Anti-Breast Cancer

Anti-Aging Lifestyle

Anti-Breast Cancer, Anti-Aging, Healthy Living Magazine, Isaac Eliaz

Anti-Breast Cancer, Anti-Aging, Healthy Living Magazine, Isaac Eliaz

An unprocessed, nutrient-dense diet, regular exercise, targeted supplements, proper sleep habits and mind-body stress relief practices- all offer protection. So do dietary supplements. An integrative cancer physician shares plants that switch on cancer cells’ self-destruction genes and the body’s ability to destroy tumors.

Last October marked the 28th anniversary of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with more and more organizations donning pink to help raise money for a cure. I commend the efforts behind this campaign to increase awareness and access to services but am also surprised each year by what seems to be missing from the discussion: practical information about protecting breast health every day.

As an integrative cancer physician, I believe choices in breast cancer prevention and care are not necessarily only the “big” decisions like whether to get an annual mammogram, undergo a biopsy or have a prophylactic mastectomy. Certainly these decisions have a very real impact, but it’s the everyday choices, lifestyle habits, thought patterns and emotional milieus that matter too. These also add up to determine the risks and progression of breast (besides other) cancers.

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Healthy immune defenses are equipped to identify and destroy cancer cells, but when the body’s defense system becomes challenged on a daily basis by chronic inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, stress and depression, poor sleep, hormone imbalances, toxins and other assaults, tumors have a chance to gain a foothold. This is where everyday habits become a factor in staying cancer free. An unprocessed, nutrient-dense diet, regular exercise, targeted supplements, proper sleep habits and mind-body stress relief practices can all support the body’s innate ability to destroy abnormal cells. When combined, these form the foundation of a strong anticancer—and simultaneously— anti-aging lifestyle.

Brightly colored vegetables and fruits form a good foundation for an anticancer diet. The same phytonutrients that give blueberries, bell peppers, tomatoes and countless other plant foods their rich colors are also sources of antioxidants and polyphenol compounds that endow health from multiple angles. These phytonutrients work to enhance immunity, reduce inflammation, support circulation, detoxify the body and protect on a genetic level.

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Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower provide unique anticancer compounds. One of these compounds, 3, 3’- diindolylmethane (DIM), detoxifies harmful estrogens (including hormone mimicking compounds such as plastics and environmental toxins) and boosts immune activity. DIM also helps halt cancer growth and metastasis by restricting the process of blood vessel growth to feed tumors (angiogenesis) and causing cancer cells to switch to genetically self-destruct (apoptosis).

Anti-Breast Cancer Extracts

I recommend regular detoxification programs using supplements and foods that remove heavy metals and toxins from the body. There are a variety of botanicals that fight and prevent breast cancer as well as work synergistically with conventional therapies. Regular detox programs help reduce the body’s chemical burden and chronic inflammation; boost immunity; and support DNA integrity. My top recommendation for detoxification and cancer prevention/treatment is a supplement that combines modified citrus pectin (MCP) and alginates. These two ingredients are proven to remove harmful heavy metals, pesticides and radiation from the body. In addition, MCP fights cancer directly through multiple mechanisms of action. MCP, a specially prepared form of citrus pectin, has been the subject of a number of preclinical and clinical studies over the last two decades. Ordinary pectin has been used to support digestive health, but the molecules are too big to be absorbed into the circulation. However, modifying pectin’s large molecules with an enzymatic process to reduce their size and structure creates a unique dietary supplement with proven anticancer, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and detoxifying properties.

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MCP works to detoxify the body, removing mercury and other heavy metals as well as pesticides and radioactive ions. It has also been shown to selectively increase immune activity. For cancer prevention, MCP inhibits a protein called galectin-3 on the surface of cancer cells. In small amounts, galectin-3 is normal and healthy. But when levels become too high, galectin-3 fuels inflammation, drives abnormal cellular growth and allows cancer cells to evade the immune system, clump together, attract blood vessels and metastasize. MCP effectively binds to excess galectin-3 to halt these effects. In addition, MCP induces apoptosis in cancer cells and makes chemotherapy agents such as doxorubicin and gemcitabine more effective.

Engaging Host Defenses

Medicinal mushrooms contain unique polysaccharides such as beta-glucans, which help to “train” and optimize the immune system, reduce inflammation and cause apoptosis in breast and other cancer cells. There are hundreds of medicinal mushroom species but a handful fight women’s cancers: ganoderma, coriolus, grifola, agaricus, phellinus, lentinus (shiitake), tremella and hericium.

Astragalus root is a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb for immunity that reduces inflammation and detoxification. It causes apoptosis, inhibits proliferation of breast cancer cells and suppresses activity of cancer-causing genes.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, increases the protein CAMP (cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide), associated with innate immunity. Curcumin shows specific application to breast cancer by reducing levels of the inflammatory protein NF-kB (NF-kappaB), which is involved in breast cancer progression. Curcumin induces apoptosis.

The flavonoid compound quercetin, found in apples, onions and capers, also causes breast cancer cells to self destruct.

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In my practice I recommend a targeted botanical breast formula that combines these ingredients for prevention and treatment of breast cancer. This formula has been studied preclinically at Indiana University in Bloomington and was shown to halt aggressive breast cancer growth and metastasis as well as work synergistically with MCP for increased effectiveness against breast cancer, according to a report in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapeutics.

Integrative Medicine

In integrative cancer care—including cancer prevention—we emphasize the importance of patientdriven medicine. That means as practitioners we take a compassionate approach toward empowering people to take responsibility for their outcome whether it’s preventing, treating or managing a cancer diagnosis. While we never place blame, successful cancer prevention and treatment is largely up to us as individuals. Many people believe that genetic cancer risks will trump personal health efforts, but the data suggest otherwise: most cancer occurrences or recurrences are largely avoidable with a combination of targeted nutritional and lifestyle adjustments.

There are choices. If a patient carries the BRCA1 gene mutation that puts them at a much higher risk for breast cancer, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will get breast cancer. Advancements in the evolving field of phytomedicines, besides receiving the earliest possible diagnosis, offer additional scientifically and medically valid methods of breast defense.

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