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Posts Tagged ‘Breast Cancer’

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

 

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

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, aromatase inhibitors, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cancer Coach, Emotional Healing, Estrogen, Estrogen and Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on November 14, 2019 at 9:59 am

Estrogen play an important role in overall health in humans—it protects your heart, lungs, eyes, brain, bones, skin, and hair, averts cognitive decline, and does so much more. Estrogen is also protective against adverse symptoms during the peri-and postmenopausal periods. But estrogens are known to stimulate cellular proliferation associated with certain cancers. Hence, if you have been diagnosed with a hormone-related cancer, your doctor may advise a synthetic selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) such as tamoxifen or a pharmaceutical aromatase inhibitor such as Femara (letrozole), Arimidex (anastrozole), or Aromasin (exemestane).

Of course, these pharmaceutical drugs come with a host of detrimental side effects. What’s a person to do?

Side Effects and Resulting Effects of Pharmaceutical Anti-Hormone Drugs

pills tamoxifenSome side effects of tamoxifen include severe muscle pain, weight gain, thickening of endometrial lining of the uterus, daytime sleepiness, nausea, edema, hot flashes, vaginal hemorrhage, increased risk of cataracts, acute glaucoma, and other eye issues. It is not recommended to take tamoxifen if you have impaired CYP2D6 enzyme, nor should you take medications that block the activity of CYP2D6, such as Benadryl, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft (these lists are not inclusive) during treatment. Tamoxifen has been declared a human carcinogen by the WHO, NIH and other authorities.

Side effects of aromatase inhibitors include damage to the heart, never-ending flu-like symptoms, hair thinning and loss, joint pain, stiffness and swelling, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and headaches, a feeling of tiredness and lethargy, difficulty breathing, nails breaking down and peeling, memory fog, depression and mood swings, balance problems, sleep disorders, tightness of the chest, bone thinning, and more.

In the summer edition of Cure magazine, they spoke of a doctor who when asked why he didn’t tell his patient about the side effects of the prescribed hormonal therapy, replied “some women would not take the pill if they knew bout the side effects”. Incidentally, these were not listed on the medical paper that came with her bill.

Clinical trials have indicated that resistance develops with both tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. This is another major pharmaceutical problem and cause of serious concern to clinicians and patients.

So, again what exactly is a person to do?

The easiest and most logical answer is to eat copious amounts of phytoestrogens throughout the day.

Phytoestrogens are plant-derived naturally occurring compounds that have chemical structures similar to estrogens. Phytoestrogens have been found to decrease cancer risk by inhibiting aromatase activity and CYP19 gene expression (The aromatase enzyme is a product of the CYP19A1 gene).

Aromatase plays an important role in breast cancer as it converts androgens to estrogens in many human tissues, the result of which has been known to stimulate cellular proliferation in certain cancers. In the vast majority of breast cancers, estrogen levels play a role tumor growth and depend on the activity of CYP19.

Research performed in 2015 by the Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology and The Neuroscience Center at Brigham Young University, indicates that phytoestrogens act as aromatase inhibitors by decreasing aromatase gene expression and inhibiting the aromatase enzyme. Their findings emphasize that estrogens have a significant impact on health and that phytoestrogens (being of similar structure to 17β-estradiol) have strong potential as anticancer agents.[i]

The researchers concluded that phytoestrogens not only act as SERMs (as has been previously reported and I will get into in Part II of this post), but also have the ability to alter the activity of the aromatase enzyme. They go on to remind us that the inhibition of aromatase activity and gene expression represents a key mechanism of how phytoestrogens may contribute to decreased cancer risk and recurrence.

The important difference is that phytoestrogens do not initiate the cascade of negative effects of pharmaceutical drugs and as estrogen modulators, may stave off the negative effects of declining estrogen, making them effective in more ways than one. Further, unlike drugs, they offer significant cancer-fighting abilities. For example, the apigenin in parsley is known not only for its aromatase-inhibiting abilities, but also for promoting cancer cell death, including cancer stem cells. parsley

In Part II of this post I will discuss many different phytoestrogens—all of which play a significant roll in the management of hormone-related cancers. In the meantime, a few of my favorites are flax and sesame seeds, broccoli sprouts, including the seeds (sulforaphane), parsley (apigenin), and organic whole soy.

However, as a strong reminder, estrogen is not the biggest driver of cancer, at least not your own estrogen. Emotional and environmental toxins (including xenoestrogens such as BPA and BPS) are often at the root of it all, as well as the viral factor—it is imperative that you resolve these issues as well as anything that may have contributed to your cancerous environment.

Importantly, it is not always wise or even necessary to reduce estrogen (many post-menopausal women already suffer from low estrogen). This is especially true for very thin women as post-menopause, estrogen is no longer made in the ovaries, but rather from adipose tissue (fat, especially in the breasts and belly), of which they may have very little. (This is also why many doctors advise their patients to lose weight, if necessary). Thin women might benefit more by raising progesterone. Reminder that you have to be very careful with compounded bio-identicals; read more HERE.

Many of my followers have been asking about a safe  bio-identical progesterone cream (It is paraben-free, soy-free, and Non GMO). 

Read Part II HERE

Below are just some of the articles I have written on natural alternatives to tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors:

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

Natural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer

What to Do if You Have Low Estrogen Levels and Your Doctor Prescribes an Aromatase Inhibitor

Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Managing Estrogen Naturally

Flaxseed, Better than Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer

Flaxseed, the Anticancer Power Seed

Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors

 

Reminder: To get an additional $30 off on Marnie Clarks’ online course for breast cancer,  Toxic Free Me, enroll now and use this LINK. This course will also 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!

Follow Elyn on Facebook

Follow Elyn on LinkedIn

 

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4699002/

Could Aromatase Inhibitors Actually Increase One’s Risk for Breast Cancer?

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, aromatase inhibitors, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Estrogen, Estrogen and Breast Cancer, Hormone Balance, Hot Flashes and Night Sweats, Soy and Breast Cancer Risk, Uncategorized on October 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Most oncologists recommend estrogen blockers or aromatase inhibitors for those with hormone-sensitive cancers. However, new research shows that decreased estrogen levels can promote insulin resistance, which may actually increase the risk of cancer of the breast, endometrium, and ovaries. 

To recap from my previous post, What You Need to Know About Sugar and Breast Cancer, insulin resistance leads to increased insulin in the body. High insulin triggers breast cancer cells to divide and grow.

After menopause many women face a dramatic increase in insulin resistance (and start noticing belly fat that wasn’t there before). Declining estrogen is considered to be the reason.[i] If decreased estrogen promotes insulin resistance, could intentionally reducing estrogen increase one’s risk of breast cancer? Can aromatase inhibitors actually promote breast cancer? Research shows they just might.

Decreased Estrogen Levels Promote Insulin Resistance

Studies (both clinical and animal) have shown a strong correlation between circulating estrogen deficiency and insulin resistance. At Texas A&M, a team lead by Dr. Shaodong Guo identified that decreased serum estrogen levels promote insulin resistance and that even a slight decrease in circulatory estrogen levels is associated with resistance and may increase the risk of cancer of the breast, endometrium, and ovaries. The researchers found that “for premenopausal women, even a slight decrease in their circulatory estrogen levels associated with insulin resistance may increase the risk for cancers, particularly in the organs having high estrogen demand (breast, endometrium and ovary). On the other hand, postmenopausal state with profound estrogen deficiency confers high risk for cancers in different organs with either high or moderate estrogen demand.”[ii]

According to the Guo, the lead investigator for the Texas A&M study, estrogen deficiency or impaired estrogen signaling is associated with insulin resistance. “Studies have shown the reduction of estrogen in postmenopausal women accelerates the development of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.” He further explains that estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women can reduce insulin resistance. “Clinical trials of estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women have demonstrated a lowered insulin resistance as well as reductions in plasma glucose levels.”

2015 research published in the Journal or Diabetes Research also concluded that the loss of circulating estrogen E2 and impairment of its cellular activity can lead to an abrupt reduction in metabolic rate and that E2 replacement is preventive. “It is very clear that E2 has tremendous potential as a therapeutic against diabetes and its associated complications, but it has to be administered in a safer form and personalized to individual needs”. [iii]  While the link between synthetic HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and breast cancer has been established and therefore may not be an option, it  just doesn’t make sense to intentionally lower our own already-declining natural estrogen.

Many women choose bio-identical hormones, but to be clear, bios are not ‘natural’, they are chemically constructed in a lab. According to Dr Mache Seibel, M.D., author of The Estrogen Window, you have to be careful with compounded bio-identicals. He says that studies show that despite the fact that the prescription may be filled correctly, typically progesterone tends to be 60-80% lower than ordered and estrogen 80-200% higher than ordered which can result in increased estrogen dominance and could raise your risk of hormone-driven cancer. He also points out the serious risks of declining estrogen, which include increasing your risk of heart disease by 30% and dementia 70%. 

Why You Need Estrogen 

We need estrogen for aiding in the prevention of heart disease and for strong, healthy bones. In fact, estrogen is essential to the health of all parts of your body, from your eyes to your heart to your brain to everywhere else.  Estrogen also improves body fat distribution and B-cell function, and reduces inflammation. And of course, estrogen increases insulin sensitivity (and thus is protective against diabetes and metabolic syndrome predisposing one to obesity) and conversely, low estrogen levels can lead to increased insulin resistance or impaired insulin activity.

Given that studies show that the reduction of estrogen in postmenopausal women accelerates the development of insulin resistance and thus could promote breast cancer, it is hard to believe that aromatase inhibitors are always a good idea. Perhaps ‘prescribing’ phytoestrogens such as flax and sesame seeds, herbs, and even perhaps whole soy, would be a better tactic. Phytoestrogens are plant-based weak estrogens which bind to estrogen receptors in the body (just like tamoxifen) and through competitive inhibition, can prevent the receptor-binding of more potent estrogens (including xenoestrogen such as BPA). Phytoestrogens also promote hormone balance and homeostasis. One can also take steps to raise progesterone to balance natural estrogens by taking supplements such as zinc and vitamin E, lowering stress, and using an over-the-counter progesterone cream. I will further address the role of phytoestrogens and hormone-driven cancers in my next post.

Natural Aromatase Inhibitors

Some natural substances and formulas that reduce aromatase activity (should you need to reduce aromatase activity or improve estrogen metabolism or hormone balance) include Calcium d Glucarate, which helps clear excess estrogen and chemical estrogens from the body, and a product known as Aromastat, which contains a blend of herbal ingredients that work together to help keep your natural hormones balanced.  Aromastat contains chamomile (apigenin), chrystin, daidzein, genistein, indole-3-carbinol, and glycitein (it does contain soy isolates, so if avoiding, look for these ingredients individually, although in the case of genistein, I prefer you eat organic whole soy). For more information on natural alternatives to tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, please read my previous posts on the subject or visit my Shop page.

This information is for educational and thought-provoking 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. 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~~

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.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535874/#B135-ijms-18-01381

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

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28396216

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/916585/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30487265

https://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/68/2/291

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:

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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

 

Bone Health Myth for Breast Cancer Patients

In Bone Health Cancer Treatments on February 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

Are you worried about the effect breast cancer treatment can have on your bones? Has your doctor recommended an aromatase inhibitor to manage your breast cancer? Or have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis or have been told you are at risk of bone loss? Has your doctor recommended a conventional osteoporosis drug which can disrupt the natural remodeling of bone tissue over the long term and can cause negative side effects like unusual bone fractures and joint and muscle pain?

Unfortunately, much of what your doctor may have told you about bone loss and bone-regrowth may not exactly be the truth—and well, you might have been led down the infamous ‘primrose path’ about aromatase inhibitors.  However, you need to know that there are safe, effective ways to build strong healthy bones—without harmful drugs.

The Problem with Calcium Supplements

Common calcium supplements are not particularly beneficial. First of all, if calcium works so well for building bones, why do millions still suffer from osteoporosis and osteopenia? Clearly calcium is not the answer–at least not alone in the standard supplement form.  Plus, calcium supplements are not risk-free.

Numerous studies have found calcium supplements to increase risk of heart attack and stroke.  Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that calcium supplements accelerate vascular calcification and increase mortality in patients with renal failure.  They determined that calcium builds up in the arteries, inhibits blood flow, and increases the risk of heart attack.

A 2013 study done by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) found there is an increased risk of heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular diseases from taking calcium supplements.  Other studies have found the same results.

Plus, you need to be careful with most calcium supplements as many have a high lead content. Believe, me, it is far better to get your calcium from food, or at the very least, plant-based supplements. Dietary calcium from grass-fed cheeses, leafy greens,  broccoli, and other plant sources are helpful because they are taken in small amounts that are absorbed throughout the day, whereas supplements tend to be taken all at once, causing blood calcium levels to spike above normal, which might not be a good thing.

The Problem with Aromatase Inhibitors and Bone Loss

Hormonal treatment for breast and prostate cancer can lead to bone loss and increase the risk for osteoporosis and fractures. Breast cancer patients treated with aromatase inhibitors are more likely to have bone loss and fractures. Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are associated with significant risk of osteoporotic fractures and bone mineral loss. Similarly, men who receive androgen deprivation therapy to treat their prostate cancer face an increased risk of bone disorders.

Estrogen plays a major role in the growth and maturation of bone, which involves the remodeling of bone.  Cells known as osteoclasts dissolve bone tissue, and then osteoblasts fill in the holes. This process is disturbed when there are low serum estrogen levels. A deficiency of estrogen causes bone loss and cancellous bone, otherwise known as spongy bone.

Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax, and others aim or claim to slow the rate of bone loss.  Yet, they come with serious side effects (damage to the lining of the esophagus and stomach; damage to the jaw bone, which can mean jaw pain, loose teeth; nausea, indigestion, heartburn and host of other issues) and do not appear to be very effective. Studies have found that bisphosphonates actually cause your bones to become brittle and vulnerable to fractures.

A 2015 meta-analysis of 33 studies was published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal). The analysis concluded that bisphosphonates actually disrupt normal bone remodeling and do nothing to prevent fractures. Instead, they make bones more susceptible to fracture. There is a better way.

Natural Solutionsiphone-transfer-photos-432

  • Sunshine or Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. The amount needed will vary per individual, so it is important to have your vitamin D levels monitored by your doctor.
  • Vitamin K2— it is critical to have sufficient vitamin K2 in order to ensure that calcium is bound and held in bones and at the same time is removed from our arteries, joints or other tissues where it doesn’t belong. K2 also provides defense against fluoride calcification in soft tissue organs such as the arteries and brain. Vitamin K2 also inhibits cancer cell lines, such as colon, breast, leukemia, brain, and many more.
  • Strontium — Strontium is a common metallic element that the body can absorb and use as if it were calcium. It is a naturally occurring mineral in the same mineral family as calcium and magnesium that has been shown to promote bone growth. Doctors have known for years that strontium builds bone.  Numerous studies show that it works better than calcium. However, while strontium can be found in food sources, there’s not enough in food to have a significant effect if you already have osteoporosis or osteopenia. Therefore, you might want to take strontium in supplement form. If you don’t currently have osteoporosis, then eating plenty of food high in strontium may be enough to protect you. Foods high in strontium include spices, seafood, whole grains, root and leafy vegetables, and legumes.  (If supplementing, consider 200-500 mg daily).  Don’t take your strontium with calcium as they compete with each other for absorption.
  • Orthosilicic acid: Research shows that orthosilicic acid promotes the formation of osteoblasts, the cells that build bone. The more osteoblasts you make, the denser your bones will be.  Scientists have also discovered that orthosilicic acid may help promote bone formation by stimulating the production of collagen –a protein found in connective tissue, including bone– which helps to bind muscle and bone tissue together and increases bone mass. Orthosilicic acid is often called soluble silica, and is found in foods like oats, barley, seawater, bone broth, and some drinking water.  Beer has a high concentration of silicon (silica).  Dark beer in particular, with its high hop content, contains significant silicon. While yes, drinking beer will support bone mineralization and the creation of collagen, bone broth or taking hops might be just a bit better for you. (See bone broth below). 
  • Bone broth is extremely high in mineral such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Plus, the minerals in bone broth support the immune system and contain many healing compounds such as proline, glycine, glutamine, and collagen. Collagen plays an important role in the building of strong, flexible bones.
  • Magnesium is necessary to convert vitamin D into its active form so that it can turn on calcium absorption. That can often mean that we might not need extraordinarily high doses of vitamin D, but rather a combination of vitamin D along with magnesium and other nutrients to make the vitamin D work efficiently. Like vitamin K2, magnesium helps to preserve bone structure by drawing calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones.
  • Green leafy vegetables provide calcium, strontium, and other essential minerals necessary for bone health.
  • Lysine builds collagen, which holds your bones together—sort of like glue. It also helps your body absorb calcium and decreases the amount you excrete in urine.  (500-2000 daily). As a bonus, it is also strongly antiviral, which is important for those with breast cancer.
  • Manganese promotes bone growth; leafy vegetables and pumpkin seeds and teas are great sources. You may also find that you get manganese in your multi-vitamin.
  • Copper –while copper slows bone loss and is essential in small amounts, it also supports cancer. So, while you need some, don’t take too much (supplements should not exceed 2 mg), including through food choices.
  • Boron increases bone strength, supports bone mass, and slows bone loss. Likely you will get boron in your multi. If not, you can try this one by DFH that I use. OR just take a boron supplement.
  • Vitamin C mineralizes bone and stimulates bone-forming cells to grow
  • Probiotics — According to a resent study, treating osteoporosis with a probiotic may enhance bone density as osteoporosis can result from intestinal inflammation and probiotics can have anti-inflammatory effects. [i]
  • Zinc also builds bone and helps them from becoming brittle (30-50 mg daily)

So, with all these safe and healthful natural substances, why are doctors still prescribing calcium and harmful drugs that clearly are not working? At least now you are empowered to improve your bone health without harmful drugs.

This article was updated 12/30/2018

Found this article helpful?  Please let me know.

 

Elyn

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

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

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[i] https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/bones-joints/natural-treatment-for-osteoporosis-probiotics-are-becoming-a-key-component/

 

 

 

Best Steps for Vital Health in 2015

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2015 at 9:18 am

7 Genechanger Resolutions for Body, Mind, and Soul

The following is reprinted with the permission of Dr Mitch Gaynor.  I hope these tips help you attain blessed wellness throughout this and every year.

Best Steps for Vital Health in 2015, by Dr Mitch Gaynor

gaynor GTPThe Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle (Available April 2015-Preorder Now)

So here we are in a brand new year, one, I hope, that will bring you vibrancy and joy and a renewed commitment to your health. When you’re strong, everyone around you benefits. When you’re joyful, everyone nearby wants to respond in kind. I’ve always marveled at how a simple smile can change the mood of those around us. I’ve seen a smile switch the energy in hospitals, and I’ve seen that happen every time I greet one of my patients. Nothing is so dire that a smile, or a friendly hello, won’t redirect.

Here in our brand new year, the Genechanger approach to health is particularly viable. Genechanger modalities – healthy food, being present, exercise, positive attitude, toxic-free environments, nutrients, and gratitude – not only increase health for you, but for those around you. Their benefits also work far into the future, for your children and future generations, because they directly modify your DNA for the better.

In this first newsletter of 2015, I’ve broken down epigenetic steps to better health in 7 simple categories. Think of them as resolutions for the body, mind, and soul. If you can do them every day, you’ll have maximum success. If you waver from time to time, please don’t worry about it. We want to decrease stress, not add it.

So, welcome to a brand new year and the simple ways that you can change your future to one of health and poise. Please remember: Destiny is not fixed, the body is not static, and it’s never too late to bring back balance. Happy 2015 to you and yours!

Best 7 Genechanger Tips for Health Throughout 2015Even if you don’t practice all of these suggestions every single day, remember that incorporating them  – even for a few minutes or on most days – builds up the habit of doing them, which, in turn, makes their practice easier.  Practicing also enhances your sense of self-esteem and self-care.1. Being Positive

In my work as an oncologist for more than 30 years, I have incorporated meditation and sounds (mantras, guided meditation, Tibetan singing bowls, crystal sonic therapy) to enhance the health of my patients.  As scientific research reveals time and time again, a mind that is calm has less chance of being disposed to disease and helps lessen disease that might already be present.  I encourage my patients to meditate and to pray, whatever is most comfortable for them.

In The News

One recent reminder of the efficacy of positive thinking came on NBC’s “Evening News with Brian Williams” a few days before Christmas. Two consecutive nights included segments about the impact of prayer on the brain. Andrew Newberg of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and his research team documented that contemplating a loving God reduces stress and that intense prayer and meditation can permanently alter functions and structures in the brain, including increased activity in the brain’s frontal lobes, home to consciousness and decision making. (Newberg is also author of “How God Changes the Brain.”)

A recent study from the University of California looked at the effects of meditation on the same person using two different techniques and found that there were “strong correlations between depth of meditation and neural activity in the left inferior forebrain.”  We can’t claim definitively that positive thoughts cure disease, or that negative thoughts cause disease, but we can say that positive thoughts, prayer, and meditation release neurotransmitters like serotonin (which decreases stress) and enhance brain function which, in turn, augments better health.

2. Best Fresh Foods

I can’t say it enough: Eat healthy food because, in fact, you are what you eat.  The choice for natural organic foods, especially fruits and vegetables that are free of preservatives, artificial coloring, and hundreds of other chemicals, assures that you are feeding your body with the healthiest nutrition available and avoiding environmental toxins like pesticides and man-made preservatives.  Please skip the boxed, canned, and plastic-sealed foods. Keep salt, trans-fats, fast foods, saturated fats, white sugar, artificial chemical sweeteners, and refined grains to an absolute minimum. Avoid meats that have been fried and breaded.  Eat more salmon and grilled chicken.  If this means you must shop every couple of days, plan to do that.

Foods And Genes

Nutritional genomics analyzes the effects of foods on the genes. I have been studying and practicing the application of better nutrition for my patients throughout my career and seen verifiable, positive, medical effects for patients who change their diets and lifestyles.  Like other good habits, you’ll learn to shop more frequently for fresh food, and, most likely, you’ll wind up with fewer items at checkout.  You will avoid those “impulse” items that offer a quick fix, but can also help promote chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

BBC News recently reported that eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables each day is even healthier than the recommended five portions per day. Researchers from the University College London confirmed better health benefits through an analysis of 65,226 men and women in surveys conducted over seven years.

Juicing

Juicing is one of my top recommendations to patients simply because it’s fast, easy, and provides a sure way to consume several recommended portions in one morning drink.  In my new book, “The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle,” due in April from Viking, you’ll find many recipes that focus on the healthiest foods for our bodies, including an abundance of easy juicing recipes to kick-start your day.  One piece of good news:  According to researchers at the University of North Carolina, purchase of ready-to-eat, grain-based desserts (pies, cakes, cookies) decreased by 24% between 2005 and 2012.

3. Best Nutrients Personalized for You

Many of my patients are stunned the first time I hand them a few pages circled with my recommended nutrients and supplements for their particular stage of recovery from cancer.  There are a total of 10 pages of such supplements from which I choose for each patient – everything from chaga mushrooms, curcumin, and turmeric to B-4, lycopene, and blackseed cumin. Most patients are taking less than 20 daily supplements.  But the moral here is that while nutrients and supplements are definitely a boon to building up the immune system, reducing inflammation, turning on tumor suppressant genes, etc. – choosing which supplements is something you definitely need to pursue under the guidance of a well informed physician or other health care professional.

Research Confirms

Just two research examples of their efficacy: Vitamin D, selenium, and calcium have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing colectoral and breast cancer as reported in the “European Journal of Cancer.” Another study confirmed the effectiveness of dietary components that targeted breast cancer and its prevention.

Supplements, like drugs, may have adverse effects when taken together, and only a nutritional professional knows which are appropriate, which work best together, and which work with your current medications. We have a number of blogs on the genechanger website about the efficacy of various nutrients.  What’s most important is that you take supplements as recommended for your particular set of medical needs.  Just going out and buying the latest thing you heard about on TV is not healthy.

4. Body Care Through Exercise

Every single one of us, I’d venture to say, already knows that frequent exercise is good for us.  We know that regular exercise helps us lose weight, combat disease, boost our energy, and uplift our mood.   According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can also boost sexual energy, promote better sleep, and provide some fun.  From an epigenetic point of view, there are direct benefits to our genes, as well.  That means the positive effects of exercise are long standing, for ourselves and for our future offspring.  According to the CDC, less than 50% of American adults use aerobic exercise, only 24% participate in muscle-strengthening activity, and a very disappointing 20% meet guidelines for participating in both.

Exercise Your Brain

What we know from the genechanger perspective:  According to research cited by the Mayo Clinic, for instance, there is solid scientific evidence to support the use of DHEA, a brain hormone that leads to the production of androgens and estrogens, to increase bone density, another good case for supplementing your exercise when appropriate.

There’s also a study from the Harvard School of Public Health just released in December that found that for older people, adding weight training to your exercise routine is the key to losing belly fat. Their study reviewed habits of more than 10,000 men over the age of 40 between 1996 and 2008.  Conclusion:  Aerobics can take off the pounds, and weight training can take off the inches.

Be Consistent

The best exercise, of course, is done several times a week, if not every day.  You must pace yourself, check with your physician if you have any chronic diseases, and evidence, anecdotal and scientific, supports the idea of exercising with another, or at least in a gym setting, to keep you motivated.

I recommend 20-30 minutes a day of weight-bearing exercises (walking is probably the easiest to pull off) at least five days a week.

5. Beautiful Toxic-Free Environments

The environment I want to talk about is not just the sky, ocean, lakes, rivers, and forests that we must do all we can to protect for future generations.  In addition to having fewer toxins in our exterior environment, we need to focus on how to create toxic-free environments, particularly in our homes. Entire books have been written about the dangers of environmental toxins, including my own, “Nurture Nature Nurture Health: Your Health and the Environment.”

Unseen, these toxins are ubiquitous and buried in the chemicals that dye upholstery, drapes, carpets, pillows, bedding, and bath products.  They’re in our microwaves and televisions. Harmful toxins also account for how furniture is manufactured and line the cans that hold food products.  They’re likely to be in baby bottles. PVC, the third most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, is everywhere – plastic containers, plastic wrap, your credit cards, etc. PVC is a plastic that makes us think it is the only way to store (and heaven forbid) heat food.  It is not.

Avoid Plastic

Do not use plastic in microwaves. A Dartmouth study found that when heating plastic wrap with olive oil in a microwave, the concentration of xenoestrogens (cancer-producing estrogens that act like natural estrogens) was 500,000 times greater than the minimum amount of estrogen required to produce cancer cells in a test tube.

Briefly, be mindful of the following:

  • Look for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) label for low-emitting formaldehyde furnishings.
  • Choose all wood products.
  • Chose carpeting made fro jute, cotton or wool.
  • Dry clean textiles as infrequently as possible.
  • Never use plastic wrap, plastic containers in a microwave. [okay so maybe skip the micro when at all possible]
  • Use non-chlorine bleach.
  • Make sure there is no lead paint in your home.
  • Read labels on cosmetics and skin care labels to avoid excessive chemicals.
  • Have your home tested by a certified hygienist for the presence of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), carbon dioxide, and asbestos.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways that chemicals pervade our environment, including our homes and offices.  Just be mindful that toxic chemicals have been linked to almost every kind of cancer, emphysema, COPD, heart disease, children’s asthma, ADHD, the list goes on.  Each of us can use our time in stores to say no to those products that rely on chemicals to preserve, color, or manufacture.

6. Being Present

In recent years, the mindfulness movement has become almost as popular as yoga in this country.  Both are Eastern-sourced techniques that restore the mind and body to its natural state of being.  In America, meditation’s benefits have been adapted for Western practitioners. More than 700 hospitals in America, alone, have staffs that have been formally trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which originated with Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Be Where You Are

A simple way to think of mindfulness is being present.  Hundreds of studies have confirmed that being present helps reduce stress, contribute to healthier relationships, aid self-regulation, decrease stress and aggressive behaviors, help alleviate depression, lower blood pressure, and more.  Sharon Salzberg is one of this country’s earliest teachers of mindfulness meditation.  She, along with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, are credited with bringing mindfulness practice to the west more than 30 years ago.  Salzberg says, “Mindfulness meditation quiets the mind and refines our awareness so we can directly experience the truth of our lives with a minimum of distraction and obscuration. Simplicity, stillness and attention are its qualities.”

Every Day

Try each day to simply stop, bring your mind to the present, and take a deep breath and experience the peace that is naturally a part of us.  Most of us are mind-occupied in two other dimensions – the past, which has already happened and irretrievable, and the future, which has not yet manifested.  Being in the present means you are fully in your life right now, right here.  You’ll find peace, and not stress, if you are truly in the present moment.

7. Being Appreciative (in every situation)

No matter what is happening, bless it.  The surest way out of anger, disappointment, resentment, and any other negative emotion, is to accept the situation for exactly as it is.  My patients always ask me, “Why?  Why did I get cancer?  I don’t understand.”  I tell them, we would use our time better to treat their reality and ensure a healthy and long future by, first, accepting what the truth is.  “You may have cancer, but that does not mean a death sentence – or – that you caused it,” I tell them. Ancient masters of every faith have told us that once we can accept and let go of what we think the reality should be, the closer, in fact, we come to our true nature.

Our true nature is naturally one of harmony.  The spirit within, I believe, is stronger than material events – in our lives or in our bodies. When we tap acceptance, we let go of resentment. When we let go of resentment, we find our true nature.  And when we find our true nature, we find beauty, peace and harmony.

The next thing we find is gratitude.

Acceptance

Patients frequently report to me, that over time when they have meditated, changed their lifestyle and been willing to accept their disease as simply that – a chronic disease that needs their attention and care – they wind up being more peaceful, more vibrant.  In fact, they wind up, usually within months, being able to accept their disease.  Some say they are even grateful that cancer came into their lives: They, themselves, are stronger, more peaceful, which means that their family members, friends, and business associates are also more peaceful around them.

“I would never have discovered who I really am without the cancer,” one patient told me. “I am much more engaged in my life these days,” another said.

What does gratitude have to do with your genes?  Quite simply, a peaceful nature, a thankful nature, corresponds to less stress and less inflammation in the body. Behavioral epigenetics looks at how behaviors affect our genes, and the evidence is in: A calm body and a grateful mind let our body do what it was designed to do – function at optimum capacity.

Write About It

In one study, people were asked to deliver a gratitude letter to someone who had helped them, and, on average, their happiness scores rose 10 percent and depression scores fell.  Other research has pinpointed health benefits such as lower blood pressure and calmer brain activity during or after practicing gratitude.  A notable study in 2008 connected the dots between gratitude and better sleep: “The study is also the first to show that trait gratitude is related to sleep and to explain why this occurs, suggesting future directions for research, and novel clinical implications.”

As the new year unfolds, I hope you feel the peace that “passes all understanding.” We may not be able to explain it, but we do know that it exists and that each of us can take steps that lead to a life of heath, peace, and love.  And for that I am very, very grateful.

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor’s latest book, ‘The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny Through Diet and Lifestyle” will be released in April from Viking and is already listed in Amazon’s Top Sellers.

Preorder Dr Gaynor’s The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle (Available April 2015-Preorder Now)

Replay my interview with Dr Gaynor on Survive and Live WellGetting to the Root Cause of Cancer

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

Mitchell Gaynor, M.D. is founder and president of Gaynor Integrative Oncology and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill College, affiliated with Cornell University and New York Hospital. He has served on the Executive Review Panel at the Department of Defense – Alternative Medicine for Breast Cancer Sector and the Smithsonian Institute’s Symposium on New Frontier in Breast Cancer and the Environment. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer at hospitals, conferences, and universities throughout America and abroad. Learn more:http://www.gaynoroncology.com/about.html
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer strategist, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and well-being. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health, and Breast Cancer Answers and has written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, Surviving Beautifully, Body Local and more, and writes the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Magazine. Elyn hosts 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 lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. https://elynjacobs.com/about/Tune in to the Survive and Live Well ShowReplay the Survive and Live Well Radio Show ArchivesRead Elyn’s BlogFollow Elyn on FacebookFollow Survive and Live Well on Twitter

Follow Elyn on Linkedin

 

Ending Breast Cancer; One Woman’s Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                      A vaccine may well be the answer

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

In good health,

Elyn

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Mind-Body Connection to Beating Breast Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elyn

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

 

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

 

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

Twitter@elynjacobs

Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

 

Breast Cancer Nutrition, Cancer Coach’s Tips–Video with Elyn Jacobs

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

 

April 12, 2012 Youtube Video with www.BreastCancerAnswers.com

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and certified cancer coach.  During her cancer treatment she discovered how what she was putting into her body, helped or hindered her body in it’s fight against cancer. She gives three very easy to follow and helpful tips on how you can help your body fight cancer by altering your diet.

 To View the Video, please visit:

http://www.breastcanceranswers.com/breast-cancer-nutrition-cancer-coachs-tips-elyn-jacobs/

Below is the text…my appologies as the text is computer-driven, and not all the verbage came through correctly….

Elyn Jacobs: I have three tips for you on eating to beat cancer. First let me say that nutrition matters. Dietary habits play a significant role in the prevention of breast cancer, the prevention of recurrence and slowing the progression of the disease.

Good nutrition will also support your body during damaging cancer treatments and will help you heal. That said, I’d like to suggest the 80/20 rule. So before you tell me, “No, I am not giving up my dessert or my meat”, remember, you don’t have to be perfect. Just try to eat well 80% of the time.

I also know that during cancer treatments, some foods may be very unappealing to you. So just do your best and try to avoid things like Ensure, because your body really doesn’t need the chemicals. Look for real foods.

So here are my tips:

Tip #1, Eat at least 15 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and try to include at least 10 different varieties. You also want to look for colors of the rainbow as each provides different cancer-fighting components.

Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet will also help you avoid the constipation that can come with many cancer treatments. If you find that you cannot or do not get enough produce, there are many whole food supplements out there that can help you bridge the gap between good intentions and reality.

Tip #2, Limit dairy products, meat and eggs as they can cause cancer-friendly inflammation in the body. They also add unnecessary hormones that you don’t need. You might want to consider limiting peanut butter too as that is also a pro-inflammatory food.

Tip #3, Cut out processed, fried, and fast foods, and eliminate as much sugar and refined grains as possible. You also want to try and stick to as much organic produce as you can, especially for those that are on the so-called ‘dirty dozen’, which by the way should now be the ‘dirty baker’s dozen’ because when they added blueberries they got up to number 13.

Hi, I am Elyn Jacobs, a breast cancer survivor and a certified cancer coach. I am also the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. You can find me at http://www.wordpress.com. I am also on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn @ElynJacobs, or you can email me at Elyn@ElynJacobs.com.

This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk.  If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician

Integrative Oncology Works!!!

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm

This past weekend I attended the Annie Appleseed Project CAM conference; so many excellent speakers. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of what I learned. What resonated throughout the conference was that conventional medicine alone is not the answer.Today I will talk about Dr Gwen Stritter and her roadmap to beat cancer.

Dr Stritter provided a humorous and excellent plan for someone just diagnosed with early stage breast cancer who wants to increase her chances of a cure.  I just loved the positive tone; note she did not say to prevent recurrence, but rather spoke of that lovely word cure. She said that if she were diagnosed at 12pm, what she could do at 12:01pm that could take her on the path to wellness.

Exercise:  Fast walking 3hours a week improves breast cancer survival by 40%.  5-6 hours increased survival even more.  So, she will go for a walk. Social support: Increased contact with friends and family post diagnosis was associated with lower risk of death by 70%.  So, on the way home, she will stop in and visit some friends and family.  Alcohol:  having one alcoholic beverage a day increases death by 36%.  So, she’d give up that glass of wine with dinner…well maybe indulge only twice a week as she really loves wine.  D3: Vitamin D3 decreases metastasis and increases survival by 55%. So, she’ll pop in a 2000mg supplement as soon as she gets in the car.  Omega 3: high intake of omega 3 fatty acids from fatty fish increases survival by 25%, so she’ll call her husband and ask him to toss the fried chicken, and will stop at the fish market to buy some salmon for dinner. Controlling inflammation:  having a high CRP, (which indicates increased inflammation), results in a 100% increase of death.  So, she will take some anti-inflammatory natural products such as curcumin, omega 3 (yes, perhaps a supplement too), boswellia and a few others.  Low toxicity pharmaceuticals:  a daily baby aspirin reduced breast cancer death by 70% (alternatively, one regular aspirin taken three times a week can reduce recurrence by 50%, according to my integrative onc).  So, she will stop at the drugstore and buy some aspirin.  She might also take some other pharms that look promising, so she’ll call her primary physician. In trials, Propranolol, a cheap and non-toxic drug commonly prescribed for high blood pressure, increased  breast cancer  survival by 80% (in a retrospective study).  Metformin, which is derived from the French lilac plant, increased survival in diabetic patients by 60%, and non-diabetics with breast cancer who did not take Metformin had 3 times the risk of distant metastasis….the risk went up 300%!.  Metformin is cheap and has very few side effects.  (My doc recommends that almost everyone take it to avoid cancer, and certainly to prevent recurrence).  There is another study expected to be released by 2014, but likely you will not want to wait until then.

And of course, she will switch to a mostly plant based diet, be conservative on oil and fat intake, and if she were a smoker…she would stop asap! 

In summary, if she does all this, cancer does not stand a chance; she has provided an extremely hostile environment for her cancer to grow.    She also commented that Dr Keith Block did an excellent study on these combined steps and found a substantial increase in survival for those with advanced metastatic cancer.  Her overall deduction?  Integrative Oncology works!!! 

A few things to add:

You will likely need to ask your primary doc, not your oncologist for prescriptions for Propranolol and Metformin as they are not yet approved for cancer despite the fact that they can be quite effective.    At this conference as well as at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium, several doctors commented that Metformin was the only cancer drug that actually worked. My doc started me on this a while back, handing me piles of research to support his recommendation.

Also, remember to address stress….more on this later, but I offer this post until then: https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/changing-the-cancer-environment/

Lately there has been much in the news about red wine and breast cancer.  Research shows that a small amount of red wine may actually reduce breast cancer risk.  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240065.php?utm_medium=twitter&utm_s

The trick is small.  Those who love wine (like me) might take this too far.  Your body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a carcinogen.  Acetaldehyde boosts cancer risk by inflicting oxidative stress that damages DNA, prevents DNA repair, and triggers a pro-inflammatory reaction.  You can help offset the damage by adding a few foods and plant-based compounds like silymarin, resveratrol, grape seed extract and barley grass, as well as adding some supps like selenium, NAC, vitamin B6, and folate, to prevent alcohol-related deficiencies of valuable cancer fighting nutrients and minerals.  The trick is to take the supps just before, with, or even immediately after accidental over- indulgence of wine. (Have a brazil nut with that wine!)So, I offer up this article, which effectively provides a good explanation of the dangers of alcohol as well as what we can do to offset the damage should we accidentally over-indulge.  http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/dec2011_Link-Between-Alcohol-and-Cancer-Death_01.htm

Elyn Jacobs

elyn@elynjacobs.com

elynjacobs.blogspot.com

elynjacobs.wordpress.com

Elyn Jacobs is President of Elyn Jacobs Consulting, Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation, a certified cancer coach and a breast cancer survivor.  Elyn helps women diagnosed with cancer to navigate the process of treatment and care, and educates to prevent recurrence and new cancers.  She is passionate about helping others get past their cancer and into a cancer-free life. To learn more about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit:  https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com