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Posts Tagged ‘Breast Cancer’

Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors, BPA and breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Healing Cancer Naturally, Hormone Balance, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on January 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Over the past few months I have been asked many times if I know of a natural substitute for Tamoxifen.  I apologize that it has taken me so long to write this post, but it has required extensive research and obtaining the knowledge of many experts.  Many are not convinced that Tamoxifen is the wonder drug it is made out to be.  I am one of those people.  However, it is not my opinion that matters.  My job is to give you information and options, not opinions.  There are many others who believe that Tamoxifen is a beneficial drug. You and you alone can decide what is best for you, for your needs and concerns.

Tamoxifen is a synthetic drug that competes with estrogens for binding to the estrogen receptors in the body.  When estrogens bind the estrogen receptors in the cells of the breast or uterus, for example, this activates cell growth and division.  When Tamoxifen occupies the estrogen receptor in place of an estrogen, it paralyzes the receptor, preventing it from triggering the events that result in cell division.  It does not kill cancer cells, but in some respect, puts them to sleep or disables them.  Scientists call this a cytostatic drug; the word cytotoxic means toxic to cells, or cell-killing. However, Tam does not kill the cancer cells, but rather only stops them from growing; therefore there is no offer for a cure, only a band-aid.  When you remove the band-aid, the cells can then begin to divide again.  Tamoxifen also comes with a host of potential side effects so many doctors suggest a time limit of five years, after which the negatives may outweigh the positives.

Okay, so is there a natural substitute for Tamoxifen?  The short answer is no. Many women seek out a natural replacement for this drug, but the replacement is really an overall lifestyle approach – including diet, exercise, stress management, avoidance of toxins and adding the support of herbs and supplements. In other words, the best thing really is to follow an anti-cancer strategy.  In doing so, you will naturally incorporate an anti-estrogen strategy.  Your endocrine and immune systems will be in balance and you will be optimizing the other systems in your body to join you in your defense of cancer. However there are some things you can concentrate on.

The first thing you can do to reduce estrogen is to avoid unnecessary exposure to hormone- influencing toxins.  Be aware that most commercial home, garden and beauty products contain hormone-like compounds in them.  Purchase safer, chemical-free products, and please, do not use plastic containers or plastic wrap in the microwave (better yet, toss the micro, but that is a story for another day) and avoid BPA exposure as much as possible.

View my video on Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen—Dr Kelly Turner, PhD interviews Elyn Jacobs for The Radical Remission Project. Update added 1/19/14

You may also want to read my updated version of Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors 

Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight play a crucial role in cancer prevention.  Exercise helps to reduce excess estrogen from the body and being overweight boosts the body’s estrogen levels.  Obesity increases the body’s insulin levels and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) that have a growth promoting effect on cells, especially on cancerous cells. Further, recent studies have proven that overweight and obese women have higher levels of inflammation, which provides a cancer promoting environment in the body. Try to exercise for at least 30-45 minutes a day. Any exercise is better than none, but a brisk walk or run will give you more protection.

           “Let Food be thy Medicine, and Medicine be thy Food”    Hippocrates

Hippocrates was right, and in this case, specific food choices and supplements offer natural ways to inhibit cancer growth and balance hormones.

Flaxseed–The lignans in flax are phytoestrogens, but they actually bind to estrogen receptors in the body and work a bit like Tamoxifen, as they hop on the estrogen and bind up these hormones and carcinogens and remove them from the body.  Although lignans are found in most unrefined grains (barley, buckwheat, millet and oats), soybeans, and some vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and spinach), flaxseed is the richest source.  I recommend eating 2 tablespoons freshly ground flaxseed daily. If you are unable to eat 2-3 Tbs daily, I recommend a supplement: Brevail Proactive Breast Health Capsules. I have written many articles on the benefits of flaxseed.

Love your liver—No, not liver, your liver. Your body depends on a fully-functioning liver to break down and eliminate hormones and toxins in the body. Calcium d-glucurate, a natural ingredient found in certain vegetables and fruits that helps detoxify the liver and promote estrogen metabolism.  Vegetables rich in glucaric acid include those in the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, etc. –please eat several servings of these every day), as well as in the gourd (think squash, watermelon and pumpkins).  For fruits, look for oranges and apples, and consider legumes such as peas, lentils and bean sprouts. Calcium d-glucurate can also be found in supplement form. Silymarin or milk thistle also prevents damage to the liver by acting as an antioxidant and enhancing the detoxification process.  NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is also a liver fortifier and detoxification tool.  (NAC is also useful in the removal of the lead and mercury from dental fillings as well as the toxins in paint). Limit alcohol and avoid drugs that can damage the liver.

Adding bitter greens, such as arugula and chicory, to salads will also help the liver excrete excess hormones.  (Arugula is also a member of the cruciferous family)

Pomegranateare a potent source phytonutrients, and antioxidants like polyphenols, ellagitannins (ellagic acid), tannins and anthocyanins.  These compounds are strong free-radical fighters, providing added protection against cellular damage, and research has suggested that these phytochemicals may suppress estrogen.  Researchers now believe that it is specifically the ellagic acid in pomegranates that inhibits aromatase, the key enzyme used by the body to make estrogen.  Thus, as breast and ovarian cancers require estrogen to grow, AIs are offered to either block the production of estrogen or block the action of estrogen on receptors; pomegranates and their bioactive metabolites may act as a natural aromatase inhibitor. Other sources of Ellagic acid are raspberries and Marion berries.

Please note: I do not suggest that you take ellagic acid supplements, but rather whole food sources of Ellagitannin.  When you eat foods that contain ellagitannins, your body converts these ellagitannins into ellagic acid much in the same way your body converts Beta-carotene into vitamin A.  When you eat beta-carotene rich foods, you get the full benefit of Vitamin A without the potential health risks of the synthetic form of vitamin A.  The same is true for Ellagic Acid which is not as available to the body and comes with potential side effects, such as high blood pressure.

Limit Caffeine– Those who consumed at least 500 mg of caffeine daily, the equivalent of four or five cups of coffee had nearly 70% more estrogen than women who consumed less than 100 mg of caffeine daily.

Choose only organic animal products from grass-fed livestock that has not been fed estrogen, progesterone or testosterone.  Fats from milk and meat are loaded with estrogen, but at least try to avoid products with added hormones.

Eat apples, every day.  Quercetin, found in apples, red wine, onions, and green tea, has anti-estrogenic effects and may reduce the metastatic potential of cancer cells. Red wine you say?  Yes, many studies show red wine may lower estrogen levels.

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a phytonutrient and plant indole found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, with many powerful anticancer properties. Dim also promotes  estrogen metabolism.  Estrogen can be metabolized in two different pathways in the liver, which results in two different kinds of estrogen, “good” and “bad” estrogen. “Good” estrogen metabolites are released into the bloodstream there they cause many of the benefits estrogen provides, such as prevention of heart disease, and strong, healthy bones. “Bad” estrogen, in large quantities, can result in many health problems including autoimmune disorders, breast cancer, cervical dysplasia, fibroid tumors, magnesium deficiency, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and zinc deficiency. ***Please read the following articles for updates on DIM, posted April 8th 2013 —DIM-New Thoughts on an Old Story. and  posted October 31, 2013 DIM: A Bright New View on Cancer Management .  My recommendation for DIM.

Manage Stress—the adrenal gland is where stress is expressed.  Chronic stress leading to adrenal fatigue is a leading cause of progesterone depletion and thus estrogen dominance.  Stress, per se, is not the true enemy, but rather how we respond to it.  For more on stress and cancer, please read my article on changing the cancer environment.

My post on Chinese Herbal Medicine highlighted the point that CHM looks to individually assess each person’s condition, identifying excesses, deficiencies, and imbalances – as understood within the TCM diagnostic framework – and to prescribe a combination of herbs to bring the system as a whole back into balance. With that said, a lot of research has been done on the physiological effects of various herbs, particularly on estrogen and other hormones, so a visit with an herbalist might be a good part of an anti-estrogen strategy.

Simply put, estrogen can be reduced or managed using exercise, diet and relaxation modalities, but there is not one magic bullet.  That said, I know I have mentioned embracing  the cruciferous family, but I cannot stress this enough….raw or lightly cooked is best, juicing fantastic, and freeze-dried fine if that is the only way to get them.  One option is the use of super-food powders. Supplements are a great way to bridge the gap between great intentions and actually getting the nutrients and enzymes we need (just remember, supplements are intended to accompany a good diet, not replace one.)  Take time for yourself everyday for exercise, laughter, relaxation and love, and benefit from a monthly massage.  Embrace every day and remind yourself everyday that you matter, that you deserve to be loved and cared for.

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

Herbal Medicine, and Healing Cancer , by Dr Donald Yance, is an excellent resource for balancing hormones and healing cancer naturally, as well as for support during conventional cancer treatments.

You may also be interested in Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors.  and Natural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer

This article was updated 11/3/2019

In your good health,

Elyn

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

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

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

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

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Changing the Cancer Environment

In Uncategorized on December 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm

In The Redwood Forest, I talk about changing the cancer environment.  I decided this topic deserves more depth, so today’s post goes a bit further into the emotional and nutritional sides of cancer.  In good health, Elyn

           Changing the Cancer Environment

Disease (is) not an entity but a fluctuating condition of the patient’s body, a battle between the substance of disease and the natural self-healing tendency of the body.        Hippocrates

Cancer is not as complicated as many claim it to be.  Genetic, environmental, nutritional and psychological factors all play a role in the development of cancer.  However, the development of cancer is an indication that the body lacks the support necessary to destroy cancer cells. We all generate errant or mutated cancer cells in our bodies every day, yet only some individuals will go on to develop the disease.  Normally our immune systems destroy these errant cells, yet in individuals whose immune systems are severely compromised, this mechanism fails.  Quite simply, the key is to discover and repair what is not functioning by empowering yourself to make changes that support your body’s ability to resist the cancer process.

You can’t alter your genetic factors. To some extent you can modify your environmental factors, but unavoidable perils lurk everywhere. However, you can change the psychological and nutritional factors that weaken the body’s natural defenses against cancer, and often times these changes can affect the way your body responds to genetic and environmental factors.

For example, diet often trumps toxins by helping to remove toxins from the body, and diet can also influence the expression of genes.  Therefore, what is of far more interest than the risk factors or causes is what we can do about them. The key to survival is often changing the environment in which cancer was able to develop.  If we focus on the underlying conditions that may have contributed to the disease, we can likely prevent recurrence or reverse the course of the disease.  After all, it is not the primary tumor that kills us, but rather the progression of the disease.

Emotional patterns and dietary choices may neither be the cause or cure for every cancer, but any path taken, be it allopathic, integrative or alternative, will be more successful long-term if the mind and body are addressed.

“Cancer does not begin in the body; cancer begins in the brain   R.G.Hamer

There is a strong correlation between emotional patterns and the development and progression of cancer. The power of repressed emotions, anger, and resentment as well as a lack of self love is not to be overlooked in the creating and healing of our cancers. Emotional challenges can develop into physical ones; that is, emotions not expressed in words or actions find expression in physical ailments; physical symptoms are often related to past repressed traumatic experiences.  Toxic defense mechanisms are often developed in childhood to survive life’s inevitable traumas.

I remember my first visit to my integrative oncologist, Mitch Gaynor.  The interview lasted several hours, and at one point he mentioned that he thought my cancer likely had much to do with something that happened to me when I was five years old; something that caused me to repress emotions that would later have contributed to my cancer.  He said that many people suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others or to spare themselves or others from pain.  We talked about my life-long desire to be the peace-keeper, to the point where my family dubbed me “Julie the cruise director”.  For those of you who remember The Love Boat, it was Julie’s job to accommodate others, to be perky, and to ensure that everyone on the boat was happy…a tall order.

Our physical health is compromised when we chronically repress our needs and feelings to accommodate others.  This coping style weakens our immune defenses and leaves us more vulnerable to cancer progression. I have worked with him to make a more peaceful, but expressive life, and in doing so, have found appropriate ways to express my emotions; I have learned to put myself first at times.

Stress per-se is not a critical factor in illness; it’s how we respond to it that matters. The key is to express it appropriately and then let it go, so that it doesn’t fester or build, or escalate out of control. Healthy is not just a matter of thinking happy thoughts, but rather to learn how to express our emotions. Take a walk, run, have a massage, listen to music, take a bath, yell (or at least make your distress known) –anything that can release stress and stored or blocked emotions. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you begin to express your emotions and speak honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

The immune system is often suppressed in people who feel they are not able to change the negative conditions of their lives, and are involved in toxic relationships.  Situations in which a woman has a physically or emotionally abusive man in her life or is stuck in a non-nurturing marriage or even in one where a husband is unable or unwilling to support his wife’s emotional needs can trigger a cascade of biochemical changes that help create a fertile field for breast cancer to grow.

This is not to say that everyone involved in a toxic relationship or who has relentless, unaddressed stress will develop cancer.  However, to help avoid a recurrence of cancer or to reverse the disease, you need to change the environment in which cancer was permitted to grow.  Identifying and releasing deep-seated negative emotions and thought patterns, while maintaining an attitude of hope and positive beliefs, can make the all-important difference in the pursuit of wellness. If you suspect negative relationships to be part of the cause, it’s time to make some changes. Make a commitment to yourself and eliminate the toxic relationships in your life, celebrate you and make sure you are a priority in life, not an afterthought. Consider stress reducing therapies such as Reiki, yoga, meditation, or kinesiology.  Join a support group to talk through your frustrations and to connect with others.

“Let Food be thy Medicine, and Medicine be thy Food”        Hippocrates

Diet should be an important part of your anticancer strategy.  The cellular level is where cancer begins and where nutrition exerts its greatest effect. Our nutritional status either weakens us, making us susceptible to the development of cancer, or strengthens our bodies’ defense mechanisms, enhancing our ability to prevent renegade cells from becoming tumors, to avoid recurrence and often to reverse the disease.  Cancer loves inflammation, and inflammation plays a role at all three stages of cancer: initiation, progression and metastasis. Most foods either encourage or discourage inflammation.  A diet high in trans-fatty acids, carbohydrates and sugar helps the body to create inflammation, whereas a diet heavy in vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids puts the brakes on the process.

In general, a high fiber, low fat, low protein diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended (as well as exercise and maintaining a healthy weight).  Avoid red meat (occasional organic, grass-fed meats are fine). Dairy consumption is somewhat controversial, but most would argue that avoiding or limiting dairy is best.  Remember, we want to enjoy life; deprivation can lead to depression and reduced enjoyment of life.  If eating cheese is of great pleasure to you, then by all means, have some, but try to find raw, organic cheeses made on small farms to avoid pesticides and unnecessary hormones.  

Antioxidants and the immune system play critical role cancer prevention and in their ability to destroy cancers already present. Antioxidants protect cells and tissues, and remove the free radicals created by exposure to radiation, chemicals and inflammation.  Foods such as flaxseed, rosemary, apples, red wine, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables help remove and disable troublesome estrogen from the body. The immune system, and specifically NK cells (natural killer cells), are able to attack and kill a wide variety of cells and patrol the circulatory system and organs of the body on an antigen seek-and-destroy mission, so keeping these super-soldiers in optimal fighting condition is necessary to beat cancer.  A lack of minerals and nutrients will decrease the activity of these soldiers and compromise the immune system. Please include a wide variety of anti-cancer foods as each nutrient plays its own role in the prevention of cancer. Learn more about cancer-fighting foods.

Remember, the goal is to empower yourself to take responsibility for your own healing and to encourage you to take action, without creating a sense of guilt.  If you have cancer, think long and hard about how you got to this place in life, and what kind of joyful and fulfilling future you want to create as a survivor.  You can’t change the past, but you can take control of your future. Understanding which behaviors, ingrained patterns and dietary deficiencies we can begin to change in order to strengthen our immune systems and to allow our bodies to heal is the first step in the pursuit of wellness. Resolving these issues and moving towards a happier, healthier life is why many survivors say that getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to them.

To read more about Dr Hamer’s theory, please visit: www.newmedicine.ca; http://www.learninggnm.com/home.html

To learn more about how psychological change can repair and empower a compromised immune system, please visit:

www.cancerasaturningpoint.org/  Cancer as a Turning Point, by  Lawrence Leshan, PhD

www.cancer-report.com The Cancer Report, by John Voell and Cynthia Chatfield

www.gaynoroncology.com/ Dr Mitch Gaynor, Gaynor Integrative Oncology

www.breastcancer.org  Breast Cancer: Is it what You’re Eating or What’s Eating You?  Susan Silberstein, PhD

Elyn Jacobs

elyn@elynjacobs.com

elynjacobs.blogspot.com

elynjacobs.wordpress.com

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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.

The Redwood Forest

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

 I titled my blog “It’s a Strong Tree that Withstands a Hurricane” as I believe that a strong, healthy body is a formidable defense against cancer, similar to how a strong tree can withstand the fierce winds of a hurricane.  A body that lacks nutrients or that suffers relentless stress is at a disadvantage.  Stress, particularly when perceived as inevitable and uncontrollable, is a key factor in vulnerability to cancer. I will discuss nutrients later, but for now, I want to talk more about stress and trees, specifically the redwood trees in Northern California.   These trees are the tallest trees on earth, yet the roots are actually quite shallow.  The tallest trees on the earth have a shallow root system.  They stand tall because they stay close and intertwine their roots with the trees around them.  This strong support system allows them to stand tall whilst otherwise they would fall.  In order to avoid the beast called cancer and in order to beat this beast, we need to intertwine ourselves with a solid support system of friends and loved ones.

 Some women are lucky enough to have a built in support system of family and friends.  Others find that their current circle just doesn’t understand or are even involved in toxic, draining relationships. The immune system is often suppressed in people who feel they are not able to change the negative conditions of their lives.  Situations in which a woman has a physically or emotionally abusive man in her life or is stuck in a non-nurturing marriage or even in one where a husband is unable or unwilling to support his wife’s emotional needs can trigger a cascade of biochemical changes that help create a fertile field for breast cancer to grow.

 This is not to say that everyone involved in a toxic relationship or who has relentless, unaddressed stress will develop cancer.  However, to avoid a recurrence of breast cancer, you need to change the environment in which cancer was permitted to grow.  If you suspect negative relationships to be part of the cause, it’s time to make some changes. Make a commitment to yourself and eliminate the toxic relationships in your life, celebrate you and make sure you are a priority in life, not an afterthought. Consider stress reducing therapies such as Reiki, yoga, meditation, or kinesiology. Join a support group to talk through your frustrations and to connect with others.

    Support groups and online support groups and chat rooms give cancer patients a new place to belong.  Many of us have joked “once you have breast cancer, you become a member of the club…the initiation is rough, but the women are amazing.”  Since my diagnosis, I have met the most amazing people, met so many wonderful new friends.  Friends who understand what is like to live with cancer, to be declared NED but who still look over their shoulder every day, and who understandably fret over every scan, odd symptom and toxin that might cross their path.  If your husband says he doesn’t know you anymore, that cancer has changed you, take him along; let him see that your cancer fears and insecurities are not unique to you.  If he still doesn’t get it and is unable to support you, divorce him (ouch, did I say that?).  Embrace life, live life and love life….it’s yours and it can be gone with a blink.

 May your tree stand tall.

Elyn Jacobs

elyn@elynjacobs.com

elynjacobs.blogspot.com

elynjacobs.wordpress.com

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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

It’s My Cancer

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm

  The following is a guest post I wrote for Breast Cancer Partner: It’s My Cancer

“You have cancer” Three of the most dreaded words you can hear from your doctor.  Your world has changed and you feel a loss of control.    A moment ago you were a student, parent, wife, maybe even a doctor. Now, suddenly, you are a patient.  In the ensuing panic, disbelief, fear, and confusion you have to make decisions.  Likely right now you think “I can barely breathe, let alone function…how am I to figure all this out?”  Well, unfortunately, your life and your quality of life depend on it.  Now is the time to get help, but from who?

 A cancer diagnosis leaves one so very vulnerable, not only to the illness, but also to the people all around us. Given all the options today, we have many decisions to make.  We may choose conventional, alternative or a combination of both, and within each modality, there are yet more options. Friends often think they are helpful when criticizing a chosen treatment plan.  Many women diagnosed with breast cancer choose not even to discuss with friends their choice for surgery, as surely some friends will be adamant about mastectomy and others lumpectomy, and this is terribly unfair.  I always say that when a friend or loved one is diagnosed, support is essential, information is helpful, but advice is unacceptable.  It is for us and us alone to choose and be confident with a path chosen, and it is unfair of others to cast doubt or offer opinions. Doubt will bring fear and stress, both of which can be detrimental to healing and survivorship and can compromise all efforts for a positive outcome. 

 The recent press regarding Steve Jobs is a perfect example. One might say that Steve Jobs was a bright man.  One might say he made many critical decisions in his life.  One might say that he was not afraid to take chances.  One might even say that he was a trendsetter.  Why is it that friends, family and the media felt they had the right to challenge his choice of a treatment plan and have the right to second guess it now?  To say that “he refused potentially life-saving cancer surgery for nine months, shrugging off protests from his family and opting instead for alternative medicine” is unfair.  Potentially life-saving surgery? Some doctors have argued that his cancer was curable, others say the opposite. Given a diagnosis of a cancer for which conventional medicine has not been particularly successful, it would only make sense to explore all options.  This was his cancer and it was his decision to choose a plan of treatment.  Andrew Grove told Jobs he was crazy.  Art Levinson was frustrated that he could not persuade Jobs to have surgery. It wasn’t their cancer. What matters is that Steve Jobs had confidence in his choice.  What matters is that Mr. Jobs made the final decision on each new treatment regimen.  What matters is that he had the freedom to choose and to change his mind. What is not acceptable is for others to challenge his decisions. What is important is to have an unbiased advocate to assist and support you through treatment. We will never know if it was the destructive mind-body criticism of others that brought on his demise.  We do know that Steve Jobs made sure he sought out all the options and did all he could do to battle his cancer. Knowing your options and obtaining the necessary information is critical in order to make the right choices for you, for your cancer.

There are many options for treating cancer.  Conventional (allopathic) medicine offers surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other medical interventions to battle cancer.  For many, this is the route to take.  For others, surgery may be acceptable, but radiation and or chemotherapy either are not an option or are not acceptable to the patient.  Some will take the integrative approach, combing conventional with alternative therapies.  Massage, acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, nutritional therapy and other treatments associated with complementary medicine can support patients during and post treatment by lessoning the side effects, improving quality of life and improving long-term survival. Still others will choose to use only alternative methods.  The important thing is to choose what feels best to you.  Keep in mind that within these methods, there will be further decisions to make, for example which of the surgeries available would be best or which alternative treatment would be the most effective. Doctors differ in their methods and protocols.  Many women find it a challenge to find a doctor who can hear and respond to her opinions and questions, and all too often women are pushed into a path for treatment that does not suit her core needs or desires. Sadly, some doctors forget that we endure treatment to live, and therefore quality of life is important.

 Information is power and it has never been more important to be informed and knowledgeable about your medical careMy goal is to get this information to women and to empower and support them to make choices that fit their own individual needs. As a survivor and experienced coach, I understand the questions and concerns faced by the newly diagnosed, and I make sure that my client’s voice is heard.  My mission is to help women find the right treatment, doctors and post cancer care, even if that means second or even third opinions and firing a few doctors.  I know firsthand, that under these circumstances, it is very difficult to concentrate on all that a doctor is saying, so I accompany women on visits to the doctor where I take notes and ensure the tough questions get asked. Once team and treatment plans are chosen, we work together through the process. I feel strongly that no woman should have to face cancer alone.

 In good health,

Elyn Jacobs

elyn@elynjacobs.com

https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com

http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com

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Elyn Jacobs is President of Elyn Jacobs Consulting, 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 Rhonda Smith and Breast Cancer Partner, please visit:http://www.breastcancerpartner.com/