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What should I eat after Cancer Diagnosis?

is a very common question asked.​
Choose food and supplements personalized to your cancer, genes, ongoing treatments and lifestyle.

is a very common question asked. Choose food and supplements personalized to your cancer, genes, ongoing treatments and lifestyle.

Personalized cancer Nutrition Planning for only .

Personalized cancer Nutrition Planning for only​ .

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Cassava intake should be reduced for these cancer types!

Nov 7, 2021

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
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Highlights

Cassava like other plant based foods have health benefits and is included in the diet of cancer patients and those with genetic risk of cancer. But, the intake of Cassava may need to be reduced for some cancers and cancer treatments. A belief but a myth is that everything plant based can only benefit and do no harm. That is true if the food intake is in moderation. For example, grapefruit with certain medications is not recommended. Also spinach with some blood thinning medications can cause adverse interactions and hence intake should be reduced. For cancer, nutrition which includes food and supplements are important decisions which need to be made. Hence the frequently asked question related to cancer is “What Food Should I Eat and What Should I Avoid?”.

Benefits of foods like Cassava can be scientifically explained for cancer patients with Merkel Cell Carcinoma taking Methotrexate treatment. But reduce intake of Cassava for SHH+ Medulloblastoma and Radiation treatment . 

Similarly, the benefits of eating Cassava can be scientifically explained for healthy individuals who are at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of the gene CDC73. But reduce intake of Cassava when at genetic risk of cancer due to mutation of gene ALK. 

The takeaway being – for cancer individual conditions can influence if food like Cassava is recommended or not. As conditions like ongoing treatments and supplements change the nutrition plan must be personalized again. Which cancer, current treatments and supplements, age, gender, weight, height, lifestyle and genetic conditions are decision factors for your nutrition. 



Why is the choice of foods important for cancer?

Foods typically contain more than one active ingredient at varying concentrations. Each of these active ingredients has a unique molecular biological mechanism of action. Cancer like most diseases is driven by specific biochemical pathways and molecular interventions of the pathway can be beneficial or create adverse interactions. Hence for cancer there is a need to personalize which foods and supplements to take and check if foods like Cassava are recommended. 

Cassava for Cancer Treatment and Genetic Risk

So some of the example questions you may have related to Cassava can be: Should you eat it when at genetic cancer risk due to mutation of gene ALK? Should you eat Cassava when a mutation of a gene CDC73 is identified? Should you eat Cassava when diagnosed with SHH+ Medulloblastoma? Should you eat Cassava when diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma? Should you eat Cassava when on Radiation treatment? Should you continue eating Cassava if your treatment changes from Radiation to Methotrexate? Are the implications of taking Cassava in Merkel Cell Carcinoma the same as SHH+ Medulloblastoma? And so on.

Cassava and cancer

Cassava (Manihot esculenta), also known as cassada, yuca, manioc, mogo or mandioca is an edible, starchy, tuberous root native to South America. Cassava is a major source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. (C J Rivera et al, Arch Latinoam Nutr., 1993)

Cassava contains many active ingredients like Oleic Acid, Folic Acid, Linoleic Acid and Beta-sitosterol at different concentrations. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Cassava include MAPK Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, JAK-STAT Signaling, Vitamin D Signaling, Adherens junction, Angiogenesis and MYC Signaling. These cellular pathways directly or indirectly influence cancer molecular endpoints like growth, spread and death. Because of this biological relationship – for cancer, choosing foods like Cassava and supplements is an important decision to be made. And not necessarily the same food choices are scientifically correct across individuals.

Include Cassava in Your Cancer Nutrition?

The answer to the question “Which Foods to Eat” and “Which Foods to Reduce Intake of” is It Depends!. Just like the same treatment does not work for every cancer patient, based on individual context the Cassava may have scientific benefits or have adverse interactions. Along with cancer  – the ongoing treatments, supplements, lifestyle habits, height, weight, allergies and food preferences are all factors influencing answers to the question. 

1. Continue Eating Cassava for SHH+ Medulloblastoma and Radiation treatment?

SHH+ Medulloblastoma is defined and driven by specific genetic mutations like PTCH1 and CTNNB1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in MYC Signaling, MAPK Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Hedgehog Signaling and WNT Betacatenin Signaling. A cancer treatment like Radiation has molecular action on a unique set of biochemical pathways. The treatment intent is to have a good overlap between the cancer driving pathways and those manipulated by the treatment. In such conditions foods which have an opposing effect to the treatment and reduce the overlap between the cancer driving pathways and treatment should be avoided. As an example, Cassava intake should be reduced by cancer patients with SHH+ Medulloblastoma while on Radiation treatment. Cassava impacts pathways or processes like MYC Signaling and MAPK Signaling which can negate the effects of the treatment. The factors to be considered when choosing foods and supplements are which cancer, treatments and supplements being taken currently, which age group, gender, height, weight, lifestyle habits and any genetic information.

2. Continue Eating Cassava for Merkel Cell Carcinoma and Methotrexate treatment?

Merkel Cell Carcinoma is defined and driven by specific genetic mutations like TP53 and RB1 leading to biochemical pathway changes in Adherens junction, Vitamin D Signaling, PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling, Cell Cycle Checkpoints and Cell Cycle. A cancer treatment like Methotrexate has molecular action on a unique set of biochemical pathways. Cassava should be considered by cancer patients with Merkel Cell Carcinoma while on Methotrexate treatment. Cassava impacts pathways or processes like Adherens junction and Vitamin D Signaling which can either obstruct drivers of Merkel Cell Carcinoma and/or improve Methotrexate treatment effect.

For which cancers should Cassava be avoided

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.

3. Continue Eating Cassava for ALK Associated Cancer Genetic Risk? 

Many companies offer gene panels testing for evaluating genetic risk to different cancers. These panels cover genes associated with high prevalence cancers of breast, ovary, uterus, prostate and gastrointestinal system and others. Testing of these genes may confirm a diagnosis or identify risk to some cancers. ALK is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. 

ALK mutation causes biochemical pathways or processes like Angiogenesis, JAK-STAT Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling and Growth Factor Signaling to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Intake of foods like Cassava should be reduced when mutation of ALK for risk of Central Nervous System is identified. Cassava impacts pathways or processes like Angiogenesis and JAK-STAT Signaling and creates adverse effects with ALK mutation and related conditions.

4. Continue Eating Cassava for CDC73 Associated Cancer Genetic Risk? 

CDC73 is also one of many genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. CDC73 mutation causes biochemical pathways or processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints, MYC Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, WNT Betacatenin Signaling and Angiogenesis to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Intake of foods like Cassava should be considered when mutation of CDC73 for risk of Neuroendocrine Cancer is identified. Cassava impacts pathways or processes like Cell Cycle Checkpoints and MYC Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with CDC73 mutation and related conditions.

For Which Cancer Types Should you Avoid Cassava

* Other Factors Included Like BMI, Lifestyle Habits, Treatments

In Conclusion 

Nutrition for cancer (including supplements and foods like Cassava) and treatments may not be the same for everyone. 

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.

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.


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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