The Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is one of the most common viral infections in humans. It is also one of the most prolific–over 95% of adults carry this virus. While originally linked to lymphoma, subsequent research has linked EBV to stomach cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, and many others, including breast cancer.
Once you are infected with EBV, it remains dormant in the body forever, often asymptomatic. For some, this will not be a problem. For others, it can result in long-term consequences, including dramatically raising one’s risk of cancer as well as aggressive progression of the disease.
When reactivated, EBV can present with symptoms such as cold sores or flu-like symptoms. But again, often there are no symptoms—yet the virus is at work, leaving genetic scars on our cells. Molecules produced by EBV can send infected cells into overdrive, telling them to keep dividing. Importantly, EBV does not initiate cancer on its own — there are other elements at play. It is a combination of genes and diet along with the EBV infection that create the perfect storm for cancer.
Herpetic viruses such as EBV are so often behind autoimmune disorders such as lupus, MS, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hence, many with autoimmune issues will also develop cancer.
The Immune System is Our First Line of Defense Against Infections
With EBV, it can also be a bit of the chicken and the egg theory. Fighting the infection itself could exhaust the immune response, which might hinder detection and destruction of cancer cells, allowing them to replicate. Or, it could be that an already weak immune system, combined with a poor diet, leaves the door open to infection and flare-ups of dormant Epstein Barr and the development and progression of cancer.
Researchers are working on ways to uncloak the virus to immune cells in hopes that this will rid the body of EBV, rather than leave dormant infection around to cause problems. Will that mean another controversial vaccine? Possibly.
However, there are many natural substances that can suppress viral reactivation. For more information on EBV and its link to cancer, please read the following article I wrote for The Truth About Cancer: Epstein Barr Virus Connection to Breast Cancer & Autoimmune Disorders. In it you will also learn about the triggers for reactivation as well as the dietary choices, supplements, and herbs that suppress the EBV and help your body defend itself against cancer. I
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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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