elynjacobs

Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Epstein-Barr Virus, foods that target cancer stem cells, High Dose Vitamin C and Cancer, Uncategorized on July 11, 2018 at 8:01 am

The following is an excerpt of my recently published article, Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment. It was published in the journal Archives of General Internal Medicine (Arch Gen Intern Med 2018 Volume 2 Issue 3).

The current standard of care, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation has not proved to be highly effective and comes with significant side effects and costs. Although conventional cancer therapy can target certain cancer cells and sometimes prevent relapse of the illness, complementary and alternative therapies are required due to disadvantages of the current therapies such as low effectiveness, adverse effects, or availability. Moreover, a number of studies have found adjunctive therapeutic approaches to improve outcomes for cancer patients. One potential complementary method with conventional cancer drugs involves the use of medicinal herbs and phytochemicals. The possible therapeutic benefits include, but are not limited to, anti-proliferative, apoptotic, anti-metastatic, and anti-angiogenic effects, of which have been demonstrated in in vitro experiments and some clinical trials.

Studies have revealed beneficial effects of medicinal herbs and phytochemicals against cancer by providing anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, free radical scavengers in the form of cancer-fighting compounds. Phytomedicines have the ability to interact with signaling pathways that modulate cell growth, replication, and death of a wide variety of tumor cell types through diverse mechanisms. These phytocomplexes have the remarkable capability of affecting us on a cellular level – where diseases such as cancer originate. Many plant species are already being used to treat or prevent development of cancer outside of the traditional oncology environment, notably without harm to healthy cells.

During the last century, scientific knowledge about anticancer phytochemicals and herbs has remarkably progressed. Despite numerous reports of their effects on cancer, functional use for the prevention and treatment of cancer has been largely limited to self-care. Like most cancer drugs, the main mechanisms of action of plants include inducing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation, growth, and migration. But unlike conventional cancer drug therapies, phytotherapies are cytotoxic to cancer cells and relatively non-toxic to normal cells. Moreover, use of phytomedicines may be an option for the prevention and treatment of cancer both with and without conventional drugs. In the event that conventional cancer drugs are not accepted due to their side effects or low effectiveness, phytomedicines offer an effective and viable alternative as they are considerably safe and relatively affordable. It is worth recommending application of phytomedicines as alternative cancer therapies for patients who do not benefit or face side effects from conventional drugs or alongside conventional treatments to improve efficacy.

There are two sections in this review, phytochemicals against cancer and medical herbs against cancer. As it was impossible for me to address hundreds of different phytochemicals and medicinal herbs in this one paper, I only focused on a few examples in each category. To read the article in full, please read: Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

You may also enjoy my article published in the Journal of Cancer Biology and TreatmentEtiology of Chronic Disease: A Discussion on Epstein-Barr Virus.

In your good health,

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150res

 

Elyn Jacobs is a holistic cancer strategist and speaker specializing in the prevention and treatment of cancer. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in person.

 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo anti-hormone therapy. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist and make your own decisions.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link, and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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Epstein-Barr Virus and it’s Connection to Cancer, Autoimmune, and other Chronic Diseases

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, autoimmune, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cell Phones, EMFs and Health Risks, Epstein-Barr Virus, Uncategorized on June 18, 2018 at 4:47 am

Recently published in the Journal of Cancer Biology and Treatment was my article Etiology of Chronic Disease: A Discussion on Epstein-Barr VirusOver the past two years I have made Epstein-Barr (EBV) my pet-project, so to speak, as it is becoming all too clear of the role of viruses such EBV in the development and progression of cancer, autoimmune, and many other disorders.

Epstein-Barr Virus is a common herpetic virus and is one of the most common and prolific viral infections in humans. It can first present as chicken pox, mono, cold sores, or with no noticeable symptoms and can stay in the body forever. Over 95% of adults carry this virus, and most children are infected as well. Chronic disease is the clinical manifestation of primary infection with Epstein-Barr virus. Infection from EBV is often asymptomatic. Once the virus inserts itself into immune B cells, it reprograms them, effectively evading programmed cell death and escaping recognition and destruction by cytotoxic T cells. EBV can manifest in a range of pathologies including various cancers, Infectious Mononucleosis (IM), autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disease, Meiners disease, type 1 diabetes, Lyme disease, and numerous other conditions.

Deactivation of the virus is critical. New antiviral therapies and an effective EBV vaccine might protect against the wide range of pathologies generated from infection and reactivation, but could come with significant side effects. Dendritic cell therapy and ozone therapy may also be effective and have been used in many clinics. More research needs to be done in these areas, especially to make them available to the general population. However, natural strategies aimed at deactivating the virus and preventing re-activation must be emphasized and public awareness increased, particularly among those diagnosed with a chronic disease. Holistic solutions currently available are high dose vitamin C and D therapies as well as antiviral agents such as olive leaf extract, quercetin, licorice root, coconut, astragalus, bee propolis, lysine zinc, and many other substances. Herbs are powerful medicine and should not be taken without care and guidance. Importantly, EBV and other viruses are often triggered by emotional stress, so reducing day to day stress as well as resolving past traumas may be helpful.

EBV is not the only virus associated with cancer and other diseases. However, following an antiviral strategy is likely to be effective for many other viral conditions.

Note: EMF exposure from cell phones, laptops, hair dryers, baby monitors, and other devices is believed to trigger reactivation of EBV, perhaps because EMFs disrupt the way our cells function and clog detoxification pathways in the body. Please read my articles for suggestions on reducing risk.

The referenced journal article was published in the Journal of Cancer Biology and Treatment. Citation: Jacobs E (2018) Etiology of Chronic Disease: A Discussion on Epstein-Barr Virus. J Cancer Biol Treat 5: 014.

In your good health,

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150res

 

Elyn Jacobs is a holistic cancer strategist and speaker specializing in the prevention and treatment of cancer. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in person.

 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo anti-hormone therapy. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist and make your own decisions.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link, and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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Doctors Suggest Less Chemo and Other Harmful Cancer Drugs: My Review

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on June 6, 2018 at 10:05 am

The following is my review of the news-blast of the new landmark study that suggests less chemo, Herceptin, and surgery for some cancer patients and admits that many cancer patients receiving have been receiving chemotherapy unnecessarily. Results were discussed at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago and published by the New England Journal of Medicine ( the WSJ , NYP, and most newswires and publications covered the story).

First, it is about time. That said, we have known this for a long time. DOCTORS have known this for a long time. But cancer is big business and an ego business. However, to be clear, these studies were not necessarily done to protect patients from the damages of cancer drugs. The issue was cost, while acknowledging patients can be spared the life-threatening and quality of life-threatening side effects of these treatments. The studies were federally funded, which is great as there is no way a drug company would run a study that could impact their business. Of course, one was funded by Pfizer, but that was to push the drug Sutent over surgical removal of the kidney, so there was a financial interest for them.  However, what these studies have in common is a potential reduction in overall medical costs. This is a good thing! But, don’t for a minute think they are doing this to save your skin. Nothing was mentioned about forgoing cancer drugs while simultaneously requiring insurance companies (and Medicare) to cover well-care.  A well-care program would make holistic therapies and dietary supplements more affordable to the masses. It would allow people to improve health and to address the cause of their cancer, which is not a tamoxifen, Herceptin, or chemo deficiency.

By helping people to change the cancer environment within their bodies, we really CAN lower medical costs and save lives. While that is a story for another day, what annoys me about this sudden revelation of less drugs is that we really have known for many years that drugs are toxic to the body and are not particularly curative. They may kill some of the cancer at hand but do nothing to heal the body and prevent the cancer from coming back. In many cases, they make cancer more aggressive, not to mention do serious collateral damage to the body.

But back to WE KNEW:

I reported back in 2013 that lead doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in NYC presented on the failure of chemotherapy for the treatment of breast cancer and melanoma. They said they were seeking funds to find new drugs that work. Yet they have still been recommending these failed treatments (certainly for breast cancer) since that revelation. Why? Because they won’t admit to patients that they have no viable tools in their toolbox (and perhaps still need to make money?) I also want to believe that they have significantly scaled back on drug therapies, which is likely the case. I am not singling out MSKCC. I have to believe most cancer centers have seen their patients return with recurrent and metastatic disease after the failure of chemo. It just bugs me that drugs are still at the forefront for cancer treatment. Further, the lack of true integrative oncology in many cancer centers is nothing short of horrifying. Integrative oncology methods improve survival and help mitigate side effects, yet are resisted by many conventional oncologists — even at centers that boast of an integrative department. But that too is a discussion for another day.

Knowing the ineffectiveness of chemo, drug companies have been working hard on new drugs. These new immune-oncology drugs are supposed to extend lives by years, rather than months, but do not offer a cure. In particular, an agreement between Ziopharm Oncology and MD Anderson Cancer Center commenced work on combination drugs they then found could shrink tumors about 30% of the time, but safety studies have not been completed. However, we know that tumor shrinkage does not correlate with survival and combining drugs means additional side effects to the patient. That very topic was part of the MSKCC discussion in 2013, that single drug therapies do not work so doctors were looking at consecutive therapies to get better results, but the effects were too toxic. Yet, new combo treatments are doing just that.  Of course, oncologists are so used to the heavy toxicity of their treatments and the damages they do that it doesn’t seem to concern many of them. But on to the discussion at hand. This hot-off-the-press revelation that chemo is toxic and not helpful for many is old news. But the results from these studies are noteworthy—there was only a 1% risk reduction for a certain group studied who added chemo to their treatment plan.  1% for all that damage. Clearly doctors have been over-treating patients for a long time. The researchers make mention of the OncotypeDX test that can help determine which patients would or would not benefit from chemo. Notably, they make no mention of testing patients to see if they can even tolerate cancer drugs, something that is not uncommon.

Herceptin, another toxic cancer drug that damages the heart, was previously given for 12 months while the new study found 6 months had the same efficacy.  A median follow-up of more than 5 years showed the 4-year disease-free survival rate was 89.4% for women assigned to 6 months of treatment and 89.8% for women assigned to a 12-month duration—a difference of only 0.4%. Perhaps they will now do a new study showing 0 months would be just as effective.

Doctors know that in many cases drug therapy is not needed, but as it has been the Standard of Care (SOC), they must prescribe it. Now that the SOC is proving to be too expensive, the government is looking to curb usage.  Smart move but know that your health is not really on their minds.  Many fear a backlash from drug companies who may raise rates to make up for lost sales. Good luck there—insurance companies will balk and then people may finally be able to get less toxic holistic treatments covered in lieu of costly drugs (okay, maybe I am too optimistic).

Conclusion

The present state of cancer chemotherapy is unsatisfactory. New cancer drugs continue to be developed and approved on the basis of marginal improvements in survival at an unsustainable high financial cost, many of which will later prove to have been ineffective. Personally I would not accept any drug that has not been proven in patients, not trials, to be effective and safe for at least 10 years. If any side effects or lack of efficacy present in those ten years, I would wait another ten years to see the follow up results, as well as more studies that show dismal efficacy for other subgroups of patients. Of course, that strategy of waiting does not work well for obvious reasons, but clearly one must be careful and explore all options, including ‘alternative’ options. For those with late stage or seemingly untreatable cancers, taking a chance on an drug is a different story.

It would seem more rational for cancer strategists to investigate less-conventional treatments currently being used by many to heal from their cancer.  However, the lack of financial reward and tainted association with alternative medicine could dissuade conventional investigators and funding agencies from seriously considering holistic alternatives. At present, few cancer clinical trials of holistic treatments are being conducted. Even if serious interest in funding and carrying out large, formal clinical trials were to develop, data are lacking as to which cancers and chemotherapy regimens to focus on.

Safe, low-cost therapies are underutilized, owing to the absence of randomized controlled trials, the current disinclination of medical journals to publish case reports, and increasing pressures on clinicians to follow the “standard of care.” A methodical evaluation of the effectiveness of such therapies is long overdue.

I am not saying there is never a reason to offer chemo. What I am saying is that the SOC must include the option for less toxic and less expensive remedies for cancer. Holistic treatments have had gratifying results on cancer patients for many, many years despite a lack of clinical trials and published results. Even in the absence of conclusive studies, clinicians should consider using non-toxic therapies, especially for those patients adverse to conventional medicine.  Because the effect seems to be substantial, a small series of cases should enable the clinician to judge whether the effort and expense is worthwhile. If a clinician keeps a running tabulation of patient outcomes, future patients can be told what percentage of patients can expect relief from various treatments and make their decisions accordingly.

The cancer world is not going to change because of my comments, but given the attention these new studies are getting, I felt some commentary could be helpful. My suggestion is to ask, inquire, and DEMAND proof that a recommended toxic treatment will work. Thing is, there is no proof, and moreover, killing the ants will not get to the nest. It is imperative to address the reason for the cancer and not just stomp on the symptoms.

ps…sorry for the rambling 🙂 and this is not meant to be controversial. I respect the choices of all and know that there are many paths for healing. Most importantly, there is no one path that works for everyone.

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link, and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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