Breast Cancer: Are women being short changed?

The thought of breast cancer strikes fear into the hearts of even the hardiest of souls and it is this fear that helps drive the multibillion dollar cancer industry; misguided and self serving fundraising charities, dangerous mammograms, expensive and toxic chemotherapy drugs and highly invasive mastectomies etc.

Cancer drug therapies don’t work: Big Pharma have fudged the results
It’s no secret that mainstream Western medicine relies heavily on evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific studies. But that world is being turned on its head. According to researchers C. Glenn Begley and Lee Ellis, writing in the prestigious journal Nature, 89% of the published cancer studies they reviewed cannot be reproduced.

According the well respected UCL pharmacologist, Professor David Colqhoun, The Cancer Dug fund is just a “political stunt”.

Therefore the fact that cancer charities and the NHS continually plead for cost reductions on drugs is missing the point; the tens of thousands of pounds spent to keep terminally ill patients alive for a few months could arguably be replaced by adopting a holistic approach as outlined below. However the drug only approach is so engrained in the medical psyche, mostly through Big Pharma’s power and influence, that “they can’t see the wood for the trees”

I guess they forgot one of the famous quotes from the father of medicine; “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates.

How Angelina Jolie was duped
We have also recently witnessed the barbaric act of Angelina Jolie, based on the false premise that women who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have about an 87% chance of the disease, which is plain nonsense and here is a great article that effectively dispels this lunacy.

Genes are mostly controlled through the epigenome, the level above the gene, which dictates through the environment a person is exposed to, which genes will be turned off (suppressed) or turned on (expressed). The environment includes diet, exposure to toxins and pollution, Big Pharma medicines, exercise and stress levels; hence the key to avoiding and treating most disease lies in the understanding of the epigenome.

What dietary advice do cancer charities and Government offer the public

Cancer charities (and other health charities) give out poor dietary advice often veiled in the vague words of “eat a balanced diet”, based on outdated and poor scientific research, pre-loaded with vested interests e.g. the food industry and the low fat, high carbohydrate dogma.

Consider this; why does the NHS Eatright Plate specify that a significant part of your diet should consist of starchy carbohydrates, when in 1931 Otto Warburg won the Nobel prize for making the discovery that glucose is a crucial fuel for the survival of cancer cells.

The simple answer is to appease Big Business like the food companies. Look at Cancer UK’s dietary guidelines; a woeful attempt to provide not only some inaccurate information, but very vague information. Why? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that Tesco is their major sponsor.

As the third president of the USA once said; “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

Strategies for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer

Below is what you should expect from a cancer charity website that raises millions from dedicated fundraisers.

 These strategies pretty much apply to both prevention and treatment. 

  • Broccoli SproutsBroccoli sprouts are young broccoli plants that are rich in glucoraphanin, a precursor of sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown in vitro studies to have anti-cancer effects against prostate, breast and urinary cancers. It may also protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation.
  • Watercress – A compound contained in watercress has been shown to inhibit a protein that is an integral part of breast cancer development.Tumours are cell masses that begin to grow uncontrollably and as a result of their rapid development, they actually outgrow their blood supply.

In order to obtain oxygen and nutrients, the tumours must coerce the surrounding cells to  begin providing a fresh blood supply. A chemical in watercress known as Phenylethyl Isothiocyanate (PEITC) can actually block this process, thereby impeding tumour growth by interfering with the cancer protein Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF).

Watercress has also been found to outperform pharmaceuticals such as Tamoxifen and Herceptin. Watercress, however, is a natural herb that will not cause any of the harmful side effects brought upon by traditional drug use and save the NHS a packet.

Not only has watercress been shown to effectively battle cancer in the short term, but it also has been proven to ward off cancer in the long term. When consumed regularly, watercress prevents the onset of cancer in the future. In addition, daily intake of watercress also reduces DNA damage and increases cells’ ability to further resist DNA damage caused by free radicals.

  • Curcumin (Turmeric) – Turmeric root is one of the most important spices and traditional medicines across vast sections of Asia, and has been for hundreds of years. Scientists attribute many of turmeric’s health benefits to the trio of naturally occurring chemicals known as curcuminoids, which give the root its characteristic yellow-orange colour. The name curcumin, which technically refers to only one of the curcuminoids, is sometimes also used to refer to the entire group.

One study conducted by researchers from Siebold University of Nagasaki, Japan and published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition in 2010, found that healthy people who took turmeric tablets had higher blood concentrations of the cancer fighting chemical geranylgeranoic acid (GGA) four hours later.

In another study, published the same year in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, researchers from the University of Michigan found that a solution of curcumin and piperine (the chemical that makes black pepper spicy) stopped the propagation of breast cancer stem cells while leaving healthy breast cells unaffected. The piperine appeared to boost the natural tumour suppressing powers of the curcumin. Notably, even the typically hard to treat hormone receptor negative tumours were suppressed by curcumin.

A 2011 study conducted by researchers from Zheijian Provincial People’s Hospital in China backed this up, finding that curcumin actually induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in triple negative breast cancer cells, the most lethal form of breast cancer. Another 2011 study by researchers from the University of Texas, noted that curcumin is remarkable for its effectiveness at inducing apoptosis while not just leaving non-cancerous cells alone, but actually improving their health.

A pre-clinical study, targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine, published in the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment in 2010, gives insight into another advantage of using piperine to enhance the effects of curcumin.

Researchers from the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre discovered when curcumin with piperine was applied to breast cells in vitro, cancerous stem cells were decreased without any noticeable changes in distinctively healthy cells.

These stem cells, though minute in number are what keep cancerous tumours alive. Dr. Madhuri Kakarala, M.D., Ph.D., R.D., lead author, clinical lecturer and research investigator concludes, “If we can limit the number of stem cells, we can limit the number of cells with the potential to form tumours.”

Not only turmeric, but all spices and herbs have the ability to affect multiple disease pathways, unlike drugs, which only influence single pathways and are toxic and on the whole, expensive and ineffective.

  • Lignans Plant lignans are one of the four classes of phyto-oestrogens, containing a chemical called 7-hydroxymatairesinol (HMR), a phenolic compound that is structurally similar to the main mammalian oestrogen, oestradiol.

Lignans inhibit aromatase and oestradiol production in general, lowering serum oestrogen levels as well as increase the concentration of sex hormone binding globulin, which blunts the effects of oestrogens. These benefits were documented when 48 postmenopausal women consumed 7.5g/day of ground flax seeds for 6 weeks, then 15g for 6 weeks and significant decreases in oestradiol, oestrone and testosterone were noted with a bigger decrease in overweight and obese women.

In another study, there was significant apoptosis (tumour cell death) and reduced cell proliferation in the flax seed group in just the one month.

  • Tocotrienols – The other spectrum of vitamin E is far more potent from a therapeutic point of view than tocopherols and include four fractions; alpha, beta, gamma and delta.

In terms of breast cancer, the delta (the best) and gamma fractions have the most potent effect from a preventative and treatment standpoint. Also delta tocotrienols work synergistically with Tamoxifen to enhance the treatment effectiveness. Researchers suggest that this synergy may allow for reduced doses of Tamoxifen, in turn reducing the side effect profile.

Tocotrienols are extracted in high quantities mainly from palm oil, annatto or rice bran. However annatto (derived from the seeds of the Achiote trees in tropical regions) has the highest quantity of the potent delta fraction.

Tocotrienols control the production of the potent oestrogen, oestradiol and inhibit growth of the oestrogen receptor (OR) positive MCF-7 and ER-neg MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. 

Fasting may also reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

Fasting stabilises insulin levels; high insulin being linked to increased breast cancer risk.

Researchers explain how the ketogenic (high fat, moderate protein, very low carb, no grain) diet can have such a dramatic and rapid effect on cancer. All of your body’s cells are fuelled by glucose, including cancer cells. However, cancer cells have one built-in fatal flaw; they do not have the metabolic flexibility of your regular cells and cannot adapt to use ketone bodies (fats) for fuel as all your other cells can.

So, when you alter your diet and become what’s known as “fat-adapted,” your body starts using fat for fuel rather than carbs. When you switch out the carbs for healthy fats, you starve       the cancer out, as you’re no longer supplying the necessary fuel, glucose for their growth.

Researchers explain that:

“Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone       bodies (fats), but cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility and therefore we can exploit this  advantage”.

Severely limiting sugar/fructose, processed foods of all kinds, sweetened beverages (as well as diet versions) and replacing carbs with healthy fats and high quality protein can do what no medicine can; it can prevent disease from setting in, and may even be the U-turn you’re looking for if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or other chronic disease. Add to that all the other strategies mentioned here and you will be well prepared.

Green juicing forms a key part of this diet; kale, watercress, romaine, rocket, spinach along with beets, carrots, ginger, lemons, limes, celery, parsley and cucumber offer chemoprotection. Here is a great recipe from my blog.

  • Exercise – Recent research from the Mayo Clinic suggests oncologists are failing to properly advise their patients on the need for exercise, which some cancer organisations now believe should be part of standard cancer care.

Exercise during and after cancer treatment can reduce your risk of dying from cancer, reduce your risk of cancer recurrence, boost energy and minimise the side effects of conventional cancer treatment.

Previous research has shown that breast and colon cancer patients who exercise regularly reduced the recurrence rate by 50% compared to non-exercisers. That’s staggering don’t you think?

Exercise helps lower your cancer risk and improve outcomes by normalising your insulin levels, lowering oestrogen and improving testosterone levels and the circulation of immune cells in your blood.

Surely there has to be a radical re-think on how this disease and other diseases are prevented and treated; expensive, toxic and ineffective drugs and other invasive treatments are not the way.

 

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