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Posts Tagged ‘cancer stem cells and metastases’

Why You Might Want to Think Twice About Radiotherapy for Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Anti-Hormone Therapy For Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Anticancer diet, Breast Cancer, Cancer Coach, chemotherapy, Integrative Oncology, Natural Aromatase Inhibitors, Radiotherapy for breast cancer, Uncategorized on January 24, 2023 at 2:19 pm

“Elyn, we could do lumpectomy with radiotherapy, but did you know that radiation can result in more cancer?” These were the words the first surgeon I went to see uttered during my consult (February 2007). Stunned, I told him I would not do it. He then explained that lumpectomy wasn’t really an option considering how much cancer was in my left breast and therefore made no sense to do lumpectomy and harmful radiation. But his words of warning will never be forgotten. I chose mastectomy, but with a different surgeon who also said mastectomy was the best choice (I just felt more comfortable with him and his associated hospital).

The question one needs to ponder is why would any doctor push a cancer-promoting therapy on a person with cancer?  We all know that radiation is linked to cancer, and we all know that potentially and intentionally inflicting up to 3rd degree burns cannot be a good thing! (Read on to understand more on the harms and limitations of radiotherapy as well as chemotherapy.)

When I was diagnosed again in 2014 for stage 3 lymph node involvement, this time I was offered radiation and chemo. I declined both. My oncologist was relieved that I was declining the radiation. He suggested the chemo and when I declined, he offered low-dose chemo. I declined that too, which he was fine with. He had done his job of recommending the standard of care and backed it up with a letter to my surgeon stating I flat out refused. I embarked on a holistic protocol, which he fully supported.

So Why do Docs Recommend Radiation?

What you need to know too is that doctors and other medical professionals can lose their license to practice medicine if they fail to recommend anything other than the standard of care, meaning conventional cancer therapies such as chemo and radiation. These therapies are also part of their very limited toolbox as holistic therapies are typically not taught in medical school.

Sadly, radiation therapy is a huge profession (same for other cancer treatments), one that enthusiastic young medical students flock to. It’s what they are then trained to do and fall under the belief that they are doing good.

True, it is believed that radiotherapy that has the potential to reduce the risk of recurrence in the local area (not always but sometimes). However, no one dies of a local breast tumor, for example. And radiotherapy does nothing for the cancer stem cells, the only cancer cells that can metastasize (“mets”) to other areas such as the lungs, brain, and bones. Metastasis essentially shuts down essential organs and body systems (such as digestion, bones, lungs, liver, brain, etc.), resulting in death.[i] (Of course, the ‘treatment’ for mets is often chemotherapy, which also doesn’t target stem cells and is highly toxic to essential organs, again often resulting in death, particularly when given repeatedly).

But what these professionals do not tell you is that “Cancer stem cells (CSCs) comprise the subpopulation of tumor bulk and acquire resistant to conventional therapies and are considered as the primary tumor initiator cells. Nowadays, the tumor heterogeneity originated from CSCs, and its progenitors are accepted as a mortifying drawback in front of the cancer therapies.”[ii] Let that sink in. In layman terms, it means that CSCs are the reason that conventional treatments fail and encourage progression of the disease.

To learn more about cancer stem cells and what you can do about them, please read Cancer Stem Cells and Progression of Disease: What You Need to Know Now. In the article is a link to a second article and to a podcast of mine.

Other Risks of Radiotherapy:

  • Radiation increases the risk of skin cancer in the treatment area.
  • Radiation to lymph nodes can cause damage to lymph nodes and lead to lymphedema.
  • Radiation treatment to the chest can affect the heart. You may be at a higher risk of cardiac (heart) issues if your breast cancer was in the left breast. Speak to your radiologist for breathing techniques that mitigate this risk.
  • Radiation can cause small cracks (fractures) in the bones that are in the treatment field.
  • Radiation to the chest or underarm area can experience damage to the brachial plexus nerve.
  • Radiation injury to the nerves and muscles is called radiation-induced neuropathy or radiation fibrosis. It tends to develop in the years following treatment and slowly worsens over time [i]

If you are considering radiation (or chemo), I strongly suggest you do your research first. And always work with an integrative professional or coach if you do choose these treatments. If you have had radiotherapy or chemo, I strongly suggest you move on and embrace the fact that you made the best choice you could at the time and meanwhile work on targeting the stem cells as well as the reasons for the original cancer.

To learn more about holistic remedies for cancer, please visit my website.

For Supplement information and brand recommendations, please visit my supplement page HERE.

To learn more about cancer stem cells and what you can do about them, please read Cancer Stem Cells and Progression of Disease: What You Need to Know Now. In the article is a link to a second article and to a podcast of mine.

Always remember that you and only you can determine the best treatment for your cancer. Your cancer, your body, your choice of treatment.

In your everlasting good health,

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 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. Elyn Jacobs Consulting, Inc. does not provide endorsement for the content, claims, or products discussed in this article.

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[i] https://www.emedicinehealth.com/how_does_metastasis_cause_death/article_em.htm

[ii] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30268439/ 

But what these professionals do not tell you is that “Cancer stem cells (CSCs) comprise the subpopulation of tumor bulk and acquire resistant to conventional therapies and are considered as the primary tumor initiator cells. Nowadays, the tumor heterogeneity originated from CSCs, and its progenitors are accepted as a mortifying drawback in front of the cancer therapies.” Let that sink in. In layman terms, it means that CSCs are the reason that conventional treatments fail and encourage progression of the disease.

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Survive Cancer and Live Well

In Cancer, cancer stem cells and recurrence, what causes cancer stem cells, what causes cancer to spread on September 23, 2016 at 10:10 am

                A cancer coach dishes on surviving cancer and living WELL

ej pink twoSo I am feeling a bit sleep deprived and feisty this morning so bear with me.  A few weekends ago I was in the car and heard a commercial by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).  They had the gall to copy my motto. They claim that they not only want to you to survive, but to live as well.  First of all, that is pretty ironic, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  However, they left out a very important part.  I named my radio show Survive and Live Well.  The reason being that I believe that we don’t just want to treat cancer, we want to beat cancer, survive, and live well.  They only want you to live as well. Not as well as you did before, or better, just that you don’t die from the treatment (which many do). Perhaps it’s okay with them if you suffer from the treatments for the rest of your life as long as you walk out alive.

What MSKCC and most other cancer centers don’t take into consideration is the need to protect healthy cells from damage.  Chemotherapy and radiation are incredibly damaging treatments. They harm the lungs, heart, and more–much  of which is life-threatening and most of which is quality of life-threatening.  For example, very often a patient will develop peripheral neuropathy—be it mild or severe, which can dramatically affect one’s quality of life.  This is really unacceptable as these side effects can often be prevented or at least minimized. To read more in my post with Dr Keith Block, click here.

Important to know, chemo and radiation kill some cells (healthy and cancerous), but not cancer stem cells. They also make the cancer stem cells more aggressive, leading to metastases (oh yeah, they forget to tell you that too). Read more here.

So here is my beef with them copying my motto.  Perhaps they left off the well as this clearly is not important to them.  If it were, they would have a real integrative department.  They seem to miss the point.  They are good researchers; they know that supplementation during treatment is effective.  They know there is much that can be done to mitigate risks and improve the efficacy of treatment.  However, their oncologists do not understand this—why aren’t they trained in integrative medicine?  I ask myself how this can be.  Sure, they hang a shingle on a door that says they have offer integrative services, but it is a farce.  What they offer is complementary medicine, which is used along with conventional treatments to help with the side effects—meaning it will make you feel better.  Integrative or adjunctive means offering things that increase the efficacy and safety of treatment or procedures.

Many of my clients have been permanently harmed by this misconception—from there and treatment centers around the world. They come to me for remedies for the effects.  I will say this right now…prevention is far easier then reversal, and in fact, most often, the damage is not reversible.

Furthermore, many, if not most, of my clients have not had their vitamin D level or CRP levels checked by their oncologist (not to mention cancer markers).  This spells ignorance at best, negligence in actuality.  How could an oncologist not request these labs? These two tests provide critical information for resolving some of the causes of cancer. For whatever reason, most oncologists just do not focus on the cause of one’s cancer, only to slash, poison, and burn away the symptoms.

Numerous studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency to the development of cancer. Science has found that most tumors have receptors for Vitamin D. Cancer cells were once healthy cells that became damaged in some way. When D latches onto those receptors, it differentiates that cell, which can slow down or stop the growth of that cell and help it revert back to a normal cell.

Even when oncologists run the D test, they are often off base with the new recommendations for healthy levels. Listen to my discussion with Dr Michael Schachter on the role of Vitamin D in Cancer.

CRP stands for C – reactive protein, which measures inflammation within the body. Inflammation is the precursor to cancer, it is a driver of cancer. If the number if found to be high, measures can be taken to remedy the problem. The trick is knowing that you need to remedy the problem–in other words, if they don’t test  you, you don’t know.

If you are considering conventional treatments, please do not accept them unless your cancer center, and oncologist in particular, is knowledgeable on the subject and implements integrative measures during treatment. There is a plethora of research showing that integrative measures work and are safe.  For more on that please read Is it Safe to Take Antioxidants and Other Natural Agents During Chemo and Radiation.  And please, work with a coach who can help you to resolve the reasons for your cancer–until those are resolved, will will not achieve true health.

It is nearly impossible to heal from cancer on a long-term basis if you do not take steps to resolve the reason for your cancer.  Do not be misled that ‘cancer just happens’ or that ‘sometimes good cells go bad’.  While yes, the later might be true, it would be a mighty good idea to get your genes to behave—and this can be done.  But that is a story for another day.

For more information on integrative doctors, please visit my Integrative Oncologist and Naturopathic Doctors page. If you have an oncologist you like but need supplement support, speak with a coach or an integrative pharmacist such as David Restrepo at Vitahealth Apothecaries.

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

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

 

Elyn
~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She brings a plethora of knowledge to her practice and will help you think outside the box so you can incorporate every lifeline you may need for long term survival. Elyn is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. She is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Contact Elyn via her website. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

 

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Raspberries: One Powerful Anti-Cancer Fruit

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Breast Cancer, Cancer, cancer stem cells and recurrence, chemo and cancer stem cells, foods that target cancer stem cells, radiation and cancer stem cells, supplements that target cancer stem cells, targeting cancer stem cells, Uncategorized on May 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Certain phytonutrients found in raspberries can protect us from cancer and can even shrink some types of cancer tumors.

mango

Mango Smoothie

Raspberries contain ellagitannins, one of the most powerful antioxidants known.  Ellagitannins occur naturally in over forty different foods, but are found in abundance in raspberries, strawberries and pomegranate. However, red raspberry seeds, and the Meeker variety in particular, appear to be the most concentrated source of this beneficial phenolic complex.  Interestingly, the seeds of the fruit contain more ellatitannins than the fruit itself.

Ellagitannins are large flat molecules found in the fruit and seeds of many fruits.  Ellagitannins are water-soluble, making them easy for the body to absorb. After consumption, stomach acids convert these ellagitannins into ellagic acid. It is important to know that as such, that ellatitannins should be obtained from food, not as supplemental ellagic acid.

There has been much research into ellagic acid. Its value as a potent anti-oxidant and its value in fighting cancer is widely accepted. Ellagic acid has been shown to keep cancer cells from dividing and multiplying and eventually helps to kill the cancer. Ellagic acid inhibits angiogenesis—a term used to describe the development of blood vessels needed for tumor growth. It also encourages apoptosis (cancer cell death.) Ellagic has been quite successful against esophageal, breast, colon, prostate, and skin cancer.  Studies have shown that ellagic acid may help prevent the development of cancer in cells infected with the human papilloma virus, which has been linked to cervical cancer.

Ellagitannins may also support healthy cholesterol levels and have anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties. Red Raspberry Seed Powder

Ellagic acid works in many wonderful ways:

  • Powerful antioxidant– it neutralizes cell damaging free radicals
  • Protects the p53 tumor suppressor gene. The P53 gene causes cell reproduction to cease, and cells to die
  • Protects DNA from the mutations that cause cancer
  • Stops cancer cell proliferation
  • Induces cancer cell death
  • Lowers inflammation
  • Slows tumor growth
  • Targets cancer stem cells: Cancer stem cells not only survive most conventional treatments, but are responsible for recurrent and progressive disease
  • Inhibits the growth of oral, breast, colon, cervical, and prostate tumor cell lines
  • Supports healthy cholesterol levels
  • Has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties

Don’t overlook another amazing type of raspberry—black raspberries

Studies show that black raspberries kill cancer cells and activate tumor suppressor genes.

berry

Blueberry smoothie

The phytonutrients in black raspberries have been found to inhibit cervical cancer cell growth and tumor formation, inhibit inflammation and induce apoptosis in esophageal and colorectal cancer tissues (strawberries are also highly effective against esophageal cancer cells). While it can be challenging to find fresh or even frozen black raspberries, it can be purchased in powder form–and is delicious in smoothies! Black Raspberry Powder 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.scalarhealth.com/elcanaen.html

https://www.smdi.org/-berry-good-health-by-susan-trorpe-vargas-ph-d.html

https://elynjacobs.com/2015/01/09/cancer-stem-cells-could-they-be-the-key-to-metastasis/

 

Find Red Raspberry Seed and Black Raspberry powders online:

raspberryRed Raspberry Seed Powder black rasp  Black Raspberry Powder 

 

Elyn

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

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer and not just its presenting symptoms (such as the tumor). Elyn specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and debunks the myths associated. She brings a plethora of knowledge to her practice and will help you think outside the box so you can incorporate every lifeline you may need for long term survival. Elyn is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. She is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Contact Elyn via her website, www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

 

 

 

What Your Oncologist Neglected to Tell You About Conventional Cancer Treatment

In Cancer on April 27, 2015 at 9:32 am

Cancer treatment hasn’t changed much in the past 40 years.  Drugs come and go, but still the “cure’ eludes the medical community.  While drug therapies in some cases help patients to live longer, this is often at the expense of a sharp decline in quality of life, and most often results in recurrences requiring further treatment.  While we know cancer is a big business, could well-meaning doctors be over-looking the reason for failure?  Several years ago, researchers discovered a clue.  They found that not all cancer cells are the same, that some of these cells, known as cancer stem cells, are not only resistant to chemo and radiation therapies, but that they are actually stimulated to grow by these therapies–chemo and radiation make cancers grow faster and more virulent.[i]  Stem cells are also the only cancer cells that can metastasize to other parts of the body.  Cancer mortality is directly related to cancer stem cell activity (metastatic and proliferative).[ii]

As stated by Brad Weeks MD in Cancer Control Society Controlling the Cancer STEM Cells, “Treatment which fails to address the toxicity of cancer stem cells is futile and irresponsible. Do not be misled into thinking tumor reduction means you are making progress. “[iii]  The cancer stem cell theory has been around for quite some time—therefore the ignorance of the majority of the medical field to blatantly ignore the research does indeed make such action irresponsible.  That said, in order to successfully treat cancer using the standard of care, including use of the ‘kinder and gentler’ IPT,  a viable protocol must include adjunctive care to minimize cancer stem cell stimulation and to “re-educate”  confused cancer stem cells so they can be transformed into more differentiated and more targetable, treatable, cancer tumor cells. Please view the following video:

In the video, Weeks quotes Daniel Haber MD:

“If the cancer stem cell hypothesis is true, treating the majority of dividing cancer cells will shrink a tumor but won’t cure the cancer unless we can target the cancer stem cells themselves.  That would explain why tumor shrinkage—the gold standard for measuring a drug’s effectiveness—doesn’t always translate into longer survival for patients.“ Daniel Haber, MD and Director Mass General Hospital Cancer Center

Should tumor shrinkage be the gold standard or goal of treatment?  Sometimes shrinkage is necessary, but given what we know about the limitations of chemo and radiation, it would seem  prudent not to ignore the very cells that lead to metastasis and challenge mortality.  Targeting stem cells might be as simple as prescribing the drug Metformin or an anti-inflammatory drug, so a conventional doctor arguably has the tools—and thus no excuse.  (Metformin is cheap and has very few side effects, but few doctors understand that this diabetes drug can reduce the risk of metastasis). However, there is a vast array of remedies available in nature and stress modifying activities that he or she may not be aware of that can do the job without the negative effects of drug treatment, and collectively might be even more effective.

“Cancer mortality is directly related to cancer stem cell activity (metastatic and proliferative).”  Brad Weeks MD

For the full story, view Cancer Control Society Controlling the Cancer STEM Cells video above. For more on Cancer Stem Cells and what we can do to target them, read Cancer Stem Cells—Could They Be the Key to Metastasis?

So what is a patient to do if chemo or radiation has been recommended?  Dr Weeks shared with me the five questions that he encourages his patients to ask their oncologists:

  • What chemo-sensitivity testing will you do to determine which chemotherapy agent to use?
  • How will you nourish and protect my healthy cells while you’re poisoning my cancer cells?
  • What will your proposed treatment do to my cancer STEM cells? (That’s really the game changer. If the doctor says, “What do you mean cancer stem cells?” you’re in the wrong office.)
  • How are you planning to interrupt the interleukin 6 and interleukin 8 SOS message, which my targeted and dying cancer tumor cells will emit in response to your chemo therapeutic radiation? (Admittedly, you’re going to be probably kicked out of the office by the time that sentence rolls off your tongue.)

And if the oncologist is still in the room at this point……

  • Would you give this same conventional treatment to your wife or children, and if not, what would you give them? Would you take it yourself?

You may also want to read: Is it Safe to Take Antioxidants and Other Natural Agents During Chemo and Radiation?

For more information, advocacy and educational services, please visit Dr Bradford Weeks at http://www.weeksmd.com or contact him at md@weeksmd.com.

Cancer stem cells are not just an issue if you have chemo or radiation –which is why we recur even if we just have surgery.  Distant metastases are often in place and undetectable when we have our surgery. For more information on cancer stem cells view these videos: Breast Cancer Stem Cell Regulation and Cancer Stem Cells with Professor Max Wicha MD.

Elyn

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

Brad Weeks MD completed undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College (major: Political Philosophy) then, prior to medical school training at the University of Vermont, Dr. Weeks worked in the Harvard system doing two years of research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s mineral metabolism unit working on osteoporosis (calcium, magnesium and vitamin D). In addition, he studied nutrition (including macrobiotics with Mishio Kushi in Brookline, MA), acupuncture, massage (shiatsu), music therapy (Tomatis method, power of chant), Anthroposophical medicine and classical homeopathy. Medical school at the University of Vermont was followed by medical internship (1 year) and psychiatric residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (3 years). He is a specialist in psychiatry and developed the field of “corrective medicine and psychiatry”.

After serving his patients for twenty years using “centsible” (safe, effective, and cost-effective) corrective care protocols, the Washington State Medical Board (MQAC) shut down his medical practice in March 2013. He is appealing what he and his attorney maintain was a vindictive, unjustified assault on his practice (and those of other holistic medical doctors in Washington State) as well a tremendously unfortunate deprivation of his patients’ rights to the care of their choice.

Please understand that Dr. Weeks considers this to have been politically motivated, as there were no patient complaints, no allegations of harm to any patients, and the Medical Commission attorney in charge admitted that it was a “self-generated” investigation. More information about this case is available upon request.

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/

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[i] Max Wicha MD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYmEIuZVJeU; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG22BEXscQE

[ii] Brad Weeks MD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYmEIuZVJeU

[iii] Brad Weeks MD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYmEIuZVJeU