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Frequently asked questions about cancers

Can red meat and animal fat accelerate the growth of cancer? Can cancer be cured by alternative medicine?

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Frequently asked questions about cancers

1. Does a vegetarian diet prevent cancer?

Answer: Vegetarian diets are associated with a number of health benefits. Vegetables are rich in low saturated fat, fiber, and high in various types of vitamins. They also help reduce the risks of fat build up in the blood vessels and lower the chance of having a heart disease. According to current medical studies, there is no evidence that vegetarian diets help prevent cancer. In contrast, studies show that the mortality rate from cancer in long-term vegetarians is higher compared to those who have regular diets with meat.

Moreover, studies on the nuns who adhered to a vegetarian diet their entire life show that breast cancer incidence is higher than ordinary people.

2. Can red meat and animal fat accelerate the growth of cancer?

Answer: When it comes to the question if red meat and animal fat can speed up the growth of cancer, diet lifestyle should be put in consideration. Western people, for instance, each person eats 200-400 grams of meat per meal. While, pork, beef and chicken are sliced into small pieces and cooked as part of “viand” only. Moreover, vegetables are the main ingredients of most Thai viands. Meat is rarely the main ingredient in Thai viands.

In this connection, Thai foods have a proper proportion. They do not cause cancers because Thai dishes use less amount of “red meat”. Our body needs fat. Weight gain occurs when excess energy is stored in the body. The excess energy may come from the conversion of carbohydrates and sugar once energy from the foods have been used up. Then, our body stores these excess energy in parts of the body in the form of accumulated fat. In other words, our body does not store fat that is from what we eat directly.

Moreover, fat does not cause cancer. Cancer occurs once you have excess fat due to overeating and lack of exercise as well as disproportionate amounts of diets. The most recommended diet pattern is to eat foods from the 5 major food groups, including meat, milk, egg, vegetables and fruits. Our body cannot fight against cancer once it lacks one food group.

3. Can cancer be cured by alternative medicine?

Answer: Alternative medicine is popular nowadays. According to statistics of people who claimed that their cancer is cured by alternative medicine in Thailand, it shows:

  1. Some patients who claim that their cancer is cured by alternative medicine do not actually have cancers. Their cancer condition is assumed but not confirmed by thorough modern medicine examinations. Instead, the patients go to alternative doctors who specialize in cancer. Later on, a lump that was assumed as cancer is gone. In fact, the lump may be a cholecyst or cyst, which could be gone in no time by itself. 
  2. Some patients are diagnosed with non-invasive cancer such as the first stage of breast cancer, and those cancerous cells are removed as part of biopsy, which is a type of treatment. After being diagnosed, the patients go to alternative doctors instead as they are mistaken that the doctors could cure their symptoms. In fact, the biopsy could be the whole cancerous cells removed as well since it is only in the first stage. 
  3. Some patients have been treated with almost full courses of modern medicines, and then side effects occur due to treatments such as weakness from chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Then the patients decide to leave modern medicine for an alternative one while the symptoms improve due to the modern medicine. In this connection, the patients are mistaken that their cancer is cured by the alternative medicine. In this situation, the patients ignore medical advice from modern doctors; and as a result, many of them have to return to the hospital for other treatments due to cancer recurrence after 1-2 years of the last treatments or surgery. With the condition, the patients lose their chance of getting cured completely since the first treatment. Many patients also come back to modern doctors with malignant cancers that also spread to other parts of the body. And it is too late to treat it. 

If the patients refuse modern medicine treatment, what a waste of time and chance to get completely treated and cured. However, the patients have to choose and stick with one option only or go the middle way between modern medicine and the alternative one. If the patients choose modern medicine, they are advised to stick with it as it is a waste of time and the treatment will not be successful. Bear in mind that allowing time to waste is allowing the cancerous cells to grow day by day.


Article by
Prof.Dr Pornchai O-Charoenrat

A Doctor specializing in Breast Surgery
Doctor profile