elynjacobs

BPA: The Bathroom Toxin that Fuels Breast Cancer

In BPA and breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer on October 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Most people worry about the BPA (bisphenol A) in plastic water bottles, but did you know that this dangerous chemical is in your toilet paper? Even the ‘greenest’ toilet paper you find in your health food store is contaminated.

BPA is also found on cash register receipts, paper napkins and towels, copy paper, in dental fillings, and more.  Remember how years ago the registers at the grocery store would always jam? The addition of BPA made things go much smoother (and helped stabilize the ink), and that is the same for toilet paper and other paper products.

Why the fuss?  Studies show that BPA and other endocrine disrupting chemicals help promote the development of breast cancer tumors through the proliferation of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive human breast cancer cells. BPA mimics estrogen, and understanding the effects of it has helped scientists and researchers to understand how cell proliferation happens in an estrogen independent manner. In other words, once again I remind you that the estrogens your body makes cannot always be blamed for your cancer—but that is a whole other topic.  Chemical toxins must be acknowledged and addressed.

Importantly, for those who choose conventional treatments, BPA has been found to prevent chemotherapy drugs from inducing apoptosis (cancer cell death) in breast cancer cells — hence, rendering them rather ineffective.[i]

Furthermore, BPA appears to aid the survival of inflammatory breast cancer cells, the most lethal and fastest-growing form of breast cancer. A recent study performed by researchers at the Department of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine and the Duke Cancer Institute found that BPA increases the cell signaling pathway MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinases) in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) cells. This offers valuable insight as to how the disease grows. Plus, the presence of BPA may actually lead to resistance to cancer drugs targeting this pathway, which helps explain why conventional medicine is so often ineffective against IBC. (See also the note on this below).

The researchers also found that BPA inhibits the efforts of cancer drugs that normally work to kill IBC cancer cells by inhibiting EGFR signaling. They determined that when the cells were tainted with BPA, EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) activation nearly doubled and signaling to the MAPK pathways also increased. The result was a rise in cancer cell growth.

Despite efforts to find a safer alternative to BPA, so far not so good. One substance, BPS (Bisphenol S) also acts like estrogen in breast cancer cells. A study done on the effects of BPS found that not only did BPS induce the proliferation of breast cancer cells, but may also cause breast cancer to be more aggressive.  That study also found that those who have the BRAC1 mutated gene and are exposed to BPS may have an even greater risk of developing breast cancer.

What can you do? Fortunately, BPA can be flushed out of the body in about a day or so—assuming you do not expose yourself in the meantime. BPA is metabolized rather quickly, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Further, if you have impaired detoxification, say from the MTHFR or other mutation (or just an over-worked liver), you may not metabolize toxins as efficiently.  Here are a few tips for extracting and excreting BPA:

  • Consume probiotics, whether in supplement or fermented food form (kimchi, natural sauerkraut, etc.)
  • Drink black tea
  • Consider brisk exercise and saunas
  • Consume quercetin, found in apples, red grapes, tea, and onions, as well as in supplement form
  • Get adequate folate from foods or supplements (not folic acid, which is toxic)
  • Take royal jelly
  • Maximize melatonin (get to bed by ten or take a low-dose supplement)

Importantly, while curcumin does not necessarily flush BPA out, it does inhibit the proliferative effects of BPA on human breast cancer cells. Treatment with curcumin, a miR-19 inhibitor (miR-19 is  involved in BPA-mediated MCF-7 cell proliferation), leads to suppression of proliferation, growth, and invasion/metastasis of cancer cells. Sadly, most oncologists tell their patients not to take supplements, including curcumin, during treatment.

I also recommend overall detoxification strategies. If you would like a copy of my Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts, you can order them via my Contact Page.

So now that you are BPA free, how can you further avoid exposure?

Keep in mind that breast cancer rates have soared in the last 50 years.  Not coincidentally, the replacement of glass and cotton items with plastic and other chemical laden products has also soared—the connection is clear. Give a few of these suggestions a try:

  • Use glass or stainless-steel containers for water and storage. Again, BPA-free alternatives my not be any better, and could be worse.
  • Use cotton cloth napkins and kitchen towels instead of paper napkins and paper towels.
  • Cut up old cotton tee shirts, towels, bed sheets, and diapers to make disposable or washable toilet paper sheets. Place a diaper pail or washable waste can next to the toilet.  When you run a hot wash, toss them in. (Your mother managed, so can you).
  • Pee in the shower. It’s not as grody as it sounds. Pee as soon as you get in, and by time you soap up and shave, all will be fine.
  • Buy cotton hankies to blow your nose.
  • And of course, never, ever touch cash register receipts. Simply decline them, or wear disposable gloves. You may also want to discuss this with your merchant for their protection as well. Many stores have made changes because of this.

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.

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[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649250/

Other resources:

Science Daily

Science Daily

 

Note: IBC, an aggressive, metastasis-associated, therapy resistant type of breast cancer, is often resistant to radio-therapy and may actually progress with chemotherapy.

  1. Creighton CJ, Li X, Landis M, et al. Residual breast cancers after conventional therapy display mesenchymal as well as tumor-initiating features. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009;106:13820-13825.

Vitamin D Better than Aromatase Inhibitors

In Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on October 1, 2017 at 9:49 am

Pretty much every medical journal has posted research associating high vitamin D levels with a reduced risk of many cancers. Recent research, however, takes things a step further by showing that vitamin D actually reduces circulating estrogen levels, which has been found to reduce breast cancer risk and the progression of the dis-ease.  Excitingly, this may offer women an safer alternative to aromatase inhibitors.

Research done in 2016 at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that those with the greatest increase in vitamin D blood levels had the greatest reductions in blood estrogens. The randomized, controlled, clinical trial involved over 200 women who had insufficient D levels.  At the end of the year-long study, those whose D levels rose the highest had a corresponding reduction in estrogen levels. This study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may be a practical alternative to estrogen-lowering drugs, such as aromatase inhibitors.

Studies also show that natural progesterone offsets the effects of estrogen, and in doing so, reduces cancer risk. This is because progesterone hinders the growth of cancer cells, sort of putting the brakes on estrogen. However, it has been found that a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone.

Importantly, both progesterone and vitamin D regulate gene expression, and both have a positive fundamental effect on cell differentiation and growth, with anti-oxidative and autoimmune anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Therefore, it is important to maintain adequate levels of both progesterone and vitamin D.

Unfortunately, while natural progesterone has an anticancer effect, synthetic progesterone (found in birth control pills and hormone replacement supplements) does not. This is because unlike natural progesterone, synthetic versions do not stimulate activation of the P53 gene [i] (which is the tumor-suppressor gene involved that protects cells from becoming cancerous and orders damaged cells to self-destruct)), and as such, have not been found to inhibit cancer development.

If present, synthetic progesterone will occupy the progesterone receptors, preventing natural progesterone from occupying those receptors. In order for natural progesterone to facilitate the production of P53, it must attach itself to progesterone receptors. If synthetic progesterone (again, which does not stimulate the production of P53) is present on the receptors, natural progesterone will not be able to occupy the receptors. For more information on P53, please click HERE. For a deeper understanding of progesterone, please read my article The Truth About Progesterone and Breast Cancer.

Recent research shows (and this author believes) that blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml  and not the 30ng/ml most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose required may well be 5000iu’s per day, although the latest research indicates it could be more like 10,000iu’s per day (I personally require even more than that).

Some doctors warn of toxicity risk but studies have found that even an intake of up to 40,000iu’s vitamin D per day is unlikely to result in vitamin D toxicity. [ii]  Just be sure to drink plenty of clean water and consume a healthy diet, which I recommend anyway. Despite the fact that more people are now taking vitamin D supplements, it’s rare to find someone with very high blood levels of this vitamin.

Cholesterol’s Role

Both progesterone and vitamin D3 are manufactured from cholesterol. Progesterone is primarily produced by the adrenals and ovaries. Vitamin D3 is made by the action of UVB sunlight as it strikes the cholesterol covering our skin—assuming you have not doused yourself with chemical or even non-chemical sunscreen. The moral of the story, as they say, is not to be so aggressive in reducing healthy cholesterol, and you might consider leaving the sunscreen home.

While vitamin D shows promise in the efforts to lower estrogen, please know that there are many natural substances that can be employed. It would be my recommendation not to rely solely on vitamin D, but rather to devise a comprehensive plan.  This is especially true as many people don’t actually have high estrogen levels, but rather are deficient in progesterone (and therefore are still estrogen dominant). For more information on natural approaches to anti-hormone therapy, please click HERE.

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.

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[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21378345

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882298/

Cancer-Busting Sweet Potato Salad

In Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on September 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Sweet potatoes are delicious, satisfying, and easy to prepare.  Looking for a great tail-gate recipe? Try this cancer-fighting dish that will be sure to wow your taste buds and your friends.

Ingredients

3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 or 4 medium), peeled and cut into ½- 3/4

inch chunks

3 Tablespoons organic red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind zest (a microplane grater works well for this)

1 scallion, sliced on a diagonal

Course Celtic sea salt

¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

1 scallion, dark part only, sliced diagonally or 3 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish

Preparation

  • Bring a large pot of filtered water to a boil; add potatoes. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain.
  • Whisk vinegar, zest, juice, scallion and ¾ tsp salt. Slowly add and whisk in oil.  Season with pepper.  Toss and chill. Garnish with sliced scallions or chopped chives.

Why eat it? Check out what it has to offer you….

Sweet potatoes have many health benefits. They are high in various B vitamins as well as vitamins A, C, and D. They also offer potassium and magnesium. Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids, powerful antioxidants which protect our eyes and boost immunity.

Notably, despite being “sweet”, sweet potatoes do not cause blood sugar spikes. Their natural sugars are slowly released into the blood stream.

Orange zest –the oils from orange zest are anti-fungal, immune boosting, antibacterial, and offer many anticancer properties.  Numerous studies have found that the d-limonene in orange oil inhibits the growth of cancerous cells.

Scallions are loaded with vitamin A and contain flavonoids that act as antioxidants (such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotenes) which work together to protect the body against various cancers.

Chives—compounds in chives reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body.  Such molecules are involved in the onset of various cancers. Studies have shown that regular consumption of chives (a member of the allium family) reduces risk of stomach, breast, prostate and many other cancers.

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.

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