elynjacobs

Posts Tagged ‘Stress and Cancer’

Adrenal Fatigue and Breast Cancer

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Alternatives Cancer Treatment, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cell Phones, EMF's, Tamoxifen on June 7, 2017 at 9:52 am

The adrenal glands are widely known for the production of the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. But what many people do not realize is that the adrenals also produce cancer-protective progesterone.

Unfortunately, when the body is under stress, progesterone production is reduced as the body orders cortisol in order to reduce that stress. This (and other related consequences) puts a person at significantly higher risk of breast cancer as well as the progression of the dis-ease.

Fight or Flight

When your body is under stress, the adrenal glands release the hormones adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones provide the “fight or flight” response that protects you when you are in danger.  While this could be helpful if you are being chased by a ferocious animal, in this modern world that doesn’t happen often.  However, we do face many modern-day stressors, often 24/7.  Over time, being in the fight or flight mode from morning until night can wreak havoc on your health.  While that boost of cortisol might save you from a tiger, the constant flow of cortisol day in and day out will wear out your adrenal glands.

Adrenals and Hormones

Hormonal imbalances associated with progesterone deficiency are directly tied into the health of the adrenal glands. The more stress in your life, the more you tax your adrenals.

When your body is under stress and orders more cortisol, the body uses its resources (pregnenolone and progesterone) to make cortisol instead of progesterone.  And actually, the adrenal glands literally steal progesterone to make cortisol, which leads to lower levels of progesterone. This then leads to estrogen dominance, which increases our risk for breast cancer.  This is especially a problem for most-menopausal women, whose hormone production relies on the adrenals instead of the ovaries.

Most significantly, it is shown that high amounts of estrogen (especially chemical estrogens) can increase one’s risk of breast cancer.  However, while estrogen has been associated with breast (and endometrial) cancer, progesterone has strong cancer-preventive effects.

However, the body’s way of counterbalancing estrogen is progesterone. When this balancing mechanism is dysfunctional due to a lack of progesterone, a myriad of health-related problems can arise, including breast cancer.

You may have read that progesterone also fuels breast cancer, and you would be correct in believing that. However, this only applies to synthetic progestins, not your own progesterone (and for most this includes protective bioidentical progesterone). To learn more, please read my article The Truth About Progesterone and Breast Cancer.

Notably, progesterone is not only protective of the breast, uterus, and ovaries, but it has a calming effect (reduces stress) and contributes to the formation of new bone tissue.

To learn more about estrogen and progesterone and their role in breast cancer, please request my Estrogen and Detoxification Handouts.

How to Tell If You Have Adrenal Fatigue

If you have been under constant stress for a prolonged period of time, you may be at the point where adrenals are fatigued and your hormones are significantly out of balance.

Adrenal Fatigue is simply your body’s way of preventing you from expending energy it does not have.  It is your body alerting you to slow down and give it the nurturing support it needs.

Adrenal fatigue symptoms are the body’s cry for you to take corrective action at the root level. Not recognizing these symptoms can have grave consequences, including breast cancer and the progression of the dis-ease.

Are YOU Suffering from Adrenal Exhaustion?

Answer yes or no to the following…the more ‘yes’ answers you have, the more exhausted your adrenals (there are other symptoms as well, but these are some of the most common ones):

  • Do you suffer from morning fatigue or low energy?
  • Do you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep?
  • Do you crave salty, fatty, or sweet foods?
  • Do you have blood sugars issues (hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia)?
  • Do you have an afternoon slump between the hours of 2 and 5pm?
  • Do you often have muscle aches or pains for no apparent reason?
  • Do you have an increased sense of irritability?
  • Have you noticed an increase in belly fat and an inability to get rid of it?
  • Do you have a decreased sex drive?
  • Do you have low blood pressure?
  • Do you have low body temperature or feel cold all of the time?
  • Do you have an increase in mood swings and or depression? Lack of enthusiasm?
  • Do you experience dizziness when getting up quickly from a lying or sitting position?
  • Do you suffer from increased allergies even if you have never had allergies before? Do you have food allergies?
  • Do you have increased PMS or menopausal symptoms?
  • Do you use a cell phone or computer in the evening?

 EMFs and Adrenal Fatigue

Cell phone EMFs stimulate the body’s stress system, decreasing your ability to wind down and fall asleep.  Then once you finally do fall asleep, the EMFs interfere with the deep sleep your body needs to recover and repair. This is especially a problem if you sleep with your phone nearby and you don’t resist the urge to check messages when you wake up during the night.  Plus, poor sleep causes the adrenals to pump more cortisol…which keeps you awake longer and causes you to wake up after you fall asleep…one big vicious cycle.

This also applies to the use of computers in the evening, or gasp, during the night—you know the type, they wake up and feel the need to go online before going back to sleep—don’t let that be you.

What You Can Do NOW

First off, it is important to consume a clean diet loaded with organic fruits and vegetables.  Drink and cook with pure water. Avoid processed foods, conventional meats and dairy products as well as fake foods, such as soy cheeses and ‘meat substitutes’.  Despite what the vegan cookbooks would lead you to believe, these ‘foods’ are highly processed dangerous foods. if you choose to eat vegan, use nuts, seeds, beans, and other whole foods as your protein source. And don’t forget that skipping meals or eating junk food can throw your blood sugar off.

Relax the mind. Engage in moderate but not intense or excessive exercise as that taxes the adrenals and the immune system.

Do:

  • stabilize blood sugar
  • heal your gut and optimize liver function
  • get more reset and quality sleep
  • keep a gratitude journal
  • engage in moderate exercise and mild strength training
  • realization, meditation and relax the mind
  • consume a healthy diet with supplement support
  • change your perception-we experience more stress when we allow thoughts to create negative feelings

Avoid:

  • rigid thinking; unresolved emotions
  • sleep deprivation
  • energy draining activities; toxic relationships
  • excessive exercise
  • nutrient deficiencies, including protein and healthy fats
  • sugar, alcohol, and caffeine
  • infections, parasites, Candida, heavy metals
  • multitasking, over-working
  • intolerant, inflammatory, addictive foods (gluten, soy, dairy, corn, trans fats, GMOs

However, even the cleanest, most amazing diet and lifestyle can use some help.  The following are some supplemental boosts for adrenal health.

  • Aswaganda—an adaptogen (this means that it reacts to your body’s stress signals and exerts a normalizing effect) that helps normalize your body’s reaction to stress and anxiety. It also helps alleviate brain frog and memory problems associated with chronic stress. Excitingly, it also helps repair damaged brain cells and synapses, which means the repaired cells will then be able to receive messages better, so the body runs more smoothly. Aswaganda also supports the liver, immune system, and adrenals, regulates blood sugar, and lowers cortisol and CRP (C-Reactive Protein)
  • B6—also known as pantothenic acid, helps provide the extra energy your adrenal glands need to respond to stress, and helps repair previous damage to these glands
  • Magnolia extract– mostly known for its anti-stress and cortisol-balancing effects. Contains honkiol, a compound from magnolia bark with multiple anti-cancer functions, including tumor cell death. Magnolia Extract
  • Cordyceps—an adaptogen that fights fatigue and boosts energy. When you are under stress, it helps balance the levels of cortisol so you can cope more easily
  • Rhodiola— balances the body’s stress-response system. Rhodiola is not advised for those with Bipolar or mania.
  • Siberian ginseng—an adaptogen that helps balance stress hormones and rejuvenates adrenal function. Helps decrease anxiety, improve sleep, and reduce irritability
  • Licorice root — helps regulate cortisol, which is needed for the stress-response. Cortisol is not all bad. In fact, the same cortisol your adrenals produce when you are under stress is also responsible for regulating your immune system. When your adrenals are fatigued and don’t produce enough cortisol, you can end up with an enhanced response we know as the allergic response.  That’s right, stressed adrenals can result in more allergy issues. Licorice root also helps prevent the liver from breaking down cortisol so it can be used more efficiently.
  • Schisandra — aids in enhancing mental performance, handling stress better, and generally being more resistant to stress; helps to decrease fatigue. (Do not take with Tamoxifen)
  • Passion Flower — useful as a soothing sleep-aid and in supporting relaxation in times of stress.

Our Hard-Working Adrenals

As you can see from the chart below, the adrenals not only produce our reproductive hormones– estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone– but also the anti-aging hormone DHEA. When your body is under stress and needs more cortisol, the body has to direct more of its resources (pregnenolone and progesterone) to make that cortisol, leaving less to fill these other needs. (The adrenals also produce aldosterone which regulates blood pressure, sodium, and potassium.)

adrenals1

Importantly, the adrenals need cholesterol to make these hormones. So, please do not be so quick to reduce ‘high’ cholesterol levels, but do work towards reducing stress so your body can keep these hormones in balance.

The constant production of cortisol and adrenaline at the expense of other important hormones keeps us in that catabolic state which affects our overall health. Under chronic stress we age faster and our bodies wear down and deteriorate faster.  When we manage our stress, and aren’t over-producing cortisol and adrenaline, we allow our body to make DHEA, testosterone and the other growth hormones that keep us healthy and allow the body to repair and rebuild.

To order my handouts on Colon or Prostate Cancer or on Multiple Myeloma, please follow the instructions on my Contact Page.

Elyn

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

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

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Childhood trauma leads to lifelong chronic illness — so why isn’t the medical community helping patients?

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm

“But shouldn’t physicians consider the whole patient – body and mind – so that they can suggest behavioral health tools that will alleviate both the root causes and the symptoms of disease? When physicians help patients come to the profound revelation that childhood adversity plays a role in the chronic illnesses they face now, they help them to heal physically and emotionally at last.”

“It wasn’t until I was fifty-one-years old that a physician sat me down and asked me the most important question of my life – one that would lead me to better health than I’d had for decades: “Were there any childhood traumas or stressors that might have contributed to the extreme level of inflammation you’re experiencing as an adult?”

“My physician explained that ongoing adversity in childhood leads to a chronic state of “fight, flight or freeze.” Researchers at Yale had recently shown that when inflammatory stress hormones flood a child’s body and brain, they alter the genes that oversee our stress reactivity, re-setting the stress response to “high” for life. This increases the risk of inflammation, which manifests later in cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases like mine.”

 

Just had to share this important post by Donna Jackson Nakazawa, author of Childhood Disrupted. Yes, all physicians should consider the whole patient. While we cannot change what happened in our childhood, we can alter its effects on us –something most oncologists completely overlook as a critical part of treatment and recovery. To read the article, Childhood trauma leads to lifelong chronic illness — so why isn’t the medical community helping patients? please scroll down to the original post.

Want to know more? buy Nakazawa’s book Childhood Disrupted.

If you have experienced childhood stress or adversity, or believe you may have other repressed emotional traumas, please consider EMDR, EFT tapping, and other healing modalities.   For more information, please click HERE.

You may also want to read:

Changing the Cancer Environment

How Unresolved Trauma Causes Cancer

The Potions Behind the Motions: Healing Elyn

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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ACEs Too High

ADonnaDadWhen I was twelve, I was coming home from swimming at my neighbor’s dock when I saw an ambulance’s flashing lights in our driveway. I still remember the asphalt burning my feet as I stood, paralyzed, and watched the paramedics take away my father. It was as if I knew those flashing lights were a harbinger that my childhood was over.

At the hospital, a surgeon performed “minor” elective bowel surgery on my young dad. The surgeon made an error, and instead of my father coming home to the “welcome home” banners we’d painted, he died.

The medical care system failed my father miserably. Then the medical care system began to fail me.

At fourteen, I started fainting. The doctors implied I was trying to garner attention. In college I began having full seizures. I kept them to myself, fearful of seeming a modern Camille. I’d awaken on the floor…

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How Unresolved Trauma Causes Cancer

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2014 at 8:21 am

Genetic, environmental, nutritional and psychological factors all play a role in the development of cancer.  To heal from our cancer we must address the issues which have stressed the body’s ability to fight cancer, and we have to change the cancer terrain to one that is unfriendly to cancer. A few years ago, I wrote a post on this, Changing the Cancer Environment. By now, most of us are aware of the genetic, environmental and nutritional links to cancer and most of us are aware of the physiological damage of stress. However, not many are aware that, quite often, a biological conflict from our past or present is actually the root cause of our cancer.

Dr Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German physician and surgeon, has done considerable work in the field of psychosomatic cancer therapy. While somewhat controversial, Hamer believes that cancer occurs when the individual suppresses for long periods toxic negative emotions (primarily anger, hate, resentment and grief). This creates cell changes within the body leading to cancer.  Dr Hamer examined some 20,000 cancer patients with all types of cancer and discovered that every cancer in the body has a different emotional cause. For example, colon cancer relates to repressed anger and resentment (usually since childhood, but generally spanning many years). Cancers of the left breast are caused by the individual experiencing an emotional conflict involving the child, home or mother; whereas cancers of the right breast are caused by the individual experiencing an emotional conflict with a partner, boss or others. A woman who presents with cancer in the left breast invariably reveals an emotional or traumatic event from childhood, whereas those with cancer on the right speak of an abusive or overly controlling spouse or boss. There is always the Ah-ha moment when a client looks at you and says “yep, that’s me”, and this applies to cancers across the board. So much of healing comes from inside, by healing past hurts or turning inward to intuition. It is therefore critical to uncover and release these toxic negative emotions (or relationships) in order to heal from cancer.

Hamer also suggests that metastasis is not the original cancer spreading. He believes metastases are the result of new conflicts that may well be brought on by the very stress of having cancer of invasive, painful, or nauseating therapies. Hamer has faced much criticism within the conventional medical community, but it is largely because he clearly believes that the current methods of treating cancer are barbaric and completely ineffective long-term (can’t argue with that). Even though the psychosomatic connection with cancer is not generally accepted, the idea that such connections exist is not a new or revolutionary one. Recent research in Germany, Austria, France, the US and Denmark has confirmed Dr. Hamer’s findings; that emotional conflicts create cancer, and solving the conflicts in question stops the cancer growth. Hamer’s theory is explained quite well in Cancer Report: The Latest Research – How Thousands are Achieving Permanent Recoveries.

carrot sexThe emotional roots of cancer are far too often overlooked

However, while it is true that if the mind is sick, the body cannot heal, we cannot simply just resolve our conflict. The initiation and progression of cancer involves a variety of complex contributing factors, involving not just the cancer of the patient, but the patient with the cancer. Therefore, there is no one “magic bullet” whether conventional or alternative in nature that can defeat cancer– we each need a personalized, comprehensive plan, inclusive of healing the whole person.

Conventional medicine has its place.  But, most oncologists are still using only the tools in their medical toolbox; while these tools may halt cancer in the beginning, they do nothing to stop it from returning, and may, in fact, encourage more cancer.  If your conventional oncologist had and used all the tools required to heal you, we would have won the war Nixon declared on cancer in 1971.  We are still dying from cancer.  Since he/she does not have all the answers, my hope is that you will consult with an integrative oncologist, a holistic or alternative healer, or a naturopathic doctor who specializes in oncology–a coach can be quite helpful with this as well. When conventional medicine is used judiciously and with proper caution and support, it can often be effective; used alone it will put you at higher risk for complications, side effects and an early demise.

After all, while we want to survive our cancer, we don’t want to suffer from or die from the treatment–the worst but all too common side effect of cancer treatment is death. I know that sounds harsh, but please know that there are options, both complementary and alternative that can be helpful–therapies that support and help protect the body during treatment, improve the efficacy of treatment or can be the treatment.  No matter what path you take, healing cancer requires more than what modern medicine has to offer.

sunriseTo combat day-to-day stress, never underestimate the power of nature to heal and restore…walk in the woods, watch the sun rise or set.

Psychosomatic cancer therapy (healing from our trauma) is just one of the important tools that exist beyond the white coat. We still need to boost our immune system, fortify our body, detoxify,  restore, employ nutrition and supplementation, and will likely need to incorporate at least one type of cancer treatment, be it conventional or alternative.

Cancer patients who take control of their health are different from most other patients. They empower themselves by saying “this is what I am doing to beat cancer”, not “this is what they are doing to me”, and they play an active part in resolving how and why the disease occurred. They think of themselves as a ‘person with cancer’ rather than a ‘cancer patient’, and they enter into active co-treatment of themselves.

Are you in need of a healing path but don’t have the support to help you down this path? Schedule a free consult.

For resources and more information:

Psycho-Oncology—Discover How stress Causes Cancer and How to Heal Within.

Changing the Cancer Environment

Cancer Report: The Latest Research – How Thousands are Achieving Permanent Recoveries

Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds

Cancer As a Turning Point: A Handbook for People with Cancer, Their Families, and Health Professionals

For more information on anti-cancer strategies, including stress reduction, resources and support, please click here.

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 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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Healing Cancer: One Note at a Time

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Yesterday I had the pleasure of a visit to my oncologist.  No, there is no sarcasm there, he’s great. Visits with Dr Gaynor often last over an hour, and post-examination and after a lengthy conversation about mental and physical health, I am often treated to a meditative session of healing sound.  In this session, I was lost and at peace at the beach; the waves coursing through my body and leaving with my stress and worries; healing light entering and cancer cells washing away.

beach waves for gaynor

Dr Gaynor is a longtime promoter of the healing power of sound, and in fact authored a book as such.  The Healing Power of Sound will soon be out in E-form.   He has been implementing sound and music therapy as a part of his treatment protocol for over 25 years.   The benefits range from encouraging relaxation to creating a healthy mind, body and spirit to prevent and treat disease.

How exactly does it work?  Creating the vibrations of sound through music changes brainwave patterns in ways that triggers healing.  He does this with the use of crystal bowls; a therapy he has coined Crystal Sonic Therapy™.   Just don’t forget your headphones as you will need them to reap the benefits.  As each ear receives its own unique musical note, the sound waves move toward each other and synchronize to produce a new musical note that the brain perceives.  The practice in which sound wave stimuli are purposefully used to alter brainwaves in this matter is called brain wave entrainment (BWE).  Preliminary evidence suggests that BWE is effective in several cognitive domains and can relieve acute and long-term stress, reduce pain, headaches, migraines, and PMS and improve behavior, but may go well beyond.

In integrative oncology we learn that it is more important to treat the patient with the disease than the disease of the patient.  Pain, and the ensuing inflammation, promotes cancer; stress and trauma can create an environment friendly to cancer.  Inflammation can cause pain and distress such as depression. I could go on and on but the point is that cancer does not happen in a vacuum; cancer is an expression that all is not in balance in the body.  To get back in balance we must attend to body and soul.

Remember too that a cancer diagnosis brings with it fear and a loss of control; to confront cancer head on, we need to step back, breathe and form a plan; we need to become active participants in our healing.  Using crystal singing bowls to change your brainwaves so you feel relaxed and in control sure beats being sticking your head in the sand and relinquishing control of your health and care.

I hear that Dr Gaynor will be talking about the crystal bowls and healing sounds on the Dr Oz Show, but in the meantime you can find his music HERE.  Look for Change Your Mind, Uplift, Peaceful Sleep and Tranquility. Relax to the soothing sounds of birds chirping, listen to the waves rushing toward the shore and unwind to the melodic sounds of rain drops.

To read Change Your Mind: Change Your Health in my column Options for Life in the Natural Healing, Natural Wellness Magazine, please click here.  To replay Dr Gaynor on the Dr Oz Show, please see the links in the comment field below. Purchase Change Your Mind.

Sound has a healing quality; it promotes health, not disease– isn’t that our true goal?

blowholes

Mitchell Gaynor, M.D. is founder and president of Gaynor Integrative Oncology and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill College, affiliated with Cornell University and New York Hospital. He has served on the Executive Review Panel at the Department of Defense – Alternative Medicine for Breast Cancer Sector and the Smithsonian Institute’s Symposium on New Frontier in Breast Cancer and the Environment. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer at hospitals, conferences, and universities throughout America and abroad. Learn more: http://www.gaynoroncology.com/about.html

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 is a columnist for Natural Healing-Natural Wellness. She has contributed to Breast Cancer Answers as well as written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer 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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What Everyone Should Know About Beating Cancer

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

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

What Everyone Should Know About Beating Cancer 

Disease (is) not an entity but a fluctuating condition of the patient’s body, a battle between the substance of disease and the natural self-healing tendency of the body.        Hippocrates 

 Our very survival depends on how we manage our cancer.  Cancer is a multifactorial disease.  Every person and every cancer is unique.  Genetic, environmental, nutritional and psychological factors all play a role in the development of cancer, and the toxic soup-mix   is different for each individual. We all generate errant or mutated cancer cells in our bodies every day, yet only some individuals will go on to develop the disease.  Normally our immune systems destroy these errant cells, yet sometimes the system fails: the development of cancer is an indication that the body lacks the support necessary to destroy cancer cells. The key is to discover and repair what is not functioning by empowering yourself to make changes that support your body’s ability to resist the cancer process. Therefore, to comprehensively treat our cancer, we must attack from all sides; we must dissect our soup.  If we don’t uncover and correct the environment in which cancer was permitted to grow, our chances for recurrence or new cancers are greatly increased. 

 

Conventional medicine targets the cancer that we detect right now: surgery to remove the tumor and therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation to target errant cells left behind.  What about the new cells that proliferate?  Conventional treatments alone are not winning the war on cancer.  We, as patients, must play an active role in restoring and maintaining health.  The key to survival is often changing the environment in which cancer was able to develop.  If we focus on the underlying conditions that may have contributed to the disease, we can likely prevent recurrence or reverse the course of the disease.  After all, it is not the primary tumor that kills us, but rather the progression of the disease.  Emotional patterns and dietary choices may neither be the cause or cure for every cancer, but any path taken, be it allopathic, integrative or alternative, will be more successful long-term if the mind and body are addressed.

There is a strong correlation between emotional patterns and the development and progression of cancer. The power of repressed emotions, anger, and resentment as well as a lack of self love is not to be overlooked in the creating and healing of our cancers. Emotional challenges can develop into physical ones; that is, an emotion not expressed in words or actions finds expression in physical ailments.  Physical symptoms are often related to past repressed traumatic experiences, and toxic defense mechanisms are often developed in childhood to survive life’s inevitable traumas.

Our physical health is compromised when we chronically repress our needs and feelings to accommodate others.  This coping style weakens our immune defenses and leaves us more vulnerable to cancer progression.

Stress per se is not a critical factor in illness; it’s how we respond to it that matters. The key is to express it appropriately and then let it go, so that it doesn’t fester or build, or escalate out of control.  Take a walk, run, get a massage, listen to music, take a bath, yell (or at least make your distress known) –anything that can release stress and stored or blocked emotions. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you begin to express your emotions and speak honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

The immune system is often suppressed in people who feel they are not able to change the negative conditions of their lives, and are involved in toxic relationships.  Situations in which a woman has a physically or emotionally abusive man in her life or is stuck in a non-nurturing marriage or even in one where a husband is unable or unwilling to support his wife’s emotional needs can trigger a cascade of biochemical changes that help create a fertile field for cancer to grow.

This is not to say that everyone involved in a toxic relationship or who has relentless, unaddressed stress will develop cancer.  However, to help avoid a recurrence of cancer or to reverse the disease, you need to change the environment in which cancer was permitted to grow.  Identifying and releasing deep-seated negative emotions and thought patterns, while maintaining an attitude of hope and positive beliefs, can make the all-important difference in the pursuit of wellness. If you suspect negative relationships to be part of the cause, it’s time to make some changes. Make a commitment to yourself and eliminate the toxic relationships in your life; celebrate you and make sure you are a priority in life, not an afterthought. Consider stress reducing therapies such as Reiki, yoga, meditation, or kinesiology.  Join a support group to talk through your frustrations and to connect with others.

                                                   

Diet should be an important part of your anticancer strategy.  The cellular level is where cancer begins and where nutrition exerts its greatest effect. Our nutritional status either weakens us, making us susceptible to the development of cancer, or strengthens our bodies’ defense mechanisms, enhancing our ability to prevent renegade cells from becoming tumors, to avoid recurrence and often to reverse the disease.  Cancer loves inflammation, and inflammation plays a role at all three stages of cancer: initiation, progression and metastasis. Most foods either encourage or discourage inflammation.  A diet high in trans-fatty acids, carbohydrates and sugar helps the body to create inflammation, whereas a diet heavy in vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids puts the brakes on the process.

In general, a high fiber, low fat, diet rich in legumes, fruits and vegetables is recommended (as well as exercise and maintaining a healthy weight).  Limit red meat (occasional organic, grass-fed meats are fine). Dairy consumption is somewhat controversial, but most would argue that avoiding or limiting dairy is best.  Remember, we want to enjoy life; deprivation can lead to depression and reduced enjoyment of life.  If eating cheese is of great pleasure to you, then by all means, have some, but try to find raw, organic cheeses made on small farms to avoid pesticides and unnecessary hormones. 

                               

Antioxidants and the immune system play critical role cancer prevention and in their ability to destroy cancers already present. Antioxidants protect cells and tissues, and remove the free radicals created by exposure to radiation, chemicals and inflammation.  Foods such as flaxseed, rosemary, apples, red wine, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables help remove and disable troublesome estrogen from the body. The immune system, and specifically NK cells (natural killer cells), are able to attack and kill a wide variety of cells and patrol the circulatory system and organs of the body on an antigen seek-and-destroy mission, so keeping these super-soldiers in optimal fighting condition is necessary to beat cancer.  A lack of minerals and nutrients will decrease the activity of these soldiers and compromise the immune system. Please include a wide variety of anti-cancer foods as each nutrient plays its own role in the prevention of cancer.  

Remember, the goal is to empower yourself to take responsibility for your own healing and to encourage you to take action, without creating a sense of guilt.  If you have cancer, think long and hard about how you got to this place in life, and what kind of joyful and fulfilling future you want to create as a survivor.  You can’t change the past, but you can take control of your future. Understanding which behaviors, ingrained patterns and dietary deficiencies we can begin to change in order to strengthen our immune systems and to allow our bodies to heal is the first step in the pursuit of wellness. Resolving these issues and moving towards a happier, healthier life is why many survivors say that getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to them.

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

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

Elyn Jacobs

elyn@elynjacobs.com

elynjacobs.wordpress.com

Elyn Jacobs is President of Elyn Jacobs Consulting, Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation, a certified cancer coach and a breast cancer survivor.  Elyn empowers women to be active participants in their health; she is passionate about helping others get past their cancer and into a cancer-free life.

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

 

The Redwood Forest

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

 I titled my blog “It’s a Strong Tree that Withstands a Hurricane” as I believe that a strong, healthy body is a formidable defense against cancer, similar to how a strong tree can withstand the fierce winds of a hurricane.  A body that lacks nutrients or that suffers relentless stress is at a disadvantage.  Stress, particularly when perceived as inevitable and uncontrollable, is a key factor in vulnerability to cancer. I will discuss nutrients later, but for now, I want to talk more about stress and trees, specifically the redwood trees in Northern California.   These trees are the tallest trees on earth, yet the roots are actually quite shallow.  The tallest trees on the earth have a shallow root system.  They stand tall because they stay close and intertwine their roots with the trees around them.  This strong support system allows them to stand tall whilst otherwise they would fall.  In order to avoid the beast called cancer and in order to beat this beast, we need to intertwine ourselves with a solid support system of friends and loved ones.

 Some women are lucky enough to have a built in support system of family and friends.  Others find that their current circle just doesn’t understand or are even involved in toxic, draining relationships. The immune system is often suppressed in people who feel they are not able to change the negative conditions of their lives.  Situations in which a woman has a physically or emotionally abusive man in her life or is stuck in a non-nurturing marriage or even in one where a husband is unable or unwilling to support his wife’s emotional needs can trigger a cascade of biochemical changes that help create a fertile field for breast cancer to grow.

 This is not to say that everyone involved in a toxic relationship or who has relentless, unaddressed stress will develop cancer.  However, to avoid a recurrence of breast cancer, you need to change the environment in which cancer was permitted to grow.  If you suspect negative relationships to be part of the cause, it’s time to make some changes. Make a commitment to yourself and eliminate the toxic relationships in your life, celebrate you and make sure you are a priority in life, not an afterthought. Consider stress reducing therapies such as Reiki, yoga, meditation, or kinesiology. Join a support group to talk through your frustrations and to connect with others.

    Support groups and online support groups and chat rooms give cancer patients a new place to belong.  Many of us have joked “once you have breast cancer, you become a member of the club…the initiation is rough, but the women are amazing.”  Since my diagnosis, I have met the most amazing people, met so many wonderful new friends.  Friends who understand what is like to live with cancer, to be declared NED but who still look over their shoulder every day, and who understandably fret over every scan, odd symptom and toxin that might cross their path.  If your husband says he doesn’t know you anymore, that cancer has changed you, take him along; let him see that your cancer fears and insecurities are not unique to you.  If he still doesn’t get it and is unable to support you, divorce him (ouch, did I say that?).  Embrace life, live life and love life….it’s yours and it can be gone with a blink.

 May your tree stand tall.

Elyn Jacobs

elyn@elynjacobs.com

elynjacobs.blogspot.com

elynjacobs.wordpress.com

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Elyn Jacobs is President of Elyn Jacobs Consulting, Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation, a certified cancer coach and a breast cancer survivor.  Elyn helps women diagnosed with cancer to navigate the process of treatment and care, and educates to prevent recurrence and new cancers.  She is passionate about helping others get past their cancer and into a cancer-free life. To learn more about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit:  https://elynjacobs.wordpress.com