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Testimonial: Breast Cancer Survivor

By The Paleo Diet Team
December 17, 2009
Testimonial: Breast Cancer Survivor image

Dear Readers,

Here's a testimonial from a member of The Paleo Diet® community regarding her use of the Paleo Diet to beat breast cancer. Her story was originally published in the November 1, 2005 edition of our newsletter. We recently began reissuing archived editions of the newsletter, and Debbie contacted us and graciously provided an update.

Debbie's Story

Dear Dr. Cordain,

I am a breast cancer survivor. I was first diagnosed with breast cancer on May 25, 2001: T1, Node Negative, Her2 positive and nuclear grade 3. I had a lumpectomy, aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. On March 26, 2004 my breast cancer returned to my L-1 disk in my spine. I had 6 months of weekly chemotherapy and radiation. By December 15, 2004 I was declared in remission.

Herceptin was part of the chemo protocol that I had received in 2004 and have been receiving it every three weeks since the beginning of January 2005. Tumor marker tests are also conducted every other month. Unfortunately, my tumor markers started rising and by the end of May tests the upward trend was disturbing.

I share this news with my pharmacist who is also a certified nutritionist on May 28th. He recommended that I immediately eliminate sugar and grains from my diet. I found your book, The Paleo Diet, and started to eliminate sugar, grains and dairy from my diet that day.

The results have been astonishing to say the least. On May 24, 2005 my CA 27 29 marker was 43 and as of October 24, 2005 is 24. My CA 15 3 marker was 28.6 on May 24, 2005 and is now 22.9. I am 100% convinced that it is a result of being a very compliant follower of the Paleo Diet. Cancer likes sugar. Sugar is not my friend and is an enemy to my health.

I am very thankful to a very astute and pharmacist/certified nutritionist who is on top of the current diets and the effects on one's health. We are what we eat. I do not miss any of the sweets that I craved so and love the fact that I have finally lost the 25 chemo/radiation weight that I could not lose no matter how much exercise or dieting I did since 2002. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and grass produced or free ranging meats and fish are the mainstay of my current good health.

I continue to emphasize to my incredible team of physicians at Duke that the wonderful lower tumor marker results are a result of my new diet. Thank you for your book and I will continue to spread the message to my support group and other women I meet who have breast cancer. Mind, body and soul-keeping each healthy is essential to survive this terrible disease. The diet recommended to me on May 28, 2005 empowered me to continue doing everything possible to win this battle.


Update on Debbie

Dear Dr. Cordain,

My pharmacist emailed me your latest newsletter update and there was my story. Now to add to the story: I will be celebrating my fifth year of being in remission on December 15th—for the second time. I have continued The Paleo Diet and weigh my 2001 pre-cancer weight of 155. I am 5’10” and feel this is my ideal weight. My husband is also on the diet, since he eats what I eat.

I also started working for this pharmacist, Bob Barbrey, in April 2009. His pharmacy, Medicap Pharmacy is just a pharmacy that encourages good diet, nutrition, exercise and sleep as part of the complete picture of being proactive about one’s health. Prescribed drugs are a part of the process, but many of our customers are stepping up to owning their health and want to make changes to ensure they are in control of it. The Paleo Diet guidelines are shared as encouragement to pursue that ideal state of health and weight.

I continue to have excellent tumor markers and I have continue to share my story with my doctors and friends and anyone who cares to listen. I was at a party last Saturday with my husband and saw friends we have not seen in years. Everyone could not believe how healthy I looked and how fabulous I looked! They all were so happy I was still in remission. As a cancer survivor, we can be healthy and look fabulous! It was with great joy I donated my size 16 and 18 clothing to Goodwill as I now wear size 10’s and 12’s. I have lost a total of 45 pounds since May 28, 2005. I have reached my ideal weight naturally through this diet and that is 155.

I am very thankful to Bob Barbrey and his excellent advice on May 28, 2005!


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