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Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’

What You Need to Know About the Status of Intravenous Vitamin C

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer, cancer stem cells and recurrence, chemo and cancer stem cells, colon cancer, foods that target cancer stem cells, Healing Cancer Naturally, High Dose Vitamin C and Cancer, IVC and Cancer, what causes cancer stem cells, what causes cancer to spread on June 26, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Some people seem to be under the impression that it will soon be impossible to get intravenous vitamin C. There is no cause for alarm! While the FDA has been quietly attempting to ban this vital cancer treatment, it is still widely available.

About three years ago, the FDA created a shortage of IV bags, which did raise the price of the treatment by a few dollars. They also banned one manufacturer from making the injectable vitamin C solution. There is no doubt the FDA is up to no good, and we may see higher prices coming our way because of this. Clearly this is a ploy put in motion by Big Pharma with the blessings of the FDA.

However, many compounding pharmacies are still offering it, and none of the doctors I know of are having difficulties with supply.

Instead of banning IVC, the government should be grateful for this therapy.  But alas, a non-patentable solution would not line the pockets of Big Pharma, and sadly, those pockets are apparently more important than our lives.

High Dose Vitamin C a Valuable Cancer Treatment

In the past 46 years, trillions of dollars have been spent on cancer research and treatment since Nixon declared the ‘war on cancer’ in 1971.   The war was lost. The money was spent; the patients suffered; the patients died.

This is because cancer patients do not die from primary tumors.  We know that metastases are what kills 90% of cancer patients. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are suspected to be the cause of almost if not all of the metastases.

Yet, most oncologists focus on the primary tumor as if eradicating it will save the patient. They even recommend radiation to get rid of the pesky cells in a breast, for example. They offer chemotherapy to chase down lingering cancer cells.

But cancer stem cells are not eliminated by radiation or chemotherapy, and worse, these treatments can actually make them stronger.  Vitamin C has been found to kill cancer cells and do no harm to the patient –and it does not empower CSCs.  AND, unlike chemotherapy and radiation, we now know that it has the potential to kill the stem cells.

Oral High Dose Vitamin C Kills Cancer Stem Cells

Vitamin C has long been thought to be an effective addition to cancer protocols.  New research has found that oral high dose vitamin C given in conjunction with the common antibiotic doxycycline can kill cancer stem cells.[i]  Doxycycline kills cancer stem cells by suppressing the production of key DNA proteins driving these cells from oxygen to sugar metabolism (the process of glycolysis). In cancer cells, high-dose vitamin C treatment induces cell death by inhibiting glycolysis and thus interrupting the cell’s food supply (energy).  Plus, while doxycycline kills many cancer cells, others become resistant. The study found resistant cells were then destroyed by oral vitamin C. According to the researchers, the oral dose needed would be 3000 mg of C, taken four times daily.

Importantly, for those of you who, like me, prefer not to take pharmaceuticals, natural compounds such as oils extracted from oregano and thyme mimic doxycycline, and have been found to be just as effective. [ii]

For more information on utilizing high dose vitamin C, please read High Dose Vitamin C: The Other Cancer Therapy.

However, it is important to know that in high doses, oral vitamin C is just as effective (or possibly even more so) than Intravenous Vitamin C (IVC). This is important as IVC can be very expensive. You can consume high levels of oral C without the typical bowel intolerance by using Liposomal C or  Sodium Ascorbate. My two favorite brands of liposomal C are Mercola  and  Lypo-Spheric .  You can also make it at home.  One trip to google will provide DIY methods.

For more on CSC’s please view Cancer Stem Cells– Could They Be the Key to Metastasis?

ej portrait 150resElyn

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

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

Follow Elyn on Facebook
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Resources and information:

http://www.anh-usa.org/action-alert-now-the-fda-is-going-after-vitamin-c/

https://elynjacobs.com/2016/09/17/high-dose-vitamin-c-the-other-cancer-therapy/

[i] https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/06/bill-sardi/starving-cancer-cells-existence/

[ii] http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(16)30897-9/fulltext

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378517315303884

Natural Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Breast Cancer, foods that target cancer stem cells, Healing Cancer Naturally, Hormone Balance, Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors, Tamoxifen on April 14, 2017 at 9:29 am

Many women choose to skip hormone therapy for breast cancer in favor of natural alternatives. This is because many don’t believe that tamoxifen, for example, is actually the wonder drug it is claimed to be. Others are terrified about the harm that this drug  (and others) can do, and do not feel the purported benefits justify the risks. Importantly, many women have come to realize that the statistics provided just don’t add up.

Tamoxifen vs. Flaxseed

Tamoxifen vs. Nature, the Choice is Yours

The reality of the small absolute percentages is something to keep in mind when your oncologist is spewing statistics.  It’s frightening enough to be told you have breast cancer without having statistics thrown at us that are taken out of context. A statistic that is often quote to women advised to take tamoxifen is that it will cut their recurrence risk in half. In reality, that half may only represent a single digit decrease.  For some excellent articles on this please see the resource section below. It is also important to know that many women who take tamoxifen have recurrences anyway, and also that there are indeed significant risks to taking this drug.

 Progesterone and the Hormonal Dance

When estrogen is too high and progesterone is too low, we have a condition known as estrogen dominance.  When estrogen dominates, we have an increased risk of breast cancer. However, we need estrogen, so the goal should not be to block it (with aromatase inhibitors), but rather to reduce it (if necessary) while increasing progesterone. Importantly, very few doctors actually test hormone levels before ordering tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors.

Unfortunately, most women are deficient in progesterone. Stress is the number one reason for reduced progesterone. When we are stressed, adrenaline and cortisol rise and progesterone levels fall. This is because under stress, the body will always utilize the available pregnenolone to produce cortisol instead of progesterone.  One of the other main reasons for progesterone deficiency is the blocking of ovulation, which is done with oral contraceptives. Oral birth control pills suppress a woman’s own production of progesterone, which could result in a lifetime of progesterone deficiency. This topic will be explained further in my next post.

Making Progesterone…

The body uses cholesterol to make progesterone. In short, cholesterol makes the hormone pregnenolone, which is then converted into progesterone. (Pregnenolone is also the precursor for other hormones such as estrogen, cortisol, and testosterone). However, the body only makes so much pregnenolone, and the other hormones compete for this.

Many natural substances will help reduce estrogen dominance by managing estrogen and boosting progesterone levels. While no foods contain progesterone, certain micro-nutrients in them can help boost levels. For a more complete list, see below, but consider foods rich in zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, B6, and sulfur.

Sulfur-rich cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc.) are rich in glucosinolates, which activate phase 2 detoxifications in the liver. This helps to remove estrogen from the body and prevents it from circulating too long, keeping estrogen levels high. The sulfur helps boost progesterone levels.  For more information on the anti-cancer power of crucifers, please Click Here.

For information on reducing estrogen levels, please refer to your Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts.  If you are not currently a client of mine, you can request these tools via my Contact Page.

Many women are under the impression that progesterone supports the growth of breast cancer.  However, while synthetic progesterone does, in its natural form it is highly protective. For an in-depth discussion on this, please Click Here.

Recap of Natural Alternatives:

There are many things involved with ‘natural alternatives’. But again, one of the most important things with regards to estrogen is to raise progesterone (after all, we need estrogen for bone and heart health and over a hundred other necessary functions).  Below are some suggestions. Many of these things have already been recommended to you.  For more detail, please refer to your Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts as well as your overall protocol.

Try to include some of these items daily as well as throughout the day: (For supplement brand recommendations, please go to my Shop Page.  You should be able to find most items locally, but if not, there are links to Amazon.

  • Cruciferous vegetables and DIM—be sure you have adequate iodine in your diet as DIM and crucifers inhibit the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. For more detail on the importance of iodine, please refer to your Estrogen Handout.
  • Consume apples, onions, garlic, green tea, and other quercetin rich foods
  • Eat berries and pomegranate
  • Resveratrol –this is best gotten from red grapes and other foods, but fine to supplement if you prefer (do not take supplemental resveratrol with Salvestrols)
  • Herbs (fresh, dried, or essential oils) such as sage, rosemary, ginger, curcumin, thyme, basil, and ashwaganda
  • EFA’s from omega 3 fatty acids (please use caution with fish oil supplements as they can be toxic)
  • Licorice root –licorice root can lower estrogen while at the same time raising progesterone
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols or eat vitamin E-rich foods, such as nuts)
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium –reduces stress reactions and breaks down estrogen metabolites, reducing estrogen dominance
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6 (combats stress and helps the liver break down estrogen, reducing estrogen dominance) and helps increase blood levels of progesterone
  • Zeolites (for a discussion on this, please see my Shop Page)
  • Zinc
  • L-Arginine
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • Healthy cholesterol (needed to make pregnenolone) from coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, avocado, and olives
  • Fiber-rich foods such as flax seed, quinoa, oats, and millet (see below for more on flax–just be sure to grind this fresh daily)

You will also want to make sure that your liver and gut are functionally efficiently as estrogen is metabolized in the liver and excreted out of the bowel. By enhancing liver function, more estrogen is broken down in the body, reducing the overall estrogen load. Nutrients derived from cruciferous vegetables help with the detoxification of estrogen trough the liver (see more below).

When the liver and colon have become sluggish due to low thyroid function, stress, and an overburden of toxins, the body cannot break down and remove excess estrogen adequately from the system. The excess unbalanced estrogen gets stored in the fat cells of breast tissues when it is not properly eliminated. Supporting the liver with detoxifying foods such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), onions, whey powder, and supplements such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC), Milk Thistle, and SAMe can be very helpful.

Lifestyle Choices for Balancing Hormones and Inhibiting Cancer

Hormones become out of balance when we subject our bodies to a lifestyle that includes refined and processed foods, inadequate exercise, poor quality sleep, and exposure to xenoestrogens.  It is important to remember that contrary to what you may have been told, breast cancer (and other hormonal cancers) are not just about estrogen. Below are some suggestions to support hormone homeostasis as well as inhibit the development or progression of cancer.

  • Consume phytoestrogens -phytoestrogens act more like estrogen blockers than like estrogen; they modulate the production, availability, and action of hormones and slow down cell division. In fact, phytoestrogens are not really estrogens; they are anti-estrogens that reduce estrogen activity in the body. Plant estrogens protect us from the stronger estrogens our bodies produce as well as the xenoestrogens (chemical estrogen)  found in environmental chemicals, such as BPA and chemicals in personal care products. Phytoestrogens actually contain compounds that have been shown to reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells. Soy and flax are excellent sources of phytoestrogens.
  • Soy blocks cancer-promoting estrogens from attaching to the estrogen receptors on breast cells. It has also been shown to stop tumor growth, prevent metastasis, and shut off new blood vessels in growing tumors. Fermented soy, such as tempeh and miso are preferred over unfermented versions such as tofu as the fermentation process increases free radical scavenging activity and removes the nutrient blocking effect that soy can have—the phytic acid in unfermented soy can block absorption of key minerals such as magnesium and zinc. Soy in a highly-processed form (like soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, soy cheese) should be avoided. Due to the fact that most soy is genetically altered, it is highly recommended to consume only organic. (I do take issue with tempeh as it is commonly ‘shrink-wrapped’ in plastic.)
  •  Flaxseed modulates the production, availability, and action of hormones—and does so much more. The lignans in flax lower the production of estrogen by blocking the aromatase enzyme (similar to aromatase inhibitors) and block the estrogen receptors (similar to Tamoxifen). When lignans are consumed, intestinal bacteria convert them into enterolactone and enterodiol, weak estrogens. They attach to estrogen receptors, stimulate them weakly and block estrogen binding. This prevents estradiol or estrone from attaching to the estrogen receptors and strongly stimulating them, and includes not just the estrogen we produce, but also environmental toxins, thus making breast tissue more resistant to these environmental toxins. One long-term study reported that relatively high circulating enterolactone levels are associated with lower risk of death after an early-stage breast cancer diagnosis. A 2003 study conducted by Lilian Thompson PhD showed that daily consumption of ground flax seed significantly reduced breast cancer tumor size. Please read my articles — Flaxseed: Better Than Tamoxifen and Demystifying Flaxseed and Estrogen.
  • Eat good food—a diet rich in whole, primarily plant-based foods will support the adrenals and pretty much every function of the body.
  • Exercise—it reduces stress and positively effects gene expression; helps to balance hormones.
  • Clean out the closets—replace health, home and beauty products with non-toxic alternatives. A quick visit to the Environmental Working Group website will enable you to evaluate the products you use.
  • REDUCE STRESS—stress challenges adrenal function and makes direct physiological changes to DNA, not to mention that it significantly raises estrogen levels and depletes progesterone. Engage in yoga, meditation, and other mind-body therapies such as Psychotherapy, EFT, EMDR, the Emotion Code, and others that release negative emotions and past traumas.
  • Drink clean liquids. Choose filtered water (remove chlorine, fluoride, and other toxins in tap water).
  • Avoid alcohol, but if you do drink wine, make it organic–you wouldn’t eat conventional grapes, so don’t drink conventional wine. And, while red wine is somewhat protective against breast cancer as its resveratrol and other anti-cancer compounds help to metabolize estrogen and activate the P53 gene, don’t go overboard.  Your liver has to process that alcohol and if you drink too much, it won’t be able to metabolize estrogen efficiently. For more on the pros and cons of alcohol, please Click Here.
  • Get more sleep—lack of sleep disturbs hormone balance. Try to get to sleep by 10 pm as melatonin production peaks between 10 pm and 2 am. Melatonin stimulates tumor-suppressor genes and counteracts the effects of aggressive estrogens, including xenoestrogens. Cell phone EMF exposure can suppress the production of melatonin—limit use before bed (unplug 1-2 hours before going to bed) and do not keep them near your bed, and preferably out of your room.
  • Go with your gut, take a probiotic. Probiotics support gut bacteria and improve digestion, helping to prevent constipation. This is important because when stool remains in the bowel for extended periods of time, excess estrogen is re-absorbed and re-circulated into the bloodstream. Plus, immune function depends on healthy gut micro flora—and gut flora effects cancer genes too!
  • Consume GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), which is found in evening primrose oil and in hemp seeds. Research shows that this type of omega-6 may support healthy progesterone levels.
  • Eat turmeric or take supplements as turmeric effects estrogen receptor positive cancer cells.
  • Eat zinc-rich foods such as pastured eggs and meats and sprouted seeds. Shellfish such as oysters are abundant in zinc but should be eaten only in moderation.
  • Eat onions, garlic, chives, and scallions which are rich in sulfur-containing amino acids and the powerful anti-oxidant quercetin that help the liver detoxify at a higher level and reduce the production of estrogen.
  • avocado kale salad

    Avocado Kale Salad with Tomatoes and Spro

    Eat more vegetables. Aim for 10-15 servings a day (at least one pound daily). This will help excrete estrogen so it doesn’t keep circulating in the body. Also, aim for 35-45 grams of fiber per day, achieving this goal slowly to avoid gas or bloating. This will also help to keep weight in check—overweight or obese people tend to have higher circulating estrogen. Combining various vegetables in one meal can be especially helpful. For information on food synergy, please Click Here.

  • Eat raw carrots– When carrots are well chewed or grated, they help to stimulate the intestines and reduce the re-absorption of estrogen and the absorption of bacterial carrottoxins. The fiber in raw carrots binds to excess estrogen, helping to safely remove it from the body.
  • Essential oils can also be quite helpful in the management of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. Essential oils prevent angiogenesis, stop metastatic growth, increase apoptosis, and do so much more. Once you get started with essential oils, you will find that most, if not all, contain powerful anti-cancer properties, including the balancing of hormones.
    • Clove oil –Research has revealed that the eugenol in clove not only inhibits cancer growth and promotes apoptosis (cancer cell death), but it also acts as an antagonist to estrogen.
    • Lemon and other citrus oils can help reduce circulating estrogen. [On a side note, the D-Limonene in lemon oil has many other impressive anti-cancer abilities: it inhibits cellular proliferation and tumor growth, promotes apoptosis, supports immune function, and stimulates the liver’s detoxifying systems– and so much more].
    • Thyme oil supports progesterone levels. Evening primrose oil and thyme together are very beneficial to help balance levels of progesterone.
    • Clary Sage oil helps balance estrogen levels whether you have too much or too little estrogen. You can use it with a carrier oil on your skin or hair. It also initiates apoptosis (programmed cell death). Clary sage also contains phytoestrogens which, like flaxseed, can block estrogen receptors. I suggest you rub a few drops into the soles of your feet before bed. This will help to balance your hormones as well as promote healthy sleep.
    • Myrrh and fennel are strong phytoestrogens. Myrrh clears excess estrogen and detoxifies the liver.
    • Sandalwood stops DNA from repairing itself (cancer DNA). Note: Cedarwood can be just as effective and is cheaper.
    • Mint is effective against numerous types of cancer, such as acute T-cell leukemia, brain tumors, prostate, breast, cervical, bladder, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

ej pink two

Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough — breast cancer is NOT just about estrogen.  Cancer is a symptom of a complex problem. It is a multi-factorial situation that presents to reveal dis-ease within the mind, body, and soul.  Therefore, in order to heal, one must correct the issues that caused the symptom we know as cancer.

Please also read:

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

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

Resources: Understanding Statistics

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

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

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

Tamoxifen: What Difference Does It Really Make? 

Elyn

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

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

Follow Elyn on Facebook
Follow Elyn on LinkedIn

Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors

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

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

The Role of Aromatase Inhibitors

Aromatase inhibitors drugs (AIs) such as Fermara, Aromasin and Arimidex, stop the production of estrogen in postmenopausal women. More specifically, they block the enzyme aromatase, the enzyme responsible for the biosynthesis and balance of estrogens.

However, while AIs have been found to prevent some breast cancer recurrences, they have not been found to actually prolong life (meaning you don’t die of the breast cancer, but rather from aromatase inhibitor use). This is due to the resulting effects—as I like to call them—particularly heart damage. They also reduce quality of life due to side effects such as the never ending flu symptoms, hair thinning and loss, vaginal bleeding, skin rashes, joint pain, stiffness and swelling (severe enough to require pain medication), hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, nausea, and headaches. Women may also feel tired and lethargic while on the drug, experience breathing difficulties, depression, and mood swings, tightness in the chest, and because of the loss of the estrogen, bone thinning (think broken bones). Not to mention that breast cancers eventually develop resistance to drug therapies.

Just because your doctor prescribed an AI, doesn’t mean that it is right for you. Making the right decision for you, for your body, is bigger than just accepting doctor’s orders. Masking a problem with an aromatase inhibitor is not the same thing as correcting the problem. And even if reducing aromatase might be helpful for you, yes, there is a better way.

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

The Scoop on Estrogen  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is There a Natural Alternative to Aromatase Inhibitors?

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

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

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

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

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

Read also Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen 

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

Read Mushrooms as well as the link in that post.

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

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

Found this article helpful?  Please let me know.

 

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

 

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Flaxseed: Better Than Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Hormone Balance, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on February 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Phytoestrogens such as flax seed are cancer-preventive, not causative. Regular consumption of flax seed prevents breast cancer, reduces tumor growth, inhibits the progression of the disease, and dramatically increases survival time.

Your Doctor is Wrong

Many doctors tell their patients to avoid flaxseed as they believe that phytoestrogens are bad for women with breast cancer. The ‘logic’ behind the notion that flax is a weak estrogen and therefore could potentially stimulate hormone dependent cancers is simply, well, not logical. On the contrary, studies have found that the more flaxseed a woman eats, the less likely she will get breast cancer. If she has already been diagnosed, flaxseed has the potential to reduce the growth and invasiveness of her cancer.

While it is true that a high concentration of plasma estrogen is associated with breast cancer, the lignans in flaxseed actually help reduce estrogen’s effects. Phytoestrogens compete with natural estrogen for binding to the receptors on breast cells, yet they exert much milder action than the body’s own estrogen. While the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen also blocks estrogen receptors, it comes with a host of dangerous side effects.

flax vs tamoxifenOne of the other ways the tamoxifen works is by starving the tumor of its blood supply. However, once again, researchers have found that flaxseed provides the same response.

A landmark study led by lignin expert Dr Lilian Thompson, a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, showed that just two tablespoons (25 grams) of flaxseed daily can significantly reduce tumor growth. The researchers further concluded that the effect of flaxseed on cancerous cells was comparable to that of tamoxifen, sans the side effects.

In this infamous study, women with newly diagnosed breast cancer were given either a muffin laden with 25 grams of flaxseed  or a placebo muffin that did not contain flax. The researchers found that in those participants who had eaten the flax muffin there was a 34% reduction of the Ki-67 index expression (a cellular marker for proliferation) a 71% decrease in Her2/Neu expression (Her2/neu is a genetic marker that predicts the aggressiveness of the cancer) and a 30.7% increase in apoptosis (cell death).  Mighty impressive results.

When the tumors were removed, the researchers found that the women who had eaten the flax seed muffins had slower-growing tumors than the others. And what is really cool is that the researchers found that the effect of  flax on the cancerous cells was comparable with that seen using chemotherapy (tamoxifen).

Flaxseed inhibits breast cancer whether the tumor is estrogen receptor positive or negative, and the response is dose-dependent. The more flax you consume, the more effective it will be. In fact, one study determined that women who eat the most flax reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by a whopping 62 percent!

 Key Benefits of Flaxseed

  • Decreases cell proliferation rates
  • Significantly reduces tumor growth
  • Decreases angiogenesis and increases apoptosis (which seem to account for the decreased tumor growth)
  • 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 metastasis of ER-negative breast tumors
  • ALA from flaxseed reduces growth of breast cancer, including ER-negative and triple-negative breast cancer
  • Rich in Omega 3’s with have been found to positively influence the tumor suppressor genes—BRCA. When properly functioning, these genes prevent tumor growth by repairing DNA
  • Radio-protective (consuming flax can help prevent the body from damaging mammograms, radio-therapy, CT and PET scans

I encourage you to read my post Demystifying Flaxseed and Estrogen for more on flaxseed and breast cancer.

For an excellent discussion on the distortion of the efficacy of tamoxifen, please read Tamoxifen; the Manipulation of Statistics and Natural Solutions to Balance the Hormones.

Some of the studies suggest two tablespoons daily is enough, but others recommend slightly more than three.  Interestingly, the summer before my re-diagnosis, I  cut back on consumption.  This past summer, however, I not only consumed flax — I consumed a great deal of it.  Most days I had 5-8 tablespoons.  I hadn’t originally thought about this when I was considering what, of all the things that I did, turned my cancer around.  Now that I look back, it could very well be that flax was a key player.

So how exactly did I end up eating so much flaxseed?  If you remember my post on Food Fatigue, I suddenly had a hankering for pizza, made with a garbanzo bean crust as I had given up wheat. It wasn’t long before I used that crust to make ‘toast’ to go with my eggs, and before long, I modified that crust to be mostly flax (and some chia seeds too!). Since then I have come up with some amazing recipes, so look for Part II for those.

Clearly oncologists should be advising their patients to eat copious amounts of dietary flax.  I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, but you might want to consider including flax in your daily diet. Flaxseed is only one of the components of an anti-cancer, estrogen management protocol, but it is an important one.flax grinder

Remember that flaxseed oxidizes quickly, turning it rancid.  To ensure the stability and nutritional value of flax, please grind the seeds just prior to use. This can be easily done in a simple coffee grinder.

If you are interested in learning about natural alternatives to tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, please contact me for more information.

Click here for Recipes

More Studies and Posts on Flaxseed:

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxseeds-breast-cancer-survival-epidemiological-evidence/

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxseeds-breast-cancer-survival-clinical-evidence/

http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/flaxseeds.html#_edn12

http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/6/1373.short

Resources

http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/11/10/3828.full.html

http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/flaxseeds.html

http://preventcancer.aicr.org/new/docs/pdf/AICR-InDepth-Issue-01-Flaxseed-and-Breast-Cancer.pdf

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

http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/11/10/3828

Nothing in this post is intended to be medical advice, nor is it a replacement for medical advice. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any diseases or conditions. Always consult with your medical team before making treatment choices.

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. Contact Elyn via her website, www.elynjacobs.com. By doing so you can ascertain exactly how she is able to assist you as you optimize your health. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone or in person.

Why We Are Not Winning the War on Cancer

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Did you know that most people with cancer do not die of their cancer, but rather from the complications and consequences of cancer and its treatment?  And these complications and consequences are often preventable, or can be successfully treated.”  Keith Block, 2012 Annie Appleseed CAM Conference 

 

After hearing Dr Keith Block present at the Annie Appleseed CAM conference, I knew I needed to interview him, to share with you all that I learned from him at the conference and more.   Thank you, Dr Block for taking the time to share with me your roadmap for surviving and thriving. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the lack of success cancer treatment has had on mortality rates. Unless otherwise noted, the information in this post is derived from his presentation and our interview.

In 1971, President Nixon declared war on cancer.  Forty-one years and billions of dollars later, we have yet to win the war. In fact, mortality rates have declined by less than 5% in the last 60 years! In this same time period, mortality from heart disease has dropped 64%. It’s not that we don’t have new cancer drugs; it’s just that they’re not offering major improvement in survival time. Most often these new drugs have only improved outcomes by 4-16 weeks.  The numbers tell the story:  we are not winning the war on cancer. 

Cancer itself is a disease of defects”  KB

Everyone seeks the infamous magic bullet for cancer, the cure.  But cancer is not an isolated group of errant cells waiting to be annihilated by a wonder drug.  Cancer is not merely a tumor; it is an underlying condition, a disease of defects – in genes, of disruption in the microenvironment where the disease resides, as well as in the personal life of the patient and the family in crisis.

It is based on abnormal patterns driven by genetics and lifestyle.  It reflects changes in your body all the way down to the microscopic and molecular levels, changes that began long before you had any symptoms of cancer—indeed, long before cancer was diagnosed or even detectable. The battle against cancer is not so much against a single defect in a protein or cancerous mutation, it is a war on many fronts; it has multiple targets.  Therefore – with the possible exception of one or two types of early stage cancer, using one bullet to eradicate this disease will almost always fail.

We need a multi-targeted approach.  Even the latest breakthrough drugs that hit two targets don’t come close to addressing this problem.  In theory, using many more than two drugs to hit many targets at the same time would help, however, the cost and toxicities render this unrealistic. And, keep in mind, that cancer is sneaky.  If you put up a roadblock, cancer will find a way to get around it.  But this is not the case for nutraceuticals, where their combined usage has negligible risk and toxicity; they are able hit multiple targets – and thus can address substitute or compensatory pathways – and are relatively inexpensive.  Plant extracts such as turmeric, lycopene, and green tea can target cancer on many levels; they hit many targets and cut off pathways, and they can address those molecular targets without the toxicity of multiple chemotherapies. For example, crucifers, (broccoli, cabbage and the like) can help reduce adverse effects of estrogen; flax has demonstrated a reduction in ki-67, a marker of cancer cell proliferation; green tea markedly countered the malignant conversion for patients at high risk for prostate cancer.   While no one is suggesting that these compounds will single-handedly eradicate cancer, each provides a powerful punch in addressing various mechanisms that drive cancer, and can synergistically interact to create an inhospitable microenvironment where cancer cells lose ground, toxicity is lessened and treatments work better.

Regarding Chemotherapy….

 Dr Block, how can chemo be more effective and less toxic?

One of the most powerful ways to improve the response to chemotherapy is to administer chemo drugs in concert with optimal biological rhythms.  With this technique, called chronomodulated chemotherapy, pumps are programmed to deliver the largest dose of the drug at a time when cancer cells are most susceptible, and normal cells are the least vulnerable.  And the timing is unique to each drug.  Think of it like a pointed bell curve (sine wave curve); the drug is at first administered at low dose, slowly ramps up, peaks and then tapers off. The research supporting this unique form of chemotherapy infusion demonstrates a reduction in toxicity, improved response, and improved outcomes and survival in a number of studies. In fact, the literature contains studies showing chronomodulation of chemotherapy can even allow for patients to be successfully re-challenged with the identical drugs they previously received and needed to discontinue, either because they were ineffective, became ineffective prematurely, or were too debilitating to tolerate.

For example, for metastatic colon cancer patients, studies show that administering chemotherapy at the optimal time can halve toxicity and double treatment response.  For advanced metastatic ovarian cancer, a study in the journal Cancer reported that optimal timing of chemotherapy can reduce toxic side effects by 50 percent and quadruple five-year survival.

What about the safety of antioxidants and other supplements during treatment?

 Our published studies have shown that most antioxidants displayed no interfering effect with chemotherapy. In fact, they actually synergistically interact to enhance treatment and diminished the side effects of chemo. For example, it may be possible to mitigate some of the cardiac injury from drugs like Herceptin by taking agents like hawthorne and COq10.  In addition, glutamine, vitamin B6, and alpha-lipoic acid appear to help prevent neuron injury (neuropathy).

Click here to read more on supplementation and toxicity.

                                           But the doctor said he “got it all!”

 Cancer is not simply a visible disease.  It’s not just about the macroscopic tumors that can be seen on a scan.  The surgeon saying “I got it all,” while certainly a message to be celebrated, should not signal the end of treatment.  One has to think of the disease systemically, not locally; it is a microcellular condition that is impacted by the extracellular environment that the cells reside in.  The typical gold standard, surgery, chemo and radiation, so often fail to prevent the spread or recurrence of the disease because they often miss picking up renegade cancer cells, miss strengthening the body’s biological integrity, and do not reach all of the underlying molecular accidents that initiated cancer in the first place.  As a result, even if the original tumor is removed, the environment that it resided in – as well as the treatments themselves – can create a biological imbalance for cancer to recur.  In addition, many cancer treatments leave a patient with considerable oxidative stress and inflammation, well known to interfere with treatment, increase various side effects including neuropathy, cardiomyopathy, fatigue and mucositis, and provide the fuel for clonal evolution – increasing the aggressiveness of otherwise dormant cells for their next time around.

From a logical point of view…if cancer liked my body enough to grow cancer once, why not again…I know that I need to make the terrain less hospitable, to change the environment in which it was able to grow. EJ

Remember, even when the primary tumor is removed, micro-metastases may already have migrated to and seeded other parts of the body.   In fact, it has been estimated that many cancer patients unknowingly already have metastases, malignant cells that have broken off the original tumor, traveled through the bloodstream to far-flung sites in the body, and begun the insidious process of growing in another dangerous tumor.   Keep in mind that all cancers start with a genetic glitch in a single cell. Conventional cancer treatment does little to prevent cells from regrouping, proliferating, and forming new tumors.  Just because you have achieved remission through elimination of the primary tumor does not mean you are home free.  However, the good news is that cancer cells are remarkably fragile.  Unless they are nurtured and protected by the biochemical terrain in your body, they have a difficult time surviving.  Your internal biochemistry can either nourish cancer cells or make the terrain inhospitable to cancer.

         Walking just three to five hours a week can cut cancer death rates by one-half. KB

We know that lifestyle is directly related to cancer, and that diet and exercise are associated with lower cancer recurrence rates and longer survival.  Recently, the ACS issued new guidelines urging doctors to talk to their cancer patients about eating right, exercising and slimming down if they’re too heavy.  It’s a start, but not specific enough for most of us, nor is it comprehensive enough to help win the war.  Talk to your doctor – ideally one experienced in integrative oncology – about devising your own personalized plan for wellness.  By combining conventional treatments with a personally tailored regimen of natural agents, fitness regimens, and stress management- strategies, we can support our body to improve the chances of defeating cancer.

One last note, if I may.  While in most cases, cancer does not “just happen,” it is also something for which we cannot blame ourselves.  Cancer is not caused by a “bad” diet or a toxic environment.  Food is not either good or bad; let’s just say that some foods are better than others. However, as Dr Block said, cancer is “driven by genetics and lifestyle”. That said, diet and exercise can have a profound effect on the initiation and progression of the disease.  If a genetic defect occurs, our food choices either support or suppress the development of cancer.  I don’t blame myself for getting cancer, but yet now that I fully understand the power of food, I make conscious food choices to support my body against cancer.  Knowledge is power, and if everything I put in my mouth either supports or inhibits cancer, then now I am empowered to gain control. Joy is also an important ingredient for health; so while we want to make healthy food choices, we also need to remember that occasional indulgences and enjoying meals with friends are good for the soul. It’s all about balance and in giving your body what it needs.  Empower yourself to be an active participant in your healing and an advocate for your health.

In good health,

Elyn

Listen to Dr Block on the Survive and Live Radio Show:

June 12th, 2012 http://hipcast.com/podcast/H1GYpQ6Q Dr Keith Block, Integrative Oncology

January 15th, 2013– http://hipcast.com/podcast/Hcy2PBDs Dr Keith Block–What do Survival Statistics and Hope Really Mean to You?

Keith I. Block, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in integrative oncology.  In 1980, he co-founded the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Skokie, Illinois, the first such facility in North America, and serves as its Medical and Scientific Director.  He is the author of Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment.

Dr. Block is the Scientific Director of the Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Education, where he has collaborated with colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Bar Ilan University in Israel.  Dr. Block is also the founding editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal, Integrative Cancer Therapies (ICT).  In 2005, he was appointed to the National Cancer Institute’s Physician Data Query (PDQ) Cancer CAM Editorial Board, on which he continues to serve today.

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, a professional cancer coach, a radio talk show host, 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. To learn more about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit:  https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com.  To tune into the Survive and Live Well radio show, please visit www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm (est).

What Everyone Should Know About Beating Cancer

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

The following is a guest post I wrote for the Inspired Wellness Center Blog:

What Everyone Should Know About Beating Cancer 

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 

 Our very survival depends on how we manage our cancer.  Cancer is a multifactorial disease.  Every person and every cancer is unique.  Genetic, environmental, nutritional and psychological factors all play a role in the development of cancer, and the toxic soup-mix   is different for each individual. 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 sometimes the system fails: the development of cancer is an indication that the body lacks the support necessary to destroy cancer cells. 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. Therefore, to comprehensively treat our cancer, we must attack from all sides; we must dissect our soup.  If we don’t uncover and correct the environment in which cancer was permitted to grow, our chances for recurrence or new cancers are greatly increased. 

 

Conventional medicine targets the cancer that we detect right now: surgery to remove the tumor and therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation to target errant cells left behind.  What about the new cells that proliferate?  Conventional treatments alone are not winning the war on cancer.  We, as patients, must play an active role in restoring and maintaining health.  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.

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, an emotion not expressed in words or actions finds expression in physical ailments.  Physical symptoms are often related to past repressed traumatic experiences, and toxic defense mechanisms are often developed in childhood to survive life’s inevitable traumas.

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.

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.  Take a walk, run, get 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 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.

                                                   

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, diet rich in legumes, fruits and vegetables is recommended (as well as exercise and maintaining a healthy weight).  Limit 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.  

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.

You might also find this link helpful, should you be interested in Acupuncture:

http://www.inspired-wellness.com/blog/2011/06/29/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-acupuncture/#comment-885

Elyn Jacobs

elyn@elynjacobs.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 empowers women to be active participants in their health; she is passionate about helping others get past their cancer and into a cancer-free life.

Find Elyn on Linked-in, Twitter @elynjacobs and FB:elynjacobs and Elyn Jacobs Consulting

 

Cancer Tips from the Integrative Healthcare Symposium

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Integrative Healthcare Symposium, and wish to share some information.  Dr Jeffrey Bland spoke on the clinical implications of epigenetics.  Dr Leo Galland spoke on Dysbiosis and the GI ecosystem.  Dr James Gordon spoke of importance of hope and also of the benefits of meditation, that meditation changes the structure of the brain. Dr Mimi Guarneri shared the opinion that Metformin may well be the most effective anti-cancer drug out there. Dr Dean Ornish spoke on the power of lifestyle changes.  Dr Tori Hudson spoke on women’s health, hormones, and botanicals that can help reduce stress and protect ourselves during harmful chemo and radiation. Dr Lise Alschuler made a compelling argument for embracing polyphenolic flavonoids.  Dr Mark Hyman spoke and entertained us with the perils of toxins and the benefits and strategies for detoxification.  Devra Lee Davis, PhD shocked us with the perils of using cell phones and other such devices, and encouraged us to practice safe-cell (a topic of its own and will get its own post).  There were many, many more and while I can’t possibly rehash all the valuable information, I’d like to share some key points and in the next few weeks will comment in more detail.

 Jeffrey Bland spoke of environmental epigenetics, the exposure and its relationship to chronic illness, and also the effect of specific nutrients on genetic expression.  He spoke of how phytochemicals “talk to our genes”.  Food is information, eat dead food, get dead information.  He encouraged us to eat for health.

What amazed me is transgenerational epigenetics, the effect on our future generations.  He explained that once the genes are marked, they carry to the next generations, already marked.  So, the lifestyle modifications that make you sick, such as radiation, stress, infections, drugs, diet, and pollution, will likely make generations forward sick.   He mentioned Moshe Szyf, whose concern is what happens in a world community where the children don’t feel safe. Will this emotional stress jeopardize generations forward?

 He then got into how the food a mother eats during pregnancy imprints the gene expression in her babies.  A lack of Folate or b-12 can have detrimental consequences.  He gave the example of childhood leukemia; that it has been identified to be associated with altered epigenetics, and in this case, he was especially concerned with the deficiency of B12 and Folate in those that carry the gene.  He also said that early-life environmental conditions can cause epigenetic changes in humans that persist throughout life.

 Leo Galland reminded us that it’s not that stress suppresses the immune system, it is because the stress directly affects the gut flora.  The gut has a brain of its own; an intact and independent nervous system containing over 500 million neurons.  The gut is also the largest organ of immune function in the body; 70% of our lymphocytes live here. (And we all know how important the immune system is in fighting cancer). He also commented that large bowel cancer is associated with high fat, high protein, low fiber diets.  He suggests probiotics and prebiotics, foods that support the growth of probiotics, such as bran, psyllium, inulin (think chicory and artichokes), resistant starch, and oligofructose (think onions, garlic, rye, blueberries, bananas and chicory).

Dean Ornish talked about how fear is not a sustainable motivator; that we might agree to a treatment plan or drug out the fear our doctors might instill, but real change comes from what you want to do, not on what someone says you should do.  If lifestyle changes make you feel better, you are more likely to stay with them as opposed to taking a drug that you fear of that makes you feel bad.  Lifestyle changes empower you to take control of your health, and this was Dean Ornish’s message.    He spoke of lifestyle and Prostate cancer risk and said that lifestyle had up to a 70% effect on risk.  He also said that only one in 49 patients treated for prostate cancer actually live longer, so it would likely be better to treat with lifestyle changes. He spoke of lung cancer. Telling patients that by quitting smoking they will reduce risk of lung cancer did not motivate them to quit, but telling them that it gives you wrinkles or makes men impotent, well yes, now that was motivation. 

He spoke of diet and like others, suggested that if it comes from a plant, eat it; if it is made in a plant, avoid it.  He also reminded us that what you include is just as important as what you exclude, so eat mindfully.

He also made us aware that Medicare is now paying for comprehensive lifestyle changes for patients wishing to reverse heart disease, so hopefully the same will soon be offered for cancer patients.

He embraced cancer support groups commenting that meeting (in person or online) in a group once a week dramatically improved the survival rate for those with metastatic breast cancer.  He asked us if we knew the difference between illness and wellness. (I also stands for Isolation, btw, and is not indicative of wellness).

     Illness     Wellness 

Lise Alschuler explained that flavonoids exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune modulating, hormone balancing, blood sugar stabilizing and cancer prevention effects.  Flavonoids are one of the reasons why it is so important to consume a diet full of colorful vegetables and fruits.  She stressed that they can help your chemo work and protect you during radiation.  She also said you need to eat them every meal, as the effects last for about 1-4 hours.  

Trying to quit smoking?  Studies showed that smokers who ate plenty of vegetables and drank tea and red wine substantially reduced their risk for cancer.  So, while you are trying to quit, have some broccoli or a glass of wine with that cigarette.  However, she stresses that this does not give you permission to continue smoking.

She also showed the reverse relationship between flavonoid consumption and ovarian cancer (37%), and 47% for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as between isoflavonoids (Non GMO soy) consumption and ovarian cancer (49%). 

She explained the powerful properties in Delphinidin as a cancer prevention agent (think Maquai berries) and mentioned that they were also helpful in reducing the damage of radiation, and that in general, flavonoids should not be so quickly dismissed during chemotherapy as they can be helpful, not harmful.  She also mentioned the benefits of Resveratrol, (heard this from many during the three days…)

 

Mark Hyman takes the approach that doctors shouldn’t treat disease; create health and the disease will go away.  He spoke of the hidden dangers of wheat, what he calls the new dwarf or FrankenWheat – a scientifically engineered food product developed in the last 50 years. Two slices of this new whole wheat bread now raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugarFor those of us trying to eliminate sugar from our diets, this was quite a shock. For more information, check out his new book, Blood Sugar Solution http://drhyman.com/bss-sneak-preview/ 

He also explained how toxins make you fat (toxins interfere with and slow down metabolism) as well as contribute to all chronic illnesses, including cancer.  To detox your body, he suggests:

  • Eat more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, etc.) as well as garlic, green tea, turmeric, and whole eggs. They contain phytonutrient detox-boosting compounds.  Add them to your diet daily.  Other great detox foods are cilantro, celery, parsley, dandelion greens, citrus peels (not orange unless organic) pomegranate, artichokes and rosemary
  • Sweat regularly using saunas
  • Take glutathione-boosting and detox-boosting supplements NAC, milk thistle, and buffered vitamin C
    • NAC dramatically increases glutathione.  Glutathione helps eliminate pesticides and heavy metals and protects the body from oxidative stress
    • Milk thistle has long been used in liver disease and helps boost glutathione levels

For more information on any of the topics above, please comment to this post or email me at elyn@elynjacobs.com.

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

Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, 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.

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/tamoxifen-side-effects.html

http://www.rxlist.com/nolvadex-drug.htm

http://www.holisticmed.com/toxic/tamoxifen.shtml

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR601293/DSECTION=side-effects

http://lifeovercancerblog.typepad.com/life-over-cancer-blog/2011/10/getting-the-most-out-of-tamoxifen.html

Ok…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 

Please view the following links for the how-to of reducing the toxins in your world:

http://cincovidas.com/toxic-truth/ingredients-to-avoid-in-personal-care-products/

http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm

http://www.ecomall.com/biz/cleaning.htm

http://www.ewg.org/schoolcleaningsupplies/safecleaningtips

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 golden flaxseed daily. If you are unable to eat 2-3 Tbs daily, I recommend a supplement: Brevail Proactive Breast Health Capsules, 30-Count Box

More on the benefits of flaxseed:

https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/demystifying-flaxseed-and-estrogen/

http://www.thehindu.com/health/medicine-and-research/article2455486.ece

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/139/11/2061.full

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, red wine may lower estrogen levels. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240065.php?utm_medium=twitter&utm_s

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 .  Nature’s Way – Dim-Plus, 120 capsules

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 visit: https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/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.  I strongly recommend the use of super-food powders such as Completely GreenDesigns for Health PaleoredsPaleogreens  and similar formulas….these 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.

You may find the following article helpful, but please discuss any and all of the suggestions here with your doctor before utilizing them. http://www.drlam.com/articles/estrogen_dominance.asp?page=1

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: https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/natural-alternatives-to-aromatase-inhibitors/

Elyn Jacobs

Elyn Jacobs is a certified cancer coach, a breast cancer survivor and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation.  She empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs.  Elyn helps women to uncover the nutritional deficiencies and emotional stress patterns that may have contributed to their cancer and to support their body as it activates it own natural ability to fight the disease. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. To learn more about Elyn’s coaching services or to learn more about eating for life, please visit:  https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com.

Elyn’s Blog

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2011 at 6:42 pm

A Positive attitude

There has been so much controversy over the need for a positive attitude.  A positive attitude does not mean you have to be upbeat about your cancer or prognosis.  It simply means that if you convince yourself you are going to die, then it could just become a self-fulfilling prophesy, and the reverse…if you convince yourself you will live a long-healthy life, you are on the road to achieve this goal.  I recently benefitted from Reflexology, so I decided to blog about the benefits.  However, in picking up a book on Reflexology, The Art of Reflexology by Inge Dougans, I came upon some words I wish to share.   I have much confidence in modern medicine, and I sincerely believe it has its place.  I owe my life to my cancer team, but I have also suffered greatly from doctors treating other issues.  The narrow-minded view of treating symptoms with little regard to the true cause of the problem has caused me much pain and suffering.   My wish is for people to be offered the option of combining the best of conventional medicine with the benefits of complementary medicine. 

The following is adapted from a portion of The Art of Reflexology, a Totally New Approach Using the Chinese Meridian Theory.

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

Holism is a recently rediscovered concept in healing.  According to the holistic approach to medicine, health is defined as a positive, glowing state of mental and physical well-being, not merely the absence of disease.  Prior to the advent of modern medicine the manifestation of disease was recognized as being the result of disharmony in the physical, emotional and spiritual spheres, and health perceived as a balance between these three.  Thus no symptom or disorder could be treated in isolation.  Holistic healing methods, therefore, always treat the person as a whole.  They do not work specifically on an impaired organ or malfunctioning system, but on the whole person with the aim of mobilizing the body’s own healing powers to restore the organism to a state of equilibrium.

 For thousands of years it was accepted that illness resulted from a disturbance in man’s internal environment.  Then came the orthodox scientific approach dominated by the germ theory.  It has been the focus of medicine ever since.  Once it was known that micro-organisms could invade the body and flourish into specific diseases, the search was on to seek out, identify and combat them.  Man came to be perceived as a sum of working parts and the approach to disease dominated by symptomatic diagnosis and palliative treatment. 

The germ theory has been quite convenient, as most of us prefer to believe that illness is the result of external forces.  This approach is now seen to be far too simplistic.  The failure of the germ theory to combat the vast and intricate realm of disease has resulted in increased interest in, and demand for, natural therapies; therapies which recognize that the problem of health and disease does not lie in identifying symptoms but in the greater understanding of people and their needs as individuals.

 Disease is generated by a combination of circumstances both inside and outside the body.  The main object of holistic healing is to help correct the life condition that predisposes a person to disease.  A vast number of factors can initiate disease—particularly in our modern, highly industrialized, polluted environment.  Yet one of the most important factors in the development of disease is state of mind.

 The mind is immensely powerful and the relationship between mind and body should never be underestimated.  Because all life is based on energy, health is considered to be the harmonious interplay of energies within the body.  Negative thoughts and emotions restrict the free flow of these energies, causing congestions which ultimately manifest as disease if not corrected.  It is now widely accepted that a positive attitude is a major step towards creating a healthy body.  This is so eloquently expressed by Dr Randolph Stone who said: ‘As you think, so you are.’  He wrote in Health Building: We become what we contemplate.  Negative thoughts and fears make grooves in the mind as negative energy waves of despondency and hopelessness.  We cannot think negative thoughts and reap positive results, and therefore we must assert the positive and maintain a positive pattern of thinking and acting as our ideals.

 Igne has a new version of this book, The New Reflexology – A Unique Blend of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Reflexology Practice for Better Health and Healing. This edition also has a small section on breast cancer relating the issue to specific meridians.

 Elyn Jacobs

elyn@elynjacobs.com

https://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.  She helps women diagnosed with cancer to navigate the process of treatment and care, and she educates about how to prevent recurrence and new cancers.  She is passionate about helping others get past their cancer and into a cancer-free life.

You can visit my blog It’s a Strong Tree that Withstands a Hurricane at http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com Thank you!