treatments, any allergies, lifestyle information, and factors like BMI.

The addon personalized nutrition plan keeps you safe from adverse nutrition interactions.

Get started NOW with answering questions on type of cancer, current treatments, supplements, allergies, age group, gender, and lifestyle information.

Top 10 Foods and Supplements to Avoid for Cancer

Go beyond same nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions with confidence.


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.


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