Pet Scans and sugar

Just read about something about Pet Scans that had me wondering. I do NOT want to worry or bother anyone at all in sharing this, but want to know others knowledge or thoughts. I read that Pets have sugar in them and that draws cancer so the Pets are causing the cancer to group around the existing cancer. I was upset reading this but I already worried about the radiation. But know or thought we have had to do this to find out more info. I want to know if you have heard of this and if MRIs have this sugar? That then it would be more safe to just have the MRIs? What are your thoughts? ( I sure pray I didn't upset anyone w/this either, not my intention) Thanks for any info!

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All of the cells in our bodies need a sugar called glucose. Glucose is an essential part of the way all the cells work. Before the PET scan, the patient goes without eating for several hours so all the cells in the body are hungry. Then they inject some glucose which is carrying a radioactive label. All of the cells in the body are glad to see the glucose, because they're hungry. But the cancer cells are greedy, and they absorb more than the other cells. When the scan is done, the cells which took more than their fair share of the glucose light up.

Different types of scans are used for different reasons. I think someone recently said a CT scan showed tumors were still there after chemo. But when they followed up with a PET scan, the remaining tumors didn't light up. The onc concluded that the tumors were dead, but the body hadn't reabsorbed them yet.

MRIs use no radiation. They don't show exactly what a PET scan does.

This has nothing to do with "sugar" feeding cancer. Every living cell has to have glucose.

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Thanks for the excellent explanation!

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Dear Boderline,
Once again, I am so happy that I found this site. You have responded to me many times and how well you are informed. How easily I could understand the way you have explained. Thank you for the wonderful answer even though it wasn't my question. I can show off to my husband now as my own discovery.

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thanks borderline... easy to understand!!
d

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I love this site! Thank you borderline for the explanation.

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I'd rather have a PET, as I believe they are more conclusive.

p.s. evidence shows that diabetics have higher rates of many cancer and don't do as well with receovery as nondiabetics so there is a probable association between high systemic glucose rates in the body and cancer. I think it stands to reason you can affect this at least somewhat with appropriate food choices.

Linda

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I agree, that was really an impressive explanation given by borderline. Really really good. Are you working on your book yet?

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LOL, thank you all. The PET scan always sounds like whizz-bang science to me.

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Borderline,

As usual, GREAT reply and explanation:) I think everyone could understand your explanation...I think the internet people should ask YOU to write these sorts of things on WEB MD and GOOGLE, so everyone gets it ? :)

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LOL, Bobbie, then everyone would realize how often I'm wrong. ;-)

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Great exolanation, borderline! Also, it was in "laywoman's" terms.

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What is the evidence that diabetics have more of certain types of cancer? For years there have been rumors that sugar feeds cancer. If this were really proven, all oncologists and cancer doctors would tell all of us about this and we would not be eating sugar. I don't eat a lot anyhow because my husband is a diabetic and we don't have sugar in the house.

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Thank you Borderline for this explanation, very informative! But I have another question, is the glucose our body makes from food different from synthetic sugar they give? That is what I really want to know, as I have heard and believe one the synthetic is dangerous to us. Any thoughts?

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comebackid, the glucose in table sugar is exactly the same as the glucose we need.

Table sugar isn't synthetic. The white table sugar we buy at the grocery store is made by sugar cane and sugar beets, so it's a "natural" product. Chemically, its name is sucrose. Each molecule of sucrose consists of one molecule of glucose (the stuff our body has to have) joined to one molecule of fructose (the sugar which makes fruit taste sweet). When we eat white sugar our bodies break it down into glucose and fructose.

Table sugar isn't synthetic, but it is refined. They mash the sugar cane or sugar beets and boil it. Then they drain off all the plant pulp and dirt and bugs and make sure what they're packaging is pure sugar. If you buy molasses, that's the table sugar with some of the interesting stuff still in it.

Personally, I think what's bad about sugar is it rots the teeth and makes us fat. My body has enough to worry about without adding problems. Moderation in all things!

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Thank you Borderline3! I have heard that sugar/white is very bad for cancer and draws it and helps it multiple. There must be some link than w/too much glucose in the blood? I know it can cause diabetes, and have heard it makes cancer and/or worse. If it can rot our teeth, then can't it eat away tissueand effect cells? If our bodies are already making natural glucose in our system, is the regulation of it off to cause or make worse the cancer? I have tried to eliminate sugar from my diet and eat organic and stop diary too, plus keeping my body alkaline w/veggies, and baking soda. When I have felt badly I noticed the alkaline level effected that, when I raised it up to about 7.5 - 8., I felt better. I have listened to people that have had less than 3 mons. to live and they take the sodium bicarbonate and they are alive over 3 yrs. later. What do you think? Sorry, if I am bothering you too much! :)

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Actually, sugar doesn't directly rot the teeth. It feeds the bacteria in our mouths, and the bacteria rot the teeth.

People who have diabetes can't make insulin (or can't make enough of it, or can't make it when it's needed -- it varies), and we have to have insulin to use glucose properly. When a diabetic's glucose levels go up, it does all sorts of bad things. And one thing it does do is promote infections, sort of similar to encouraging the bacteria which decay teeth. There's more and more evidence that just being overweight can bring on type 2 diabetes.

I know a lot of people say sugar feeds cancer, but I've never seen a scientific explanation of it.

My biggest symptom is having no appetite at all, and I had a dangerous weight loss before I was diagnosed, so I don't deny myself anything. I think that for me, the biggest danger is that I get too thin again. I'm lucky that vegetables are my favorite food, and I don't crave sweets. But if I were pre-diabetic, I would move heaven and earth to avoid getting diabetes, because trying to manage diabetes with cancer and chemo would be really hard.

Seadream, do you have a link about diabetes and cancer? I would think just trying to control diet and insulin while on chemo would be murder -- we all have days when we just can't face food and are revolted by some foods, and diabetes requires a lot of food discipline. Not to mention trying to guess whether you're going to hold your food down after you've taken insulin. It must be a real balancing act.

I just figure anything that chips away at my general health gives the tumors an edge. The tumors are the Big Pig at the trough, and they're going to get what they need even if the rest of my body doesn't get what it needs.

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I haven't read all of the responses so if I'm repeating what has already been posted--I apologize. I had a PET scan on Friday and they did a wonderful job explaining it. As a previous poster said--all of our cells use sugar. Cancers LOVE sugar because it allows it to grow rapidly. You are given a radioactive isotope (a radioactive sugar) that tricks the cancer into accepting it. It thinks it's a normal sugar--so it grabs it up immediately. After a while it finally figures out that it's not what it thinks and stops picking it up out of the blood. So--that's why the cancer highlights on the scan.

I was placed on a low card diet 48 hours prior to the scan--no milk, no sodas, no sweet tea, no fruits, very limited vegges, no breads, etc (there's a huge list). It was easier to ask what I could have vs what I couldn't. Then I was on a 4 hour fast prior to the scan time (only water and black coffee allowed--yuck). They have found that a low card diet (horrible thing that it is) helps decrease the false positives and any uptake of the isotope into the muscles. If the muscles pick it up--you may need to be scanned again.

The hospital I went to uses a CT scan to reconstruct the body image so they tell exactly where the highlighted areas are. That's actually the best thing to have if you have to have a PET. So far MRI's of certain cancers are not up to the quality of CT's. I asked about it too--but my mom (MRI/Rad tech) shot the idea down immediately. I personally prefer to be in a magnetic field vs radiation but she said that CT's are better. She's been doing MRI for roughly 25 years--so I trust her on that...

Hope this helped...

Lara

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I wish my medical team gave such concise and easy to understand information. Thank you very much.

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I know I try to watch my sugar intake but I'm not giving up my WINE! I agree about how hard it would be having diabetes and cancer, I have a brother with type 1 and can't imagine him having to go through chemo...bless those that have to.

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http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/diabetes-increases-risk-of-cancer- death-2/
this is an easy to read article that explains the increased risk. Prostate cancer is an interesting exception.

Here is an article with some information on potential negative effects of sugar on cancer.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=1&ref=suga r

evidence is "not conclusive" but:
"But some researchers will make the case, as Cantley and Thompson do, that if something other than just being fatter is causing insulin resistance to begin with, that’s quite likely the dietary cause of many cancers. If it’s sugar that causes insulin resistance, they say, then the conclusion is hard to avoid that sugar causes cancer — some cancers, at least — radical as this may seem and despite the fact that this suggestion has rarely if ever been voiced before publicly. For just this reason, neither of these men will eat sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, if they can avoid it.

“I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet and eat as little as I possibly can,” Thompson told me, “because I believe ultimately it’s something I can do to decrease my risk of cancer.” Cantley put it this way: “Sugar scares me.”

this was posted by another inspire lady a couple of months ago. Is it true for ovarian cancer? who knows? but at least moderation might be an idea.

Linda

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