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 Thymoma needs to be personalized to minimize adverse interactions between nutrition (from foods/diet) and treatment, and to improve symptoms.
Foods like Arrowroot and Avocado should be eaten with treatment of Fluorouracil. On the same lines, avoid foods like Honey and Moth Bean with treatment of Fluorouracil for Thymoma.
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 Thymoma.
What is Thymoma?
Thymoma is a type of cancer that develops from the epithelial cells which lines the thymus. The incidence rate of this cancer is only 0.13 per 1 lakh people per year. This cancer is commonly diagnosed in people who are about 30-40 years of age, however, it can occur in people of any age. It is more commonly found in Asians/Pacific Islanders and Blacks as compared to Whites.
Thymoma has prevalence of certain genetic changes. Some of the genes such as HRAS, MUC16, RYR2, and HDAC4 are known to have genetic abnormalities in this cancer resulting in a change of function.
The genetic abnormalities found in Thymoma 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 Thymoma. 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 Thymoma 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 Thymoma nutrition may have to be redesigned.
Why Eating Right Matters for Thymoma?
In Thymoma, activation or inhibition of some of the biochemical pathways including WNT Beta Catenin Signaling, MAPK Signaling, MYC Signaling, Angiogenesis, Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition, RUNX Signaling, AXON Guidance, RAS-RAF Signaling, Focal Adhesion, DNA Repair, Cancer Epigenetics, Oxidative Stress, Cell Cycle, Small Molecule Transport, NOTCH Signaling 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 Thymoma, 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 Fluorouracil treatment for Thymoma
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 Thymoma considering only one specific treatment- Fluorouracil.
Foods to Avoid
Honey : Honey contains active ingredients such as Pinostrobin and others. Pinostrobin interferes with the impact of Fluorouracil in Thymoma by blocking a specific biological process called Oxidative Stress. Hence avoid foods like Honey with Fluorouracil treatment for Thymoma.
Moth Bean : Moth Bean contains active ingredients such as Oleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Retinol and others. Oleic Acid interferes with the impact of Fluorouracil in Thymoma by activating a specific biological process called Cancer Epigenetics. Hence, avoid foods like Moth Bean with Fluorouracil treatment for Thymoma.
Foods to Eat
Arrowroot : Arrowroot contains active ingredients like Quercetin, Beta-carotene and Vanillic Acid. Intake of Quercetin along with Fluorouracil treatment for Thymoma causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called MAPK Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Arrowroot hence should be eaten with Fluorouracil treatment for Thymoma. (Cheng-Wei Linet al, Carcinogenesis., 2008; Zhaoyu Yang et al, Thorac Cancer., 2020)
Avocado : Avocado contains active ingredients like Linolenic Acid, Estragole and Quercetin. Intake of Linolenic Acid along with Fluorouracil treatment for Thymoma causes a decrease in a specific biochemical pathway which is called MAPK Signaling, and this is a very positive effect. Avocado hence should be eaten with Fluorouracil treatment for Thymoma. (Rashmi Deshpande et al, Tumour Biol., 2016; Zhaoyu Yang et al, Thorac Cancer., 2020)
Should I take this Nutritional Supplement for Thymoma?
Black Seed : Black Seed has no known reported CYP (drug metabolizing enzyme) interactions with Fluorouracil treatment. Black Seed supports the Fluorouracil treatment for Thymoma by decreasing the biochemical pathways called Angiogenesis, Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition, MAPK Signaling, Focal Adhesion, MYC Signaling, Axon Guidance, Notch Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, DNA Repair and WNT Beta Catenin Signaling, and increasing pathways like Oxidative Stress and RUNX Signaling.
What are the Symptoms of Thymoma?
In the initial stages, most cancers including Thymoma may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, Thymoma may start showing symptoms. Following are some of the signs and symptoms that may be caused by Thymoma.
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Double vision
- Persistent cough which may contain blood
- Swallowing difficulties
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue, Weight loss and/or Muscle weakness
- Arm or facial swelling
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 Thymoma.
What are the Treatment Options for Thymoma?
The treatment for Thymoma 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 Thymoma include:
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
As part of the diet, avoid including those foods and supplements that may adversely interact with the treatments for Thymoma.
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 Thymoma.
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.