Posts Tagged ‘Chronic Inflammation and Cancer’

Inflammation and Cancer, Putting out the Fire

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Anticancer diet, antioxidants, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cancer Coach, inflammation, Integrative Oncology, Uncategorized on November 10, 2020 at 8:24 am

Inflammation lies at the root of many chronic conditions and certainly plays a role in cancer. In fact, cancer is often considered a disease of inflammation. While cancer is complicated and multifaceted, warranting an individualized approach, we can help change the cancerous fire-breathing terrain by adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. This just might reduce the risk of developing cancer and can help lower the risk of progression.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a natural and healing response to injury. It is the body’s immune response to some stimulus, such as virus, toxins, injury, harmful bacteria, or disease. This is all good. However, chronic low-grade inflammation in the body is quite different than the redness and itching you see when a wound is healing. When inflammation burns out of control, trouble follows. Chronic inflammation could be causing problems in your body and fueling the cancerous process. Lowering inflammation is one of the most important things you can do for overall health and to reduce your cancer risk.

What Causes Chronic Inflammation?

Most causes of chronic inflammation are related to lifestyle, even things such as lack of or little time spent in nature. Importantly, many causes of chronic inflammation are not always visible, but the effects add up over time. Each choice we make matters and some of the biggest triggers are the following:

  • Diets high in processed foods, sugar, artificial ingredients, GMOs, and non-organic produce
  • Pollution
  • Foods that your body may be allergic or sensitive to, including some common food allergens, such as gluten, dairy, nuts, peanuts, corn (gluten, peanuts, and corn should mostly be avoided by all due to their toxic nature).
  • Lack of sleep
  • Chronic stress
  • Lack of exercise or excessive exercise
  • Zinc deficiency
How to Know if You are Suffering from Chronic Inflammation?

 Aside from noticing your unhealthy behaviors, watch your symptoms. See the list below for some of the most common ones:

  • Ongoing and/or chronic pain in your body
  • Constant fatigue, lack of energy
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood sugar issues
  • Weight gain
  • IBS, ulcers, another stomach, and digestive issues (poor gut health)
  • Allergies, food sensitivities, and asthma
  • Frequent colds and compromised immunity
  • Skin problems such as eczema and other rashes
  • Lethargy, low mood, depression, or excessive anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Lack of mental clarity or lessened memory
  • You have cancer

 Testing for Inflammation:

While there is no one test that can ‘diagnose’ you with chronic inflammation, there are some tests you can ask your doctor to order that would be indicative (elevated levels could be an indication of chronic inflammation):

  • High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (HS-CRP)
  • SED rate
  • Homocysteine
  • Ferritin
  • HDL
  • Monocytes
  • Blood Glucose

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or your blood tests indicate chronic inflammation in your body, it is time to do something about it.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Every morsel of food you put into your mouth has the potential to amp up or lower inflammation in your body. While no one diet is perfect for everyone, a mostly plant-based diet, some protein, and a bit of healthy carbs can fit into many different diets.

Importantly, inflammation alters the diversity in your microbiome which sets off a vicious cycle. When your microbiome is out of balance, issues such as weight gain and insulin resistance frequently result. The immune system then begins producing even more inflammation which then further challenges the microbiome. Probiotics and a diet rich in prebiotics (such as Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, radishes and tomatoes) and healthy fats can help support the microbiome.

It may surprise you that I have listed nightshades. While many people avoid nightshade vegetables, potatoes, for example, help soothe the digestive tract and feed the good bacteria inside the intestinal tract. Tomatoes (especially cooked) reduce inflammation throughout the body. Certainly avoid any or all if they adversely affect you, but enjoy if not.

You will also notice that I mention eating grass-fed butter or ghee. These are high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a long-chain amino acid that suppresses inflammation and inhibits cancer growth), butyrate (a small-chain amino acid that promotes healthy digestion and energy production and which selectively kills cancer cells and inhibits migration), omega 3’s, and other nutrients which not only help suppress inflammation but reduce cancer risk as well.

Turmeric is typically at the top of the list for calming inflammation, but there are many other anti-inflammatory foods. Below are just a few suggestions:

  • Turmeric (curcumin)
  • Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, arugula, kale, and brussels sprouts
  • Organic extra virgin olive oil, avocado and other healthy fats
  • Lentils
  • Salmon and other fatty fishes (or a pure omega-3 supplement)
  • Brazil nuts, almonds, and walnuts
  • Cooked mushrooms
  • Root vegetables and winter squash
  • Tart cherry and pomegranate juices
  • Ginger, cinnamon, allspice, fenugreek, and cloves
  • Dark leafy greens (including arugula, microgreens and sprouts)
  • Coconut oil and other healthy fats
  • Green juices
  • Herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, dill, mint, sage, and cilantro
  • Grass-fed butter and ghee
  • Nightshades such as potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant (if they agree with you)
  • Beans and legumes
  • Green tea (limit if you have a COMT mutation)
Best to avoid:
  • conventional meat, dairy, and poultry
  • processed, fried, and packaged foods
  • sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • gluten and most gluten-free flours and products

Remember that good sleep, moderate exercise, and engaging in mind-body therapies such as meditation, yoga (especially restorative and yoga nidra), and sound therapy help reduce stress and dampen down inflammation flare-ups. They have profound anti-inflammatory effects.

If you suffer from joint pains, muscle pains, headaches, fibromyalgia, etc., you may wish to avoid harmful Ibuprofen, Tylenol and other NSAIDS. Replace these with curcumin, T-Relief tablets and safe topical creams such as Topricin and T-Relief whenever possible.

If you’d like more guidance, I’d love to work with you! Check out my “Contact Us” page or email elyn@elynjacobs.com for more details.


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

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

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

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