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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:

https://elynjacobs.com/2016/10/26/natural-alternatives-to-aromatase-inhibitors-2/

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

Resources: Understanding Statistics

http://cancercompassalternateroute.com/breast-health/tamoxifen-and-the-manipulation-of-statistics/

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/tamoxifen-praised-life-saving-still-causing-cancer

https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/truth-about-tamoxifen-part-1/

Tamoxifen: What Difference Does It Really Make? 

Elyn

~~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.

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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

Ingredients:

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

Recipe:

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

Enjoy!

For more Pizza recipes, please click HERE:

Elyn

~~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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Broccoli and Watercress Sprouts Fight Cancer

In Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Cancer, Uncategorized on February 27, 2017 at 9:43 am

It is well known that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and watercress contain powerful anticancer compounds. But did you know that eating their respective sprouts can supercharge the health benefits? In sprout form these little three to four day old plants contain almost 100 times the level of cancer-fighting sulforaphane than the mature plants. The phytonutrients in these sprouts upregulate antioxidant enzymes and detoxification processes which clear toxic compounds from the body. And, that is just the beginning—read on to find out how sprouts knock the socks off cancer.

 What’s in a Sprout

Isothiocyanates (ITCs), such as sulforaphane, are sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. They support matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity which reduces the breakdown of connective tissue within a cell that impede the expansion of existing tumors. Matrix MMP-9 plays important roles in tumor invasion and angiogenesis. Secretion of MMP-9 has been reported in various cancer types including lung, colon, and breast cancer.

ITCs also kill off cancer cells, including cancer stem cells, which is essential for combating cancer metastases. Isothiocyanates restrain certain pro-inflammatory compounds that are associated with chronic inflammation and cancer.

The ITC sulforaphane helps support the anti-inflammatory Nrf2 pathway which protects cells against oxidative and free radical activity. It supports the detoxification process by inducing Phase 2 detoxification enzymes, inhibiting the activation of pro-carcinogens, and  by boosting cellular glutathione levels.  Sulforaphane promotes cancer cell death and inhibits cancer cell proliferation. It also supports the immune system and in particular, increases Natural Killer Cell activity.

Sulforaphane also inhibits Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that increases one’s risk of stomach and colorectal cancer.  It is also anti-viral and has been found effective against the Epstein Barr Virus.

Quercetin, another potent antioxidant highly concentrated in sprouts, is a strong anti-inflammatory and prevents tumor cell growth.  It also aids in the removal of excess estrogen from the body — it stimulates liver function to detoxify estrogen and other carcinogenic agents.

Lutein is another powerful antioxidant that neutralizes cancer-causing free radicals (it is also essential for many things, including eye health, protecting against macular degeneration, and for maintaining strong eye tissue). Lutein (and zeaxanthin) may be beneficial to cardio health by preventing hardening of the arteries.

Glutathione has been labeled the ‘mother of all antioxidants” due to its incredible ability to disarm free radicals, detoxify the body, and boost the immune system.

Broccoli Sprouts

broccoli-sproutsBroccoli sprouts are extremely high in cancer fighting activity, particularly against lung, colon, and breast cancers. Compounds in broccoli speed up the removal of estrogen from the body, helping to suppress breast cancer. They also target cancer stem cells, the cells responsible for metastasis.

Broccoli sprouts contain a high amount of the cancer-busting and immune boosting substance sulforaphane. They are also abundant in quercetin, glutathione, beta carotene, indoles, vitamin C, lutein, glucarate, and the metabolic substance DIM, which is a natural aromatase inhibitor.

Broccoli sprouts are rich in cholesterol reducing fiber and have anti-viral and anti-ulcer activity. They are also a super source of chromium that helps regulate insulin and blood sugar.

 

Watercress Sproutswatercress-sprouts

Sometimes called peppergrass, watercress is delicious and pungent. It is also one of the most nutrient-dense foods known. It is rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids, including lutein. Watercress also offers significant quercetin, EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), flavanols such a kaempferol, lycopene, idole-3 carbinol (13C), sulforaphane, as well as DIM. It is a good source of riboflavin, vitamin C, A and K, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, and contains trace amounts of omega 3’s. Watercress is one of the best food sources of iodine for vegans.

Watercress also contains a high amount of PEITC (phenylethylisothiocyanate) which has been shown to protect DNA from damage. PEITC reduces the growth of breast cancer cells, triggers apoptosis (cancer cell death), and decreases angiogenesis. It inhibits the growth of HER2 expression as well as cancer metastasis.

PEITC (also found in some other cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli) deactivates mutant p53 in tumor cells but leaves normal p53 alone. P53 regulates cell division by keeping cells from growing and dividing too fast or in an uncontrolled way. A mutation in p53 is a permanent change in the nucleotide sequence of DNA. Loss of p53 function can be deleterious, and about 50% of all human cancers have a mutated p53 gene.

Watercress has antioxidant, antigenotoxic (the process by which chemical agents damage genetic information within a cell causing mutations), and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies show that a regular intake of watercress has been associated with protection against breast, colon, and other cancers.

Watercress and broccoli affect all stages of cancer: initiation, proliferation, and metastasis. So, what’s not to love about these sprouts? Plus, it is a lot easier to consume a handful of sprouts than it is to down a pound and a half of broccoli or an enormous plate of watercress– which, for example,  is the amount it would take to get an equivalent amount of sulforaphane.

Add sprouts to your smoothies; use on sandwiches, on top of pizza, in salads, and as a garnish for soups. I make wonderful gluten-free pizza crusts using cauliflower or garbanzo bean flour, and pile the pizza high with arugula and sprouts just before serving.  Yum!

Just a reminder that while  eating cruciferous vegetables is a important for optimal health, it is necessary to have sufficient iodine in the diet when consuming high quantities  (including DIM).

Can’t find sprouts locally?  Grow your own–Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days

Found this article helpful? Please let the elves know:

Thanks!

Elyn

~~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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Epstein Barr Virus and the Development of Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on January 24, 2017 at 4:02 pm

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.

Food Matters

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

Found this article helpful?  Please let me know.

Elyn

~~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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What You Need to Know About Mutations in the p53 Cancer Tumor Suppressor Gene

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, colon cancer, High Dose Vitamin C and Cancer, Radiation on January 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm

The word mutation just doesn’t sound like something good. By definition, a mutation is a permanent change in DNA. Mutations, for the most part, are harmless except when they lead to tumor formation. 

Likely you have heard about BRCA mutations. BRCA genes are tumor suppressor genes. BRCA mutations can increase one’s risk for cancers of the breast and ovaries. However, these mutations are only responsible for about 5-10% of all breast cancers and about 15% of ovarian cancers. But, the little-known p53 mutation affects far more people. About 50% of all cancers have a mutated p53 gene.

What is P53?
The p53 protein is located in the nucleus of cells throughout the body, where it attaches (binds) directly to DNA. (It is actually the TP53 gene that provides instructions for making the tumor protein p53 but for simplicity, I will say p53.) P53 regulates cell division by keeping cells from growing and dividing too fast or in an uncontrolled way.

P53 plays a critical role in determining whether damaged DNA will be repaired or a damaged cell will self-destruct (undergo apoptosis). If the DNA can be repaired, p53 activates other genes to fix the damage. If the DNA cannot be repaired, this protein prevents the cell from dividing and signals it to undergo apoptosis. By stopping cells with mutated or damaged DNA from dividing, p53 helps prevent the development of tumors.

Mutated P53
P53 mutations lead to a version of p53 that cannot regulate cell growth and division effectively. Specifically, the altered protein is unable to trigger apoptosis in cells with mutated or damaged DNA.

DNA can be damaged by agents such as toxic chemicals, radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays — even UV light can interact with compounds in the cell generating free radicals which cause chemical damage to DNA.

Since all cells in our body contain DNA, there are lots of places for mutations such as p53 to occur. When p53 does not operate properly, damaged DNA can replicate, producing mutations and DNA rearrangements that contribute to the development of a highly transformed, metastatic cell. Many cancer cells inactivate p53, allowing the cells to evade death and continue proliferating up to becoming a tumor.

Mutant p53 proteins not only lose their tumor suppressive activities but often escalate the development of cancerous tumors by providing them with growth and survival mechanisms. Interestingly, mutations in the p53 gene have been shown to occur at different phases of the cancer process, contributing to tumor initiation, promotion, aggressiveness, and metastasis.

P53 mutations contribute to risk of brain tumors and breast, prostate, colon and other cancers. Mutations in p53 gene usually correlate with poor outcome and early recurrence in cancer.

Enough of the bad news.

The Good News
What is really exciting is that this repair gene, p53, which protects cells from becoming cancerous, can be highly activated by many natural substances—substances that do not have the negative side effects of drug therapies. The ability to activate p53 within cells may halt cell proliferation, or even cause cancer cell death.

 

watercressFor example, cruciferous vegetables (especially watercress with its high content of PEITC) have been found to support p53. PEITC (phenethylisothyanate) decreases the levels of mutated p53 and helps to restore the normal activity of this protein. Vitamin C is another promoter of P53, which is one of the reasons intravenous Vitamin C (IVC) and high-dose oral C therapies are so effective against cancer.
The resveratrol in red grapes and red wine (organic please, and research shows dark, red wines are best) also activates the P53 gene. IP6 has been shown to alter the expression of p53. Zinc helps protect the p53 gene against cancer-forming mutations. Selenium can activate p53 in response to genetic damage, helping the cell to repair its DNA. Herbs such as sage, rosemary, ginger, curcumin, and ashwaganda support p53. Thymoquinone extracted from black seed triggers apoptotic cell death in colorectal and other cancers cells via the p53- dependent mechanism. Anthocyanins, abundant in red  onions, inhibit the damage that impaired p53 can cause on cells and tissue. Anthocyanins are also found in blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, eggplant, and avocado.

P53 Supporters:
• Cruciferous vegetables, especially watercress
IP6
Resveratrol
• Herbs such as sage, rosemary, ginger, curcumin, and ashwaganda
• EFA’s from omega 3 fatty acids (please use caution with fish oil supplements as they can be toxic). For a plant based formula, you could take BodyBio Balance Oil.
• Licorice
• Mistletoe
Vitamin D
Selenium
• Vitamin C
Zinc
Black Seed
Clinoptilolite (a special form of Zeolite)
On the other hand, processed foods, refined flours, and sugars will impair P53. Smokey flavoring and smoked foods can also damage DNA. Chemicals such as benzene and perchloroethylene, two volatile organic compounds, negatively affect p53, possibly causing them to stimulate rather than suppress cell proliferation.

The late Integrative Oncologist Dr Mitchell Gaynor, MD was famous for his passion for explaining that we can change the way our genes behave by making good dietary choices. For more gene-changing foods and lifestyle habits read Dr. Gaynor’s book, The Gene Therapy Plan, Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle.

P53 and BRCA are not the only genetic mutations that increase cancer risk. For example, mutations in th e CHEK2 gene are associated with an increased risk of developing many types of cancer, including breast, colon, prostate, and other cancers — sometimes at young ages. If you have a history of hereditary cancer you might benefit from genetic testing for CHEK2 and others.

Testing
You can request to be tested for the p53 mutation. The test is called the p53 Gene Mutation Analysis, Cell Based, offered by labs such as Quest Diagnostics. If your insurance company does not accept Quest or another lab that offers this test, you can petition your carrier for a Network Gap Exception.
You may need to consult a genetic counselor if your oncologist does not routinely check for mutations as these tests are not part of your typical pathology report.

Found this article helpful?  Please let me know.

 

Elyn

~~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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http://www.ambrygen.com/tests/chek2-related-cancer
http://www.nbs.csudh.edu/chemistry/faculty/nsturm/CHEMXL153/DNAMutationRepair.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2827900/
https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/TP53
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14608114
http://www.ambrygen.com/tests/chek2-related-cancer
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3135636/

Why You Need to Know about IP-6 if You Have Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Uncategorized on December 17, 2016 at 5:38 pm

ip6The B-vitamin inositol and its derivative IP-6 (Inositol hexaphosphate) is an anti-oxidant with many health benefits for human health. It is important for regulating vital cellular functions such as signal transduction, cell proliferation, and differentiation. IP-6 offers significant protection against cancer and it also helps to lower cholesterol, prevent kidney stones, and reduce the complications of cardiovascular disease.

Recently IP-6 has received much attention for its role in cancer prevention and control of tumor growth, progression, and metastasis. IP-6 works by increasing your body’s Natural Killer Cell activity. NK cells target cancerous cells as well as invaders such as virus, bacteria, fungus, and molds. NK cells are also a part of the Th1 immune system, which is commonly depressed in cancer patients. IP-6 has also shown to revert cancer cells back  to normal by its ability to increase the differentiation of malignant cells.

IP-6 is a selective agent against cancer cells. Cancer cells are high in iron content, so IP-6 directs most of its attention to abnormal cells since IP-6 acts as a selective iron chelator. It removes iron from tumor cells (stealing one of its major food sources) which deprives them of their primary growth factor. Importantly, IP-6 does not remove iron from red blood cells which are tightly bound to hemoglobin. Therefore, unlike cancer drugs, healthy cells are not affected by IP-6.

IP-6 and Tumor Suppressor Genes
IP6 has been shown to alter the expression of proteins produced by the p53 (TP53) and p21 genes (cancer suppressor genes) that control cancer growth.

The p53 gene regulates cell division by keeping cells from growing and dividing too fast or in an uncontrolled way. Inactivation of the p53 tumor suppressor is a frequent event in tumorigenesis. In most cases for those with cancer, the p53 gene is mutated, and the accumulation of those mutated proteins is regarded as a hallmark of cancer cells. Mutated P53 cannot regulate cell growth and division effectively. Specifically, the altered protein is unable to trigger apoptosis in cells with mutated or damaged DNA. As a result, DNA damage can accumulate in cells (this is common with CHEK2 mutations).

When the DNA in a cell becomes damaged by things such as toxic chemicals or radiation, P53 plays a critical role in determining whether the DNA will be repaired or the damaged cell will self-destruct (undergo apoptosis). If the DNA can be repaired, p53 activates other genes to fix the damage. If the DNA cannot be repaired, this protein prevents the cell from dividing and signals it to undergo apoptosis. By stopping cells with mutated or damaged DNA from dividing, p53 helps prevent the development of tumors.

Mutant p53 proteins not only lose their tumor suppressive activities but often escalate the development of cancerous tumors by providing them with growth and survival mechanisms. Interestingly, mutations in the p53 gene were shown to occur at different phases of the cancer process, contributing to tumor initiation, promotion, aggressiveness, and metastasis.
P21 is controlled by p53, and can be significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis, distant metastases, advanced TNM stage (a classification of cancer staging that stands for: tumor size, describing nearby lymph nodes, and distant metastasis), depth of invasion, and overall survival rate. To read more on p53, click HERE.

IP-6 also inhibits MMP-9 secretions. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays important roles in tumor invasion and angiogenesis. Secretion of MMP-9 has been reported in various cancer types including lung cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer.

Circulating Tumor Cells

It is important to remember that it is not the primary tumor that kills us, but rather the metastatic disease post-treatment that kills us. When cancer spreads to other areas in the body it is called metastasis. In order to spread, a cancer cell must first detach from the primary cancer and move though the wall of a blood vessel to get into the bloodstream.
These mobile cancer cells are called circulating tumor cells (CTCs). When CTC’s enter the bloodstream, the circulating blood sweeps them along until they stick somewhere, usually in another opportunistic position that enables it to lodge and multiply.
This is a complicated journey as the immune system is designed to rid the host of these cells. Therefore, some of the time CTC’s are not problematic. However, in a host (you) with cancer and therefore with the likelihood of a weak or dysfunctional immune system, well, you can see how the risk increases. (A simple blood test can determine the existence of circulating tumor cells in the body. At this time, the only lab I know of that will readily offer this test is Quest Diagnostics. If your insurance company does not use Quest, you may need to petition them for it.)
Hence, reducing circulating tumor cells (CTC’s) and using other strategies to prevent metastases should be the focus of treatment once individuals have treated the primary tumor and are addressing the primary cause of the dis-ease. IP-6 seems to be the new kid on the block when it comes to targeting CTC’s (along with Modified Citrus Pectin*).

It is well known that the potent antioxidant and immune enhancing properties of IP6 can play a vital role in the prevention and treatment of cancer cells. It Sadly, IP-6 goes unused as a cancer treatment, which makes no sense. Further, IP-6 enhances the efficacy of cancer drugs such as Adriamycin (a popular chemotherapy) and tamoxifen. Yet again, it goes unused by the traditional medical community even as an adjunct therapy.
It is up to you, the educated patient, to be sure you are taking advantage of all that is available to you to heal from your cancer.

Summary of IP-6 benefits:
• Inhibits cell proliferation and progression
• Helps stop cancer growth
• Induces differentiation of malignant cells
• Supports the p21 and p53 genes (tumor suppressor genes) that control cancer growth
• Inhibits metastasis by interfering with the CTC adhesion, migration, and invasion
• Induces apoptosis (cell death) in many cancer cell lines
• Inhibits angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth for tumors)

IP-6 is easily absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract and has been found to be safe. It can be found in many plant sources and in high-fiber foods such as seeds, bran, cereals and legumes. It can also be taken in supplement form. You can find IP-6 in most health and drug stores. However, don’t get the cheap versions of this stuff—be sure to buy a reputable brand. For your convenience, you can find IP-6 here on Amazon.

*Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP): Helps with detoxification and inhibits circulating tumor cells (CTC’s) from latching onto the lining of blood vessel walls, reducing the risk of metastases.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17044765
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14608114
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3135636/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126032/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722839/

Found this article helpful?  Please let me know.

 

Elyn

~~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 brings a plethora of knowledge to her practice and will help you think outside the box so you can incorporate every lifeline you may need for long term survival. Elyn 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. She is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Elyn does not endorse alternative modalities as a cure for cancer. She provides information solely for educational purposes only.
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