Adenocarcinoma and obesity

Hi Ladies

I have been doing a lot of research on Adenocarcinoma and I keep getting to the same interesting place: the link between Adenocarcinoma and obesity is much stronger than the link between SCC and obesity. In fact, there seems to be a similarity between cervical AC and endometrial cancer which is strongly associated with excess weight and excess estrogen. I know for myself, I was always a healthy weight until a few years ago (when one can assume my AC began to grow). This is important to me because im starting to feel like the most important thing I can do to help myself not experience reoccurrence is get back to a healthy weight ASAP, as in yesterday. Im wondering if any AC survivors can or would like to comment on whether they have maintained a healthy weight during remission and if they were overweight/obese at diagnosis. I understand this may not have anything to do with survivorship but there are certainly enough well respected investigations and findings into the link between to two to make one curious. Thank you so much if you’d like to comment and have experience with this. :heart:

Hi Lovewinz,

When I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma I waited 56kg and I am 164cm which I would say I was quite skinny. After menopause I put some kg but I believe these are due to menopause but still I don’t consider myself overweight (current weight is 64kg). I try to control it now by doing a lot of exercise and eating healthier meals. I started doing yoga and Pilates 4-5 times per week and I started loosing some weight. There might be links to obesity but I think in general obesity increases the risks to a number of health problems and cancers.

Hi Maria

Thanks for responding. I’m sure I’m unlikely to uncover a contributor to AC that the Drs don’t already know about :joy: but it’s strange that it’s still something of a mystery (compared to SCC) after so much study. But it can’t hurt to be vigilant about weight loss now that I’m out of treatment—I know that on my hunt to find out exactly what was wrong with me before getting the CC diagnosis I started taking progesterone pills as my estrogen was higher than my progesterone & my symptoms disappeared while I was taking that progesterone pill. At that point I was already scheduled for colcoscopy so it wasn’t much time (maybe a month?) between that happening and the “C” word being bandied about so I stopped taking the progesterone immediately just in case that was making things worse. Just a head scratcher.

I was skinny as a whippet when I was diagnosed with Glassy cell adenocarcinoma in 1997. I am just tipping into BMI 26 now but I am 60 and greedy.

I know glassy cell adenocarcinoma tends to affect much younger women, often with very small children so it suggests a hormonal element to me rather than obesity per se.

Always good to come up with ideas. When I had the adenocarcinoma, one of my sisters had squamous at the same time and my other sister had severe changes. They are younger than me and our stages pretty much reflected the age we were at. We have all got the BRCA2 gene but when I mention it medics say “no evidence of a link” and i say “we are the start of a potential theory that warrants further exploration”.

Good luck with your thoughts.

Karen

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Thanks Karen,

I think that’s where I am ending up, with the hormonal link. I mean who could deny that gynecological cancers may be hormone driven. Obesity makes sense as a correlation not causation to AC primarily because obesity almost always disrupts the hormonal balance, skewing towards estrogen dominance. I’m going to take my remaining bioidentical progesterone pills with me to see my gyno oncologist in a couple of days and see if he thinks I can resume them if a blood test is showing estrogen dominance. I’ll also hop on the scales and see how the weight loss is going.
So happy for you Karen that you are still kicking! Must feel really really good to be on the other side of all this :heart:

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Hi,

In my case I truly believe it was a hormonal issue as I was on the pill for more than 10 years. It was also confirmed by my menopause specialist that I was quite unlucky. she was suggested that there are evidence of links that adenocarcinoma might be hormonal sensitive. In my case, it was not recommended to be on HRT at least for now for this reason. Personally I wouldn’t want to be in any hormonal treatment due to my experience from the pill but this is just me.

https://uh.edu/nsm/biology-biochemistry/news-events/stories/2021/0412-cervical-cancer.php

Interesting study above.

I hear you Maria, I’ll be careful. There was another study I read about endometrial adenocarcinoma (the most common I think)
and that is 100% associated with overweight/obesity—they found that women who were overweight at diagnosis had a poorer prognosis regardless of whether they lost any weight after. Now the study did not account for weight that was lost intentionally or unintentionally so it’s not definitive (not to mention a completely different cancer) but it can take a year for your hormone balance to change from weight loss, so the estrogen dominance may still have been effecting this cohort even after losing weight. I guess my thought is that I don’t really have a year to balance my hormones. I wish this didn’t feel so “Nancy Drew solves cancer” but I have 2 sons who completely rely on me so I’m determined to find what works for me here. Y’all know how I feel.

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I’ve never had HPV and still developed adenocarcinoma. I’ve been with my husband since 18. It isn’t linked in quite the same way. As with everything, there are many factors interacting. Best to focus on getting into a happy space and not drag down immunity. It’s one of our best tools I think.

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Thanks for the reminder Karen!

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Hi there, interesting topic you have here. I’m very keen on reading the detailed thoughts as I also had adenocarcinoma. So, I am contributing to the data :blush: as well. I was 35 at the time of the diagnosis (IB1), and my BMI is/was around 27-28 but all doctors said I am “of normal weight” (I guess some of those BMI units are of muscle as I work out with heavy weights as well). I was also thinking about this hormone theory - I can’t think of any known factors as I’ve taken hormones (like contraceptive pills) just for very short periods in my life.

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Internal exam earlier today— so wish that wasn’t necessary right now. My heart rate was super high just being back at the hospital

10lbs down from this time last month :tada: I’m also doing neighborhood walks with my sons every evening (hilly neighborhoods here in the Pacific Northwest US) sounds real tame but it’s a lot considering how totally wiped out I’ve been from the treatments still. Proud of myself for pushing through.

Hi Stepper,

Thanks for adding your thoughts. 35 can be an age of hormone fluctuations and the beginning of peri menopause I think. All of you ladies seemed to have been in otherwise great shape at diagnosis which may have something to do with how well you’ve done. My BMI is a shocking 29 (for me, but I know the BMI scale is questionable) I definitely have too much stomach fat. Otherwise I’m okay, no prediabetes or high blood pressure, no other diseases. Just a big lady :joy: I’m looking forward to feeling stronger and fitter. I should lift weights like you, I know it’ll help my bone health. I decided to skip the progesterone and instead take a supplement called DIM which is supposed to cut down on “bad estrogen” circulating & support cervical health. It’s derived from broccoli so its basically like eating 5 servings of broccoli a day.

Anyone have any thoughts on how to naturally balance hormones? I’d love to hear them!

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150430191028.htm

Amazing study that links daily low dose aspirin to huge reduction in cervical cancer :sparkles::tada:

Baby aspirin also reduces risk of blood clots & strokes, which all cancer patients are at greater risk for

Baby aspirin also deceases estrogen in women with daily use

Check it out if you are curious—seems like a sensible remedy but only for those under 70 and those who are not at risk of stomach bleeds, aspirin is a blood thinner so not good for anyone actively bleeding (including untreated cervical cancer bleeding) I got this suggestion from my Oncology nurse and then did some research. Hope it’s okay to pass this info on here in the hopes that it may benefit others—please let me know if it goes against community guidelines :heart:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160420151401.htm

Really fascinating stuff on low dose Asprin and cancer survival coming out in the last few years.

Ladies, they are finding a possible 20% increased survival rate in many, many cancers for patients even starting to take Asprin after diagnosis.
Cervical cancer appears very responsive to regular Asprin use.

Ladies! Ask your doctors…this could be a life saver.

Here is the cancer research UK advice on aspirin.

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/treatment/cancer-drugs/aspirin-and-cancer

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Thank you Karen.

A lot of research points to the over expression of Cox-2 in certain tumors as a target for aspirin, and apparently many adenocarcinomas, and especially cervical Adenocarcinomas appear to over express cox-2

https://www.gynecologiconcology-online.net/article/S0090-8258(02)00066-5/pdf

https://www.nature.com/articles/bjc2011289

But aspirin seems to have other fascinating cancer fighting tools—- it seems to actively stop metastasis in many cancers by thinning the blood and disallowing cancer cells to travel undetected by our immune systems from one site to another. That’s actually how I ended up in the discussion with my oncology nurse (who is a cancer survivor & aspirin user)—she was trying to draw blood from my port and was commenting to me on how “sticky” my blood was (it’s always hard for them to get blood from me at my blood draws :frowning: And I often have to contort myself into bizarre positions to help them)—and she mentioned this is very typical with cancer patients & we are at a higher risk of blood clots because tumors send chemicals into our blood to make it thicker so that the cancer can spread. There’s a ton of articles on how aspirin interferes with this action, not just any blood thinner, specifically aspirin

There is also a lot of info on how aspirin does help HPV related cancers because they rely on inflammation to grow and spread as well.

If anyone is thinking of trying this, I would also mention that over the last 4 years, researches have noted that aspirin dose should be weight sensitive, not one dose fits all. This is important and could explain why some studies come back inconclusive.

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did you take asprin during your treatment? did you have cisplatin and radio/braccy?

Yes I did have chemorads—unfortunately didn’t know about the aspirin back then but I did do a water fast for 5 of my 6 chemos: water only 3 days before, day of and one day after each chemo. One of the reasons this is recommended is to protect your kidneys from Cisplatin. My kidney function is perfect and has been throughout treatment, so it didn’t NOT work :joy:

Back to the aspirin: I’ve been taking a pretty high dose daily (due to my weight) with the okay of my doctor since about 1 month out from my last brachy. I’m convinced this will help as a radio-sensitizer even at this point, but I also think the tumor micro environment will be taking a huge hit right now with that anti inflammatory effect of aspirin.

:heart:

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That’s really helpful thank you. I’ve been considering fasting as I’ve read about the benefits but a) I’m worried about losing too much weight and b) I’m not sure I can manage even 2 days!!!

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Okay no worries— I’ve got an idea for you: check out the cancer fasting mimicking diet. This is a regimen created specifically for cancer patients when water fasting is too extreme/ inappropriate. This is a cycle I’m on now and will probably continue for years to reduce chances of reoccurrence: it’s a 21-28 day cycle: day 1 you eat 600 calories, then day 2-5 you eat only 300 calories each day. Then you eat normally for the rest of the cycle and restart on day 21 or up to day 28 depending on your preference. I actually think it’s easier to just water fast but I’m not convinced that I can water fast that much each month and keep nutrition where I need it, especially in these early months post treatment. I mean, I needed a blood transfusion just a couple of months ago for crying out loud! I really believe in fasting (I’ve fasted quite a bit very regularly prior to the pandemic and stopped only during the pandemic to protect my immunity—hmm the non fasting recent years are also the years my cancer grew :thinking:)

I do have my moments when I’m gloomy about all the VIGILANCE but tbh I really did need a complete health habit overhaul headed into my golden years :sunny: So I remember I’m lucky to have this opportunity to learn to take excellent care of myself

If you (or anyone) wants to sync up fasting mimicking cycles so we can support each other through it I’m totally down. My next “day 1” will be April 29.

:heart:

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That’s really strange as the direction that I got from my consultants is exactly the opposite. I was recommended to drink at least 2lt per water a day as in order to have the radiotherapy you need to have full bladder to reduce the risks for side effects. In addition if you don’t drink too much water it is more difficult to find your veins for blood tests etc. and it might compromise your kidneys due to chemo. Looking back it looks that it works for me as now I don’t have any significant issues. I think it is better to ask your consultant to see what it works for you before you go ahead with any changes in diet. I remember when I started they gave me specific advise what to eat and drink during the treatment.

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