Foods to eat and avoid for managing with melanoma
Foods to eat and avoid for managing with melanoma

Melanoma is one of the most aggressive cancers. It is considered such due to the rapidity with which it metastasizes if not treated in an early stage. However, it is difficult to detect since it rarely shows symptoms, and more than 70% of melanoma cases were detected in normal-looking skin. The following article lists some foods to eat and avoid for melanoma and other types of cancer, along with medication for melanoma.

Foods to Have for Those Suffering from Melanoma and Other Cancers

Plant-based Foods – Sweet Potatoes and Barley
Cooked vegetables are easier to digest than raw ones. Therefore, one should eat plant-based foods such as oats, barley, bananas, turnips, sweet potatoes, and pears.

Cruciferous Vegetables – Cauliflower and Broccoli
Cruciferous vegetables like Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy, among others, may affect the progression of cancers like melanoma. Cancer cells damage normal cells and DNA for mutation. Cruciferous vegetables protect these normal cells and DNA from damage from malignant cells. Moreover, these vegetables also protect the cells from damage occurred due to cancer treatments like radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.

Fruits – Strawberries and Raspberries
The presence of free radicals is one of the risk factors that increases the risk of an individual suffering from melanoma and other forms of cancers. Berries, such as strawberries, mulberries, raspberry, and blueberries, are a great source of anthocyanosises, which kills these free radicals and causes apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells, thereby inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells.

Lean Meats – Sirloin and Round Cuts
Instead of opting for highly-processed meats, it is advisable to choose lean meat options. This decreases the pressure on the pancreas to digest saturated fats. One should also cut down on red meat or go for lamb or lean cuts such as sirloin or eye of round roast and steak. Lean protein options include eggs, fish, tofu, and nut butters. These enhance the digestive system and are beneficial for cell and tissue repair.

Fluids – Green Tea and Fresh Fruit Juices
Lack of necessary fluids in the body can result in fatigue and dizziness. Hence, one should consume at least 6-12 cups of fluids a day. Taking small sips instead of large quantities can prevent the feeling of fullness. It is important to drink liquids an hour prior to or an hour after a meal instead of immediately before or after. One can also consume healthy protein and nutritional juices, such as smoothies, green tea, or fruit juices that contain little or no sugar. An individual with pancreatic cancer must completely avoid alcoholic beverages.

High-fiber Foods – Beans and Lentils
This category of foods is much easier on the pancreas, draws water from intestines, and digests easily, helping those with melanoma retain the food. They also contain folate and vitamin B that reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer and eliminate diarrhea. Foods that fall under this category are lentils, quinoa, brown rice, applesauce, and beans. These contain easy carbohydrates and fiber, which prevent high blood sugar levels and provide extra energy to the body.

Healthy Fats – Nut Seeds and Olive Oil
Individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer should avoid fatty, greasy, and fried foods. However, certain healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) derived from sources such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, nut seeds, and avocados are necessary. They help in maintaining overall body temperature and supply the body with energy.

Foods to Avoid for Those Suffering from Melanoma and Other Cancers

Processed and Refined Sugar
It is one of the leading triggers of cancer. It is believed that malignant or cancer cells often rely on glucose present in sugar for their prolific growth. Several oncologists and dieticians suggest switching to a low-sugar meal plan, thereby starving the cancer cell. This process of starving the cancer cells is called the Warburg Effect. Steer clear from foods such as sugary drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, and desserts as they have a high amount of refined sugar that can increase the risk of cancers like melanoma.

Processed Foods – Burgers and Fizzy Drinks
Processed foods, including fast foods, frozen foods, ice creams, sugary drinks, processed meats, and other ready-to-cook meals, are loaded with preservatives like parabens, tartrazine, nitrates, and nitrites that can worsen cancer symptoms, including those of melanoma. Apart from this, foods such as cakes and salad dressings that are made using vegetable oil may also facilitate tumor growth. This is because they are high in benzoate. Thus, they must be avoided by individuals suffering from melanoma as they might aggravate the symptoms of the condition.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is a type of hydrogenated oil that is used to increase the shelf life of processed foods. It is also used for cooking in some parts of the world. Hydrogenated oils contain trans-fat and linoleic acid, which can accelerate the growth of tumors, thereby increasing the risk of worsening overall health as well as cancer symptoms. Hence, it is recommended to use safer alternatives and switch to food options and oils that are trans-fat-free.

Medications for Melanoma
While lifestyle changes such as eating and avoiding certain foods can decrease the risk of melanoma, its spread can only be controlled through proper treatment. The treatment can be in the form of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy use medications that are administered through IV or given in the form of tablets. One such medication is Opdivo®.

Nivolumab or Opdivo® is a type of immunotherapy medication that is used for treating those cases of melanoma, which cannot be treated through surgery. It can be used in combination with ipilimumab or Yervoy® to stop the metastatic spread. Opdivo® is administered intravenously. Its dosage depends upon the severity of metastasis of melanoma. If you or a loved one are looking to buy this medication, then there are several websites offering Opdivo® for melanoma through Rx saving coupons. Websites such as Goodrx list coupons, which can be used to buy Opdivo® at discounted prices.