Natural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, foods that target cancer stem cells, Healing Cancer Naturally, Hormone Balance, Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors, Tamoxifen on April 14, 2017 at 9:29 am

Many women choose to skip hormone therapy for breast cancer in favor of natural alternatives. This is because many don’t believe that tamoxifen, for example, is actually the wonder drug it is claimed to be. Others are terrified about the harm that this drug  (and others) can do, and do not feel the purported benefits justify the risks. Importantly, many women have come to realize that the statistics provided just don’t add up.

Tamoxifen vs. Flaxseed

Tamoxifen vs. Nature, the Choice is Yours

The reality of the small absolute percentages is something to keep in mind when your oncologist is spewing statistics.  It’s frightening enough to be told you have breast cancer without having statistics thrown at us that are taken out of context. A statistic that is often quote to women advised to take tamoxifen is that it will cut their recurrence risk in half. In reality, that half may only represent a single digit decrease.  For some excellent articles on this please see the resource section below. It is also important to know that many women who take tamoxifen have recurrences anyway, and also that there are indeed significant risks to taking this drug.

 Progesterone and the Hormonal Dance

When estrogen is too high and progesterone is too low, we have a condition known as estrogen dominance.  When estrogen dominates, we have an increased risk of breast cancer. However, we need estrogen, so the goal should not be to block it (with aromatase inhibitors), but rather to reduce it (if necessary) while increasing progesterone. Importantly, very few doctors actually test hormone levels before ordering tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors.

Unfortunately, most women are deficient in progesterone. Stress is the number one reason for reduced progesterone. When we are stressed, adrenaline and cortisol rise and progesterone levels fall. This is because under stress, the body will always utilize the available pregnenolone to produce cortisol instead of progesterone.  One of the other main reasons for progesterone deficiency is the blocking of ovulation, which is done with oral contraceptives. Oral birth control pills suppress a woman’s own production of progesterone, which could result in a lifetime of progesterone deficiency. This topic will be explained further in my next post.

Making Progesterone…

The body uses cholesterol to make progesterone. In short, cholesterol makes the hormone pregnenolone, which is then converted into progesterone. (Pregnenolone is also the precursor for other hormones such as estrogen, cortisol, and testosterone). However, the body only makes so much pregnenolone, and the other hormones compete for this.

Many natural substances will help reduce estrogen dominance by managing estrogen and boosting progesterone levels. While no foods contain progesterone, certain micro-nutrients in them can help boost levels. For a more complete list, see below, but consider foods rich in zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, B6, and sulfur.

Sulfur-rich cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc.) are rich in glucosinolates, which activate phase 2 detoxifications in the liver. This helps to remove estrogen from the body and prevents it from circulating too long, keeping estrogen levels high. The sulfur helps boost progesterone levels.  For more information on the anti-cancer power of crucifers, please Click Here.

For information on reducing estrogen levels, please refer to your Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts.  If you are not currently a client of mine, you can request these tools via my Contact Page.

Many women are under the impression that progesterone supports the growth of breast cancer.  However, while synthetic progesterone does, in its natural form it is highly protective. For an in-depth discussion on this, please Click Here.

Recap of Natural Alternatives:

There are many things involved with ‘natural alternatives’. But again, one of the most important things with regards to estrogen is to raise progesterone (after all, we need estrogen for bone and heart health and over a hundred other necessary functions).  Below are some suggestions. Many of these things have already been recommended to you.  For more detail, please refer to your Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts as well as your overall protocol.

Try to include some of these items daily as well as throughout the day: (For supplement brand recommendations, please go to my Shop Page.  You should be able to find most items locally, but if not, there are links to Amazon.

  • Cruciferous vegetables and DIM—be sure you have adequate iodine in your diet as DIM and crucifers inhibit the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. For more detail on the importance of iodine, please refer to your Estrogen Handout.
  • Consume apples, onions, garlic, green tea, and other quercetin rich foods
  • Eat berries and pomegranate
  • Resveratrol –this is best gotten from red grapes and other foods, but fine to supplement if you prefer (do not take supplemental resveratrol with Salvestrols)
  • Herbs (fresh, dried, or essential oils) such as sage, rosemary, ginger, curcumin, thyme, basil, and ashwaganda
  • EFA’s from omega 3 fatty acids (please use caution with fish oil supplements as they can be toxic)
  • Licorice root –licorice root can lower estrogen while at the same time raising progesterone
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols or eat vitamin E-rich foods, such as nuts)
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium –reduces stress reactions and breaks down estrogen metabolites, reducing estrogen dominance
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6 (combats stress and helps the liver break down estrogen, reducing estrogen dominance)
  • Zeolites (for a discussion on this, please see my Shop Page)
  • Zinc
  • L-Arginine
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • Healthy cholesterol (needed to make pregnenolone) from coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, avocado, and olives
  • Fiber-rich foods such as flax seed, quinoa, oats, and millet (see below for more on flax–just be sure to grind this fresh daily)

You will also want to make sure that your liver and gut are functionally efficiently as estrogen is metabolized in the liver and excreted out of the bowel. By enhancing liver function, more estrogen is broken down in the body, reducing the overall estrogen load. Nutrients derived from cruciferous vegetables help with the detoxification of estrogen trough the liver (see more below).

When the liver and colon have become sluggish due to low thyroid function, stress, and an overburden of toxins, the body cannot break down and remove excess estrogen adequately from the system. The excess unbalanced estrogen gets stored in the fat cells of breast tissues when it is not properly eliminated. Supporting the liver with detoxifying foods such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), onions, whey powder, and supplements such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC), Milk Thistle, and SAMe can be very helpful.

Lifestyle Choices for Balancing Hormones and Inhibiting Cancer

Hormones become out of balance when we subject our bodies to a lifestyle that includes refined and processed foods, inadequate exercise, poor quality sleep, and exposure to xenoestrogens.  It is important to remember that contrary to what you may have been told, breast cancer (and other hormonal cancers) are not just about estrogen. Below are some suggestions to support hormone homeostasis as well as inhibit the development or progression of cancer.

  • Consume phytoestrogens -phytoestrogens act more like estrogen blockers than like estrogen; they modulate the production, availability, and action of hormones and slow down cell division. In fact, phytoestrogens are not really estrogens; they are anti-estrogens that reduce estrogen activity in the body. Plant estrogens protect us from the stronger estrogens our bodies produce as well as the xenoestrogens (chemical estrogen)  found in environmental chemicals, such as BPA and chemicals in personal care products. Phytoestrogens actually contain compounds that have been shown to reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells. Soy and flax are excellent sources of phytoestrogens.
  • Soy blocks cancer-promoting estrogens from attaching to the estrogen receptors on breast cells. It has also been shown to stop tumor growth, prevent metastasis, and shut off new blood vessels in growing tumors. Fermented soy, such as tempeh and miso are preferred over unfermented versions such as tofu as the fermentation process increases free radical scavenging activity and removes the nutrient blocking effect that soy can have—the phytic acid in unfermented soy can block absorption of key minerals such as magnesium and zinc. Soy in a highly-processed form (like soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, soy cheese) should be avoided. Due to the fact that most soy is genetically altered, it is highly recommended to consume only organic. (I do take issue with tempeh as it is commonly ‘shrink-wrapped’ in plastic.)
  •  Flaxseed modulates the production, availability, and action of hormones—and does so much more. The lignans in flax lower the production of estrogen by blocking the aromatase enzyme (similar to aromatase inhibitors) and block the estrogen receptors (similar to Tamoxifen). When lignans are consumed, intestinal bacteria convert them into enterolactone and enterodiol, weak estrogens. They attach to estrogen receptors, stimulate them weakly and block estrogen binding. This prevents estradiol or estrone from attaching to the estrogen receptors and strongly stimulating them, and includes not just the estrogen we produce, but also environmental toxins, thus making breast tissue more resistant to these environmental toxins. One long-term study reported that relatively high circulating enterolactone levels are associated with lower risk of death after an early-stage breast cancer diagnosis. A 2003 study conducted by Lilian Thompson PhD showed that daily consumption of ground flax seed significantly reduced breast cancer tumor size. Please read my articles — Flaxseed: Better Than Tamoxifen and Demystifying Flaxseed and Estrogen.
  • Eat good food—a diet rich in whole, primarily plant-based foods will support the adrenals and pretty much every function of the body.
  • Exercise—it reduces stress and positively effects gene expression; helps to balance hormones.
  • Clean out the closets—replace health, home and beauty products with non-toxic alternatives. A quick visit to the Environmental Working Group website will enable you to evaluate the products you use.
  • REDUCE STRESS—stress challenges adrenal function and makes direct physiological changes to DNA, not to mention that it significantly raises estrogen levels and depletes progesterone. Engage in yoga, meditation, and other mind-body therapies such as Psychotherapy, EFT, EMDR, the Emotion Code, and others that release negative emotions and past traumas.
  • Drink clean liquids. Choose filtered water (remove chlorine, fluoride, and other toxins in tap water).
  • Avoid alcohol, but if you do drink wine, make it organic–you wouldn’t eat conventional grapes, so don’t drink conventional wine. And, while red wine is somewhat protective against breast cancer as its resveratrol and other anti-cancer compounds help to metabolize estrogen and activate the P53 gene, don’t go overboard.  Your liver has to process that alcohol and if you drink too much, it won’t be able to metabolize estrogen efficiently. For more on the pros and cons of alcohol, please Click Here.
  • Get more sleep—lack of sleep disturbs hormone balance. Try to get to sleep by 10 pm as melatonin production peaks between 10 pm and 2 am. Melatonin stimulates tumor-suppressor genes and counteracts the effects of aggressive estrogens, including xenoestrogens. Cell phone EMF exposure can suppress the production of melatonin—limit use before bed (unplug 1-2 hours before going to bed) and do not keep them near your bed, and preferably out of your room.
  • Go with your gut, take a probiotic. Probiotics support gut bacteria and improve digestion, helping to prevent constipation. This is important because when stool remains in the bowel for extended periods of time, excess estrogen is re-absorbed and re-circulated into the bloodstream. Plus, immune function depends on healthy gut micro flora—and gut flora effects cancer genes too!
  • Consume GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), which is found in evening primrose oil and in hemp seeds. Research shows that this type of omega-6 may support healthy progesterone levels.
  • Eat turmeric or take supplements as turmeric effects estrogen receptor positive cancer cells.
  • Eat zinc-rich foods such as pastured eggs and meats and sprouted seeds. Shellfish such as oysters are abundant in zinc but should be eaten only in moderation.
  • Eat onions, garlic, chives, and scallions which are rich in sulfur-containing amino acids and the powerful anti-oxidant quercetin that help the liver detoxify at a higher level and reduce the production of estrogen.
  • avocado kale salad

    Avocado Kale Salad with Tomatoes and Spro

    Eat more vegetables. Aim for 10-15 servings a day (at least one pound daily). This will help excrete estrogen so it doesn’t keep circulating in the body. Also, aim for 35-45 grams of fiber per day, achieving this goal slowly to avoid gas or bloating. This will also help to keep weight in check—overweight or obese people tend to have higher circulating estrogen. Combining various vegetables in one meal can be especially helpful. For information on food synergy, please Click Here.

  • Eat raw carrots– When carrots are well chewed or grated, they help to stimulate the intestines and reduce the re-absorption of estrogen and the absorption of bacterial carrottoxins. The fiber in raw carrots binds to excess estrogen, helping to safely remove it from the body.
  • Essential oils can also be quite helpful in the management of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. Essential oils prevent angiogenesis, stop metastatic growth, increase apoptosis, and do so much more. Once you get started with essential oils, you will find that most, if not all, contain powerful anti-cancer properties, including the balancing of hormones.
    • Clove oil –Research has revealed that the eugenol in clove not only inhibits cancer growth and promotes apoptosis (cancer cell death), but it also acts as an antagonist to estrogen.
    • Lemon and other citrus oils can help reduce circulating estrogen. [On a side note, the D-Limonene in lemon oil has many other impressive anti-cancer abilities: it inhibits cellular proliferation and tumor growth, promotes apoptosis, supports immune function, and stimulates the liver’s detoxifying systems– and so much more].
    • Thyme oil supports progesterone levels. Evening primrose oil and thyme together are very beneficial to help balance levels of progesterone.
    • Clary Sage oil helps balance estrogen levels whether you have too much or too little estrogen. You can use it with a carrier oil on your skin or hair. It also initiates apoptosis (programmed cell death). Clary sage also contains phytoestrogens which, like flaxseed, can block estrogen receptors. I suggest you rub a few drops into the soles of your feet before bed. This will help to balance your hormones as well as promote healthy sleep.
    • Myrrh and fennel are strong phytoestrogens. Myrrh clears excess estrogen and detoxifies the liver.
    • Sandalwood stops DNA from repairing itself (cancer DNA). Note: Cedarwood can be just as effective and is cheaper.
    • Mint is effective against numerous types of cancer, such as acute T-cell leukemia, brain tumors, prostate, breast, cervical, bladder, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

ej pink two

Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough — breast cancer is NOT just about estrogen.  Cancer is a symptom of a complex problem. It is a multi-factorial situation that presents to reveal dis-ease within the mind, body, and soul.  Therefore, in order to heal, one must correct the issues that caused the symptom we know as cancer.

Please also read:



Resources: Understanding Statistics




Tamoxifen: What Difference Does It Really Make? 


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

Elyn 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 Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website, www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Follow Elyn on Facebook
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Is it Safe to Drink Alcohol if You Have Cancer?

In Breast Cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on March 28, 2017 at 4:15 pm

We all know that chronic, excessive alcohol consumption can dramatically raise one’s risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases. Cancer patients typically make some major lifestyle changes to increase their survival—and often this includes cutting back on (or eliminating) alcohol consumption. For many, this is very difficult, just as smoking and/or sweets are hard for others to eliminate.

But, all too often I find myself wondering if my clients are trying too hard to be healthy. I talk and talk about healthy habits, food choices, vitamins, and nutritional supplements. Eat this, not that, drink this, not that, etc. However, sometimes I feel like I forget to stress hard enough the need to enjoy life.
Healing from cancer can be hard; staying healthy can be even harder, as our motivation wanes. So just to be very clear — eat the cake; drink the wine; go on the trip; buy the dress—wear the dress. Life is too short to put happiness on hold.

While I really do not advise making a daily trip to the bakery, an occasional piece of birthday cake just isn’t going to matter. In fact, it will bring essential joy as you celebrate your or a loved one’s birthday. We know that sugar feeds cancer, but these days, so does everything else, so it seems — so an occasional treat is not all that bad.

As for alcohol consumption, we know that drinking in moderation is good for the heart—and can be good for the soul. Studies show that light to moderate drinkers are more social, which has a positive effect on longevity.

But what about alcohol and cancer?

When alcohol breaks down, it is converted into acetaldehyde, a toxin which damages DNA and hinders the cell mechanisms that would ordinarily repair it. Acetaldehyde also produces harmful free radicals that increase inflammation—cancer’s friend.

wine 3Thankfully, there are ways to help alleviate the potential harm. Therefore, while excessive consumption of alcohol undeniably damages the body, you don’t have to give it up completely. If you enjoy the pleasures of social or moderate drinking, you can help neutralize alcohol’s toxic effects by consuming certain nutrients and phytonutrients.

Further, should your preference be wine, it is good to know that red wine (and to some extent, white) contains some powerful anticancer nutrients, making it actually somewhat protective against cancer!

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to remind you of the perils of drinking alcohol and to educate you on ways to minimize the risks of alcohol consumption so that you can still enjoy it without so much guilt. After all, we know that stress and deprivation are not good for anyone — certainly not someone who has beaten cancer only to end up depressed. A glass or two of red wine now and then can be a very nice social experience and can be quite enjoyable–and healthful–just don’t over-do it.

The Skinny on the Vinnie…

Wine is good for the heart and may actually inhibit the development of certain cancers, including breast cancer. Interestingly, red wine is a good source of folate, biotin, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, magnesium, and other important anticancer nutrients, so in itself, it is part of the solution.

The resveratrol in red wine has potent antioxidant and anti-cancer effects, suppressing the production of inflammatory cytokines as it protects, and even repairs damaged DNA – healing the injury before it can result in cancerous changes. Resveratrol also provides cardiovascular benefits by reducing LDL cholesterol and decreasing the stickiness of blood platelets.

Some studies have credited resveratrol with blocking the development of cancer at multiple stages – from tumor initiation through promotion and progression. Of course, in my humble opinion, you would have to overindulge to get enough resveratrol to effectively block cancer, and clearly that is not a good idea. Still, it is comforting to know that you will get some benefits from the resveratrol.

The quercetin in red wine also protects DNA in cells because collects around the nucleus of cells offering powerful anti-oxidant protection. It prevents tumor cell growth and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It also stimulates liver function to detoxify estrogen and other carcinogenic agents, helping to remove them from the body.

Quercetin also binds to excess iron in your body. It removes it from tissues, and prevents its absorption. This process is called chelation. This is critical as iron can be a key ingredient in cancer cell growth. Quercetin has the ability to steal the iron from cancer cells which can stop their growth and induce cell death.

In summary, red wine is loaded with polyphenols, which can do a body good. That said, please limit consumption and be sure to consume adequate helper nutrients, which will be discussed below. Also, while the focus on this article is wine, the nutrients below will help protect you should wine not be your cocktail of choice.
Lastly, given that you would never eat conventional grapes laden with pesticides, please consider organic wines and spirits. Likely too you have seen some of the resent research indicating that organic wines from California are laced with pesticides. While this is true, this is also true of most organic crops from California and Mexico. Local organic is better, and wine from small vineyards that do not require pesticide use and which are irrigated with clean water are also a good option.

Anti-Alcohol Substances:
In general, protective components are carotene (think carrots), folate (B9), niacin (B3), vitamins B6, B1, C, D, E, and a few others in smaller amounts. A diet that includes foods rich in the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene can promote a healthy inflammatory response in the body. In addition, lycopene, ursolic acid, lutein, and other phytochemicals in plant foods can provide protection. Herbs and spices including turmeric and ginger are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

I also recommend eating Brazil nuts or taking supplemental selenium as selenium levels tend to be reduced in people who drink alcohol regularly. Importantly, a deficiency of selenium can significantly increase your risk for cancer. Having a high-fiber snack with your cocktail is also a good idea.

Highlighting B Vitamins:

Acetaldehyde depletes cells of vitamin B-6 – a nutrient needed to prevent dangerous oxidation. Again, the body converts alcohol into DNA-destroying acetaldehyde, a carcinogen in the same family as formaldehyde. Acetaldehyde also interferes with the actions of folic acid and can lead to folate deficiency in heavy drinkers. Folate deficiency can impair the body’s ability to suppress cancer genes called proto-oncogenes.

A note on folic acid—research indicates that women who drink alcohol in moderation and have a high folate intake may not be at any higher risk of some breast cancers than those who abstain from alcohol. But when it comes to folic acid, go for the real thing– you can find it in abundance in citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans, and peas, and yes, red wine—all in the form of natural folate, which is much safer than synthetic folic acid (please don’t depend on the folate in wine…you need much more). If you take a supplement, be sure it is folate, not folic acid.

Acetaldehyde also robs the cells of Vitamin B-1, or thiamine. Experts say it is often thiamine deficiency – rather than the toxic metabolites of alcohol – that causes the brain degeneration associated with alcoholics.

Vitamin C is key in preventing oxidative damage caused by alcohol:

Alcohol depletes vitamin C, a vitamin that helps defend the body from alcohol damage. This potent antioxidant protects brain cells against the toxic effects of alcohol, and helps control brain levels of pro-inflammatory substances which are increased by alcohol and its toxic metabolites. Vitamin C also helps to regenerate vitamin E, which helps protect the brain and liver from the aging process. Therefore, supplemental C can be very helpful.

Antioxidants are called free radical scavengers because they neutralize free radicals in the body. An antioxidant such a vitamin C can donate electrons to the free radical, thus stopping the free radical from stealing another electron. To explain, antioxidants prevent oxidation damage by donating electrons to replace those lost to oxidation. This process of providing electrons is the reverse of oxidation and is called reduction. Our tissues maintain a controlled balance of reduction and oxidation, known as the ‘redox state’. Cells produce antioxidants and antioxidant electrons continuously in order to prevent oxidation damage.


Acetaldehyde from alcohol also depletes necessary glutathione, causing dramatic reductions in the body’s natural defense systems. Glutathione is the body’s ‘master antioxidant’. It binds to toxins and promotes their excretion via the bile and urine. N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, binds acetaldehyde, neutralizing its damaging effects, and replenishes glutathione levels in tissues.

NAC is also used for preventing alcohol- related liver damage and to combat toxicity from Tylenol use. It does this so effectively that it is used in conventional medicine – along with vitamin C – to treat acetaminophen overdoses.

NAC is most helpful when taken immediately before alcohol ingestion – but it can also be used after indulging as well.

Love your liver…

Alcohol is tough on the liver, and you depend on your liver to remove toxins from the body. Green tea and silymarin (milk thistle) prevent damage to the liver by acting as an antioxidant and enhancing the detoxification process. Grape seed extract and barley grasses are also helpful.

Milk thistle, in particular, is a natural remedy for liver regeneration that is backed by considerable modern research. Long used by natural healers to support liver health and function, milk thistle helps promote the elimination of toxins –including those related to alcohol consumption. Studies have shown that milk thistle’s active constituent, silymarin, can enhance the immune system, fight inflammation, protect DNA, and help to alleviate alcohol-induced liver disease.

In cell studies, silymarin has been found to inhibit the conversion of ethanol to acetaldehyde, reduces liver cancer cell proliferation, stops the growth of blood vessels that nourish tumors, and promotes the regeneration of normal liver cells.

How much is too much? Most experts would say 1-2 drinks daily is okay. Don’t think because you abstain all week that you can have seven glasses of wine on Saturday night. Also, remember that the body needs time to metabolize each drink, so allow some time between that first and second cocktail. A good rule of thumb for alcohol consumption might be to avoid amounts that produce a hangover – for which acetaldehydes are primarily to blame.

Enjoy your wine if it brings you pleasure, but limit consumption and load up on the protective nutrients that may eliminate or reduce risk of cancers associated with drinking alcohol. Again, and this is very important– while there are clearly health benefits to drinking alcohol, moderation is imperative. The following is a great article that defines the pros and cons, especially the discussion on ethanol and methanol: Moderate Drinkers Live Longer than Non-Drinkers, Study Finds.

It is not my recommendation for you to use this information as a justification to start or continue drinking alcohol. There are many non-alcoholic sources of the anticancer nutrients mentioned above. Of course, it is good to know that there are certain nutrients and supplements that can help neutralize the damaging effects of alcohol should you choose to imbibe. My goal is simply to suggest that you not sweat everything, and that you spend time living, not just avoiding death.


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

Elyn 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 Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Follow Elyn on Facebook
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Yes, You Can Give Up Gluten and Have Your Pizza Too!

In Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on March 14, 2017 at 9:20 am

These days, it seems the vast majority of Americans have some sort of intolerance to gluten, whether or not they have any obvious symptoms.  But you have cancer, I strongly suggest you consider giving it up.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains. While it has long been a mainstay in American diets, it could spell trouble for you if you have cancer or an otherwise compromised immune system.  In fact, it could be problematic even if you don’t, as it has been found to significantly hinder the availability of nutrients from food.

Plus, often it isn’t actually the gluten itself that is the problem. There are other compounds in wheat as well that provide fuel for pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, which in turn gives rise to all sorts of symptoms. For example, grains often bear the blame for chronic inflammation.  However, often it is not the grain itself that is the problem, but rather the mycotoxins (toxic substances produced by fungi that can infect grain crops) on the grains that is the problem, especially if you have an autoimmune disorder.  What is really happening is that people with autoimmune disorders have viruses and or other pathogens in their bodies, and those bugs feed on the mycotoxins, in the process creating neurotoxins that cause inflammation.

Of course, if you know that you’re free of pathogens, then it might be fine to eat wheat — but I would not take the chance if you have cancer or an autoimmune disorder.

Besides, most wheat is now GMO, and even when not, it is important to know that wheat fields in the United States are sprayed with Roundup a few days before harvesting in order to maximize the harvest.

You don’t have to give up good food….

pizza with mustard greens and arugulaAs a native New Yorker, I love pizza.  But having gone gluten-free a few years ago, I had to give it up, or so I thought. For months, I considered some of the gluten-free crusts I read about in cooking and health magazines.  None seems to replicate my beloved pizza, but then again, I was too stubborn to give them a try. If you read my article Food Fatigue, you will see that I finally took the plunge and actually found a recipe that worked for me.  (Note: Miss you lots Tami, so grateful we had that evening together).

There are a lot of gluten-free pizza recipes out there, but I am sharing some of my favorites. (For more recipes and healthy reasons to enjoy pizza, visit the link above).

Awesome Gluten-Free Pizza Crust


1 generous cup riced or grated cauliflower

1 pastured organic egg

Generous pinch of Celtic sea salt (about ¼ tsp)

Flaxseed: freshly ground and up to 4 Tbsp

Dried oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary*

pinch cayenne, if desired

1 cup tapioca or garbanzo bean flour

¼ cup olive oil

Reserved cooking water

Toppings of choice

Recipe:Pizza slice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Cauliflower rice: you will need about one cup

In a small covered saucepan, steam the cauliflower over low heat in a very small amount of water (less than ¼ cup).

Drain, reserving about 1-2 Tbsp water. Spoon cauliflower onto a clean dishtowel and press out the remaining water. (While recommended, you can skip this step,  but be sure to drain completely)

Mix the egg with the cauliflower, salt, and ground flax. Add 1 Tbsp each dried basil, oregano, and thyme. Grind between fingers a tsp of dried rosemary. (While fresh is an option for the herbs, dried works best in order to keep the crust flaky and crisp). Add the tapioca flour, mixing it until thoroughly incorporated.  Add the olive oil and 1 Tbsp of the reserved water (save the rest in case you need it).  Mix just a bit with a spoon, then mix by hand to create a dough; shape into a ball.  The dough can be made ahead of time to be used in up to two days.

Place the dough directly onto a floured pizza stone or on a piece of parchment paper or in-between two pieces of parchment paper.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out either into a circle or rectangle, to the thickness of ¼”.  You can do this directly on the stone or on the paper—if directly on the stone, rub some extra flour onto the rolling pin to prevent sticking.  If using parchment on both sides, peel off one side and turn onto stone.  Peel off remaining piece of paper.

Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and place on stove-top.

Top with your choice of sauce, cheese, vegetables, and fresh herbs. Bake until cheese is bubbling and the crust is lightly brown.

(If you wish, you can chop small kale leaves or baby greens such as micro mustard greens and toss them with a bit of olive oil or melted ghee (which can handle high heat). Add this on top of the sauce, as I did this time, before the cheese.)

Remove from the oven and let sit a few minutes.  Top with broccoli or watercress sprouts and/or baby arugula.  Cut into eights with a pizza cutter or knife.  Enjoy!

*I use 1 Tbsp each dried oregano and basil, and 1 tsp each dried thyme and rosemary, crumbled.

If you prefer a lighter crust, you can omit the flaxseed, but if you have breast cancer or are looking to avoid it, it might be best to include it. For more information on this, please click HERE and HERE. You may also prefer to swap the tapioca flour with garbanzo bean flour as while gluten-free, tapioca flour (starch) can still raise glucose levels.

You can also make pizza without any flour at all:

 Cauliflower Minis:

Mix together the following:

1 head cauliflower, riced

2 large eggs

¼ cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup tapioca flour (or substitute grated mozzarella cheese)

3 Tbsp fine chopped basil or 1 Tbsp dried

1 Tbsp dried oregano

Dash cayenne pepper

Generous pinch coarse Celtic sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

Top minis with:

Marinara sauce

Cheese (raw cow or goat cheese is fine; no commercial cheese or soy cheeses; soy cheese is a highly processed, toxic ‘non-food’ and should be avoided.)

Other toppings of choice, chopped small


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add egg, cheese, flour, spices, salt and peppers.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake until golden, 20 min.

Top each ‘pizza’ with a thin layer of sauce, mozzarella or other cheese and bake until cheese melts, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Garnish with additional chopped basil, chopped broccoli or watercress sprouts, or crushed red pepper flakes


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

Elyn 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.

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