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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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Cocoa intake should be reduced for these cancer types!

Nov 18, 2021

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
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Highlights

Cocoa 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 Cocoa 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 Cocoa can be scientifically explained for cancer patients with IDH+ Diffuse Glioma taking Lomustine treatment. But reduce intake of Cocoa for BRAF+ Metastatic Colorectal Adenocarcinoma and Cetuximab treatment . 

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

The takeaway being – for cancer individual conditions can influence if food like Cocoa 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 Cocoa are recommended. 

Cocoa for Cancer Treatment and Genetic Risk

So some of the example questions you may have related to Cocoa can be: Should you eat it when at genetic cancer risk due to mutation of gene SDHD? Should you eat Cocoa when a mutation of a gene ALK is identified? Should you eat Cocoa when diagnosed with BRAF+ Metastatic Colorectal Adenocarcinoma? Should you eat Cocoa when diagnosed with IDH+ Diffuse Glioma? Should you eat Cocoa when on Cetuximab treatment? Should you continue eating Cocoa if your treatment changes from Cetuximab to Lomustine? Are the implications of taking Cocoa in IDH+ Diffuse Glioma the same as BRAF+ Metastatic Colorectal Adenocarcinoma? And so on.

Cocoa and cancer

Cocoa or cocoa bean, also known as cacao bean or cacao, is the dried and fermented seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. Cocoa powder is made by crushing the cocoa bean and is used in a variety of dishes and desserts including chocolates. Following are some of the potential health benefits of cocoa:

Cocoa contains many active ingredients like Folic Acid and Butyric Acid at different concentrations. The molecular pathways which are regulated by Cocoa include MAPK Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress, JAK-STAT Signaling, Apoptosis, 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 Cocoa and supplements is an important decision to be made. And not necessarily the same food choices are scientifically correct across individuals.

Include Cocoa 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 Cocoa 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 Cocoa for BRAF+ Metastatic Colorectal Adenocarcinoma and Cetuximab treatment?

BRAF+ Metastatic Colorectal Adenocarcinoma is defined and driven by specific genetic mutations like BRAF and TP53 leading to biochemical pathway changes in MYC Signaling, MAPK Signaling, Growth Factor Signaling and PI3K-AKT-MTOR Signaling. A cancer treatment like Cetuximab 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, Cocoa intake should be reduced by cancer patients with BRAF+ Metastatic Colorectal Adenocarcinoma while on Cetuximab treatment. Cocoa 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 Cocoa for IDH+ Diffuse Glioma and Lomustine treatment?

IDH+ Diffuse Glioma is defined and driven by specific genetic mutations like IDH1 and MGMT leading to biochemical pathway changes in Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress, Apoptosis, Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Hypoxia and Oncogenic Cancer Epigenetics. A cancer treatment like Lomustine has molecular action on a unique set of biochemical pathways. Cocoa should be considered by cancer patients with IDH+ Diffuse Glioma while on Lomustine treatment. Cocoa impacts pathways or processes like Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Apoptosis which can either obstruct drivers of IDH+ Diffuse Glioma and/or improve Lomustine treatment effect.

For which cancers should Cocoa 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 Cocoa for SDHD 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. SDHD is one of the genes available in panels for cancer risk testing. 

SDHD mutation causes biochemical pathways or processes like MAPK Signaling, Stem Cell Signaling, Suppressive Histone Methylation, Oncogenic Cancer Epigenetics and Carbohydrate Metabolism to get impacted. These pathways are direct or indirect drivers of cancer molecular endpoints. Intake of foods like Cocoa should be reduced when mutation of SDHD for risk of Gastric Cancer and Thyroid Cancer is identified. Cocoa impacts pathways or processes like MAPK Signaling and Stem Cell Signaling and creates adverse effects with SDHD mutation and related conditions.

4. Continue Eating Cocoa for ALK Associated Cancer Genetic Risk? 

ALK is also one of many 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 Cocoa should be considered when mutation of ALK for risk of Central Nervous System is identified. Cocoa impacts pathways or processes like Angiogenesis and JAK-STAT Signaling and creates a supportive effect in those with ALK mutation and related conditions.

For Which Cancer Types Should you Avoid Cocoa

* Other Factors Included Like BMI, Lifestyle Habits, Treatments

In Conclusion 

Nutrition for cancer (including supplements and foods like Cocoa) 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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