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Posts Tagged ‘natural alternatives to Tamoxifen’

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

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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.
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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Is Tamoxifen Right for Me? Is There an Alternative?

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Tamoxifen has been successfully used in the management of breast cancer for over twenty years.  However, as with any drug, Tamoxifen has benefits and risks associated with its use. The general opinion seems to be that the benefits outweigh the risks. For many men and women, choosing Tamoxifen may be the right choice for them.

For others the side effects are very real, and the risk is too high– namely the risk of developing uterine cancer, blood clots, muscle pain, mental fogginess and cataracts.  This can be especially true for those with certain early stage breast cancers.  Such concerns have led many to seek alternatives to hormone therapy.

pills tamoxifenHow can you know which is the right choice for you?  Be informed; empower yourself to educate yourself with information and options.  You may want to take advantage of one the risk/benefit calculators such as www.lifemath.net  to help you gain a better understanding of your individual risk for declining Tamoxifen, and weigh those risks against your concerns and reservations of taking the drug.

To help you understand how these calculators can help you, Dr Gwen Stritter, MD, an expert in clinical advocacy, shared with me two different scenarios and how the use of Tamoxifen would play out in each:

● Let’s take the case of someone with a 1 cm, stage I ER-positive breast cancer.  The proportional reduction in breast cancer death from using Tamoxifen for 5 years in a woman < 50 years of age is about 32% (Early Breast Cancer Trialists Collaborative Group, Lancet 1998).  The typical stage I ER+, node-negative patient at 40 years of age has a 6.3% risk of cancer death in the next 15 years without treatment (www.lifemath.net).  Adding Tamoxifen would decrease the mortality rate by 32% which means it would decrease to 4.3%, an absolute gain of only 2 percentage points of survival.  In this situation, it could make a lot of sense for someone to decline Tamoxifen and use only alternative approaches if they were getting uncomfortable side effects.

● Now let’s take another hypothetical example:  someone with a stage II, ER-positive, node-negative breast cancer.  The same calculation shows that there is a 20% chance of death in the next 15 years without treatment.  Adding Tamoxifen would decrease the mortality rate to 13.6%, an absolute gain of almost 7 percentage points.  If that seems like only a small gain, remember that gain is more percentage points than the risk of actual death in the untreated stage I case.  And, that translates to, on average, an extra 3 years of survival because of the Tamoxifen therapy.  If it were a stage II node-positive case, Tamoxifen would add on average 4 years of life.  If it were a stage III cancer, the benefits of Tamoxifen would be even greater – almost 6 years of life gained, on average.  Many men and women would tolerate more side effects for such a gain of survival.

For the stage I BC example, the worst-case scenario is only a 2% increased risk of death – avoiding Tamoxifen and using only alternative approaches with a reasonable clinical track record does not seem to be such a risk.  In higher stage examples, the risk of death would more than triple causing an average loss of 3 – 6 years of life.  Dr Gwen Stritter, MD

We can gain valuable information on our risk/reward by using one of these calculators, as well as by gathering information from our medical team– every bit of information you can gather will help you to make the most informed choice possible. However, while statistics can be useful for treatment recommendations, they do not always predict the outcome of an individual.  Every person and every cancer is unique with its own set of circumstances based on genetic and physiological characteristics associated with them.  The calculated results and other statistics do not factor in quality of life or the lifestyle choices and factors of the patient, so use such information to help you make choices, not to put a timeline on your life.

We also do not have any side-by-side studies that compare the use of hormone therapy versus holistic approaches.  Part of the reason is lack of funding—drug companies have little to no reason to fund such studies and there is comparatively little profit from the alternative approach.  So until the day comes when this scenario changes (don’t hold your breath), we are left to weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for us, our cancer, and our own individual needs.

I just tried this out on myself, giving the information at diagnosis (as it was not available to me then). At 45 year old, I would have a 1.8% risk of cancer death in the next 15 years without treatment, and it would be expected that this cancer would shorten my life expectancy by 0.8 years (from 37.3 year to 36.5 years.)  Therefore the therapy would give me an additional 96 days.  In my case Tamoxifen might not be worth the risk.  Remember too…these are just averages—my actual risk could be higher or lower depending on my own unique circumstances. ej

If you choose Tamoxifen, you may want to consult an integrative or alternative doctor or a qualified coach for advice on nutrients that can help boost the efficacy and reduce the side effects of the drug—as well as improve your survival.  I am happy to help you or assist you with a referral; please leave a request here.

If you choose not to take hormone therapy, please know that managing estrogen and your breast cancer requires a comprehensive approach encompassing diet, exercise, stress reduction and other mind-body-spirit therapies. For more information on an alternative approach to hormone therapy, please read Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen and view my video with Dr Kelly Turner, PhD, author and founder of The Radical Remission Project. To discuss options or for a referral, please leave a request here.

Please remember that managing cancer is not just about managing estrogen.  If you do not change the environment in which your cancer was permitted to grow, you may increase your risk of recurrence.   Addressing stress issues, diet, sleep habits, exposure to toxins, adrenal fatigue, thyroid and iodine deficiencies and other cancer responsive imbalances may make your terrain less hospitable to cancer.

Elyn

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

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER:  Reading the information in this post does not constitute a physician-patient relationship. The information included in this post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding a medical condition or any treatments.

 Gwen Stritter, MD is a physician and clinical advocate/navigator who has been practicing intensive, personalized research and advocacy for those with life-threatening health problems for the past 13 years.  Her area of special expertise is integrative breast oncology. 

She is coauthor of the chapter on clinical advocacy (chapter 19) in the textbook, Patient Advocacy for Healthcare Quality: Strategies for Achieving Patient Centered Care (2007) and a frequent speaker at integrative oncology and breast cancer conferences.

While side effects of breast cancer therapy have recently caused Dr. Stritter to close her clinical practice, she has since committed herself to studying the effect of active integrative approaches on metastatic breast cancer survival and sharing this information with those whose lives have been touched by it.  With several other women living with breast cancer, she has started a non-profit, People-Powered Research, to do the clinical research that highly interests patients but is a not focus for the academic-pharma complex.

 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 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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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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Survive and Live Well on iHeartRadio Talk

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm

iheartThe Survive and Live Well Radio Show is now on iHeartRadio!

Choice, it gives us a feeling of empowerment—it allows us to regain the much needed control we somehow lost when we heard “You have cancer.” That’s why on Survive and Live Well we empower you with the information you need to make the best possible choices for your cancer, and to help you along the road to survival.  After all, if you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.

Join me weekly when I chat with the experts about treatment options and lifestyle choices that can help you not just treat cancer, but beat cancer, survive, thrive and live well.

Listen live, Tuesdays at 1pm (EST) on www.W4CS.com or via iTunes or iHeart Talk. Join the team at the Cancer Support Network, empowering you to defeat cancer.

iHeartRadio-Talk-logo-blackReplay your favorite shows anytime via iHeart Talk @ Survive and Live Well. You can also access the Archives on my website.

 Upcoming Schedule: (Please visit my website for show details and guest information)

Tuesday November 26, 1pm EST– Donald Abrams MD– Integrative Oncology: Optimizing Cancer Care 

Tuesday December 3rd, 1pm EST– Stacia Hachem–The Estrogen Gene Test: What You Need to Know

Tuesday December 10th, 1pm EST–Dr Michael Schachter MD, CNS, FACAM–High Dose Vitamin D and K2 for Cancer: Discussion of the Standard of Care

Tuesday December 17th, 1pm EST– Jana Flaig–Practical Tips to Knocking Out Fear

With a diagnosis comes fear, but also the urgent need to make treatment decisions—some of which will affect quality and quantity of life. We must also address the root cause of our cancer and not just treat the presenting symptom.  We need to change the environment in which our cancer was permitted to grow and make it one less hospitable to the disease.

A coach can help to bridge the gap between what you will hear from your allopathic oncologist and what you need for survival; she can help you find the best path for your cancer. Empower yourself to build a survival team incorporating experts in the conventional, integrative and holistic world. Visit my website, www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com for information, resources and one-on-one cancer coaching.

Elyn

             ~~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, and hosts the Survive and Live Well Radio Show. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

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DIM: A Bright New View on Cancer Management

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Back in April I wrote about the use of DIM (diindolylmethane) with respect to Estrogen Metabolite Ratios (DIM-New Thoughts on an Old Story). New research by Dr Jacob Schor indicated that maybe we shouldn’t be using the estrogen metabolite ratio test to measure the “good” vs “bad” estrogen in our body—at least not to determine risk of breast cancer and for the recommendation of DIM to influence this ratio. Well, it seems the old wisdom truly is out; we were barking up the wrong tree.  Further research confirms it–best just to toss that test aside.   However, that led to the lingering question: what to do with DIM?

To read more on the new research on Estrogen Metabolite Ratios, please read this informative post by Dr Keith Block, DIM and Breast Cancer. Thank you Dr Block for the research and the post.

But hold on, don’t toss the DIM.

DIM pillsDIM is a product of cruciferous vegetables and we know what a huge role crucifers play in cancer prevention and treatment. Plus, while estrogen is not the villain it is made out to be (read more about that in my upcoming post), eating cruciferous vegetables will help the liver to break down and eliminate excess hormones as well as toxins. Adding bitter greens, such as arugula and chicory, to salads will also help the liver excrete excess hormones. So eat your crucifers, take your DIM and broccoli supplements, just don’t bother with the estrogen metabolite ratios.

Elyn

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

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer strategist, 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 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, Integrative Oncology Essentials, and she writes the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Newsletter. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

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DIM-New Thoughts on an Old Story

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Every so often new science and developments cause doctors, scientists and yes, coaches, to take pause for further consideration of something we were rock solid on. For 30 years we have relied on a theory that we have good and bad estrogen. We have also come to rely on the supplement Diindolylmethane (DIM), a phytonutrient and plant indole that was thought to help convert the bad to the good, or at least that is the short of it.  However, new research presented by Dr Jacob Schor, pokes some serious holes in these theories.  Estrogen Metabolite Ratios: Time for Us To Let Go.  While this is not good news for those of us with breast cancer, it is research worthy of our consideration.  I have been recommending DIM and I have been taking DIM, so Dr Schor certainly has my attention.

The connection between breast cancer and estrogen has been recognized for over a hundred years. However, breast cancer is not just about estrogen, and honestly, the critic in me now has some major questions involving the entire estrogen theory.  At this point there is still solid (for now) evidence suggesting that a higher level of 4 hydroxyestrone can result in increased risk of breast cancer. However, even in this exhaustive and convincing paper, Estrogen and the Risk of Breast Cancer, there is  the following statement: “Studies of the relation between serum estrogen concentrations and the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women have had conflicting results, most likely because the measurements were made at various times during the menstrual cycle….” and the author makes a few similar comments.  Actually this paper is really worth the read and leaves the door open to challenge the estrogen theory.  I do realize that this paper is somewhat dated, but if you look at many of the studies referred to by Schor, it all starts someplace.  Still, for now we will go with the estrogen-fuels- breast cancer theory.

Keep in mind that there are many natural ways to manage estrogen, and even more importantly, estrogen is a substance natural and necessary to the human body; it is not all bad and cancer is not all about estrogen.   Further, it’s a matter of balance.  When estrogen and progesterone are in balance, they dance.  Without balance, there is trouble.

Please continue with your anti-cancer lifestyle.  Avoid exposure to xenoestrogens; a known villain. Eat your anti-estrogen foods and progesterone supportive foods as needed. For every bit of research that says diet doesn’t matter, there is equal or more that says it does. Besides, the alternative to eating well is eating poorly, which cannot be good for anything.

We don’t have all the answers when it comes to the mechanics of foods and supplements. If a compound has the research and can’t hurt, go with your gut.  Often when you isolate one compound and study it this way, the results are not always reliable…the synergy is lost—hence we get conflicting results which leads to more uncertainty. In other words, question everything, but use common sense.

You are right, Dr Schor: “Sometimes you’ve just got to admit when you are wrong and move on. It is past time that we let this particular idea go”.  So, I was wrong.  Thank you Dr Schor, I will move on and eagerly await further reports.

I also want to thank Marnie Clark for bringing awareness of this paper to the community; information that was brought to me by one of my clients seeking clarity.  This is one of the many things I enjoy about my work—the open exchange of information. I don’t have all the answers, but I like to stay on top of the research; I love to report back to my readers.  So, thank you all for sharing.

Here’s another good read on the subject: Estrogen Metabolite Ratio Testing: Is It Worthwhile?

And then of course, here’s one to enjoy: Estrogen Does NOT Cause Breast Cancer: Debunking the Common Myths About the Hormone

*********Please read this update**********

DIM: A Bright New View on Cancer Management 

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. 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.

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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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