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Posts Tagged ‘Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors’

Bone Health Myth for Breast Cancer Patients

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

Are you worried about the effect breast cancer treatment can have on your bones? Has your doctor recommended an aromatase inhibitor to manage your breast cancer? Or have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis or have been told you are at risk of bone loss?

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

The Problem with Calcium Supplements

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

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

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

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

The Problem with Aromatase Inhibitors and Bone Loss

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

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

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

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

Natural Solutionsiphone-transfer-photos-432

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

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

Found this article helpful?  Please let me know.

 

Elyn

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

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

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Flaxseed: The Anti-Cancer Power Seed

In Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Healing Cancer Naturally, Hormone Balance, Uncategorized on February 29, 2016 at 3:38 pm

As explained in my post Flaxseed: Better Than Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer, flaxseed is quite beneficial in the prevention and treatment for breast cancer. However, flaxseed has also been found to inhibit the growth and metastasis of prostate cancer and offers protection against colon and other cancers.

Flaxseed contains lignans — phytochemical compounds that are concentrated in the fibrous hulls of flaxseeds. These lignans have a significant impact on the body’s ability to manage cancer. Studies have shown that lignans significantly reduce tumor growth by increasing cell death, decreasing angiogenesis and many other processes. (See Flaxseed for more information.)

Flaxseed is high in Omega 3’s and well as antioxidants, further defeating cancer by supporting immune function and reducing inflammation. Flaxseed also contains considerable Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which has also been found to reduce inflammation and cancer growth. The fiber content of flax is yet another of its virtues. Fiber has been implicated in protection against cancers such as colon cancer.

When I went gluten free, I began experimenting with high flax gluten-free substitutes.  While there are plenty of ‘gluten-free’ options at the market, most are filled with undesirable ingredients.

Below are a few of my favorite recipes (you can also add ground flax to oatmeal, cereals and other favorite dishes):

Flaxseed Muffins

One muffin will provide you with 20 grams flaxseed—eat one or two daily (2 if you add apples or walnuts as the flax content per muffin will be slightly lower as the recipe will yield more than 12 muffins).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flaxseed, coarsely ground (freshly ground, not pre-ground)
  • 3-4 teaspoons stevia (or ¼ cup coconut sugar or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup water, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Optional:

  • Chopped unpeeled apples
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Coarse Celtic sea salt for sprinkling on top prior to baking
  • Whey powder– plain, chocolate or vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-count muffin pan with non-bleached paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Combine flax seed with sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon, whey (if using) and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine fully and set aside.
  3. Put eggs, water, oil and vanilla extract into a blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds, until foamy.
  4. Transfer liquid mixture to the bowl with the flaxseed mixture. Stir with a spatula, just until incorporated. The mixture will be very fluffy. Once incorporated, allow to sit for 3 minutes.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pan (if you add chopped walnuts or apple, you may need more than one muffin pan; alternatively you can make disc-shaped ‘muffin tops’ by spreading batter on a parchment lined pan. These can be used as toast for eggs, crusts for pizza, etc.
  6. Bake muffins for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and remove muffins from the cavities immediately and place on a cooling rack.
  7. Muffins can be toasted or frozen. Keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Super Seed Bread

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup rolled oats (omit and increase flax to ¾ cup, if desired)
  • ¼ cup raw buckwheat groats (omit and increase flax to ¾ cup, if desired)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds *
  • ½ cup flaxseed
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, sprouted, if available
  • ¼ cup raw pepita seeds (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon fine Celtic or Pink Himalayan salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • Coarse Celtic sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9” square cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way
  2. Place the oats and buckwheat groats (if modifying to include more flax, use ¾ cup flax and ¼ cup oats or groats or a combination of the two) in a high speed blender or individually in a coffee grinder until they resemble a fine powder
  3. Grind flaxseed
  4. Add remaining ingredients to bowl; stir until well combined
  5. Stir in one and ¼ cups water until well combined; the mixture will be watery
  6. Pour into the pan and spread out evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with coarse Celtic sea salt
  7. Bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes.  Slice into fourths (or eights) and enjoy, or allow to cool.  Wrap individually and freeze, or enjoy for up to two days, stored in the refrigerator.

Notes:

I recommend you play around with this recipe.  Alter it to fit your needs and add different spices as desired.  Fenugreek, cumin and other spices are wonderful adds to this recipe.

This bread is also wonderful toasted, served with eggs or topped with hummus, nut butter or pesto.

If cut into eighths, each slice will yield you over 1Tbs of flax and 10 grams of protein, more if you add whey!  Eat two slices (1/4 of the bread) and you will have your 25 grams.

*Chia seeds are loaded with inflammation reducing Omega3’s

Pizza Crust Recipe (also excellent topped with eggs):eggs on toast

For an amazing gluten free, flax filled crust for pizza or eggs, check out my pizza recipe.  You can also increase the flax in this recipe.  Just reduce the garbanzo bean (or quinoa) flour to less than one tablespoon and use 2-3 tablespoons of freshly ground flax and 1 tablespoon chia seeds. Add coarse Celtic sea salt, 1 teaspoon coconut oil and 1/3 to ½ cup freshly chopped herbs and scallions(something I have been doing and it is a great way to include progesterone boosting, anticancer power to your meal). Add in spices of your choice—fenugreek, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon are some suggestions. Use this crust for eggs or pizza.

For a delicious flax pancake recipe, Click Here.

IMPORTANT — given the state of confusion many people seem to be in with conflicting information on the internet, please understand that estrogen is ESSENTIAL to your health–EVEN for those with ER- PR breast cancer.  Please do not allow your doctor to tell you otherwise. However, remember that flax is a phytoestrogen–and is protective against cancer. Raising progesterone to bring the body back into balance is VERY important and can be done with lifestyle efforts. Progesterone is protective against breast cancer (more on this in the next post). Note that synthetic hormones should never be used.

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.

 

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

http://www.eattobeat.org/evidence/398/flaxseed-increases-levels-of-natural-angiogenesis-inhibitor-similar-effect-as-tamoxifen-in-human-breast-tissue.html

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.

The Potions Behind the Motions: Healing Elyn

In Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Breast Cancer, Cancer, cancer stem cells and recurrence on October 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

Last week I posted my story of healing from stage 3 breast cancer, Healing Cancer Naturally: Elyn’s Potions and Motions.  In that post I spoke about the healing of my mind–healing the emotional traumas that were making me sick. In this post I get into the nutritional aspect of my healing. Maybe my story helps you with your own journey.

The Potions Behind the Motions

ej pink twoWhile my cancer surely seemed to be an emotionally driven one, I still needed a protocol that would target cancer cells and help prevent the spread of this cancer. I still need to up the ante nutritionally. Working with my oncologist, Dr Mitch Gaynor, and my alternative doctor, Dr Michael Schachter, I devised a protocol of weekly Intravenous Vitamin C treatments in addition to tweaking my targeted supplements. I also worked with Dr George Wong, and diligently drank his teas daily.

While I was already a healthy eater, I ramped it up by juicing as well as eating sprouts in huge quantities (especially broccoli, watercress, kale and basil), and by consuming fresh herbs every day. Herbs such sage, rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano contain potent anti-cancer compounds and support the production of progesterone (needed to offset estrogen) and ultimately activate the P53 gene, known to cause cell reproduction to cease and cancer cells to die (apoptosis). Unopposed estrogen turns on the BCL2 gene, which is actually what causes cancer cells to grow rapidly and not die. (Vitamin C also boosts the production of progesterone, supporting the P53 gene and thus blocking BCL2).

I also started using Frankincense (Boswellia). At first I was taking this in supplement form, and then in June, began using Sacred Frankincense essential oil in my armpit and on the soles of my feet. What we know about frankincense is that that it boosts the immune system and kills cancer cells—quite effectively. (Research shows that frankincense is extremely effective for brain, breast, colon, pancreatic, ovarian, stomach and likely many other cancers.)

I also targeted cancer stem cells (CSCs). Although I declined chemo and radiation, I know that cancer stem cells are still to be dealt with. Trapped emotions can also stimulate cancer stem cells to regroup, which is yet another reason emotional stress is undoubtedly the  major cause of cancer and it recurrence, and is why I paid heed to addressing them. Cancer stem cells are the only cancer cells that can metastasize (chemo and radiation are not effective on CSCs and actually make them more powerful).  While I was already doing much to target these cells, I added modified citrus pectin, red raspberry seed powder, and ate even more broccoli sprouts–and again, dealt with those trapped emotions of mine (see part I).

I had no intention of taking of taking tamoxifen—there are far better ways to manage estrogen than the use of toxic drugs. Tamoxifen is considered by many to be an anti-estrogen as it binds to estrogen receptor sites on cancer cells thus blocking estrogen from entering, interfering with cell growth and eventually leading to cell death. Soy and flaxseed are also anti-estrogens and can do the very same thing, sans the damage of a toxic drug (and they contain other compounds that have been shown to reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells). Rosemary (extract or from the garden) blocks estrogen production and inactivates excess estrogen by stimulating liver enzymes to better metabolize estrogen.Vitamin D also enters cancer cells and triggers that very same cell death process—and researchers believe vitamin D may be just as powerful as the anti-estrogen drug.

I continued to eat scoops and scoops of freshly ground flaxseed (even more than before) and ate a lot of soy (tofu is fine, but fermented soy such as tempeh is far better). I consumed large amounts of rosemary (and other herbs) several times a day. I upped my intake of vitamin D3, which may in fact have been a big part of my healing as my October lab test came in at 95! And of course, I worked hard to raise my progesterone level as it is vital to balancing estrogen.

While I don’t often advocate avoiding entire food groups, I did give up one thing–gluten.  Dr Schachter strongly encouraged me to give up gluten.  At first I was reluctant, but after more suspicious nodes were found in January, I went cold turkey. Later I was to hear from one of my healers that my body cannot handle gluten. Not all people experience uncomfortable reactions to gluten, but the inflammation within is silently doing its damage.

I juiced like crazy until June, when my herb garden blossomed. I replaced my smoothies and juices with seed crusted ‘pizzas’ loaded with sprouts and copious amounts of fresh herbs. Sometimes we get ‘Food Fatigue’ and we need to change things up so we don’t get bored and quit eating or quit eating healthy.

Here is a recap of some of the things I did to beat cancer (understand that this was in ADDITION to what I was already doing, or in some cases, I just upped the dose from what I was doing–and I take far more supplements than could be listed here).

  • Salvestrols and many other cancer-targeting, immune-boosting supplements such as black cumin seed, graviola, cat’s claw, and medicinal mushrooms
  • Magnesium and vitamin E to boost progesterone and balance hormones
  • IVC and Liposomal C for its cancer killing pro-oxidant and progesterone building efforts
  • Rain Soul, a blend of organic seed oils; anti-inflammatory, immune booster, powerful antioxidant, loaded with essential fatty acids (you can order this via their website)
  • Red raspberry seed powder, black raspberry powder, modified citrus pectin and other supplements that target cancer stem cells: For more natural compounds that target CSC’s, read: Cancer Stem Cells—Could They Be the Key to Metastasis?
  • Daily juicing (leafy greens, carrots, fennel, celery and herbs)
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine (tea) with Dr George Wong
  • Copious amounts of sprouts and microgreens: broccoli, watercress, kale, basil, arugula and added fresh herbs to every meal
  • Plenty of D3!! Vitamin D decreases the expression of cancer causing genes and offers many other amazing anti-cancer actions, including the boosting of progesterone levels
  • Changed my water source, reducing exposure to BPA and tap water toxins (I now use mostly Mountain Valley Spring Water, but if you can install an in-home filter, all the better)
  • Boosted estrogen metabolism with DIM, milk thistle (and other supplements that support the liver, whose job it is to metabolize estrogen—for more information, please visit my Shop page.
  • Boosted progesterone production to offset estrogen (this is huge, and you can do it with food, supplements and stress reduction!)
  • Iodine therapy (and its co-partner Celtic sea salt)
  • Frankincense
  • Consumed large amounts of flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, which lower aromatase and offer multiple benefits

Do I regret my decision for surgery? Absolutely—perhaps I doubted my ability to heal, or perhaps I was just too busy with family issues to think I could manage that healing. It’s been an interesting journey, an educational experience and one that has made me a better and happier person. Nothing happens by chance; perhaps it was all meant to be.

I figured if cancer could happen to me again with all that I had been doing, I must indeed have missed something and that there was more to do. I encourage you to look deeply within for the root cause of your cancer as I did.

I credit my healing to all of the changes I made. I will never know what, out of all what I did, made the difference, but I truly believe that if I had not healed the mind, I would not have healed the body and would surely see more cancer—that my ‘recovery’ would be yet another Bandaid.

But I also believe that aside from my emotional healing, my high vitamin D3 consumption, my addition of frankincense and my huge consumption of flaxseed and progesterone boosting, anti-cancer herbs put me right over the edge of healing.

I don’t have my head in the clouds—I know I must continue to nourish mind, body and soul and again, always, always have a plan B.

Remember, something works for everyone, but everything does not work for everyone….I share with you my story to give you confidence that there are many ways to heal from cancer.

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer strategist, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and well-being. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health, and Breast Cancer Answers, is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer, and has written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, Surviving Beautifully, Body Local and more; she authored the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Magazine. Elyn 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 lives in New York with her husband and two boys. https://elynjacobs.com/about/

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Recommended Reading List for People with Breast Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Healing Cancer Naturally, Hormone Balance, Tamoxifen, Uncategorized on September 26, 2014 at 9:15 am

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and because I strive to spread the word that there are many options, but no one magic bullet for cancer, I would like to share some books that will empower you to be an active participant in your healing.  No one treatment is right for all, and there are options well beyond what we are hearing from our doctors. There is no ‘best’ diet; it is not a question of trying to follow some ideal way of living based on other people’s experiences or insistence.  Each of us is our own unique person, with our very own DNA, mutations, illnesses and restrictions, therefore each of us must find our own solution—a lifestyle and protocol that works for us. We each had our own path to cancer and therefore need our own path to wellness. While you will find that there are many common factors empowered patients have used to recover from cancer, you will find that the ‘answers’ to cancer vary tremendously. The goal is to find a protocol that gives you confidence that you will beat your cancer, survive and live well.

Breast cancer booksThe following books are loaded with useful information and will aid you in your healing:

Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, by Dr Kelly Turner, PhD.  This is a much overdue book, one that brings awareness and validity to the true extent of radical remissions—remission achieved without the use of conventional medicine or even after conventional medicine has failed. Turner shows that there really is hope, even in situations that seem hopeless.  You will learn that there are options well beyond the ‘white coat’, and that the possibilities for healing are more abundant than we have been told.    I love that Turner explains that there are a vast variety of paths to wellness. She also lists the 9 commonalities that people have used to heal from their cancer–factors such as diet, stress, emotions, spirituality, and others that profoundly affect our health and well-being.  Listen to Dr Turner on my radio show.

Not surprising, my all-time most popular post is the one I wrote a few years ago on Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen—and there is a reason for this—people want safer options. Never overlook the power of nature’s medicine chest.  You may also want to view my discussion on natural alternatives with Dr Kelly Turner: 

In Waking the Warrior Goddess, Third Edition: Dr. Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against & Fight Breast Cancer, Dr Horner explores the various foods, supplements and health promoting strategies that can help women to successfully treat and prevent breast cancer. This is an excellent resource book that includes the best explanations of phytoestrogens I have ever read.  Dr Horner explains how many natural substances have been proven to be as effective as or even more effective than pharmaceuticals such as aromatase inhibitors.  Listen to Dr Horner on my radio show–Neglected Breast Cancer Discoveries that Could Save Your Life.

The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence , by Helayne Waldman and Edward Bauman, is an excellent guide for anyone seeking to understand the effect of nutritional and environmental factors on our risk for cancer and its recurrence.  In this book you will learn how to incorporate cancer-fighting foods into your diet, clean up your self-care products, nourish your immune system, detoxify your body, and more. After I first heard Helayne speak at a conference, I immediately purchased this book–and it is fantastic. Listen to Helayne on my show: Modulating Hormones with Diet and Supplements.

More Favorites:

Anticancer-a New Way of Life

Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment

The Iodine Crisis: What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life

The Etiology of Breast Cancer: Endogenous and Exogenous Causes

The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle

Miracle Survivors: Beating the Odds of Incurable Cancer

For more amazing books, please visit my Shop page

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Breast Cancer Tip: Have you tried rebounding? Rebounding benefits lymphatic circulation by stimulating the millions of one-way valves in the lymphatic system. This benefits the body’s immune capacity for fighting current disease, destroying cancer cells, eliminating antigens and preventing future illness. Rebounding also circulates more oxygen to the tissues (cancer hates oxygen), boosts the production of red blood cells, improves digestion and elimination, aids mental clarity, curtails fatigue and provides a host of other benefits.  Plus, it’s good exercise, fun, and doesn’t have to be expensive–I have this one and it’s only about $60: Sunny Health & Fitness 40″ Foldable Trampoline with Bar.

I honestly do not believe that there is anyone out there who is not aware of breast cancer.  We’ve all been affected in some way—mother, brother, sister, aunt, self—sadly the statistics are now that one in every three women will face breast cancer. Dedicating a month won’t change this much, but I do feel it helps people to bond, and I am sure that helps some to heal.  And while the hype for all these ‘months’ is likely generated to bring in more donations—little of which will go towards bringing us the elusive cure, my hope is that the money gets to the right organizations where it can be effective.

Some of my favorite organizations:

http://www.toniturchifoundation.org/

http://www.emeraldheart.org/

http://www.believebig.org/ClinicalTrial.html

http://www.jesichashope.org/

http://annieappleseedproject.org/
Elyn

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

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer strategist, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and well-being. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health, and Breast Cancer Answers and has written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, Surviving Beautifully, Body Local and more, and writes the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Magazine. Elyn hosts the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. She is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project.  Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. https://elynjacobs.com/about/

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2013 Blog Highlights; Top Five Articles

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

WordpressIt is a new year, a time to reflect on all that you have done and to focus on the long healthy life you intend to live. Hold to your heart the affirmation that you are and will be a survivor. Today is the first day of the rest of your life; go for it. Smile, live, laugh and love. Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year–may your dreams come true. (Photo credit to WordPress)

According to WordPress, the Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. My blog was viewed about 73,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it. Still, I think it is pretty cool.  My busiest day of the year was July 15th with 2,145views.  Thank you WordPress  for compiling the reports.  Thank you to all of my followers for your support. I look forward to serving you in 2014. 

Blog Highlights 2013

These are the posts that got the most views in 2013:

Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen

Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors

Why We Are Not Winning the War on Cancer

Are Your Headphones An EMF Health Risk?

Salvestrols: Does Nature Hold the Answer to Cancer?

Where are my visitors from?  156 countries in all! Most are from The United States. Canada & The United Kingdom were not far behind.

TheCancerSupport W4WNJoin me on the Survive and Live Well Radio Show, on W4CS, The Cancer Support Network. 1pm (ET) Tuesdays, live on http://www.W4CS.com. Find the best options for you– for your cancer.  

To view the show schedule for Survive and Live Well, please click here.  To replay past shows, please click here or visit Survive and Live Well on  iHeartRadio Talk.

iheartVisit Survive and Live Well or iHeartRadio Talk for free-replays for the Survive and Live Well Radio Show.  Visit my webisite for more articles, resources, one on one cancer coaching and the information you need to beat cancer.

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

ej portrait 150resElyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer strategist, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and well-being. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health, and Breast Cancer Answers and has written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, Surviving Beautifully, Body Local and more, and writes the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Newsletter.  Elyn hosts the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/about/

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Estrogen Management for Breast Cancer, Naturally

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Is there a natural solution to estrogen management for breast cancer? The answer is yes and no.  I believe that there is. However, to date, there are no natural supplements that have been compared with aromatase inhibitors side by side to verify that they are equal substitutes or even superior to pharmaceutical drugs. Clinical trials are not likely to be done, simply because there is not enough financial reward to big Pharma; in other words they have nothing to gain and tons to lose by funding research for natural solutions such as consumption of foods such as button mushrooms, broccoli and pomegranate.

button musroomsHowever, many nutraceuticals (food and supplements such as those above) are known to effectively block or manage estrogen, and there are natural compounds that can help protect against the side effects and boost the efficacy of aromatase inhibitors and Tamoxifen and therefore allow for the option of taking a lesser and therefore less toxic therapy.

We also know that there are many estrogen promoters and supporters that need to be avoided, such as xenoestrogens, which act like estrogens produced by the female body and can boost unbalanced estrogen levels. Phytoestrogens, on the other hand, are a whole other story and will be addressed further in a separate post as while complicated, can be beneficial.

Why not the “big guns”?

It is no secret that hormone sensitive cancers are dependent on unbalanced estrogen in the body to fuel their growth.  Aromatase inhibitors are effective in reducing levels of unbalanced estrogen in the body and SERMs such as Tamoxifen interfere with hormone activity.  I won’t get into the side effects or resulting effects of these drugs, but suffice it to say that the list is lengthy. Given the toxicity and known side effects of estrogen blocking drugs, we must explore natural compounds that not only manage estrogen, but that help prevent recurrence and metastasis on many fronts.

Sadly, whether out of ignorance or fear of prosecution, most doctors do not promote or support natural means for estrogen management.  However, remember, cancer is not just estrogen fueled.  Cancer is dependent on a cancer-friendly environment; if we do not change the environment in which it was able to grow, we increase its chance of returning. These drugs that are offered offer no solution to changing the cancer environment.  Nutraceuticals, on the other hand, are non-toxic and are quite beneficial to overall health, including fighting cancer and creating an unfriendly cancer environment. Exercise, sleep, and stress management also play a major role in the balance of estrogen and in risk reduction.

So, until there is funding for clinical trials for natural solutions, we must rely on our own intuition, research, knowledge and common sense in our approach to a natural solution to estrogen management and risk reduction for breast cancer.  For now, the answer lies outside of definitive, quantitative studies. Many, many people have healed their cancers and prevented recurrence via natural means, but these successes are not quantified in published trials and are often dismissed or ignored by their doctors.

To read more on natural solutions for estrogen:

Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen

Managing Estrogen Naturally

Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors

Tamoxifen: There is More to the Story

Magical Mushrooms

Natural Compounds in Pomegranates May Prevent Growth of Hormone-Dependent Breast Cancer

While these articles are a bit dated, they do provide some good information. New research comes out continuously, and it is my quest to stay abreast of it and share with you this knowledge:

Indole 3 Carbinol – the safer, natural Tamoxifen?

Chrysin is Natural Alterative to Toxic Breast Cancer Drug

With my deepest respect and gratitude,

Elyn

www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

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

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. She is also on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She mentors women who are coping with issues of well-being associated with breast cancer and its aftermath; she is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health and more and has contributed to Breast Cancer Answers as well as written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Natural Healing-Natural Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, and other publications and newsletters. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

Disclaimer: 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 alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs for the management of estrogen and for the management of their cancer.  Nothing in the above post is to be considered to be a cure for cancer, despite what the research or experts claim. I do not believe or intend to imply that any one single compound is a cure for cancer.  I do believe that natural compounds can significantly reduce cancer risk and increase survival if used alongside a comprehensive anticancer strategy.

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Natural Alternatives to Aromatase Inhibitors

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Alternatives to Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer, Uncategorized on September 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

This Post was updated on October 26th, 2016. To read the new version please Click Here.

So, the doctor told you that you need an aromatase inhibitor. Are you concerned about the side effects or the resulting effects? Or have you started on one and feel terrible? It might be time to look at alternatives. 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.

Aromatase inhibitors, drugs 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. As we age, our hormones become out of balance, and often make us more vulnerable to cancer. 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, causes trouble. By blocking estrogen, less “bad” estrogen is available to stimulate the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells. However, this also means that you have less of the protective “good”. So, the question is, do they increase survival and prevent the cell mutations that contribute to cancer? Or do they come with too many resulting effects?

I remember when I first read about Tamoxifen; I learned that Tamoxifen does not increase survival; it’s just that you don’t die of your cancer, but rather the toxicity of the drug. Hum….what a trade off. It may well be the case with AI’s as well….or worse. Although AIs were found to prevent breast cancer recurrence, they were not found to prolong life, due to the resulting effects—as I like to call them—particularly the heart problems (think less “good” estrogen), and reduce quality of life due to the 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 again, because of the loss of the “good” estrogen, bone thinning (think broken bones). Osteoporosis is a major concern, and women should have the health of their bones checked before they begin aromatase therapy. If the bones are already showing signs of deterioration, an osteoporosis drug will probably be prescribed (more drugs, and drug interactions; wonderful).

Geez, where can I get some of this stuff? Okay, so is there a natural alternative to aromatase inhibitors?

Again, as I said in my post about Tamoxifen, there is not an easy answer. However, there are many powerful natural aromatase inhibitors in your local grocery store. Look for button mushrooms, celery, parsley, mushrooms,  basil, artichokes, oranges, red grapes, onions, garlic, olives, olive leaves and extract and members of the cruciferous family. The key is to eat these foods every day, and several times a day—here’s where supplementation may be helpful if you can’t make this work with your schedule. Supplements can be in powered form or capsule, but as always, look for quality and choose organic when possible. Dindolylmethane (DIM) is a phytonutrient and plant indole found in cruciferous vegetables that has the ability to increase anti-cancer estrogen metabolites while decreasing cancer promoting estrogen metabolites; DIM can be taken in supplement form, and this is something I highly recommend. Juicing is also a great way to get these nutrients, as consuming more than one variety at a time, especially in the case of the crucifers, can increase the effectiveness of any one type. Keep in mind that the thousands of chemical compounds in plants, some known and some yet identified, work synergistically to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and overall anti-cancer benefits, so eat a wide variety of fruits and veges each and every day, several times a day.

Feeling a bit dull? Spice up your food, herbs and spices contain powerful anticancer agents, and “hot” spices, such as cayenne pepper and mustard have been found to boost the cancer-fighting properties in foods like broccoli, so spice up your life!

Natural AI’s may well be the best choice for an AI for preventing breast cancer. Not only do they work as effectively as drugs, but have no side effects and carry a host of other benefits. Remember, estrogen is not the only factor with breast cancer…so an overall anti-cancer strategy along with the boost of natural aromatase inhibitors is your best bet. Think of fruits and vegetables as soldiers doing double duty, as nutrients and plant-based chemicals are capable of halting or slowing the spread of cancer. While no one is suggesting that the compounds in food will single-handedly eradicate cancer, each provides a powerful punch in addressing  the various mechanisms that drive cancer, and can synergistically interact to create an inhospitable microenvironment for cancer. For more on the ability of nutrients to fight cancer and block its pathways, please visit: https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/why-we-are-not-winning-the-war-on-cancer/.  For more information on specific foods to manage estrogen, please visit: https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/natural-alternatives-to-tamoxifen/. For more information about food as an anti-estrogen, anti-cancer protocol, please visit:http://elynjacobs.blogspot.com/2012/09/food-natural-alternative-for-tamoxifen.html

Seem like too much? Consider the alternative. That said, have two stalks and call me in the morning…doctor’s orders.

A few more tips:

Remember to limit alcohol–as while recent studies have found red wine to be mildly protective against breast cancer, this may not be so for post menopausal women, and other types of alcohol don’t share this benefit. If you drink, enjoy red wine conservatively.

Limit sugar; avoid junk food and hormone laced animal products such as meat and dairy.

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 aromatase inhibitors and cannot endorse either protocol.

Elyn
http://www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com

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

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