The 'prophylactic' removal of women's breasts by their "holistic doctors" due to BRCA1/BRCA2 status is becoming a disturbingly popular trend, celebrated in mainstream media and medical industry as a reasonable choice that saves lives... but is it reasonable or even supported by science?
Recent announcements that high profile celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Sharon Osbourne, Christina Applegate, Allyn Rose (Miss America contestant) announcements have undergone 'prophylactic' double mastectomy (and resultant reconstruction of perfectly formed plastic boobs- does anyone even remember toxic pips) due to their BRCA1/BRCA2 status has disturbing implications for mine and your daughters.
As high-profile celebrities their decisions will affect millions of women's perception of the procedure, likely making them more accepting of the concept. Their decisions also reflect profound misconceptions about gene-mediated disease risk. Genes are not the be all and end all contrary to popular belief. Diet and lifestyle and the way we choose to treat our sicknessess (ie with suppressive western drugs or with supportive natural herbal medicines) can all promote healthy expression of our genes and reduce our genetic predisposition to disease.
Now, millions of women (and men) are getting advice as to whether they should be screened for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations, thus reducing the risk of breast cancer from up to 87 percent to down to 5 percent and saving lives. Everyone has BRACA genes by the way. The BRACA gene's job is to destroy tumours in breast and ovarian tissue. The test is for faulty gene expression.
These high profile women's decision to have a preventative mastectomy, rather than focusing on reducing or eliminating all future radiation exposure to their breasts, or incorporating the hundreds of nutritional compounds confirmed to protect against breast cancer, represents the sad and sorry state of affairs that the world is in. These poor women are living in a society whereby they feel so absolutely powerless and have absolutely no faith in their bodies own ability to prevent disease and heal itself. In the early 1900s the Suffragette movement fought for womens rights, famously burning their bras, now 100 years later ironically it's becoming the norm for "empowered women" to cut off their breasts!
Whilst many people praise these high profile women for focusing attention on the possibilities of testing and "proactive" treatment, there is a side thats says people will want tests they might not need, causing unecessary distress, as a positive result does not lead to to preventative advice supported by science. There are also people who argue that the public money spent on genetic tests, preventative double mastectomies and reconstructive plastic surgery could be better spent elsewhere and that this kind of radical approach to preventing breast cancer would be much better served by making dietary and lifestlye changes including the use of herbal medicines to address the known scientific causes. OTHER than purely genetics....Ie
- Free radical damage causing genetic mutation, DNA damage hyperproliferation of cells (the tumour) and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels to feed the tumour)
- Immune system dysfunction
- Excess RTK activity. RTKs are enzymes involved in turning on signal transduction in tumour formation. TKIs inhibit this enzyme. There are many natural TKIs. These are known as anti-cancer foods or herbs
- Excess consumption of or environmental exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic products (meaning they all promote cancer growth)
- Excess ILGF is a polypeptide hormone which is naturally in cows milk and breast milk. It is anabolic and is implicated for breast / endometrial / ovarian / prostate / hormone linked cancers. It's a potent activator of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK) signalling pathways.
- Excess Cox (cyclooxygenase) and Lox (lipoxygenase) are two enzymes involved in inflammation therfore DNA damage. COX2 is over expressed in cancer. Due to overconsumption of pro-inflammatory foods and stress.IGF
- Presence of oncogenes HER2 => Increases RTKs / employs COX2 => angiogenesis (a step in transition of tumour from dormant to malignant)
- Excesss aromatase activity leading to excess production of oestrogen in the fats cells.
- Excesss betaglucaronidase activity leading to excess production of oestrogen in the bowel
- Hypomethylation in the liver leading to excess xenooestrogens
- Hypomethylation of DNA leading to faulty gene expression
- Excess xenoestrogens in the environment
- Obesity leading to excess inflammatory cytokines produced in adipose tissue and excess production of oestrogen in fat cells.
History of genetic testing
In 1993, only 100 disease could be tested for. Until recently, when people spoke of "genetic testing," they nearly always meant prenatal screening, genetic testing used by parents concerned about gentic mutations such as a potentially fatal mutation such as the recessive X-linked mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy or other diseases such as Down Syndrome or cystic fibrosis. Nowadays genetic testing is available for 1500 diseases and is well on its way to becoming a routine part of clinical care. Yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) state that many of the genetic tests currently being developed are of "questionable prognostic value."
Scientists are now rapidly discovering numerous mutation-disease associations and a growing number of commercial tests have been developed that allow individuals to obtain information about their likely susceptibility to developing certain diseases. In one study, 60% of primary care physicians surveyed across the United States reported having ordered genetic tests for patients, and 74% reported having referred patients to a genetic testing or counselling centre (Shields et al., 2008).
Genes associated with cancers
|head & neck||MGMT|
|head & neck||MLH1|
|head & neck||NEIL1|
|head & neck||FANCB|
|head & neck||MSH4|
|head & neck||ATM|
Controversy associated with genetic testing
Many genetic tests are of "questionable prognostic value" for two reasons. Firstly, many of these tests are for medical conditions for which there are, according to Western Medicine, few or no known effective risk-reduction strategies. From a naturopathic perspective of course, there are many dietary, lifetyle, supplement and herbal medicine modifications that reduce risk of cancer.....but everyone should do this anyway, regardless. As Western Medicine does not focus on, or educate in the causative factors, testing positive creates more distress than not knowing your genetic susceptibility.
Secondly, the most that many tests reveal is whether or not you are at an increased risk for the disease (compared to individuals who test negative), not whether or when, you will actually develop the disease. This is because the causes of most diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, are multifactorial (have many causes)
BRCA1 and BRCA2 Testing
Such uncertainty can be seen in BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing. Mutations in both genes have been associated with increased risk for breast and ovarian cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, estimates of the percentage of BRCA-positive women who will develop breast cancer sometime in the future range from 36% to 85% (i.e., 360 to 850 women out of every 1,000 who test positive). In comparison, scientists estimate that in the general population, about 13.2% of women (132 out of each 1,000) will develop breast cancer. These figures mean that women with mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are three to seven times more likely to develop breast cancer than women without altered genes.
What does a positive BRCA1 or BRCA2 test mean?
At best, it tells individuals that their risk of developing breast cancer is between 36% and 85%. Positive test results do not indicate whether or when an individual will actually develop cancer.
The actual onset of breast cancer depends on many factors, including family history. High-risk individuals at the higher end of that 36%-85% risk range test positive for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and are from families with multiple cases of breast cancer, or from families that have experienced cases of both breast and ovarian cancer, or have one or more family members that have each had two original tumors at different sites (e.g., both colon cancer and lymphoma), and are people of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish descent.
In the case of BRCA1 and BRCA2, women who test positive have several follow-up options, but it is not at all clear which of these risk-reduction strategies is the most effective and under what circumstances.
Follow-up strategies include:
- Increased surveillance (i.e., monitoring for symptoms more often so that if cancer does develop, it is detected at the earliest possible stage)
- Risk-reduction surgery (i.e., surgical removal of healthy breast or ovarian tissue, although some women have developed cancer even after having at-risk tissue removed)
- Risk avoidance (i.e., changing behaviour and lifestyle, by exercising regularly, limiting alcohol consumption and from a naturopathic perspective, eating wholefoods unprocessed diet, taking herbs to lower inflammatory cytokines, block Cox and Lox, lower insulin, eat food that are natural TKIs etc)
- Chemoprevention (e.g., the use of Tamoxifen (oestrogen blocker) or Aromadex (aromatase inhibitors) has been shown to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in women in the general population by 50% )
For a full explanation of the causes of cancer from a naturopathic perspective and treatment, see also Naturopathic Causes and Treatment of Cancer and Natural Alternatives to Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer.
The Most Common Genetic Test- Factor V is Leiden Testing
Factor V Leiden testing is the most commonly ordered DNA-based genetic test in the US. Factor V Leiden is an inherited blood clotting disorder caused by a mutation in the F5 gene, which encodes a protein called coagulation factor V. Individuals with mutated F5 genes have a two- to eightfold increased risk of venous thromboembolism (i.e., blood clots in the veins, also referred to as VTEs), which can be fatal. Factor V Leiden tests are usually ordered for patients that have already had VTEs.
As with BRCA1 and BRCA2, testing positive for the F5 mutation associated with the disorder doesn't mean that a person is going to suffer another VTE. In fact, only about 10%-30% of individuals who test positive experience another VTE at some point in the future. The implications of a positive factor V Leiden test are far from clear. While there have been a few suggestions for risk reduction, such as the use of anticoagulant prophylaxis (e.g., taking an aspirin every day), scientists have not studied the effectiveness of risk-reduction interventions. Of course from a naturopathic perspective there are many proactive dietary choices one can make to inhibit platelet aggragating factor (PAF) and keep the blood thin.
The Future of Genetic Testing
Genetic testing is going to continue to expand. It is not enough however to know that gene X is associated with disease Y. Scientists need to determine which risk-reduction strategies work best including tretament with targeted medications and dietary and lifestyle change or alternatively begin to work with naturopaths who can provide professional proactive advice to minimise risks.
Ethical considerations of genetic testing
As more and more diseases become susceptible to genetic screening, such questions will have to be faced. Who gets tested?
Who pays for genetic testing?
The Supreme Court is expected to decide within the next month or so whether the patent for the test is valid or will the test be invalidated, resulting in the cost of the test plummeting. How do you give companies the financial incentive to do the research to develop such tests while at the same time dealing with the cost?
Apparently we don't even own our own genes! Myriad Genetics a Utah-based company owns patents on your BRCA genes (men have them too). Yale University was willing to provide the same test at a much lower cost and was not allowed to do so therby preventing these tests "saving lives". Myriad is an example of an American corporation whose profits are more important than anythiong else including the value of human life itself.
The Cancer Industry is Big Business
The Cancer Industry consists of corporations, organisations, and agencies that diminish or mask the extent of what is now the global cancer pandemic, fail to protect our health by allowing cancer promoters to be used in our environment and in our "medicine", and/or divert attention away from the importance of finding and addressing the causes of cancer and finally, work only to "cure" the disease with pharmaceutical medications that are frankly barbaric and archaic in every sense of the word. The cut, poison, burn and reconstruct approach used by the medical industry is in no way a cure. It is suppressive medicine in every sense of the word, damaging the Vital Force and pushing the can of disease down the road. By not addressing the actual causes of the cancer ie the environment in the body that existed to allow the cancer to develop and ravage out of control, the body will only get sick again. Another cancer will develop, or, as can be seen in many people who "survived cancer" the person will die of another disease soon after because of the damaging effects of chemotherapy.
Dubious connections between drug companies and cancer charities
Some drug companies that profit from cancer treatment drugs, also produce toxic chemicals that are carconogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic meaning they all promote cancer growth and contribute to growing rates of cancer. Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company that produces drugs to treats cancer are owned by Monsanto the company that manufactures cancer causing herbicides and pesticides. The breast cancer charity in the US, NBCAM (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month)
was originally created by a drug company called AstraZenec that, in addition to producing breast cancer treatment drugs, profited from the sale of a cancer promoting herbicide.
Cancer charities accept donations from cancer causing industries
In order to remain independent, cancer charities should not take money from corporations that profit from cancer. Corporations covered should include pharmaceutical companies, chemical manufacturers, oil companies, tobacco companies, health insurance organisations, and cancer treatment facilities.
By accepting money from these industries, the Cancer Industry supports polluting industries that continue to release substances are known or suspected to be dangerous to our health, and the public relations firms and public agencies that protect these polluters. Our "drinking water" for example is a source of many many cancer promoting and health damaging chemicals, fluoride being linked to thyroid tumours and osteosarcoma in particular and chlorine being a source of cancer causing trihalomethanes and monochloramines.
The Cancer Industry unfortunately includes organisations like the American Cancer Society and Cancer Council Australia that downplay the rise in cancer due to then use of pesticides and other environmental factors, particularly vaccinations (telling us that the toxic igredients are safe in small amounts and that artificial immunity is beetr than antural immunity) and that historically have refused to take a stand on environmental regulation. Substances such as BPA and parabens have been widely used but are now being linked to cancer and removed due to consumer demand thankfully because of the internet not because cancer charities are forcing new legislation.
What the Cancer Industry would have you believe in relation to cancer
The focus on cancer is very much on early detection and what the industry would have you believe is "cure". Whilst many lifestyle factors including environmental hazards, are known carcinogens or mutagens and contribute to cancer formation, we are not being educated in the causative factiors to cancer and how we can limit exposure to these to reduce our risk of all cancers naturally. Instead we are told they are all "safe in samll amounts".
The Think Pink Campaign's for example, primary message is "Get Your Mammogram" Everyone is aware that mammograms are X rays and radiation increases the risk of genetic mutation and the risk of cancer formation. Why then are we X raying our breasts?! Did you know that you can get an ultrasound done on suspicious lumps that is as effective in detecting early cancers. I am cetainly not saying don't get the cancer cut out or go down the chemotherapy, radiotherapy route, that is up to you, but please address the causative factors to not only increase your chances of survival but also reduce your chance of the cancer returning. And please be aware that a good naturopath and herbalist such as myself can help you addresss the causative factors to your disease.
Where does the majority of the money donated to cancer charities go?
The majority of money donated to the charity is used to pay researchers and genetecists to look for further genetic causes of cancer in order ot develop specific drug treatments ..or perhaps in the future make designer babies who purportedly do not get cancer. The money is not spent testing the therapeutic effects of anticancer foods and herbs on cancer patients, say the effect of green tea, turmeric and genestein in soy for example on breast tumours or to teaching us what to avoid and what to include to reduce our risks. The money is also not spent on free naturopaths and hebral treatments for cancer patients looking for an alternative.
Attention needs to be focussed on what needs to be done to stop cancer before it starts but no charities or organisations or drug companies or even our GPs are doing it. This is what naturopaths do, yet the government will not emply a local health naturopath to educate the general public on disease reduction strategies that would theoretically save them money.
The problem with the Think Pink Campaign leads to too many False Positives
The Think Pink campaign, with its vast breast cancer 'awareness' programme results in approximately 70,000 breast cancers (31% of annual breast cancers diagnoses) being misdiagnosed each year. These are not just so-called "zero stage" breast cancers such as Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), which arguably should be reclassified as non-cancerous normal variations in breast morphology, but 50% are known as early-stage "invasive" breast cancers. These are not breast cancer but natural, sometimes self-limiting variations in breast morphology.
An article published in NEJM found that 1.3 million US women were overdiagnosed and overtreated for so-called "breast cancer" in the past 30 years. These were screen-detected abnormal breast findings that would never have progressed to cause harm in the women in which they were diagnosed. These women, are essentially iatrogenic(doctor caused) victims of medicine. They were given standard treatment options, including lumpectomy, mastectomy, radiation, chemotherapy, and drug therapy. Statistically they were considered as "survivors" whose lives were "saved" by the medical industry, thereby making the barbaric "tretaments" appear far more effective than they actually are. These women also, are then offered a follow up BRCA test. If the test is positive then they are automatically led to assume that the faulty gene must have therefore "caused" the "cancer".
Breast implants themsleves causes breast cancer
Women who undergo mastectomies often get reconstructive surgery invloving the use of breast implants which themselves have been linked to cancer. The type of breast cancer linked to implants is not only a more aggressive breast cancer but also has lower survival rates.
Why is Australia the best country in the world to get prostate cancer?
Interestingly Australia is the best place in the world to get prostate cancer. Why? Because doctors here have a "wait and see approach". Unlike in breast cancer the approach is not cut poison burn. Some prostate cancers are slow growing, with men with prostate cancer often dying of some other cause. Many breast cancers are probably slow growing too and women could also benefit from a wait and see approach but the Cancer Industry is not allowing these women an option to wait and see. Perhaps this is becuase the Cancer Industry is male diominated
Where did the pink ribbon originally come from?
During the month of October, pink ribbons everywhere remind us to drink tea, run, and shop for the cure. But where did the pink ribbon come from? In the early 1990s, 68-year-old Charlotte Haley began making peach ribbons by hand in her home. Her daughter, sister, and grandmother had breast cancer. She distributed thousands of ribbons at supermarkets with cards that read: "The National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon."
As the word spread, executives from Estée Lauder and Self magazine asked Haley for permission to use her ribbon. Haley refused saying the magazine was too commmercial, and Self magazine was startled by Haley's answer. The magazine consulted its lawyers and was advised to come up with another colour. It chose pink, a colour that focus groups say is "soothing, comforting, and healing" — everything breast cancer is not. Soon Charlotte Haley's grassroots peach ribbon was history, and the pink ribbon became the worldwide symbol for breast cancer.
Breast cancer has become the darling of corporate giants. Companies such as IGA, Coles, Woolworths, Target and K Mart etc use pink ribbons to sell their products and boost their image with consumers as they boost their income. Meanwhile, breast cancer rates continue to rise.
Genetics - Are our genes really the be all and end all?
Epigenetics means, "it's not too late"
The reversibility of turning genes off and on has important implications.
Epigenetics - factors other than genetics that contribute to disease
Whilst cancer results from genetic mutation in the DNA of your genes, this does not mean that your cancer risk is unchangeable.
Theere is a common misconception about the role that the so-called breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, play in breast cancer disease risk and prognosis. BRCA mutations vary widely by ethnicity and are exceedingly rare in the general population, which is why, as NBCNews.com recently reported, "The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that only women with a strong family history even think about getting a BRCA genetic test –which is only 2 percent of U.S. women." But even in those in which a BRCA mutation is identified, the genes, in and of themselves, do not alone make the disease.
Only a decade ago, in the year 2000 the first draft of the entire human genome was created. At that same time also, the principle that our DNA controls protein expression, and therefore disease risk, was also disproved. Our genome was found to contain roughly 20,000 genetic instructions, not even enough to account for the 100,000 proteins in the human body.
Twins are a great example of epigenetics
'Identical twins are like clones who have the same exact genes and yet they usually suffer from and die of different diseases. There's a built-in randomness to humans that makes us all individual, which means for now we can't rely on DNA tests alone.
No more than 5 to 10 percent of cancer risk is inherited
Factors beyond the gene including largely determined by a combination of nutrition, psychospiritual states that feed back into our physiology, lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures, physical activity turn on and turn off genes, such as tumor suppressor genes, that affect cancer risk by as much as 95%.These are called epigenetic factors
Chemicals produced by our body or diet can switch our genes on and off, like a dimmer switch on a light, to produce more or less of these proteins. In fact, even the psychological trauma associated with being diagnosed with cancer can promote cancer as adrenalin switches cancer protective genes off and suppresses the immune systems abilty to kill cancer cells. According to a recent NEJM study also, a cancer diagnosis can lead up to a 26-fold increased risk of heart-related deaths in the seven days following diagnosis.
Taking folic acid is an example of an epigenetic factor
Pregnant woman take folic acid to prevent birth defects, Folic acid is one of the strongest vitamins that switches on and off hundreds of genes and changed genetic predisposition. This is becauses it is an imortant nutrient to assist the proper methylation of DNA, a process involved in healthy cell replication. If DNA is not methylated properly genetic damage can occur and cancer result.
Bottom line in regard to epigentics
In relation to reducing risk of cancer, when it comes to diet and lifestyle choices, the old adages are true "The sooner, the better" but growing evidence on the importance of epigenetics thankfully suggests"better late than never".
DNA methylation and cancer development
Improving methylation of DNA is an epigenetic factor. DNA methylation is essential during embryonic development. Abnormal DNA methylation patterns, either hypermethylation and hypomethylation, have been associated with a large number of human cancers.
Nutrients involved in the methylation
Mnay nutrients are invloved in methylating DNA. In general I never recommmend taking a synthetic form a vitamins to prevent cancer. It is not holistic medicine. I would always recommend getting these nutrients in the diet naturally by including superfoods, beetroot, blackbeans, sea vegetables. In saying that though, supplementaion may be necessary short term in certain individuals with marked nutritional deficiencies.
- Methyl B12: this is vitamin B12 in its "methyl" form.
- Vitamin B6: aids in the production of glutathione.
- Folic acid: this is a B vitamin that works as a cofactor in the Methylation factory.
- Dimethylglycine: also known as DMG. DMG also supports the Methylation pathway as a "methyl donor".
- Trimethylglycine: also known as TMG. TMG is DMG plus another methyl group. Naturally found iun beetroot.
- Methionine: an amino acid that can be considered the "chassis" or the starting molecule that can eventually be transformed to glutathione
- N-acetyl cysteine: also known as NAC This is precursor for cysteine and glutathione
Glutathione deficiency lead to the methylation cycle becoming blocked
Glutahione is also a precurser to our own antioxidant ezymes glutathione peroxidase (GPOX), superoxide disumtase (SOD) and glutathione S transferase (GST), that combat DNA damage from free radicals.
Foods that boost glutathione levels.
Several foods boost glutathione levels. For example, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower all contain cyanohydroxybutene which increases glutathione levels.
Avocados, peaches, and watermelon are also reported to raise glutathione levels.
A study of Air Force pilots in England after WWII revealed that bilberry jam improves night vision. Further studies indicate that bilberry extracts boost glutathione production and support higher glutathione levels in the eyes. Glutathione is an essential nutrient for optimal vision. Thus, bilberry preserves or jam is another food that boosts glutathione levels.
Several spices including cinnamon, cardamom and curcumin found in turmeric raise glutathione levels.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) promotes the synthesis of glutathione in the body
Food sources of ALA include goats milk, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, Brussels sprouts, and rice bran. Real Hellman's Mayonnaise also provides 660 mg of ALA per 1 tablespoon!?
Selenium forms part of critical enzymes in detox pathways
Selenium is also required for several glutathione-based antioxidant enzymes during detoxification. One of the richest sources of selenium is brazil nuts (from brazil). You can easily snack on 2-4 nuts daily to get your 150-200 mcg of selenium. Brazil nuts can be purchased from many health food stores. Other sources of selenium are foods grown on selenium-rich soil, including other nuts, grains, meats, as well as most seafood.
Other ways to increase GPOX, GST & SOD activity to reduces risk cancer risk
Beetroot increases production of our own endogenous antioxidants
Beetroot contains betacyanin a powerful antioxidant that increases the activity of GPOX, GST & SOD.
Antioxidants and phytochemical rich foods to reduce cancer risk
Antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals protect us is by preventing DNA damage and helping repair damage.
Compounds in garlic and onion, and other compounds in cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage), can make changes in protective genes that have become "turned off" over time. As these compounds turn the genes back "on", this allows inactivation of carcinogens and promotes self-destruction of abnormal cells prone to develop into cancer.
Anticancer Foods or Antiangiogenic Foods
When we say a food is anticancer, what this actually means is that it is a natural Tyrosine Kinase Receptor Inhibitor (TKI), therefore prevents angiognesis and the formation of new blood vessels to feed a tumour.
- Catechins, the main compounds of green tea leafs, have been identified as potent natural inhibitors of several RTKs.
- Daidzein and genestein in soy
- Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile) contains apegenin
- Artemisia annua (Chinese wormwood)
- Viscum album (European mistletoe)
- Curcuma longa (curcumin)
- Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap)
- Resveratrol and proanthocyanidin (grape seed extract, red wine)
- Magnolia officinalis (Chinese magnolia tree)
- Camellia sinensis (green tea)
- Ginkgo biloba
- Poria cocos/Fu Ling
- Zingiber officinalis (ginger)
- Panax ginseng
- Rabdosia rubescens hora/Dong Ling Cao and Chinese destagnation herbs.
- Withania and gotucola contain (Quercetin and kaemferol -Antimutagenic anti-oxidant, ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor (ornithine decarboxylase inhibitors prevent tumour growth and prevent metastatic progression even in the event that cells escape the environment of the primary tumour, RTK-Inhibitor)
Natural ILGF Inhibitors
LIGF It's a potent activator of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK). Tomatoes, soya polyphenols, vegan diet (due to its low protein content). If you have cancer avoid milk as it increases ILGF. Barley is highest in chromium which lowers blood sugar therefore lower both insulin and ILGF. Food that have a low GI, basically wholegrains and legumes, also lower ILGF.
Natural Cox & Lox inhibitors
Cox 2 inhibitors
- Apigenin tea, numerous sources <40 uM Baical Skullcap Root, (huangqin) chamomile.
- Berberine phellodendron (huangbai)
- Curcumin turmeric (jianghuang)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid garlic (dasuan)
- Evodiamine and evodol evodia (wuzhuyu)
- Oleanolic acid numerous rosemary
- Quercetin numerous withania and gotu cola
- Resveratrol hu-chang (huzhang)
- Rutaecarpine evodia (wuzhuyu)
- Ursolic acid ligustrum (nuzhenzi) rosemary
Lox 2 inhibitors
- Allicin garlic (dasuan)
- Berbamine hu-chang (huzhang)
- Berberine coptis (huanglian), phellodendron (haungbai)
- Boswellic acid frankincense (ruxiang)
- Caffeic acid taraxacum/dandylion (pugongying)
- Epicatechin tea
- Epicatechin-gallate tea
- Epigallocatechin tea
- Fisetin chih-shih (zhishi)
- Flavone numerous
- Galangin galanga (liangjiang)
- Morin morus (sangbaipi)
- Quercetin numerous
- Theaflavin digallate tea
- Ursolic acid ligustrum (nuzhenzi)
I use the berberine containing herb Barberry, and Baical Skullcap Root, Rosemary and Turmeric, as natural Cox and Lox inhibitors in my Carahealth Anticancer herbal tincture.
The Top 10 Phytonutrient Rich Superfoods
- Soy – protease inhibitors, beta sitosterol, saponins, phytic acid, isoflavones. Natural TKI, Lowers ILGF#
- Tomato – lycopene, beta carotene, vitamin C
- Broccoli – vitamin C, indole-3-carbinol, sulphoraphane, lignans
- Garlic – thiosulphonates, limonene, quercitin
- Flax seeds – lignans
- Citrus fruits – monoterpenes, coumarin, cryptoxanthin, vitamin C, ferulic acid, oxalic acid
- Blueberries – tannic acid, lignans, anthocyanins
- Sweet potatoes – beta carotene
- Chilli peppers – capsaicin
- Legumes: beans, peas, lentils – omega fatty acids, saponins, catechins, quercetin, lutein, lignans
Other foods rich in phytonutrients
- Apples – quercitin, catechins, tartaric acid
- Açaí berries – vitamin C, anthocyanins, omega-3, omega-6, Beta-sitosterol. Possibly the highest scoring fruit for antioxidant ORAC value.
- Artichoke – silymarin, caffeic acid, ferulic acid
- Brassicaceae vegetables (kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower) - lutein,
- Carrots – beta-carotene
- Cocoa – flavonoids, epicatechin
- Cranberries – ellagic acid, anthocyanins
- Eggplant – nasunin
- Pink grapefruit – lycopene
- Red grapes and wine – quercitin, resveratrol, catechins, ellagic acid
- Green tea – quercitin, catechins, oxalic acid
- Mangos – cryptoxanthin
- Mangosteen - xanthone
- Nuts and seeds – resveratrol, phytic acid, phytosterols, protease inhibitors
- Okra -- beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin
- Onions – quercitin, thiosulphonates
- Papaya – cryptoxanthin
- Pomegranate - Vitamin C, Tannins, especially Punicalagins
- Pumpkin – lignans, carotenes
- Sesame - Lignans
- Shiitake mushrooms - polysaccharides
- Spinach – oxalic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin
- Watermelon – lycopene
Examples of epigenetic factors that have reduced cancer risk
Smart choices in your eating habits and activity level at any time in your life can turn on expression of protective genes. Lifestyle changes can promote healthier levels of hormones and reduce inflammation, creating an environment within your body that helps reduce your cancer risk.
Observational studies that follow people over many years identify multiple lifestyle choices linked with lower likelihood of developing cancer
Polyps are the starting point of most colon cancer. The Polyp Prevention Trial looked only at the people who actually met the goals of the eating plan (reduce their fat intake and significantly boost vegetable, fruit and overall fibre consumption), all four years of the study, these people showed 35 percent lower recurrence of colorectal polyps.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with increased risk of several types of cancer, and the reduction in insulin resistance seen in trials like this means that the cancer-promoting influence of insulin and insulin-like growth factors also change.
Research in the field shows that when people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes changed eating habits, added regular physical activity and lost some of their excess weight, their odds of developing diabetes were reduced almost 60 percent at three years, and even at 10 years,by 34 percent.
Chronic low-grade inflammation increases risk for heart disease and copntributes to cancer developement. Overall research suggests that healthy eating habits, such as a Mediterranean-style or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, can lead to drops in markers of inflammation. When healthy eating choices also promote weight loss in people who are overweight, inflammation tends to drop even more.
Lifestyle and breast cancer risk
Breast cancer rise blamed on lifestyle factors
As reported on Friday 4th February 2011, lifestyle is being blamed for a huge increase in cases of breast cancer with the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer rising from one woman in nine to one woman in eight. According to new figures, published by Cancer Research UK breast cancer rates in Britain have gone up by 3.5 percent over the last decade with 47,7090 women diagnosed with the disease. In 1999 42,400 were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Excessive drinking, a poor diet and a tendency for women to have children later in life have all been blamed as causes for the rise. Drinking increases the risk of breast cancer by seven percent for each single unit of alcohol per day. Rising levels of obesity and use of hormone replacement therapy are also being blamed for the rise.
A second report released by the World Cancer Research Fund suggests that 79,000 cases of all cancers in Britain could be prevented if people did just two and a half hours of exercise a week and maintained a healthy diet and weight!!
Over 40% of cancers attributable to just 14 lifestyle factors
The British Journal of Cancer has published a report which evaluates the percentage of cancers in the UK that were the result of exposure to 14 common, and for the most part, modifiable lifestyle, dietary and environmental factors. Researchers calculated that some 43% of all new cases of cancer in the UK (approximately 134,000 new cases in 2010) and about 50% of all cancer deaths could be attributed to these lifestyle factors.
This is something that naturopaths have been talking about all along. Imagine if there was a pill that could reduce the incidence of cancer by 40%?! We should focus more on lifestyle factors rather than a pharmacological approach to cancer prevention. There will never be a pill that reduces the rsik of cancer by 40%.
Top 14 Lifestyle and Environmental Factors linked to breast cancer
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol consumption (moderate consumption as seen in French Paradox and Mediterannean Diet not only OK but life extending in my opinion, due to resveratrol)
- Fruit and vegetables intake/deficiency
- Red meat consumption
- Fibre intake/deficiency
- Salt intake
- Overweight and Obesity
- Physical exercise
- Exogenous hormone use (HRT/OCP)
- Infections (including H.Pylori and HPV virus)
- Radiation exposure
- Sun/sunbed exposure
- Occupational exposure
- Reproduction: not having babies or breastfeeding
Things to avoid to reduce cancer risk
Environmental toxins play a significant and under-recognized role in many cancers. Children are born "pre-polluted" with up to 200 carcinogenic substances already in their bloodstreams.
Filter tap water using a garvity fed water filter which can include lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium, fluoride, trihalomethanes, monchloramines
Going organic when possible to reduce pesticide exposure. And when organic foods aren't available, stick with produce least likely to contain pesticides (check out the Environmental Working Group's "Clean 15" list of conventional crops containing little if any pesticide residue.
The Dirty Dozen Plus: Apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, kale and collard greens, zucchini.
The Clean Fifteen: Asparagus, avocados, cabbage, rockmelon, sweet corn, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, mushrooms, papaya, onions, pineapples, sweet peas, sweet potatoes.
- Benzene, present in gasoline, auto exhaust, cigarettes, industrial processes and some consumer goods, has been linked to leukemia.
- Asbestos, found in older buildings, increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.
- Tetrachlorethylene, a substance used in dry cleaning, has been linked to several cancers (experts suggest airing out your clothes after you bring them home).
- Arsenic, a well known poison, is found in contaminated water and food, particularly from agricultural or industrial areas that have used arsenic in operatio
- Avoid Formaldehyde in vaccinations
- Diesel exhaust, a contributor to air pollution, has been classified as an environmental carcinogen
- Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, with more than 60 of these compounds known or suspected to cause cancer.
- Avoid PFOA eliminating stain- and grease-proofing chemicals (Teflon, Scotchgard, etc.)
- Avoid BPA, a synthetic oestrogen found in some plastic water bottles, canned infant formula and canned foods. "To avoid it, eat fewer canned foods, breast feed your baby or use powdered formula, and choose water bottles free of BPA,
- Personal care products and cosmetics can also contain carcinogens. Go SLE and paraben free
- Avoid pthalates in vinyl flooring and artificial anything in the home if you can help it.
- Avoid air con. Air the house
What we want is the truth when it comes to understanding cancer risk. We want to know what preventive and therapeutic steps can we introduce to reduce our risks, Unfortunately, however, the Cancer Industry's influence stretches from academia to government, from cancer causing BPA drinking water bottles to cancer causing KFC buckets of fried chicken to Smith & Wesson's pink ribbon-branded fire arms! Remember no one will save us. When it comes to any industry, making money for share holders is always the bottom line and that we alone are responsible for educating ourselves. Don't believe the hype! Remember just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you :)