elynjacobs

Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

2012 Archive List for Cancer Prevention and Treatment

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Tamoxifen: There is More to the Story

Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen

Managing Estrogen Naturally

 Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors

 Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Anti-Cancer Party

Food, is it Good for Our Health or Our Cancer

An Herb Garden to Fight Cancer

Healing Cancer Naturally, Dental Toxins and More

Why we are Not Winning the War on Cancer

What Everyone Should Know About Beating Cancer

Cancer Fighting Farm Stand Recipes

Light at Night and Breast Cancer

Integrative Oncology Works!

The Dark Side of Peanuts and Dairy

The Mind-Body Connection to Beating Breast Cancer

Changing the Cancer Environment

Redwood Forest

Can Cell Phones Cause Cancer, Infertility; Are Our Children at Risk?

Cell Phones and Cancer; the Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence

And one to mention from my blog:

Eating to Cheat Cancer

Don’t forget to tune in Tuesdays at 1pm for Survive and Live Well and visit the Archives.

I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year!

Elyn

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

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn is on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

Twitter@survivelivewell

Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

Tamoxifen : There is More to the Story

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Tamoxifen is such a hot topic…and quite controversial.  At the recent San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, a summary of the ATLAS  (Adjuvant Tamoxifen: Longer Against Shorter) trial was presented.   The study suggests that women who took Tamoxifen for ten years had improved survival over women who took it for five years. Can we be sure the study is accurate and telling the whole story?  I try to keep an open mind; I am having a hard time swallowing this one. I know that, despite what some say, Tamoxifen is not well tolerated, and causes debilitating side effects.  I know that Tamoxifen has been classified by the WHO as a “human carcinogen”.

I get carcinogens, I get that we have to weigh the pros and cons of everything we take.  But if five years is good and ten years is better, does the risk increase more than the reward?  What about the risk for the other issues that Tamoxifen causes…the bone pain, joint pain, coughing, blurred vision, etc; is a small increase worth the suffering it may cause for so many? For some reason we are often told that “it’s a small price to pay”, but the answer should not be part of the problem, especially if the cost is too high.   Here’s another take on the subject:  Tamoxifen: Praised As “Life Saving” But Still Causing Cancer.

There is more to the story….or two sides to the story, if you will.

The study indicates that there was a slight benefit to staying on the Tamoxifen for ten years, but it also provides that the risk for serious side effects increased as well (for example, endometrial cancer was 3.1% in the ten year group, compared with 1.6% in the group that stopped at five), and no mention was made of debilitating side effects that severely reduce quality of life.  The study was also a bit flawed, as there was not a placebo for the group that stopped the Tam after five years, but also in that it did not provide a group of women who either substituted Tam with natural means or took the Tam for five years and then switched to natural means.  Only then would we see if the Tamoxifen worked better and was worthy of the risks, or if we might be able to manage just as well without the drug.

Remember, this is just one study, and you are not a statistic.  So please, talk to your doctor, do your research; if Tamoxifen seems right for you, go for it for the amount of time that you believe is best.   If it doesn’t, perhaps consider managing estrogen naturally.  Remember, there is no one right answer; know your options.  For more information on Tamoxifen alternatives, please see the links below.

http://www.all-natural.com/tamox.html (note: this one is interesting, but dated)

https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/natural-alternatives-to-tamoxifen/

http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com/2012/09/food-natural-alternative-for-tamoxifen.html

https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/natural-alternatives-to-aromatase-inhibitors/

Elyn

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

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn is on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

Twitter@survivelivewell

Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

Grass Roots Efforts to Fund Breast Cancer Vaccine Moves Forward

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2012 at 12:18 am

This week I had the pleasure of traveling to the Cleveland Clinic to meet Professor Vincent Tuohy and to see him accept the Mort and Iris November Distinguished Chair in Innovative Breast Cancer Research, made possible by the $1 million endowment given by the Novembers.  I am so grateful to have met this lovely couple; their vision and passion for seeing this vaccine come to fruition warms my heart in so many ways. I am so grateful to have finally met Dr Tuohy and his amazing team of researchers.  They have big plans; the vaccine for breast cancer, yes, but also ovarian and prostate.  I was also grateful to have met up with Judy Fitzgerald, Toni Turchi and so many others who are collaboratively making a breast cancer vaccine a reality, not just a vision or shelf ornament.  The room was filled with passionate people; a group united by the desire to prevent breast cancer.  Professor Tuohy humbly credited the many players in this collaborative grass roots effort. 

Breast cancer vaccine researcher Vincent Tuohy gets $1 million gift for endowed chair at Cleveland Clinic

The support of the Novembers is huge, as sadly, it takes much money to get to and through the trial stage, and funding has been hard to come by.  Therefore, our grass roots efforts won’t end here; we will continue and intensify our efforts, one dollar at a time.  I’d like to share a few notable examples.

 Fellow survivor and Pink Champion Judy Fitzgerald works tirelessly at raising funds for the vaccine through book sales, product sales, and so much more.  Please know that 100% of profits and donations go directly to the funding of the vaccine. Her website, Sisters4Prevention says it all. Judy has also enlisted others in her efforts and was able to present Dr Tuohy with a check for $1500 for funds raised by her sister, Pat Murray, and the faculty and students of Gold Hill Middle School.  This money was raised during the month of October by students and faculty by selling bracelets, wear pink days, and filling “pink piggy banks” painted by Pat with “Pennies for Prevention”.  I’d like to share a quote from Judy:

     “On my connecting flight home from Cleveland yesterday, my Southwest flight was unusually crowded due to the Thanksgiving holiday next week.  In lieu of my usual aisle seat, I opted for a window, something I haven’t done in years.  When we were approaching Providence, I found myself looking out the window in awe.  How unthinkable would it have been for our forefathers to even imagine that one day it would be possible to travel thousands of miles in the air in a metal tube with seats?  Had it not been for courageous scientists who refused to be told that their “outside the box” ideas could not be possible, I would have been traveling from Cleveland by horse and buggy.

Dr. Tuohy’s preventive vaccine for breast cancer is a first.  The difficult journey he has faced in converting the opposition of unbelievers has been a long one, but like other great and “unimaginable” ideas this road had to be conquered.  We have this vaccine which prevents breast cancer 100% in mice.  It has had 8 years of animal testing.  What now works in humans, first worked in mice.  We are getting so close…we MUST test it.  Why wouldn’t we test it?  We NEED to test it.  The unbelievers are converting…the history books will have one more great moment to report.  Just like the day Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, there will be a day when we can say…it’s time.  Dr. Tuohy, take your vaccine off the shelf in your lab, well done good and faithful servant…you’re going to clinical trials!”

Survivor and champion Toni Turchi is the Founder and President of the Toni Turchi Foundation and has joined forces with Dr. Tuohy to support his work. Toni set up her foundation solely for the purpose of finding prevention for breast cancer.   Her mission is devoted to raising funds in support of scientific methods proven to prevent and one day eradicate the disease of breast cancer.  In her mind, if they can find a vaccine for the 1950’s polio epidemic, they why can’t we put a stop to this horrific disease?

Dr Kathleen Ruddy created the Breast Health & Healing Foundation whose mission is to discover the causes of breast cancer and to use that knowledge to prevent the disease. Kathleen has been in the forefront of educating the world on prevention and the viability of the vaccine and has toiled endlessly to finance this vaccine. She has done years of research on the Pink Virus, the suspected of causing some breast cancers and has been a supporter of Dr. Tuohy’s work since she learned of it in 2010.

Cindy Sullivan is the brilliant survivor who has had one heck of time with breast cancer but gets all the credit for banding us together; she makes things happen.  Cindy created the pink vaccine website and Facebook page and maintains these faithfully.  She also tirelessly writes letters in support of the vaccine. Cindy and Kathleen were greatly missed in Cleveland, but were there in our hearts as we witnessed the coming together of a room full of strangers who share a common link to cancer and a dedication to see that others don’t have to take that path.  None of us left that room as strangers.

There are many, many other individuals and small businesses that are determined to see this vaccine get in the hands of doctors. Survivor and author Tami Boehmer got involved.  She had been nominated by Kids ll as one of eight Pink Power Moms and was given $5,000 to the charity of her choice. She picked Tuohy’s vaccine because she thought it would be amazing if her daughter never had to worry about getting this disease.

While I can’t list them all, one more to mention is Don Ballard.  Don, owner of Master Mechanic Diagnostics and Repair and who lost his mother to breast cancer when he was only twelve years old, started his own grass roots effort with Breaks for Breasts.  In 2011, Brakes for Breasts donated $10,000. This year, 20 auto repair shops in 16 states are participating.

“Here’s how Brakes for Breasts works. Our clients receive free brake pads or shoes and they pay for the labor and any other necessary parts to complete the brake job,” said Best. “The shop donates 10 percent of those funds to Cleveland Clinic’s Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund. Our vendor provides the pads and shoes to us at no charge and that’s their contribution. The best part is that 100 percent of the funds go directly to research for the breast cancer vaccine.”  Read more.

I know that there is concern out there about vaccines.  I know that we are capable of preventing many cancers with lifestyle efforts.  However, I know that we need more to prevent cancer and that we must try this vaccine to see if it is safe and effective.  It may not help me, it may not help you, but it may just mean a better future for the next generation.  Healthcare costs are staggering and rising, and our quality of care will be dropping.  Just this week I received and email from a patient in London. She commented that the lack of options and surgical skills available severely limit her ability to make the best choices for her, for her cancer. We have the skills here in the US, but will we be able to afford the options; that is the question. Cancer is a terrible disease; the treatment grueling and not terribly effective. Children lose parents at a young age, parents lose children. Right now we cannot stop this disease and we cannot afford to have it occur.

Become a supporter via the links above or direct to the Cleveland Clinic.

Elyn

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

Twitter@survivelivewell

Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn is on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

Managing Estrogen Naturally

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Estrogen…it’s a matter of balance.

There are many factors that influence the body’s production and metabolism of estrogen. Environmental estrogens (such as BPA, pesticides, cleaning products and cosmetics) as well as the natural estrogen compounds we encounter on a daily basis need to be addressed. We can’t avoid all the triggers, but it’s important to consider lifestyle changes that reduce exposure and can help balance our estrogen.

Obesity increases estrogen (and limits the effectiveness of aromatase inhibitors).  If you are overweight, lose it as fat cells increase estrogen production. Over-consumption of calories also leads to increased metabolic activity in the body.  This in turn leads to excessive free radical formation.  Free radicals damage cells and cause genetic mutations, which ultimately can lead to cancer.  Studies have also shown that calorie restriction inhibits tumor growth.

Exercise can help balance hormones through the pre-menopausal years and beyond, and can help maintain a healthy weight.  Those who exercise regularly are usually happier, less depressed, and have a more optimistic outlook on life.  This results in increased life expectancy; statistically, life expectancy increases by two hours for every hour spent exercising. Exercise with a friend; double the pleasure!

Alcohol consumption increases estrogen levels, especially if taken along with estrogen replacement therapy.  Also, alcohol and drugs can damage the liver which will lead to an increase in estrogen due to the lack of estrogen breakdown; alcohol cconverts into DNA-destroying acetaldehyde, a carcinogen.  Dr Keith Block likes to say he is a vegan with a heart…I guess I am an educator with compassion; for suggestions to mitigate the risks of alcohol, please read: https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/wine-cheese-and-chocolate-anti-cancer-party/

Caffeine intake from all sources is linked with higher estrogen levels regardless of age, body mass index, smoking, and caloric and alcohol intake.  Green tea has some caffeine (decaf is not recommended as the process compromises the activity and can be carcinogenic), but its redeeming qualities make it well worth consuming a few cups a day. If you drink coffee…know that it too has some redeeming qualities (not nearly that of green tea), so enjoy a cup, but don’t overdo it. Those who consumed a t least 500mg of caffeine daily, the equivalent of four or five cups of coffee had nearly 70% more estrogen than women who consumed less than 100mg of caffeine daily.

What about that magic pill….

And no, I am not talking about Tamoxifen.

About twenty years ago, scientists discovered that when broccoli was added to the diets of animals, it could prevent certain forms of cancer.  Since then, numerous studies have shown the efficacy of crucifers as a cancer-crusher. Cruciferous vegetables (and their ability to produce sulforaphane) slow the development of cancer by detoxifying carcinogenic substances, preventing pre-cancerous cells from developing into malignant tumors, promoting the suicide of cancer cells (apoptosis), and starving tumors of their blood supply (angiogenesis.) And, you guessed it, they also help balance our estrogens, the good and the bad.

Yes, there’s “bad” and “good” estrogen! And, they’ve got to be balanced, just like good and bad cholesterol because estrogen can be metabolized in two different pathways in the liver, which results in two different kinds of estrogen, “good” and “bad”.  “Good” estrogen metabolites are released into the bloodstream where they provide benefits, such as prevention of heart disease, and the creation of strong, healthy bones. “Bad” estrogen, in large quantities, can result in many health problems including breast, ovarian, prostate, and uterine cancer.  It’s a big reason why some women are more prone to cancer than others. It’s the type of estrogen in your body that makes the difference.

13C—no, it’s not my apartment number.  13C is a natural compound the body produces when you eat cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  It is the 13C that blocks the pathways of cancer and stops cancer cells from proliferating—and it helps metabolize and breakdown estrogen in the body balancing hormone levels.  Yes, we can get this nutrient in crucifers, but we would need to eat a lot–and I mean a lot, to influence the ratio of good to bad estrogen; you would have to eat about two pounds of raw or lightly cooked crucifers almost daily.  Here is when a good supplement becomes ideal.  13C is the natural precursor to DIM (diindolylmethane); if considering a supplement, DIM would be preferable over 13C as it is more readily available to the body, and 13C is more irritating to the stomach; I3C has also been shown to be a tumor promoter in chronic use studies of thyroid, colon, and liver health, something not found with DIM.  However, since crucifers contain a whole family of protective phytochemicals in addition to DIM, the best approach is to eat plenty of crucifers and take a supplement.  And, as always, brands matter when it comes to supplements; please do your research or consult with a trusted pharmacist, doctor or advocate.

The supplemental use of phytonutrients from cruciferous vegetables has great potential for the prevention of cancer; specifically the discovery that cruciferous indole — diindolylmethane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) – may just be the magic pill to promote the healthy metabolism of estrogen.

Is DIM the only story in town; is it really the magic pill?  No, while it is big, there are a few other notable mentions.  Key players are Vitamins E and C,  B vitamins, such as B6, B12 and folate (B9), NAC, selenium, curcumin, green tea, D-Limonene, magnesium, flaxseed, pomegranate, probiotics, sufficient protein intake, complex carbs instead of simple sugars, and consuming only healthy fats.

Food matters; the concept of how what we eat strongly effects how our genes behave is firmly established; but, although it was discovered more than ten years ago, the connection between dietary ingredients and metabolism of estrogen is only recently recognized as important.  The consumption of specific phytochemicals can improve the adaptive responses that regulate hormonal metabolism.

I talk about DIM and foods supportive of estrogen balance in following posts:

https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/natural-alternatives-to-tamoxifen/

https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/natural-alternatives-to-aromatase-inhibitors/

http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com/2012/09/food-natural-alternative-for-tamoxifen.html

http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com/2010/12/eating-to-cheat-cancer.html

Give some DIM to your man too…. Estrogen metabolism slows as men age, especially when coupled with obesity and regular alcohol use. Too much estrogen plays havoc with a man’s sex life.  Avoiding overactive testosterone metabolism and reducing the conversion of testosterone into estrogen are goals of nutritional support in middle-aged and older men.

Elyn

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

Twitter@survivelivewell

Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn is on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs.  She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

 

 

 

 

Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Anti-Cancer Party

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Wine, Cheese and Chocolate are three things you don’t always associate with an anti-cancer diet.  However, while critics may say–whoa, hold on now—hear me out.  Wine, cheese, chocolate can be good for you, in moderation and with a few rules.

Red wine, (and dark chocolate) have positive components that are actually good for your heart and may inhibit the development of certain cancers, including breast cancer. There have been studies and reports on this for years. Of course, there are studies that say ANY alcohol raises your risk for breast cancer (likely these were done by teetotalers…just kidding).  The bad news is that the body converts alcohol into DNA-destroying acetaldehyde, a carcinogen (same family as formaldehyde). However, you can help neutralize alcohol’s toxic effects by consuming certain nutrients and phytonutrients. 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. 

Protective components are carotene (think carrots), folic Acid (B9), niacin (B3), vitamins B6, B1, C, D, E, and a few others in smaller amounts.  Keep in mind that red wine is a good source of folic acid, biotin, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium and magnesium….so it itself, it is part of the solution.  A note on folic acid— research indicates that women who drink alcohol and have a high folate intake are not 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). 

Alcohol also depletes necessary glutathione; NAC helps the body produce more glutathione. (N-acetyl cysteine is also used for preventing alcohol related liver damage and to combat toxicity from Tylenol use).  Keep in mind that 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. Remember too…always have a high-fiber snack with your wine and  consider a daily  brazil nut, as they are high in selenium, of which a deficiency can increase risk for cancer; selenium levels tend to be reduced in people who drink alcohol regularly.

Take a look at these links…you can taste the controversy—so please, while there are arguments on both sides, it is best for your all around health to 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.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/redwine

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13344967-a-glass-of-wine-a-day-helps-fight-breast-cancer

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240065.php?utm_medium=twitter&utm_s

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/dec2011_Link-Between-Alcohol-and-Cancer-Death_01.htm

http://naturalsociety.com/2-glasses-wine-daily-may-half-brain-cell-production/

http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/news/938-study-into-the-benefits-of-red-wine.html

Cheese; a cancer no-no, right?  Most of us think cheese is the enemy; it’s loaded with fat and contributes to cancer.  Dr William Li has a different opinion. Certain cheeses contain Vitamin K2 that inhibits cancer growth.  But don’t think you are limited to Gouda and Jarlsburg; other hard and soft cheeses contain K2, as do butter and egg yolks.  Also, full fat dairy contains CLA which has powerful anti-cancer benefits, so skip the low fat versions; just be sure to buy organic, locally produced cheese made from cows or sheep not injected with hormones, and who are grass fed, whenever possible. CLA may also help reduce body fat—especially belly fat, something which increases our risk for cancer.  Remember—real food for real people; when you mess with Mother Nature you pass up on nutrients and add chemicals.  (Eat the butter and cheese, pass on the substitutes)

http://www.ericcressey.com/is-dairy-healthy-the-whole-story-part-2

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/4/894.abstract

http://www.eatwild.com/cla.html

Chocolate, oh how we love chocolate. Chocolate was once thought to be nothing more than a decadent indulgence.  We think of chocolate as forbidden as we try to avoid sugar; but chocolate actually helps regulate blood sugar.  Just be sure to eat the real thing….the general rule is to look for 70% or higher and  sugar content should be minimal; read the ingredients (there should not be many and they should be real foods). And, research shows that dark chocolate may just be the top antioxidant, right up there or even better than blueberries! For better or worse, the food you eat sends messages to your genes which alters their expression patterns, and that in turn can alter disease. Inflammation-related genes are no exception, and inflammation is the precursor to cancer. Eating plenty of blueberries and chocolate can make those inflammatory genes behave nicely. Chocolate covered blueberries anyone?

There is more to the chocolate story:

http://physicianswholisten.blogspot.com/2011/02/its-time-to-nust-myths-about-chocolate.html

http://www.drnitasbrand.com/article-foodandmedicine.html

So, enjoy your party—but don’t cry…..have some red wine, some cheese and a few truffles, soufflés and even hot chocolate as it can be a good source of resveratrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids) as long as dark chocolate with a high content of cocoa is used.  Just remember that terrible word…moderation.  Live a little….isn’t that why we work so hard to beat cancer?

Elyn

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

Twitter @survivelivewell and @elynjacobs

Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn is also on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs.  She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

 

Halloween and Cancer?

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Can’t wait until Halloween?  Me too…it marks the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and breast cancer is spooky and scary.  Turning on the lights in a spooky room might detect that there is or is not something to fear, but like mammography, it won’t protect you from danger; it will not prevent the danger; and sadly, it doesn’t always detect the danger–ghosts hide and so does cancer.  I think we are all aware of breast cancer.  Mammograms neither determine the cause nor cure the disease.  It’s time we found cures; it’s time to study the causes and prevent this deadly disease before it takes hold.

For those who don’t have cancer, know that there are many small things we can do to lower our risk.  For those diagnosed early stage—remember, if cancer liked your body once, it may like it again.  Changing the environment to one which is unfriendly to cancer may help reduce your risk of recurrence.   For those with advanced or metastatic cancer, I don’t have the answers, but many find that changing the terrain extends survival.

 “The Terrain is everything.” ~ Louis Pasteur 

As I am writing this post, I glanced at a message from Helayne Waldman.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she is sharing a chapter of her book, The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors.  The book is not just for survivors; the authors have written this for prevention of recurrence as well as primary prevention. So I’ll let her tell you the story today.   You can read it here.  Thank you, Helayne for sharing what we need to be aware of; Prevention.  To listen to Helayne on the Survive and Live Well show, please click here.

Oh, and Halloween and Cancer? May I suggest you skip the candy; that’s one trick not to treat yourself to, unless it’s a bit of super dark chocolate.

For more tips on eating to thrive, please visit Food; is it Good for Our Health or Our Cancer?

Elyn

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

Want to talk about your specific needs for an anti-cancer life? Visit my website to schedule an appointment for one-on-one coaching.

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. Find Elyn at www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com. To tune into the Survive and Live Well show, visit www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm, EST.

Click here to view my Tips on Nutrition and Cancer YouTube Video with www.BreastCanceranswers.com.

Click here to read my story on Integrative Oncology Essentials –Integrative Answers to Cancer.

Click here to view my story on CNN Money–Seven cancer survivors confronted life-threatening diseases and turned their experiences into successful small business ideas.

To read about the first ever Preventive Breast Cancer Vaccine, Please view this Video.

Follow Elyn on Twitter @elynjacobs and @survivelivewell Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting and LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

 

 

 

 

Food; is it Good for Our Health or Our Cancer?

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm

As a cancer survivor, I wanted to do more than just the suggested surgery.  I felt that if cancer liked my body once, then it might like it again. I wanted to do everything I could to prevent the cancer from coming back. What I discovered was that the best thing that I could do to improve my health was to improve my diet, and maybe support that diet with some supplements– especially for some nutrients that are hard to get in one’s normal diet, or certainly in the amounts I felt were necessary.

So what do I eat?  Tons of fruits and vegetables, including a bounty of fresh herbs,  beans, healthy fats such as  nuts (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil), flax and chia seeds, avocado, olives and olive and coconut oil,  green tea, some organic eggs and occasionally, some grass fed Elk or local fish.  If I eat cheese, it is locally produced, organic and full fat.  When it comes to produce, I believe a wide variety is critical, eating the rainbow, so to speak, but I also believe it is a good idea to pack in a few key items daily.  Crucifers (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, radish, Brussels sprouts, etc.) are essential as they have compounds that are very powerful against cancer; try to eat a wide variety and focus a bit on broccoli.  Celery and parsley can stop certain breast cancer tumor cells from multiplying and growing; carrots are free-radical scavengers and can be eaten cooked, raw or juiced. Doc had it right; an apple a day does keep the doctor away.  For more of my favorites, please visit Eating to Cheat Cancer .

I don’t like the word ‘no’.  I have two kids, so I have tried to perfect this, but words such as no, never, don’t and can’t—these are very negative words and are not helpful when you are trying to make healthful changes.  I like to ask my clients to start with small changes and aspire to eating well 80% of the time; I find that this allows them the flexibility they need and before you know it, they are more like 90-100%, to the point when they no longer consider food choices to be a diet, but rather naturally gravitate to healthier options.

The easiest way to transition to a healthier diet is to find foods that you enjoy, and build the diet around those.  In other words, if you don’t like broccoli, don’t start there, but maybe throw a few sprouts into your smoothie; small change, powerful response.  Like almond butter but trying to avoid grains?  Smear it on raw carrots or apple slices. 

Ok, so back to the topic.  Is eating bad for your health?  We know that what we eat greatly affects our health and our risk for cancer.  However, we hear so many conflicting stories, and read so many articles on the perils of what we thought were healthy choices.  Plus, there are so many different strategies when it comes to choosing a dietary protocol.  It is no wonder we are all confused.  I often just want to throw my hands up in the air and say…eating is bad for your health!  But before you do that and give up the quest, know that food matters and know that the best strategy is the one that works for you.

So let’s take a look at some of the controversies.

In our quest to avoid dairy, many of us switched to almond, soy or hemp.  But a peek at the ingredients sends us right back to our local dairy farm. Make our own almond milk?  Not likely if you have kids or a full time job.

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/coconut-and-almond-milk-in-cartons-not-a-healthy-buy/

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-ingredient-allowed-in-organic-food-that-can-cause-cancer/

http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com/2012/10/beyond-treatment-for-cancer-taking.html

Gave up the full fat as you heard the bad stuff is mostly in the fat?  Think again, take out the fat and lose the health promoting naturally occurring CLA.  Traded beef for chicken?  Ever read what they feed chicken these days?  Plus, chicken (eggs and meat too) are inflammatory; consider organic grass- fed meats.  Get the rod out and catch dinner?  Ah, the PCB’s and red tides; think again.  Like shrimp?  Consider the source; farmed shrimp from much of Asia is raised in a toxic environment.  Grains and wheat?  Dr Mark Hyman calls the wheat today Frankenwheat  and suggests we avoid eating it, and so much has been written on the perils of gluten and grains.  However, think gluten-free is the way to go?  Only if the food is naturally gluten free….not some chemical substitute for the real thing.

http://www.townsendletter.com/Oct2012/against1012.html#.UHiDattxixA.facebook

http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2012-10-12/gm-wheat-may-damage-human-genetics-permanently/

So what can we do?  Relax. Eating a small amount of anything isn’t going to kill you.  Eat as close to nature as you can, and employ food as your ally.  Worried about the sugar in carrots and fruit?  Start your day with cinnamon.  Just one to two teaspoons can help regulate blood sugar.  Worried about BPA exposure?  Add more probiotics (and a few other agents) to your diet.  Concerned about heavy metals such as mercury?  Eat more cilantro. Food really is thy medicine.

Want to know more about specific anti-cancer diets and protocols? Over the next few weeks, I will have several health experts on Survive and Live Well.  We will hear from Elaine Cantin, survivor and author of The Cantin Ketogenic Diet;  Ellen Kamhi, RN, The Natural Nurse;  Wellness Coach, Jan Jargon; Dr Christopher Nagy;  Dr Michael Schachter; and author Sarto Schickel, whose wife  utilized the best of conventional medicine alongside the Gerson therapy to treat her stage IV cancer. All will share valuable insight on food and its impact on healing.

Food, it is good for our health, and if done right, can be downright unfriendly to cancer.  Eat like your life depends on it, and yes, enjoy a bit of red wine–if that is something that gives you great pleasure. In fact, have it with some dark chocolate.  Sure, chocolate has some sugar, but it is loaded with antioxidants and reduces inflammation, so if you crave dessert—have one that comes with benefits.

Want to talk about your specific needs for an anti-cancer diet? Visit my website to schedule an appointment for one-on-one coaching.

Elyn

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. Find Elyn at www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com. To tune into the Survive and Live Well show, visit www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm, EST.

Follow Elyn on Twitter @elynjacobs and @survivelivewell, Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting and LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

Ending Breast Cancer; One Woman’s Dream

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm

This post is written for my dear friend, Toni Turchi, and her dear friend, Christi; may somehow, by the grace of god, a cure be found now, before it is too late.

On December 23, 1971, President Richard Nixon officially declared war on cancer. Since then, more than 12 million Americans have died from cancer–Approximately 1500 people each day.  That’s 45,000 each month.  Despite all, despite upwards of $45 billion spent since the war on cancer began, cancer still exists and kills. The problem is that each form can require a different approach to treatment, and it takes more than just treatment to beat the disease. Even when one therapy works, cancer has a habit of returning in a new and more virulent form.  Apparently cancer is a far more formidable foe than the Nixon administration realized.

That some progress has been made is great; targeted therapies as well as the delivery methods of these treatments have reduced the damage they inflict and improved survival. However, the solution is not to have to treat cancer…it is to prevent it entirely. The drastic increases in cancer rates over the past century are not due to chance.  They are due most likely to the lifestyle that has become standard in the modern world; poor diet, exposure to industrial pollutants, tainted and modified food sources, pesticides, toxic plastic and personal care products and a host of other things.

Experts agree that many, if not most, forms of cancer are preventable. We can do this with integrative, complementary and alternative approaches.  Cancer prevention entails doing what one can to avoid the  triggers and by reinforcing the body’s innate ability to defend itself against cancer with the best possible combination of diet, exercise, supplements, and mind-body therapies—always keeping in mind that carcinogenesis and cancer promotion are a combination of nature (genetic and biological factors) and nurture (environmental factors).  A great book to read on this is Nurture Nature/Nurture Health, by Dr Mitch Gaynor.

Some people are more vulnerable to cancer than others because of biological predispositions or genetic factor; still, there is much that can be done to prevent cancer within those parameters.

But for many, this is not enough, or is too difficult or costly to implement; further, it is no guarantee that cancer will not develop or recur.

In many cases, cancer prevention just isn’t an option; it isn’t enough.  The disease may have already taken hold as is the case for millions of people….many individuals have genetic or biological predispositions to cancer that have little to do with their lifestyle choices.  We need treatments that work; treatments that do not cause side effects, or resulting effects, that jeopardize health and survival.  We need treatments that work with the body’s natural healing processes without harming the immune and lymphatic systems, two of the body’s most important natural defenses against cancer; treatments that do not harm our vital organs.  And we need these treatments right now.

Current cancer therapies focus on the use of highly toxic therapies to try to kill off as many cancerous cells as possible; they are designed to target rapidly dividing cells, and so often the cells of the body that divide the quickest—including those at the roots of the hair and teeth, in bone marrow, and in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract—may also be attacked; heart muscles are damaged. In addition to the extreme fatigue and anemia resulting from the harsh chemical destruction of the cells, the patient’s immunity suffers and the patient becomes vulnerable to life-threatening infections; the collateral damage from this approach is considerable. Radiation, while helpful in this war, is in itself, a carcinogen.

Alternative cancer medicine seeks less toxic ways to treat cancer.  It makes use of a holistic view of this disease, and tries to figure out what tools the body needs to reverse the growth of tumors while minimizing collateral damage.  However, these treatments vary in efficacy, are costly, and are not covered by most insurance companies.

The key to winning the war on cancer is to fight it intelligently, with the best tools available.  However, here we are forty-one years later, and we still lack that intelligence.  It’s not for lack of trying; it’s not for lack of funding. Perhaps it is time to change the paradigm.

                                      A vaccine may well be the answer

My vision, my hope, is to end cancer through the use of safe and effective vaccines.  This may take years, years many of us do not have, but for the sake of our children and our grandchildren, I implore you, keep an open mind to the idea—fund the vaccines that are in the works, put research dollars towards this effort. Yes, these vaccines must not come with baggage, and therefore must be tested extensively prior to mainstream usage–but we can’t wait any longer to begin these trials. We absoutlely need a cure for those with advanced cancer and mets; no doubt.  I just don’t think that new treatments, while critical now,  are the ultimate goal. Ultimately, we want to prevent cancer so that we don’t have to treat it. Fund vaccines to prevent recurrence, vaccines to halt the spread and yes, vaccines to prevent the disease entirely.  Throw down the gauntlets….let’s see one world without cancer.

In good health,

Elyn

If history presents, roughly 230,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the US in 2012…Please donate to the Toni Turchi Fondation; help fund the first ever preventive breast cancer vaccine.

Same Guys, Different Room: Why we don’t have a Breast Cancer Vaccine

Revolutionary breast cancer vaccine 100% effective in mice: awaits human trials

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs.  She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.  Find Elyn at www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com. To tune into the Survive and Live Well show, visit www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm, EST.

 Follow Elyn on Twitter@elynjacobs, Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting and LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

 

The Mind-Body Connection to Beating Breast Cancer

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Much has been written about the importance of the mind-body connection as it relates to a patient with cancer. Unfortunately, many physicians still don’t understand or appreciate the importance. And in fact, many of us patients struggle with it too.  We want to take care of ourselves, but often we focus most on the urgent task at hand, our cancer.

Tuesday, on Survive and Live Well, Dr Deanna Attai and I spoke about the mind-body connection to breast cancer.  We spoke about hope; “A physician is in a powerful position to influence the outcome of disease”, says Dr Attai. “Even in the face of the most advanced of cancers, there is usually room for some words of encouragement, which can make all the difference in the patient’s attitude towards their disease and its treatment”. If a patient is told, “there is no hope; there’s nothing I can do for you”, likely the patient will give up or certainly would not agree to a potentially life-saving, but grueling surgery or treatment, or for that matter, might not investigate alternative options and second opinions.

We spoke about healing the patient with the cancer instead of just the disease of the patient; that in addition to needing hope, “Disease does not happen in a vacuum, you need to understand the whole person before you can even begin to focus on the disease, a patient’s entire situation – diet, lifestyle, feelings about complementary/alternative versus traditional medicine all come into play.”

We shared some thoughts on how words such as the infamous “positive attitude” and ”you’re going to be fine”  mean different things to everyone and how they can often be painful to the breast cancer patient; small words, big impact.

Thank you Dr Attai for sharing your wisdom and experience to help us understand that treating cancer involves the whole person. Cancer is a complex situation….but it gets better when we connect the head bone to the neck bone… …all the way to the ankle bone.  To replay this conversation please visit:  http://hipcast.com/podcast/H1J8NTpQ.

Join us Tuesday, October 2nd, when I will chat with Dr Kathleen Ruddy as she clarifies the efficacy and potential of the first ever breast cancer vaccine and talks about the three different types of breast cancer, the genetic profiles that appear to distinguish them, and how this information can be used to tailor treatment for those currently battling breast cancer.

You can listen live, Tuesday, October 2nd at 1pm EST, on www.W4CS.com.  Have questions or want to join in the conversation?  Join us in the chat room!

For a show schedule and archives, please visit:  https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/survive-and-live-well-schedule/.

Elyn

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

 

Words are a hot topic these days. Rachel Pappas and I also had a great conversation about words, tone and social graces in Cancer Etiquette 101.  Check it out if you haven’t read it.

 

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs.  She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. To learn about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit:  https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com.  To tune into the Survive and Live Well radio show, please visit http://www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm (EST). To view info on upcoming topics and guests, please visit: https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/elyns-blog/.

Twitter@elynjacobs

Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

 

Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on September 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

This Post was updated on October 26th, 2016. To read the new version please Click Here.

So, the doctor told you that you need an aromatase inhibitor. Are you concerned about the side effects or the resulting effects? Or have you started on one and feel terrible? It might be time to look at alternatives. Just because your doctor prescribed an AI, doesn’t mean that it is right for you. Making the right decision for you, for your body, is bigger than just accepting doctor’s orders.

Aromatase inhibitors, drugs such as Fermara, Aromasin and Arimidex, stop the production of estrogen in postmenopausal women; more specifically, they block the enzyme aromatase, the enzyme responsible for the biosynthesis and balance of estrogens. As we age, our hormones become out of balance, and often make us more vulnerable to cancer. Estrogen can be metabolized in two different pathways in the liver, which results in two different kinds of estrogen, “good” and “bad” estrogen. “Good” estrogen metabolites are released into the bloodstream there they cause many of the benefits estrogen provides, such as prevention of heart disease, and strong, healthy bones. “Bad” estrogen, in large quantities, causes trouble. By blocking estrogen, less “bad” estrogen is available to stimulate the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells. However, this also means that you have less of the protective “good”. So, the question is, do they increase survival and prevent the cell mutations that contribute to cancer? Or do they come with too many resulting effects?

I remember when I first read about Tamoxifen; I learned that Tamoxifen does not increase survival; it’s just that you don’t die of your cancer, but rather the toxicity of the drug. Hum….what a trade off. It may well be the case with AI’s as well….or worse. Although AIs were found to prevent breast cancer recurrence, they were not found to prolong life, due to the resulting effects—as I like to call them—particularly the heart problems (think less “good” estrogen), and reduce quality of life due to the side effects, such as the never ending flu symptoms, hair thinning and loss, vaginal bleeding, skin rashes, joint pain, stiffness and swelling (severe enough to require pain medication), hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, nausea and headaches. Women may also feel tired and lethargic while on the drug, experience breathing difficulties, depression and mood swings, tightness in the chest, and again, because of the loss of the “good” estrogen, bone thinning (think broken bones). Osteoporosis is a major concern, and women should have the health of their bones checked before they begin aromatase therapy. If the bones are already showing signs of deterioration, an osteoporosis drug will probably be prescribed (more drugs, and drug interactions; wonderful).

Geez, where can I get some of this stuff? Okay, so is there a natural alternative to aromatase inhibitors?

Again, as I said in my post about Tamoxifen, there is not an easy answer. However, there are many powerful natural aromatase inhibitors in your local grocery store. Look for button mushrooms, celery, parsley, mushrooms,  basil, artichokes, oranges, red grapes, onions, garlic, olives, olive leaves and extract and members of the cruciferous family. The key is to eat these foods every day, and several times a day—here’s where supplementation may be helpful if you can’t make this work with your schedule. Supplements can be in powered form or capsule, but as always, look for quality and choose organic when possible. Dindolylmethane (DIM) is a phytonutrient and plant indole found in cruciferous vegetables that has the ability to increase anti-cancer estrogen metabolites while decreasing cancer promoting estrogen metabolites; DIM can be taken in supplement form, and this is something I highly recommend. Juicing is also a great way to get these nutrients, as consuming more than one variety at a time, especially in the case of the crucifers, can increase the effectiveness of any one type. Keep in mind that the thousands of chemical compounds in plants, some known and some yet identified, work synergistically to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and overall anti-cancer benefits, so eat a wide variety of fruits and veges each and every day, several times a day.

Feeling a bit dull? Spice up your food, herbs and spices contain powerful anticancer agents, and “hot” spices, such as cayenne pepper and mustard have been found to boost the cancer-fighting properties in foods like broccoli, so spice up your life!

Natural AI’s may well be the best choice for an AI for preventing breast cancer. Not only do they work as effectively as drugs, but have no side effects and carry a host of other benefits. Remember, estrogen is not the only factor with breast cancer…so an overall anti-cancer strategy along with the boost of natural aromatase inhibitors is your best bet. Think of fruits and vegetables as soldiers doing double duty, as nutrients and plant-based chemicals are capable of halting or slowing the spread of cancer. While no one is suggesting that the compounds in food will single-handedly eradicate cancer, each provides a powerful punch in addressing  the various mechanisms that drive cancer, and can synergistically interact to create an inhospitable microenvironment for cancer. For more on the ability of nutrients to fight cancer and block its pathways, please visit: https://elynjacobs.com/2012/06/02/why-we-are-not-winning-the-war-on-cancer/.  For more information on specific foods to manage estrogen, please visit: https://elynjacobs.com/2012/01/15/natural-alternatives-to-tamoxifen/. For more information about food as an anti-estrogen, anti-cancer protocol, please visit:http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com/2012/09/food-natural-alternative-for-tamoxifen.html

Seem like too much? Consider the alternative. That said, have two stalks and call me in the morning…doctor’s orders.

A few more tips:

Remember to limit alcohol–as while recent studies have found red wine to be mildly protective against breast cancer, this may not be so for post menopausal women, and other types of alcohol don’t share this benefit. If you drink, enjoy red wine conservatively.

Limit sugar; avoid junk food and hormone laced animal products such as meat and dairy.

Nothing in this post represents medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist or naturopathic doctor. I have compiled this information solely for those seeking an alternative to aromatase inhibitors and cannot endorse either protocol.

Elyn
http://www.elynjacobs.com

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. To learn about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit: http://elynjacobs.com. To tune into the Survive and Live Well radio show, please visit http://www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm (EST). To view info on upcoming topics and guests, please visit: https://elynjacobs.com/elyns-blog/.

Twitter@elynjacobs
Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting
LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs