Leiomyosarcoma patients turn to food to help with cancer


cancer stats

These statistics show how many people can be diagnosed with cancers that are well known versus that of Leiomyosarcoma patients.

There are many cancers that affect the human body; some are well known by the entire world and some are rare.  Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is a type of rare cancer that affects the muscle tissues of the human body. Smooth muscle cells make up the involuntary muscles, which are found in most parts of the body, including the uterus, stomach and intestines, the walls of all blood vessels, and the skin.  It is therefore possible for LMS to appear at any site in the body.  The first case of LMS was found in 1994, according to a Case Study done by the University of Ontario.  This cancer only accounts for 5%-10% of all soft tissue sarcomasFamous people like Padma L. Atluri, a writer for 90210 and Men in Trees, and Katie Price (Jordan), an English media personality, both suffered from LMS.  Cancer doesn’t discriminate who it will affect, but there are plenty of treatment options for people suffering from LMS.  Treatment options include traditional methods (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy) and alternative methods (I.V. injections from Europe, herbal immune tinctures, and infrared sauna bed), both of which can benefit from a drastic diet change.


Brussels sprouts are one of the cruciferous vegetables recommended for LMS patients to eat. This delicious dish with brussels sprouts was made by a chef at a Fry’s Marketplace located in Phoenix, Arizona (Photo By Christina Thompson 2012).

When looking at the traditional methods of curing LMS, most doctors will say that surgery is the best option.  Chemotherapy and radiation are there to help get the tumor small enough to operate on. “Radiotherapy may be a useful additive to improve local control or where cancer is inoperable.  In some cases of high-grade leiomyosarcoma, chemotherapy may have a role to reduce the risk of recurrence or to improve operability.  It is important to realize that the treatment of leiomyosarcoma is a complicated process.  Associated with the treatment of the disease are the very real long-term sequels of these treatments in those in whom they establish a cure.  The surgical sequel can be serious and immediately evident following a wide excision of primary tumors,” says the Virtual Medical Center.   The outcome and affects that each of these treatments have on a single person with LMS, all depends on their own immune system.  When LMS patients chose surgery, their survival rate significantly increases to about 90% for five years.  Rosalie Peipert, an LMS patient, wrote a blog about her struggles with this rare cancer.  In the blog she says, “My tumors were hanging outside the lungs like icicles (spindle cells). Almost 3 years later I had to have the same operation for 4 more nodes in both lungs. This is a very painful surgery because it hurts to breathe in the beginning and the sternum hurts from being opened. Only thing was the drugs hyped me up so badly, I never slept and couldn’t rest in bed. This time, I asked for someone to come down and see me from the Pain Clinic. It was a big help. I had an epidural and the PCA pump. I don’t know why my first surgeon did not tell me I didn’t have to suffer the way I did. I have never had chemo or radiation. I have a low grade LMS. I was very lucky that I could be a candidate for surgery.”  Many patients with LMS are like Rosalie.  She goes on to say, “Update: April 2000…my fight is ongoing. I had surgery to remove a 7 cm retroperitoneal tumor on March 8, 2000. It was encapsulated and taken out. No other tumors. It was LMS again. After almost 19 yrs, it returned to the scene of the original crime in the pelvic area.  Update: March 2001…I had another recurrence in both lungs.  Update: November 2001… I have been on hormone therapy 9 months now and am stable. Update: 2006… June 24th, my family and I celebrated a duel anniversary, my 25th year of survival of low grade myxoid LMS/ESS and our 50th wedding anniversary.”  The treatment options and life of people who get the diagnosis of Leiomyosarcoma; they have surgery or chemotherapy to get rid of the cancer and it will come back in a different area.

Dr. Peter Mathern, an oncologist in Phoenix, Arizona, discusses why LMS patients should chose to go the traditional therapy route, over just a diet change or alternative therapies.


Whole, organic cranberries containing cancer fighting antioxidants purchased at Sprouts Farmers’ Market stores located in Phoenix, Arizona, can be turned into a great sauce for holiday meals (Photo By Christina Thompson 2012).

Although most doctors will say that traditional methods are the only way to cure LMS, there are new alternative methods being discovered all the time.  Dr. Joe Brown, N.M.D., of Tempe, Arizona, offers LMS patients (along with many other cancer types) different treatment options besides the traditional methods.  Dr. Brown’s website lists some of the options including: “Ukrain (Chelidonium Majus) I.V. Mixture, Immune Injection Therapy with Engystol, Acupuncture with Heat and Stimulation, and Oral Vitamin Supplementation.”  Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are revolutionizing alternative cancer treatments by using Immunotherapy to help patients treat LMS and other cancers.  Cancer immunotherapy attempts to stimulate the immune system to reject and destroy tumors.   There are many types of cancer immunotherapy treatments.  Wikipedia talks about one called, “Dendritic cells can be stimulated to activate a cytotoxic response towards an antigen. Dendritic cells, a type of antigen presenting cell, are harvested from a patient. These cells are then either pulsed with an antigen or transfected with a viral vector. Upon transfusion back into the patient these activated cells present tumor antigen to effector lymphocytes (CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and B cells). This initiates a cytotoxic response to occur against cells expressing tumor antigens (against which the adaptive response has now been primed). The Dendreon cancer vaccineProvenge, is one example of this approach.”  Alternative treatment options are always being discovered to help patients cope with LMS, as well as other cancers.

Dr. Joe Brown, a Naturopathic M.D. out of Tempe, Arizona, talks about why alternative therapy treatments, a diet change, or a combination of all three methods of treatment are best for LMS patients.


These organic peppers containing some capsaicin can be bought at your local farmers market (Photo By Christina Thompson 2012).

Although there are alternative and traditional treatment methods, some people believe that a diet change can completely cure cancer.  Doctors have done studies and they have found that it can help cure cancer along with a treatment method.  “Up to 40% of cancer patients die from complications of malnutrition, not from the disease itself,” say Dr. David Katz and Dr. Keith Block.  Chef Nancy out of Santa Fe, New Mexico wrote a book and created a website dedicated to helping people with better nutrition and diets during cancer.  The website says, “Chef Nancy creates recipes to keep you off the operating table and out of chemotherapy.”  The website also offers a blog, in which Chef Nancy talks about different foods and vitamins that both support and take away from curing cancer.  William W. Li, M.D., President and Medical Director of The Angiogenesis Foundation, created a post on the Dr. Oz website, where he talks about the best foods to go shopping for to cure cancer.  The Cancer Cure Foundation also offers a page on their site about food and spices that can help fight cancer including garlic, broccoli, leafy greens, nuts, lemon, raspberries, and chili peppers like jalapenos.  “They found capsaicin, an ingredient of jalapeno peppers, triggers cancer cell death by attacking mitochondria – the cells’ energy-generating boiler rooms.  The research raises the possibility that other cancer drugs could be developed to target mitochondria,” says an article published by the BBC.  The American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) also has a page where they talk about, “how food can both directly and indirectly fight cancer.”  AICR says, “Fill at least 2/3 of your plate with vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans.” The diet choices made by individuals will help cure their cancer, be it LMS or another type.


These drinks are natural healthy drinks created by Bolthouse Farms and are located at any supermarket near you (Photo By Christina Thompson 2012).

The research being done to find a cure for Leiomyosarcoma or other cancers maybe in the diet choices a person makes.  Traditional and alternative therapy methods of treating LMS are improved by proper diet choices.  In the southwest, a person with LMS might want to shop at Sprouts, “an independent natural foods grocery store chain that focuses on “healthy living for less.” We sell farm-fresh produce and thousands of natural, organic and great-tasting mainstream foods at remarkably low prices, in a non-traditional farmers’ market-type setting.”  Another natural grocery store LMS patients can frequent located anywhere in the US for healthy foods and organic produce is Whole Foods Market.  The Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation created Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants to offer more healthy dining choices for people and would benefit people suffering from LMS or other cancers.  “With 112 company-owned restaurants in 15 states, over 300 million guests since 1978 have helped us to be #1 in fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot-tossed pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, fresh fruit, frozen yogurt, and more,” says the Sweet Tomato website.  There are plenty of places for LMS patients to shop and eat healthy to help their cancer treatments across the US.


These are healthy grains that can be added to your diet to help fight LMS and they are located at your natural health food store (Photo By Christina Thompson 2012).

People who are diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma may think that they or that their families are alone in dealing with this disease.  This is not true because on Facebook, a page was created for LMS patients and their families called Leiomyosarcoma Awareness.  LMS patients are not the only one searching for a cure for their cancer or disease; plenty of people are, especially in alternative therapies.  One place a person might look is at Reddit, which has a subreddit for Alternative Health, where people post pages about possible alternative ways of curing diseases like LMS and other cancers.  No one is alone in his or her fight to survive and cure cancer.  Everyone is out there trying to find a cure, whether it’s by traditional, alternative, a combination of methods, or just eating healthier.


**Author’s Note: Please see your physicians for the right treatments for you or your loved one. This research was done 3 years ago and many new therapies and answers to help have come along. I am NOT a doctor; I am just a journalist that wanted to do                                                       a story on two subjects that were close to her.**

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