Translation of my article on Cancer Diet from Berita Harian

As featured in Berita Harian (local Malay Newspaper) on Wednesday, 19 October 2011.

Cancer Diet

Certain foods need to be avoided as they may interrupt treatment process.

by Dr Mohamed Rashidinz Shariff

Many of us might have known the influence of food on cancer patients undergoing treatment. Let us first understand the causes of cancer before learning more about cancer-fighting foods.

Cancer is a name given to describe the formation of abnormal cells in our body. There is no specific or one cause. Cancer is caused by a combination of factors. This includes:

Intoxicated (poisonous) environment

The environment we live in today carries hundreds of thousand chemicals. In fact, most of the household products we use at home contain toxins.


Fast-paced working environment requires highly effective performances. Workers are geared towards meeting deadlines and achieving targets. These phenomena lead to stress and affect the body’s immune system, paving ways for viruses, bacteria and parasites to attack the body.

Poor Digestion

Production of essential elements in our bodies decreases as we age, namely, after 35 years. This is especially evident in our digestive system.

The decrease in the production of body enzymes affect digestion process which could lead to malnutrition.

This would change our body condition, and allow illnesses to take form.

Conventional Treatment

Normal procedure for conventional cancer treatment:


Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses chemical to destroy cancer cells by interrupting and preventing them from growing and spreading.

- Radiation

Radiation Therapy or Radiotherapy uses doses of radiation to kill cancer cells, shrink the tumor and relieve the patient.

- Surgery

Objectives of surgery include removing the tumor, reshaping the body, or relieving the patient. However, most of these conventional treatments contain toxins and side effects that trigger negative reactions to the body.


The story of a cancer patient

Around 2 years ago, my mother in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was coaxed into breast amputation surgery. After surgery, she went through chemotherapy. While undergoing chemotherapy, she had experienced side effects such as nausea, hair fall, weight loss and loss of appetite. To eradicate those side effects, her Oncologist prescribed higher doses of medicines for her.

“The funniest part was every medicine has side effect and was given to subside one another’s side effects. For example, when she was given medicine A, she experienced side effects. Then she was given medicine B, which ended up with a long list of medication. This had upset my mother in-law that she decided to discontinue the treatment.

This kind of treatment is very common.

Why is diet effective?

Research has shown that more than 40% of cancer patient died not due to cancer but due to malnutrition.

When cancer strikes the body, it needs even more nutrition to fight the cancer off. However, some ingredients like selenium are found to increase the effects of chemotherapy and radiation on cancer cells while protecting other healthy cells.

Cancer patients can also follow this special diet while undergoing conventional cancer treatment.

It has been proven that diet and supplementary food are able to shrink or deter the growth of tumor. Low intake of sugar, for example, can delay the growth of tumor and halt the spread of cancer cells.

Cancer patients may also gain benefit by preventing themselves from eating red meat especially beef and mutton or white meat i.e. chicken and fish and other seafood.

This is because meat increases body acids, and high acidic body encourages the spread of cancer cells.

Patients are rather advised to consume more fruits and vegetables. For protein intake, they can eat nuts, grains or other sources of proteins such as soya bean curd. Juiced fruits are always better than solid fruits as the former makes nutrients in fruits more digestible by the body.

Vitamins A, C and E are found to be able to shrink cancer tumor and increases patient’s level of immunity.

The author is a certified Naturopathic doctor who graduated from Youngston Institute of Natural Science, Australia. He owns a Naturopathy clinic, Darul Hikmah, in Singapore. He can be contacted via email at or phone at 82048951

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