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Archive for the ‘Tamoxifen’ Category

Could the Natural Alternative to Tamoxifen and Aromatase Inhibitors be in Your Refrigerator? Part II

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, antioxidants, aromatase inhibitors, BPA and breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cancer Coach, cancer stem cells and recurrence, Estrogen, Estrogen and Breast Cancer, Natural Aromatase Inhibitors, prostate cancer, SERMS, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on November 15, 2019 at 9:07 am

Synthetic selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) such as tamoxifen and pharmaceutical aromatase inhibitors are often recommended for ER+ breast and other hormone-driven cancers, but they have significant adverse effects. Is it possible that natural plant products can perform the same function without the risks and damage of pharmaceuticals? Research says they can.

While estrogen plays many important beneficial roles in humans, the proliferation of ER+ breast cancer cells can sometimes be enhanced by estrogen (especially in the absence of progesterone), which may induce multiple processes involved in cell survival and cell cycle progression. Beyond the estrogen dominance that comes from a lack of progesterone, it is not necessarily our own estrogen at fault, but more likely xenoestrogens — the chemical estrogens, environmental hazards such as BPA and BPS — Bisphenol A and S.

However, to add clarity to the estrogen equation that oncologists speak of, the body has two different estrogen receptors, ERα (alpha) and ERβ (beta). ERα has a proliferative effect, and ERβ acts as a negative regulator of ERα in breast cancer cells, counteracting the proliferative effect of estrogens. Importantly, plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) preferentially interact with ERβ and display high specificity toward ERβ transactivation. Phytoestrogens, also known as phytochemicals, are synthesized from plants and vegetables. They show low estrogenic activity or anti-estrogenic activity with anti-proliferative effects that studies show offer nutraceutical alternatives to pharmaceutical anti-hormone therapies for various cancers.[ii]

For the men reading this article (including those with breast cancer), androgens and estrogens also influence the development and progression of prostate cancer. Research shows that phytoestrogens such as soy could be used alone or in conjunction with anti-hormone therapies for prostate cancer to target metabolic pathways involved in androgen and estrogen syntheses and epigenetic modifications of DNA to promote tumor-suppressor genes.[iv]

In a nutshell, phytoestrogens may be useful as substitutes for breast cancer treatments such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, and could be extremely helpful for other hormone-related cancers.

The Role of Phytoestrogens as Replacements for SERMs and Aromatase Inhibitors

It is well-established that many foods and natural products have beneficial effects on ER+ breast cancer as well as other hormone-driven cancers.  Pytoestrogens are structurally similar to our own estrogen, but functionally are weakly estrogenic (weakly mimicking estrogen) or antiestrogenic (blocking estrogens’ effects). They have been researched extensively for their role in the interaction with estrogen receptors. The beauty is that they block the receptors from more volatile estrogens.  As such, they deserve consideration in preventive and therapeutic settings for the intervention of cancer initiation and progression.

Studies show that phytoestrogens may provide an alternative or complementary approach to anti-hormone treatments. For example, 2017 research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences cited many studies confirming that an important application of phytoestrogens is that they could be used as an alternative to the SERMs.[iii] In general, phytoestrogens act as aromatase inhibitors by decreasing aromatase gene expression and inhibiting the aromatase enzyme.   

Some of the more powerful phytoestrogens include flax and sesame seeds as well as whole soy. 

Flax and sesame seeds have anticancer, breast tumor-reducing effects. Both lignans are metabolized to estrogen-like enterodiol and enterolactone, and reduce cell proliferation and apoptosis.[xiv] While each works a bit differently, both may be useful as an effective adjuvant therapeutic agent against tumor development and progression, and therefore, could be used in the prevention and/or treatment of various types of cancer. Studies show that higher intakes of lignans such as flax and sesame seeds are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Flax seed works with tamoxifen to inhibit breast cancer tumor growth, so if you choose to take tamoxifen, know that you can also benefit from flax.  

I have written extensively on the benefits of flax seed, but to recap, a few of the benefits of flax are the following:

  • Decreases cell proliferation rates and inhibits tumor growth in ER+ cancers
  • Decreases angiogenesis (blood supply for tumors) and increases apoptosis (cancer cell death)
  • Influences ER-negative and ER-positive tumors by decreasing insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), HER2 and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which supports angiogenesis
  • Reduces growth and metastasis of ER-negative and triple negative breast cancers
  • Favorably influences tumor suppressor genes

For more on flax seed and breast cancer, please read some of my other posts, such as  Demystifying Flaxseed and Estrogen and Flaxseed, Better Than Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer.

Soy: Numerous studies indicate that genistein, the most abundant isoflavone present in soybeans, has anti-proliferative effects on various cancer cells, including prostate, ovarian, and breast. Like other phytoestrogens, genistein interferes with the effects of estradiol by binding to estrogen receptors. This is good as soy may also inhibit inflammation and boost anticancer immune responses, while other estrogens do not. The following are a few key findings of soy[v]:

  • Inhibits NF-kB activity in prostate, breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer cells. Nf-kB plays a crucial role in immune response, inflammation, cell growth and survival.
  • Selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor impeding angiogenesis, a major factor in cancer growth and proliferation. Tyrosine kinases play important roles in cell proliferation, survival, migration and differentiation are often altered in cancer cells, leading to malignancy
  • Induces cancer cell death (apoptosis) in several cancer cell lines, including prostate, ovarian, and breast cancer
  • Modulates EGF (epidermal growth factor) which has been implicated in the development and growth of many types of cancer cells
  • Long-term consumption seems to result in a decreased response to stimulation by estradiol[vi]

Please note that soy consumption is somewhat controversial. Please work with your coach or medical professional to see if soy consumption is right for you.

More Notable Phytoestrogens                                                                            parsley root

  • Apigenin is a natural flavonoid commonly found in fruits and vegetables such as parsley, celery, thyme, chamomile tea, and oranges. The chemical structure of apigenin is similar to estrogen and as such it mimics estrogen. 2107 research indicates that phytoestrogens such as apigenin and resveratrol have the therapeutic potential act like SERMs and could be considered in the development of therapeutics for breast cancer and brain disease.[vii] Extensive studies show that apigenin has potent antioxidant and anticancer activities in ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancer. Apigenin also inhibits proteasome, which certain cancer cells need for survival. By inhibiting proteasome, phytoestrogens such as apigenin induce apoptosis in prostate, breast, and many other cancer cell lines.[viii]
  • Pau d’ Arco exhibits selective anti-proliferative effects in carcinoma cell lines. A study performed at the Strang Cancer Prevention Center in New York found that the anti-proliferative effects of herbal medicines such as pau d’arco may correlate with down-regulated estrogen responsive genes and up-regulated apoptosis-specific genes. The researchers believe their data validates the need to prioritize efficacious herbal medicines and concluded that phytoestrogens such as pau d’arco may provide an alternative or complementary approach to endocrine therapy for breast cancer.[ix] Read more
  • Broccoli: The sulforaphane in broccoli (particularly in broccoli seeds and sprouts) has been found to inhibit proliferation and down-regulates hormone receptor expression in MCF-7 cells. Sulforaphane also passes the blood brain barrier and targets cancer stem cells. If you cannot find sprouts locally, I recommend a supplement.sprouts
  • Luteolin and Naringenin: Flavonoids, especially flavones such as luteolin and flavanones such as naringenin are potent aromatase inhibitors. [x] Luteolin has also been found to down-regulate aromatase gene expression. Luteolin is found in celery, thyme and chamomile tea. Some rich sources of naringenin include bergamot, grapefruit, tomatoes, and tart cherries.
  • Quercetin, found in abundance in food sources such as apples, onions, tea, and red wine, has been reported to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer effects. It has the ability bind at high affinity to estrogen receptors, resulting in inhibition of estrogen-regulated cell growth and proliferation[xi]
  • Hesperetin, found in citrus fruits and essentials oils, exerts it anticancer actions by inhibiting cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis, and by regulating aromatase activity and oxidative stress. Although hesperetin is unable to bind to ERs, it is effective in inhibiting cell proliferation of ER+ breast cancer and dramatically decreasing tumor size and other actions. Hesperetin has also been found to reduce serum estrogen levels and down-regulate estrogen target genes and estrogen metabolism-related genes.[xii]. Try putting a drop or two of lemon essential oil in your water, or grating the peel of an organic lemon.
  • Black seed contains thymoquinone, a phytochemical compound found in plant Nigella sativa. It has been found to initiate apoptosis, improve estrogen metabolism, and regulate signally pathways in breast cancer.
  • Vitamin E inhibits cell proliferation, down-regulates the expression of ERα, ERβ, COX-2, and serum estrogen levels (should always be mixed tocopherols, not just d-alpha.
  • Red Clover binds to estrogen receptors, inhibits cell proliferation, and initiates apoptosis in ER+ breast cancer cells.
  • Ellagic acid, a dietary flavonoid present in berries, grapes, pomegranates, and nuts, inhibits cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis in ER+ breast cancer cells.
  • Eugenol, a compound found in clove oil, inhibits cell proliferation and initiates cancer cell death in both ER+ and ER- breast cancers. Excitingly, one study done in Indonesia found that eugenol  is a potent ERa antagonist. The researchers indicate that not only does it work just like tamoxifen, but it may actually work even better.
  • This list is  not inclusive: There are many more powerful phytoestrogens. For more cancer-fighting alternatives to pharmaceuticals, please read my articles on Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors and Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen.

Phytoestrogens can be our friends, but know that herbs are powerful. I have no concerns with food-based phytos, but do take care with extracts. They are best rotated so as to maximize benefits, reduce the chances of resistance, and avoid interactions. Drugs, of course, are often even more dangerous, yet are routinely prescribed.

                               Trust me, I’m a doctor” Peter Gøtsche

I interviewed Peter Gøtsche, author of Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime, on my radio show a few years back. Amazing man, whose controversial views have since gotten him tossed from the Cochrane Collaboration, which he co-founded. Sadly, there are many who wish to silence the voices who speak against Big Pharma.

Like me, Gøtsche worries that most people let their doctors make the decisions for them, but the evidence tells us that we should be cautious. He is a strong advocate for the avoidance of drugs and while not against medical interventions, believes one can not just blindly follow the orders of the medical community.

Notably, there is tremendous variability in the metabolic processing of phytoestrogens and pharmacological drugs, thus establishing the difficulty and complexity of this topic. The bottom line is that it extremely important that one understand that it may not make logical sense to attempt to poison one’s way back to health. Certainly drug therapies have worked for many. That said, NO ONE was every born tamoxifen or AI deficient, but over time we may become estrogen dominant, increasing our risk for cancer. It behooves us all to do our research and decide for ourselves whether drugs or holistic remedies are best, or even a combination of both.  

Estrogen plays many important roles in humans, so it may not make sense to arbitrarily take it away. If you are estrogen dominant (meaning out of balance with progesterone), you may want to consider a bio-identical progesterone cream (I like that one as it is paraben-free, soy-free, and Non GMO).

Read Part I of this article HERE.

Reminder: To get an additional $30 off on the online course for breast cancer,  Toxic Free Me, enroll now and use this LINK. This course will further delve into alternatives for anti-hormonal therapies.

An online course not right for you? Know that I am always there for individual consultations.  To inquire about a consult, please visit me HERE.

Life is a journey, just be sure that journey is on-course for a healthy life.

In your everlasting good health,

Elyn

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

ej portrait 150res for PrueElyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make healthier, less-toxic choices for their healing. She emphasizes the importance of not just surviving cancer, but surviving well and reducing the risk of recurrence. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and the creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in-person. Elyn does not provide online advice.

DISCLAIMER:
Elyn Jacobs does not provide medical advice. The information provided is for general information only. No online site should be used as a substitute for personal medical attention.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535874/; Notably, there are numerous  crsos-references cited in this article that support the use of phytoestogens as nutraceutical anti-hormone therapies for various cancers.

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535874/

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535874/; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4699002/

[iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27194038; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535874

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535874/#B61-ijms-18-01381; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535874/

[vi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8625449

[vii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28396216; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5033666/

[viii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26771497; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25408199

[ix] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19578798

[x] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21741436

[xi] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4203161/#b9

[xii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535874

[xiii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26614455

[xiv] https://elynjacobs.com/2016/02/28/flaxseed-better-than-tamoxifen-for-breast-cancer/; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29032105; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22136581

 

Pau d’arco for Breast, Prostate, Colon, and Other Cancers

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, antioxidants, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cancer Coach, chemotherapy, CLA and Cancer, colon cancer, Epstein-Barr Virus, Estrogen, Estrogen and Breast Cancer, foods that target cancer stem cells, Healing Cancer Naturally, inflammation, prostate cancer, SERMS, supplements that target cancer stem cells, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on November 1, 2019 at 8:56 am

Pau d’arco, also known as Taheebo, is extracted from the inner bark of several species of Tabebuia trees that grow in Central and South America. The medicinal uses of Pau d’arco (PDA) date back to 1873.  PDA has been used in South America to treat a wide range of conditions, including pain, ulcers, arthritis, fever, prostatitis, Candida, osteoarthritis, cough, influenza, herpes, diabetes, ulcers, warts, infections, allergies, and even cancer, particularly cancers of the breast, colon, lung, prostate, and malignant melanoma.

What the Docs Have to Say

Dr. James Duke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Dr. Norman Fransworth of the University of Illinois have reported PDA contains active substances (such as β-lapachone and lapacho) found to be highly effective against various cancers. Dr Paulo Martin, a Brazilian medical researcher, reported that PDA has powerful antibiotic, virus and cancer-killing properties.[i] The late integrative oncologist Dr. Mitch Gaynor also used Pau d’arco with his cancer patients.

What the Studies Say

Scientists have discovered that compounds in PDA called naphthoquinones (mainly lapachol and beta-lapachone) are the reason for these impressive healing abilities. PDA also contains a significant amount of the antioxidant quercetin, which has been found to inhibit growth of cancer cells, including cancer stem cells. Some of the exciting cancer research on PDA:

  • Exhibits selective anti-proliferative effects in carcinoma cell lines, including ER+MCF-7 breast cancer cells[ii]
  • Inhibits the growth of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cells and activates cancer-fighting genes[iii]
  • May block estrogen receptors [much like the SERM tamoxifen] as it is a powerful phytoestrogen [iv]
  • Effective against some bacteria, fungi, viruses (including Epstein Barr), and parasites that may be involved in cancerous processes
  • Induces cell death in prostate cancer lines[v]
  • Induces apoptosis independent of P53 expression; notably, over-expression of bcl2, a contributor for a number of cancers – including melanoma, breast, prostate, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and lung cancer, does not appear to inhibit the  B-lapachone in PDA[vi]
  • Inhibits angiogenesis, the ability of tumors to make new blood vessels in prostate and other cancers[vii]
  • Suppresses the growth and angiogenesis of lung cancer[viii]
  • Inhibits the growth of cancer in a wide range of cancers, such as breast, prostate, cervical, liver, lung, and colon* (see Quercetin below)
  • Appears to increase the effectiveness of chemo and decreases side effects

Research also shows that the lapachol in PDA may have the ability to stimulate the production of red blood cells in bone marrow, which could be helpful for those with low red blood cell counts (RBC). Pau d’arco is also thought to eliminate toxins in the body and purify the blood.

Enjoy Pau d’arco tea, tincture or capsules. Another good tincture is Pau D’ Arco Plus, which also contains dandelion and red clover. Use of PDA during pregnancy is not advised. A potent herb, PDA should be cycled – meaning a few weeks on and then take a break for a few weeks – or swapped out for another cancer-fighting herb. This is especially important for those taking drugs or herbs that thin the blood or for Candida, as resistant strains of Candida can develop.

Please also read my related published articles:

*Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment  Contains a discussion on the powerful anticancer effects of quercetin.

Etiology of Chronic Disease: A Discussion on Epstein-Barr Virus

Spotlight on CLA, a Cancer-Fighting Fatty Acid: CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a fatty acid found in grass-fed meats and dairy products, but can also be taken in supplement form.  CLA suppresses the development of cancer at various levels. CLA has been shown to decrease skin, liver, and colon cancer. Activating protein-1 (AP-1) is one of the main promoters of colon and breast cancer, but it is blocked by CLA (licorice root and rosemary-fresh or essential oil also do this). Human abdominal, breast, and axillary fat have the ability to convert androgens into estrogens. Some studies show CLA helps rid the body of belly fat and may modulate immune and inflammatory responses.

To get an additional $30 off on the Online Course for Breast Cancer, Toxic Free Me, enroll now and use this LINK.

Additional Resources for this article:

In your good health,

Elyn

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

ej portrait 150res for PrueElyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make healthier, less-toxic choices for their healing. She emphasizes the importance of not just surviving cancer, but surviving well and reducing the risk of recurrence. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and the creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in-person. Elyn does not provide online advice.

DISCLAIMER:
Elyn Jacobs does not provide medical advice. The information provided is for general information only. No online site should be used as a substitute for personal medical attention.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

Follow Elyn on Facebook

Follow Elyn on LinkedIn

[i] https://books.google.com/books?id=RIydBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA120&lpg=PA120&dq=dr+norman+farnsworth+pau+d%27arco&source=bl&ots=ZqFrjj9sQr&sig=

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19578798; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25891355

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19578798

[iv]  http://www.ndhealthfacts.org/wiki/Phytoestrogen

[v] https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/55/17/3712.short; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27048660; http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/pharmacy/currentstudents/OnCampusPharmDStudents/ExperientialProgram/Documents/nutr_monographs/Monograph-pau_darco.pdf

[vi] https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/55/17/3712.short

[vii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27048660

[viii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27048660

New Online Course for Breast Cancer: Toxic Free Me

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, antioxidants, aromatase inhibitors, BPA and breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cancer Coach, chemo and cancer stem cells, chemotherapy, colon cancer, Estrogen, Estrogen and Breast Cancer, foods that target cancer stem cells, Healing Cancer Naturally, High Dose Vitamin C, Hormone Balance, inflammation, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Iodine, Mind Body Therapies for Cancer, Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors, prostate cancer, Radiation, radiation and cancer stem cells, Tamoxifen, targeting cancer stem cells, trapped emotions and cancer stem cells, Uncategorized, what causes cancer to spread on October 28, 2019 at 9:22 am

As a holistic cancer coach (and survivor of stage 3 hormone-positive breast cancer), I work with people with many different types of cancer. However, the majority come to me looking to avoid the dreaded tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors, Herceptin, Lupron, and other drugs and treatments, such as chemo and radiation. And of course, everyone is looking to get through cancer with the least amount of collateral damage and to do what they can to reduce the risk of recurrence or further cancers–to survive and live well. I coach one-on-one, but also offer a plethora of information on my website. However, some people are looking for options other than individual coaching or DIY (do-it-yourself) healing.

About a year ago I decided I would offer a webinar course to cover these topics and more. However, as life and work got very busy, I put that on hold. Meanwhile, my colleague and friend, Marnie Clark is now offering a fantastic ‘how-to-get-through-breast-cancer-course. Toxic Free Me is a comprehensive online-course with multiple learning modules.

The beauty of the course is that you can learn at your own pace. Plus, she will be adding to the course as new information comes out, and subscribers will have full access at no additional charge. The course is valued at $295 and offered for a limited time at $179, but if you enroll now and use this LINK, you get the entire course for only $149, with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Is this course for you? Are you determined to survive your cancer and live well? Are you looking for safe, non-toxic remedies for your cancer (alongside or without conventional treatments) that will support your body, build your immune system, and lower your risk of recurrence? Have a look at the full course description HERE.

Remember, when you enroll now and use this LINK, you get the entire course for only $149.

This information is for educational and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

In your good health,

Elyn

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

Marnie_homepageMarnie Clark is a breast cancer coach, and also a 15-year breast cancer survivor. Marnie has studied natural medicine for over 25 years and knew that in order for her own body to heal from breast cancer, it would require a blend of both conventional and natural medicine. She now teaches others going through breast cancer about the things in nature that help to make the body hostile terrain for cancer cells, as well as empowering clients with knowledge about the lifestyle alterations that are crucial to the healing process. Marnie draws from several decades of experience in the disciplines of massage therapy, natural healing and nutrition, aromatherapy and energy healing. Her website is https://MarnieClark.com.

ej portrait 150res for PrueElyn Jacobs is a 12-year breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make healthier, less-toxic choices for their healing. She emphasizes the importance of not just surviving cancer, but surviving well and reducing the risk of recurrence. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and the creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in-person. Elyn does not provide online advice.

 DISCLAIMER:
Elyn Jacobs does not provide medical advice. The information provided is for general information only. No online site should be used as a substitute for personal medical attention.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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What You Need to Know About Sugar and Breast Cancer—It’s NOT What You Think!

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, aromatase inhibitors, Boosting Estrogen, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Estrogen and Breast Cancer, Hormone Balance, SERMS, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on October 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Cancer loves sugar, we all know that – sugar feeds cancer and suppresses the immune system. The effects of each dose can last for 5-6 hours. The more sugar we eat, the faster cancer cells can grow. But do you know why sugar happens to love breast cancer?

Cells require sugar for energy, but it needs help to get into the cells. Insulin is the helper that attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Food sources that boost insulin production and regulate blood sugar levels include red cabbage, sweet potatoes, fenugreek seeds, curcumin, blueberries, vitamin D, and Ceylon cinnamon (so please continue to eat them). However, consuming sugar (sweets, pasta, and many bread, including whole wheat) raises blood sugar levels quickly. The pancreas responds to this by pumping out insulin to lower blood sugar levels. Over time, this can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity. When this happens, the body begins to ignore the signal to take glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells. This triggers the body to start producing even more insulin. The more insulin, the more circulating estrogen there is to stimulate breast cancer cells.

     Sugar spikes insulin levels. Insulin regulates how much estrogen is available to stimulate breast cells. The more sugar you consume, the higher your circulating estrogen levels.

In the Fall 2019 issue of Breast Cancer Wellness there is an excellent article on sugar and its connection to estrogen, written by Dr Christine Horner, M.D. According to Horner, sugar “attacks a portion of the estrogen cycle, making more estrogen available to attach to the estrogen receptors in breast tissue. Insulin regulates how much of the estrogen in your blood is available to attach to estrogen receptors in your breast tissue. When estrogen travels in the blood, it either travels alone seeking a mate (an estrogen receptor), or it travels with a partner (a protein binder) that prevents it from attaching to an estrogen receptor. Insulin regulates the number of protein binders in the blood. So, the higher your insulin levels are, the fewer the number of protein binders there will be and therefore the more free estrogen that will be available to attach to estrogen receptors.  In other words, when your insulin levels are up, free-estrogen levels are up too. And both of them speed up cell division. That’s why high insulin levels increase your risk of breast cancer so much.” She further explains that “when insulin attaches to its receptor, it has the same effect as when estrogen attaches to its receptor; it causes cells to start dividing. The higher your insulin levels are, the faster your breast cells will divide; the faster they divide, the higher your risk of breast cancer is and the faster any existing cancer cells will grow.”

Addressing Estrogen Receptors with SERMS

To address estrogen receptor positive cancers, oncologists often recommend SERMS (selective receptor modulators) such as tamoxifen. However, tamoxifen is a carcinogenic drug that comes with significant side effects, including an increased risk of cancer.

Research shows that phytoestrogens,  plant-derived estrogens that can actually cause anti-estrogenic effects by binding to estrogen receptors (much like tamoxifen), might be worthy of consideration. The potential effects of dietary phytoestrogens have been studied to lower the risk of menopausal symptoms, cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, brain function disorders, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, endometrium, prostate, and other cancers

I will address the role of phytoestrogens as holistic selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS vs Tamoxifen) in a subsequent post.  I will also address the question of ‘do aromatase inhibitors actually increase your risk of breast or other cancers?’. Meanwhile, you may wish to read my many articles on natural alternatives to anti-hormone therapies such as aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen.

In your good health,

Elyn

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

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a holistic cancer strategist and speaker specializing in the prevention and treatment of cancer. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and the creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in-person. Elyn does not provide online advice.

DISCLAIMER:
Elyn Jacobs does not provide medical advice. The information provided is for general information only. No online site should be used as a substitute for personal medical attention.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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[i] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190212162216.htm

 

Gluten-Free Anticancer, Anti-inflammatory Seeded Flatbread

In Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Estrogen and Breast Cancer, Hot Flashes and Night Sweats, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on January 21, 2019 at 8:51 am

This protein-rich, anticancer, anti-inflammatory flatbread is delicious with runny eggs (and lots of cancer-fighting herbs) or as a canvas for sliced avocado and tomato or other open-faced sandwich offerings. I also love it with pesto and finely grated Parmesan cheese when the bread is hot from the oven.

flatbread

Buckwheat is actually not wheat, but rather a seed that is naturally gluten-free. It is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Buckwheat has been found to boost heart health and reduce blood sugar and cancer risk. Its antioxidants, flavonoids, and other compounds fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Flax and sesame seeds offer anti-cancer lignans which can significantly reduce tumor growth by increasing cell death and decreasing angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels that allow cancer to advance). Lignans are phytoestrogens that can relieve the symptoms of menopause and modulate the effects of estrogen in the body by connecting to their receptors (just as tamoxifen does) thus inhibiting cancer cell replication. This is because they have a very similar chemical structure as to an estrogen molecule. Studies have found that consuming 25-30 grams of flaxseed daily inhibits the growth of ER+ and ER- breast cancers and reduces the metastasis of breast tumors.[[i] Flaxseed is also high in omega 3’s, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and antioxidants which further defeat cancer.

While flaxseeds have approximately 100 times more lignans than other foods, a new study showed that sesame seeds may rival flax in the lignan arena.[ii]  The researchers found sesame to be a better inducer of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in breast cancer cells than flaxseed. It could be that whole sesame seeds are more easily digested than whole flax and that particular study used un-ground flaxseed[iii], so more research needs to be done (I always recommend grinding flax just prior to ingestion). Meanwhile sesame seeds are a rich source of plant-based calcium and protein, and certainly a good source of lignans. They also help lower blood pressure and oxidative stress, and reduce diabetic neuropathic pain and inflammation.

Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory and high in protein and omega 3′ fatty acids. Poppy seeds offer vitamins and minerals, and bestow antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that support the blood, bones, and gut.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup buckwheat groats
  • 2 Tbs. flax seeds
  • ¼ cup raw, sprouted sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbs. chia seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried parsley
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs olive or coconut oil (melted)
  • Seed topping (recipe below)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling (optional)

 Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small rimmed 10 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper
  2. In a spice or coffee grinder, grind the oats until they resemble flour; transfer to a medium bowl and do the same with the groats. Coarsely grind the flax seeds and add them to the bowl. Add the sunflower and chia seeds, the spices, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the coconut milk, syrup, and oil and stir until combined. Spread the batter onto the prepared baking sheet.  It will not leak, but keep it on the paper. Sprinkle it with the seed mixture and coarse Celtic sea salt to taste. Drizzle with a very small amount of olive oil, if desired.
  4. Bake 20 minutes on a low rack in the oven. Move the pan to the upper rack and rotate the pan; bake 5-10 minutes more or until firm to the touch.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Slide the parchment to a board and cut into 6-8 pieces with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
  6. Store the flatbread in an airtight container for a few days or freeze to enjoy later.

Seed Topping:

2 Tbs. raw, sprouted sunflower seeds

½ tsp. chia seeds

2 tsp. poppy seeds

2 Tbs. sesame seeds

This recipe was inspired by a recipe in Angela Liddon’s amazing “The Oh She Glows Cookbook”. There are so many delicious recipes in this book –mouthwatering soups, stews, and more so I highly recommend it.

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808339/

[ii] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/sesame-may-eclipse-flaxseed-ultimate-healing-seed?fbclid=IwAR2YKTl7BTIY2teL4IhXo0EJ6ylpl4pM2y5FPppBpC1Gi4oEeU7j1a7tZTg

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22136581

You can find groats and sprouted seeds at Whole Foods and other markets or here at Amazon:               Buckwheat Groats         Raw, Sprouted Sunflower Seeds

Enjoy in good health,

Elyn

Elyn Jacobs is a holistic cancer strategist and speaker specializing in the prevention and treatment of cancer. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in person.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment.  This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

Affiliate Links Disclosure:

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part through the use of affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link, and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

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Why Aromatase Inhibitors Fail Women

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on November 13, 2017 at 5:27 am

Aromatase inhibitors fail when tumors outsmart them.  Researchers have long been studying how resistance to aromatase inhibitors (AIs) happens so that they can find a solution. The resistance effectively makes these drugs powerless, causing the cancer to return. One in every four or five women relapse within ten years of AI treatment and develop metastatic cancer. [i]

Estrogen plays an important role in the development of hormone-dependent breast carcinomas, or at least some estrogens do. While ovarian estrogen synthesis ceases at menopause, peripheral and local tissue’s aromatization of androgens to estrogens continues and becomes the main source of estradiol (the more cancer-promoting estrogen). What this means is that while your ovaries are no longer producing estrogen after menopause, and your adrenals are producing only a small amount, breast cancer cells may actually have a way to produce their own food supply.

Theoretically, the aromatase inhibitor could be reducing circulating estrogen to dangerously low levels, while estrogen in the breast, axillary, and belly could still be dangerously high. Hence, AIs fail the patient, who then suffers the ill-effects of the drugs with no benefit.

The Research

Until recently, scientists assumed the tumors developed resistance in some way, but didn’t know how. Scientists have now discovered why AIs may stop working in some patients. Research done at the Imperial College London and the European Institute of Oncology in Milan has found that some breast tumors evolve to make their own estrogen, rendering AIs ineffective. While the ovaries cease to produce estrogen after menopause, the hormone is still made in other tissues via the enzyme aromatase.[ii] The team, led by Dr Luca Magnani, found that in one in four patients taking AIs, the tumors had increased production of aromatase in the cancer cells. They found that the tumors were able to increase the number of aromatase genes via a process known as amplification.

So, while AIs work by cutting off the tumor’s fuel supply (estrogen), the cancer adapts by making its own –an efficient survival mechanism. The research points to a particular gene (CYP19A1).  When more copies of this gene are produced, it triggers the increased production of aromatase, the very enzyme the drugs are trying to block. This allows cancer cells to make their own estrogen and thus reproduce and spread.[iii] It seems to be a bit of a survival mechanism-the AI cuts off the food supply so the tumor outsmarts it by making its own.

We found that 21.5% of AI-treated, relapsed patients had acquired CYP19A1 (encoding aromatase) amplification (CYP19A1amp)…CYP19A1 amplification caused increased aromatase activity and estrogen-independent ERα binding to target genes, resulting in CYP19A1amp cells showing decreased sensitivity to AI treatment. These data suggest that AI treatment itself selects for acquired CYP19A1amp and promotes local autocrine estrogen signaling in AI-resistant metastatic patients.[iv]

When an aromatase inhibitor stops working, most oncologists will try another type of AI.  The problem is that if the cancer cells have started making their own aromatase, the second (or third) drug will be useless. Identifying the over-expression of the CYP19A1 may help doctors determine which women are not good candidates for AI therapy or who might be candidates for alternative therapies. The aforementioned researchers are now working on a test to identify whether a patient’s tumor has started to increase aromatase production, and make its own estrogen.

Dr. Magnani also suggested that when cancer returns, a biopsy should be done to see how the cancer has evolved, which may help guide treatment decisions. Often this can be helpful, but just as often, it fails to offer much information. This is a decision you need to make in consultation with your oncologist or other qualified professional.

Obesity Plays a Role

Excess body weight has been linked to an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, and research also suggests that obesity is associated with poor prognosis in women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Fat tissue contains the enzyme aromatase that converts hormones called androgens to estrogens. Human abdominal, breast, and axillary fat have the ability to convert androgens into estrogens.

So, heavier women end up with higher blood estrogen levels as well as enhanced local production of estrogen than leaner women. Elevated serum estrogen levels as well as enhanced local production of estrogen have been considered primary mediators of how increased body weight promotes breast cancer development in postmenopausal women.

On the Horizon

I have long been pointing out that most of have seriously declining levels of estrogen as we age –which has been found to compromise overall health. For this reason, AIs are quite dangerous as they block essential estrogen.

However, it has recently been reported that plasma estrogen levels do not necessarily reflect tissue estrogen concentrations. Several studies have found that tissue estrogen levels may be ten- to 20-fold higher compared to plasma levels in postmenopausal women. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated that a large proportion (close to 100%) of the biologically active estrogen is considered to be produced locally in the breast carcinoma after menopause.[v] Therefore, likely a more effective method would be to inhibit estrogen of breast tissue than that of systemic circulation. More studies need to be done on this.

At this point, studies are being conducted in China to see if a locally-applied aromatase-inhibiting patch using letrozole would be effective and offer a less toxic solution to the standard drug AIs.

As reported in AAPS PharmSCiTech (a Journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists), a mouse study revealed that compared with oral administration, transdermal administration could produce high local drug concentrations and low circulating drug concentrations. This could reduce systemic side effects. Therefore, it might be a new option for breast cancer therapy to inhibit aromatase activity via transdermal patches for site-specific delivery of letrozole.

But again, more studies need to be done to determine if a local patch would be effective for cells outside the breast area, and independent studies should also be done (ones not paid for by a pharmaceutical company).

So, should women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer take inhibitors of estrogens? The decision of whether or not to use estrogen blockers is a complex one that each woman can only make if fully informed. The potential negative effects on the brain, heart, and overall quality and quantity of life, as well as treatment failure, should be weighed against the immediate risk of recurrence.

However, in making a treatment decision, it is most important to speak with an oncologist who is fully aware of the limitations and potential negative effects of these drugs and who is prepared to discuss alternative options. It is equally important to educate yourself on natural alternatives as typically these options are not discussed by medical doctors.

Important is to realize that in the presence of adequate progesterone, estrogen cannot easily fuel breast cancer tumors.[vi] Perhaps for now, a better solution is to make every effort to reduce aromatase activity and to increase production of progesterone.

Progesterone may also be the answer to why AIs seem to work for some.  I could postulate that the answer again might be progesterone, especially for those patients who are PR + as well as ER+, but that is just one possibility.

For more information regarding consideration of natural alternatives, please read:

Natural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer  

Why You May Want to Reconsider Estrogen-Blocking Aromatase Inhibitors and Tamoxifen 

* The CYP19A1 gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called aromatase. This enzyme converts a class of hormones called androgens, which are involved in male sexual development, to different forms of the female sex hormone estrogen. Mutations in this gene can result in either increased or decreased aromatase activity.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo anti-hormone therapy. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist and make your own decisions.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence. 

ej portrait 150resElyn

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

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and certified holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

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[i] https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3773   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5326683/

[ii]

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_23-1-2017-16-57-16

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2017-01-24-new-insights-into-why-breast-cancer-drugs-fail-for-some-women/

[iv] https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3773

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2974128/

[vi]  http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/45/1/277.short

 

Adrenal Fatigue and Breast Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cell Phones, EMF's, Tamoxifen on June 7, 2017 at 9:52 am

The adrenal glands are widely known for the production of the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. But what many people do not realize is that the adrenals also produce cancer-protective progesterone.

Unfortunately, when the body is under stress, progesterone production is reduced as the body orders cortisol in order to reduce that stress. This (and other related consequences) puts a person at significantly higher risk of breast cancer as well as the progression of the dis-ease.

Fight or Flight

When your body is under stress, the adrenal glands release the hormones adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones provide the “fight or flight” response that protects you when you are in danger.  While this could be helpful if you are being chased by a ferocious animal, in this modern world that doesn’t happen often.  However, we do face many modern-day stressors, often 24/7.  Over time, being in the fight or flight mode from morning until night can wreak havoc on your health.  While that boost of cortisol might save you from a tiger, the constant flow of cortisol day in and day out will wear out your adrenal glands.

Adrenals and Hormones

Hormonal imbalances associated with progesterone deficiency are directly tied into the health of the adrenal glands. The more stress in your life, the more you tax your adrenals.

When your body is under stress and orders more cortisol, the body uses its resources (pregnenolone and progesterone) to make cortisol instead of progesterone.  And actually, the adrenal glands literally steal progesterone to make cortisol, which leads to lower levels of progesterone. This then leads to estrogen dominance, which increases our risk for breast cancer.  This is especially a problem for most-menopausal women, whose hormone production relies on the adrenals instead of the ovaries.

Most significantly, it is shown that high amounts of estrogen (especially chemical estrogens) can increase one’s risk of breast cancer.  However, while estrogen has been associated with breast (and endometrial) cancer, progesterone has strong cancer-preventive effects.

However, the body’s way of counterbalancing estrogen is progesterone. When this balancing mechanism is dysfunctional due to a lack of progesterone, a myriad of health-related problems can arise, including breast cancer.

You may have read that progesterone also fuels breast cancer, and you would be correct in believing that. However, this only applies to synthetic progestins, not your own progesterone (and for most this includes protective bioidentical progesterone). To learn more, please read my article The Truth About Progesterone and Breast Cancer.

Notably, progesterone is not only protective of the breast, uterus, and ovaries, but it has a calming effect (reduces stress) and contributes to the formation of new bone tissue.

To learn more about estrogen and progesterone and their role in breast cancer, please request my Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts.

How to Tell If You Have Adrenal Fatigue

If you have been under constant stress for a prolonged period of time, you may be at the point where adrenals are fatigued and your hormones are significantly out of balance.

Adrenal Fatigue is simply your body’s way of preventing you from expending energy it does not have.  It is your body alerting you to slow down and give it the nurturing support it needs.

Adrenal fatigue symptoms are the body’s cry for you to take corrective action at the root level. Not recognizing these symptoms can have grave consequences, including breast cancer and the progression of the dis-ease.

Are YOU Suffering from Adrenal Exhaustion?

Answer yes or no to the following…the more ‘yes’ answers you have, the more exhausted your adrenals (there are other symptoms as well, but these are some of the most common ones):

  • Do you suffer from morning fatigue or low energy?
  • Do you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep?
  • Do you crave salty, fatty, or sweet foods?
  • Do you have blood sugars issues (hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia)?
  • Do you have an afternoon slump between the hours of 2 and 5pm?
  • Do you often have muscle aches or pains for no apparent reason?
  • Do you have an increased sense of irritability?
  • Have you noticed an increase in belly fat and an inability to get rid of it?
  • Do you have a decreased sex drive?
  • Do you have low blood pressure?
  • Do you have low body temperature or feel cold all of the time?
  • Do you have an increase in mood swings and or depression? Lack of enthusiasm?
  • Do you experience dizziness when getting up quickly from a lying or sitting position?
  • Do you suffer from increased allergies even if you have never had allergies before? Do you have food allergies?
  • Do you have increased PMS or menopausal symptoms?
  • Do you use a cell phone or computer in the evening?

 EMFs and Adrenal Fatigue

Cell phone EMFs stimulate the body’s stress system, decreasing your ability to wind down and fall asleep.  Then once you finally do fall asleep, the EMFs interfere with the deep sleep your body needs to recover and repair. This is especially a problem if you sleep with your phone nearby and you don’t resist the urge to check messages when you wake up during the night.  Plus, poor sleep causes the adrenals to pump more cortisol…which keeps you awake longer and causes you to wake up after you fall asleep…one big vicious cycle.

This also applies to the use of computers in the evening, or gasp, during the night—you know the type, they wake up and feel the need to go online before going back to sleep—don’t let that be you.

What You Can Do NOW

First off, it is important to consume a clean diet loaded with organic fruits and vegetables.  Drink and cook with pure water. Avoid processed foods, conventional meats and dairy products as well as fake foods, such as soy cheeses and ‘meat substitutes’.  Despite what the vegan cookbooks would lead you to believe, these ‘foods’ are highly processed dangerous foods. if you choose to eat vegan, use nuts, seeds, beans, and other whole foods as your protein source. And don’t forget that skipping meals or eating junk food can throw your blood sugar off.

Relax the mind. Engage in moderate but not intense or excessive exercise as that taxes the adrenals and the immune system.

Do:

  • stabilize blood sugar
  • heal your gut and optimize liver function
  • get more reset and quality sleep
  • keep a gratitude journal
  • engage in moderate exercise and mild strength training
  • realization, meditation and relax the mind
  • consume a healthy diet with supplement support
  • change your perception-we experience more stress when we allow thoughts to create negative feelings

Avoid:

  • rigid thinking; unresolved emotions
  • sleep deprivation
  • energy draining activities; toxic relationships
  • excessive exercise
  • nutrient deficiencies, including protein and healthy fats
  • sugar, alcohol, and caffeine
  • infections, parasites, Candida, heavy metals
  • multitasking, over-working
  • intolerant, inflammatory, addictive foods (gluten, soy, dairy, corn, trans fats, GMOs

However, even the cleanest, most amazing diet and lifestyle can use some help.  The following are some supplemental boosts for adrenal health.

  • Aswaganda—an adaptogen (this means that it reacts to your body’s stress signals and exerts a normalizing effect) that helps normalize your body’s reaction to stress and anxiety. It also helps alleviate brain frog and memory problems associated with chronic stress. Excitingly, it also helps repair damaged brain cells and synapses, which means the repaired cells will then be able to receive messages better, so the body runs more smoothly. Aswaganda also supports the liver, immune system, and adrenals, regulates blood sugar, and lowers cortisol and CRP (C-Reactive Protein)
  • B6—also known as pantothenic acid, helps provide the extra energy your adrenal glands need to respond to stress, and helps repair previous damage to these glands
  • Magnolia extract– mostly known for its anti-stress and cortisol-balancing effects. Contains honkiol, a compound from magnolia bark with multiple anti-cancer functions, including tumor cell death. Magnolia Extract
  • Cordyceps—an adaptogen that fights fatigue and boosts energy. When you are under stress, it helps balance the levels of cortisol so you can cope more easily
  • Rhodiola— balances the body’s stress-response system. Rhodiola is not advised for those with Bipolar or mania.
  • Siberian ginseng—an adaptogen that helps balance stress hormones and rejuvenates adrenal function. Helps decrease anxiety, improve sleep, and reduce irritability
  • Licorice root — helps regulate cortisol, which is needed for the stress-response. Cortisol is not all bad. In fact, the same cortisol your adrenals produce when you are under stress is also responsible for regulating your immune system. When your adrenals are fatigued and don’t produce enough cortisol, you can end up with an enhanced response we know as the allergic response.  That’s right, stressed adrenals can result in more allergy issues. Licorice root also helps prevent the liver from breaking down cortisol so it can be used more efficiently.
  • Schisandra — aids in enhancing mental performance, handling stress better, and generally being more resistant to stress; helps to decrease fatigue. (Do not take with Tamoxifen)
  • Passion Flower — useful as a soothing sleep-aid and in supporting relaxation in times of stress.

Our Hard-Working Adrenals

As you can see from the chart below, the adrenals not only produce our reproductive hormones– estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone– but also the anti-aging hormone DHEA. When your body is under stress and needs more cortisol, the body has to direct more of its resources (pregnenolone and progesterone) to make that cortisol, leaving less to fill these other needs. (The adrenals also produce aldosterone which regulates blood pressure, sodium, and potassium.)

adrenals1

Importantly, the adrenals need cholesterol to make these hormones. So, please do not be so quick to reduce ‘high’ cholesterol levels, but do work towards reducing stress so your body can keep these hormones in balance.

The constant production of cortisol and adrenaline at the expense of other important hormones keeps us in that catabolic state which affects our overall health. Under chronic stress we age faster and our bodies wear down and deteriorate faster.  When we manage our stress, and aren’t over-producing cortisol and adrenaline, we allow our body to make DHEA, testosterone and the other growth hormones that keep us healthy and allow the body to repair and rebuild.

To order my handouts on Colon or Prostate Cancer or on Multiple Myeloma, please follow the instructions on my Contact Page.

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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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 quoted 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 (there is a $25 charge for this).

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 K2
  • 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) and helps increase blood levels of progesterone
  • 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)
  • If you prefer, you might try this paraben-free cream.

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. (Please do not ingest thyme oil–better to get this from fresh thyme, which is delicious and safer.)
    • 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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Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on October 26, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Unfortunately, many oncologists are under the misbelief that estrogen is the enemy, and often misrepresent estrogen as the root cause of one’s cancer. Perhaps your doctor recommended an aromatase inhibitor to get rid of this ‘dangerous’ estrogen. And most likely if you are reading this post it is because you are concerned about the side effects or the resulting effects of these drugs. Or maybe you started on one, feel terrible and are seeking alternatives. Here is what you need to know before you get led down that ‘primrose path’.

The Role of Aromatase Inhibitors

Aromatase inhibitors drugs (AIs) 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.

However, while AIs have been found to prevent some breast cancer recurrences, they have not been found to actually prolong life (meaning you don’t die of the breast cancer, but rather from aromatase inhibitor use). This is due to the resulting effects—as I like to call them—particularly heart damage. They also reduce quality of life due to 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 because of the loss of the estrogen, bone thinning (think broken bones). Not to mention that breast cancers eventually develop resistance to drug therapies.

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. Masking a problem with an aromatase inhibitor is not the same thing as correcting the problem. And even if reducing aromatase might be helpful for you, yes, there is a better way.

Your doctor just might need to better understand the role of hormones in breast cancer. While oncologists know how estrogen receptors fuel the growth of cancer cells, they seem to know a lot less about what progesterone receptors do in those same cells.

The Scoop on Estrogen  

It is time to set things straight. We need estrogen for aiding in the prevention of heart disease and for strong, healthy bones–estrogen is essential to the health of all parts of your body, from your eyes to your heart to your brain to everywhere else. We can we live with our estrogen, we need it; in fact, we can’t live without it. However, estrogen must be balanced by progesterone, which will be discussed below.

Hormonal imbalances have reached epidemic proportions in most developed countries over the last several decades. Due to poor diets, lack of exercise, a rise in obesity levels, the widespread use of hormone-altering chemicals, and other factors, many women suffer from chronically higher than normal estrogen levels and much lower than normal progesterone levels. Age plays a role as well, as after the age of 45 or so, estrogen levels decline, but progesterone plummet even more so. In other words, many women are in chronic states of estrogen dominance. This is one of the key reasons why breast cancer rates are as high as they are.

You see, while certain estrogens can stimulate cancer cell proliferation, progesterone inhibits this from happening. Progesterone acts as an antagonist to estrogen. When there is unopposed estrogen because of a deficiency in progesterone, there is an increased risk of developing cancer. When progesterone is raised to healthy levels relative to estrogen, it turns on genes that can prevent breast cancer from occurring and reduces the size of existing tumors.

So here is what your doctor needs to know. When adequate progesterone is present, the progesterone receptors attach themselves to the estrogen receptors. Once this happens, the estrogen receptors stop turning on genes that promote the growth of the cancer cells. Instead, they turn on genes that promote the death of cancer cells (known as apoptosis) and the growth of healthy, normal cells. In other words, the progesterone receptors activate genes such as p53 that promote apoptosis. Apoptosis enables the body to “kill off” many cancer cells before they develop into tumors. On the other hand, the estrogen receptors directly bind and inactivate p53, which otherwise would restrain the replication of damaged cells. The P53 gene is the primary gene that protects men from prostate cancer and women from breast cancer. So naturally we want to support the p53 gene (which is really the P53 protein).  You can read more about how to support the P53 gene in my Estrogen Handout

It is important to note that progesterone also helps to offset xenoestrogens (chemical estrogens which are foreign to the body) which are difficult for the body to detoxify.

However, it is very important to understand that estrogen, in general DOES NOT CAUSE BREAST CANCER. Cancer is a multifactorial disease– genetics, lifestyle factors, infection, and especially environmental and emotional toxins all play a role. But since we cannot efficiently metabolize xenoestrogens and because of the overall estrogen dominance, inhibiting aromatase is often a good idea. It may not be that you have too much estrogen or that you need to block the estrogen receptors, it could just that you don’t have enough progesterone.

For a more in-depth discussion on how estrogen and progesterone affect the expression of tumor suppressor genes and what you can do to make the expression favorable, please request my Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts.

Is There a Natural Alternative to Aromatase Inhibitors?

Progesterone’s opposition to the effects of estrogen is so basic, that I fail to see how oncologists do not see progesterone as being the ultimate antiestrogen. Given that progesterone stops cell division by opposing the effects of estrogen, and given that it is not in our best interest to completely block estrogen, the real goal of the oncologist should be to reduce estrogen while increasing progesterone.

 While there is no one magic pill for this, a comprehensive strategy will help to support the tumor suppressor genes by supporting the production of progesterone and inhibiting the estrogen-fueled proliferation of cancer cells.  What you eat, do, and think all play a significant role.

  • Eat good food—a diet rich in whole, primarily plant-based foods will support the adrenals and pretty much every function of the body.
  • Consume button mushrooms, rosemary, celery, parsley, pumpkin seeds, raw whole carrots, citrus and other essential oils, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, turmeric, onions, garlic, chives, and scallions which inhibit estrogen and boost progesterone levels.
  • 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. Flaxseed is especially important. Flaxseed: Better Than Tamoxifen and Demystifying Flaxseed and Estrogen.
  • Consume cruciferous vegetables as nutrients derived from them help with the detoxification of estrogen trough the liver. Note that DIM and raw crucifers can inhibit iodine and the thyroid. Estrogen also inhibits the absorption of iodine and impacts thyroid levels. Have your iodine and thyroid levels checked and supplement with iodine if necessary.
  • Eat more vegetables. Aim for 15 servings a day (at least one pound daily). This will help excrete estrogen so it doesn’t keep circulating in the body.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods that are rich in saturated and omega-3 fatty acids such as 100% organic, grass-fed beef & dairy, organic poultry, wild-caught Salmon and wild game are anti-estrogenic. Plant based fats such as avocados, coconut oil and olive oil are all powerful anti-estrogenic superfoods.
  •  Take supplements such as DIM, zinc, Vitex Fruit (Chaste Tree), grape seed extract, magnesium, zinc, ginko biloba,vitamin E, and iodine.
  • Support liver function with milk thistle and other natural detoxifiers. Estrogen is metabolized in the liver. Fortifying the liver will help speed up estrogen clearance from the body. Estrogen that is not metabolized by the liver will continue to circulate, contributing to estrogen dominance.
  • If you are overweight, lose weight. Fat cells increase estrogen production. Increased weight often means insulin resistance and this is a common cause of high estrogen levels.
  • Exercise—it helps reduce stress and positively effects gene expression, and 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.
  • Avoid alcohol, but if you do drink wine, make it organic–you wouldn’t eat conventional grapes, so don’t drink conventional wine.
  • Get more sleep—lack of sleep disturbs hormone balance.
  • Go with your gut, take a probiotic. Probiotics support gut bacteria and improve digestion, helping to prevent constipation. This is important because when the stool remains in the bowel for extended periods of time, excess estrogen is re-absorbed and re-circulated into the bloodstream.

Estrogen is metabolized in the liver. Fortifying the liver will help speed up estrogen clearance from the body. Estrogen that is not metabolized by the liver will continue to circulate, contributing to estrogen dominance and raising the risk of hormonal cancers. Studies show that women with genetically impaired estrogen metabolism function may have a higher risk of breast cancer and may benefit from increased detoxification.

For more detailed information on aromatase inhibitors, natural alternatives to Tamoxifen, and detoxification strategies please request my Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts.

Read also Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen 

Read 12 Things a Cancer Doctor Should Never Say, my most recent article on The Truth About Cancer website. Look for my upcoming article Emotional Trauma and Cancer: The Missing Link, in their October newsletter.

Read Mushrooms as well as the link in that post.

Note: This article is an updated version of my 2012 article.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any diseases or conditions. The information in this post does not represent medical advice, and I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist or naturopathic doctor. Always consult with a medical doctor before you consider any prescription or over the counter drug or herb.

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. 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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Radical Remission Online Healing Course

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Cancer, Healing Cancer Naturally, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on March 19, 2016 at 8:57 am

My colleague Kelly Turner PhD is offering a new online course, “Radical Remission: Applying the 9 Healing Factors Into Your Own Life”.  This is an opportunity you will not want to miss.

CourseAd_SaleEndsFriV2

Book now! It’s 20% off only until April 1st, and my followers will get an extra 10% off if they sign up with this link:  I encourage you to check it out! The regular course price is $245, but if you book by April 1st, the price is only $175.

This discount offer has expired, but the course is still available. 

You may also want to read Dr Turner’s book, Turner_RadicalRemRadical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds.  This is a much overdue book, one that brings awareness and validity to the true extent of radical remissions—remission achieved without the use of conventional medicine or even after conventional medicine has failed. Turner shows that there really is hope, even in situations that seem hopeless.  You will learn that there are options well beyond the ‘white coat’, and that the possibilities for healing are more abundant than we have been told.   I love that Turner explains that there are a vast variety of paths to wellness. She also lists the 9 commonalities that people have used to heal from their cancer–factors such as diet, stress, emotions, spirituality, and others that profoundly affect our health and well-being.  Listen to Dr Turner on my radio show.

 

View my video with Dr Turner : Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen 

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, www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.