Breast Cancer and Sugar link: new hype, old news


don’t take away my decadent Ghiradelli fresh-baked chocolate brownies, too!

Have you heard about this before? Certain types of cancer cells actually feed on sugar, multiplying growth rates for tumors and minimizing the effectiveness of standard treatment.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today released findings that mice fed comparable levels of high fructose corn syrup and table sugar to the Standard American Diet had increased tumor growth rate and metastasis.


Yup…all these cancer-causing foods came out of my pantry!

The study’s co-author Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine said:

“We determined that it was specifically fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system, which was responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors.”

Did we really have to torture all those mice to come to a common sense (but now AMA ratified) conclusion?

My initial emotional reaction upon reading this headline: “Scientists say sugar causes cancer” is guilt. “Oh, great” I mutter under my breath. “Why did they have to wait until AFTER the holidays to give us a guilt trip about how my tree-shaped made-from-scratch with butter-creme frosting to-die-for (all puns intended) cookies are going to give me cancer!?”

Like cancer patients need one more reason to feel guilty.

When my mom received her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2009, she quickly cut out all sugar, refined flour and simple carbohydrates from her diet. (Not that she had much of a sweet tooth to begin with…) In addition to other natural protocols including constitutional homeopathic treatment and self-treatment with LOTS of herbs (she was an herbalist, after all) she managed to forestall any new growths or spreading of cancerous cells.

my beautiful mother

My beautiful, courageous mother before chemotherapy

And then it came back. I remember that she asked her doctors specifically about the link between sugar and cancer, and they told her that her type of breast cancer was not necessarily sugar dependent – but definitely estrogen dependent. The standard protocol for estrogen dependent cancers is removal of the cancer with clear margins, and hormone suppression drugs.

My mom never had a big sweet tooth, anyway. In fact, she was one of the healthiest people you’ve ever met: exercised a lot (she was a mail carrier), ate organic, natural, and unprocessed foods as much as possible; limited coffee and alcohol intake, no soda ever. She never smoked. The occasional chocolate bar.

Sometimes cancer is obviously the result of poor lifestyle choices: lung cancer from smoking, liver cancer from drinking, and any other chronic disease from too much of anything – take your pick. Sugar is one of the most obvious culprits for causing so much illness in our modern convenience-oriented culture: diabetes, compromised immunity, heart problems, ADD/ADHD, hyperactivity, being overweight AND malnourished, tooth decay and cancer.


Cigarettes are a triple-whammy of carcinogens: tar from tobacco smoke, at least 69 carcinogenic chemical additives AND sugar! (photo copyright 2015 MJ Freeman)

While not all cancers are clearly avoidable, or necessarily dependent on lifestyle choices like avoiding smoking and drinking, the health issues that are preventable should take center stage in our lives.

Here’s what Susun Weed had to say about the many possible causes of cancers in her 1996 book “Breast Cancer? Breast Health!”:

“My studies spanning 25 years and many disciplines have convinced me that the majority of breast cancers are causally related to the high levels of radiation and chemicals released into our air, water, soil, and food over the past 50 years. United States government researchers estimate that 80 percent of all cancers are environmentally linked.” p.3

Quoting the recent study from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, on

“Identifying risk factors for breast cancer is a public health priority, say the authors. The researchers state that moderate sugar consumption is critical, given that the per capita consumption of sugar in the U.S. has surged to over 100 lbs. per year and an increase in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been identified as a significant contributor to an epidemic of obesity, heart disease and cancer worldwide.” Jan. 7, 2016

My question is: who is studying the effects of pollution, chemical contamination in our soil and water, chem-trails in our air, and already identified carcinogens STILL in our food supply (i.e. partially hydrogenated oils, BTHQ, calcium chloride, Red Dye #40, etc, etc.)? And (uh-oh, are we getting a bit cynical, here?) why do we have to torture innocent mice to prove these chemicals are harmful to human health?



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