Best of Breast: news for week ending 28 March 2014

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

The news round-up from Google Alerts for Breast Cancer and Cancer, for the week ending 28 March 2014.

It’s an exciting week if you are a fan of peaches.

Yes, peaches are the latest drum roll in cancer-busting foods!  If we are to believe the research, eating peaches could help inhibit breast cancer.  Of course the study was conducted using (as usual) mice, and peach extract (i.e. more concentrated than the whole fruit itself), but the scientists claim the equivalent for a human would be a mere 3 peaches a day.  I’m not convinced that the high sugar content of peaches is good for cancer patients, but if you’re already eating peaches, this is a good reason not to stop.  It’s cheap, and you can find it in your supermarket aisle.

I had a hunt round for peach extract, and the only sources were peach powder and peach flavouring – I wonder which is the right one?

I’ve also discovered a study on peaches and breast cancer:  “Polyphenolics from peach (Prunus persica var. Rich Lady) inhibit tumor growth and metastasis of MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cellsin vivo” 

The other piece of news that caught my eye was about altering gut bacteria to minimise the side-effects of abdominal radiotherapy.  Scientists suggest that faecal transplants might be one way of doing this.  My interest in probiotics and gut flora, and in particular, Bravo Probiotic (which contains GcMAF) suggests that there are other less icky ways, and I think it’s a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.  Please read my posts on Bravo Probiotic (Maf314) and find out how it can maintain levels of immune cells CD4 and CD8 even through chemotherapy.

Other news of significance – two more pieces of research on triple-negative breast cancer, unfortunately still at the trial/mouse testing stage.

RichLadyPeaces

Rich Lady Peaches. This peach variety has a very firm interior compared to other peaches. This allows them to be harvested at near tree ripe maturity and still maintain good storage quality. Rich Lady Peaches are very juicy with a superlative natural sweetness. Image credit: http://www.fallfruitbasket.com/

1.  Could eating 3 peaches a day help you beat cancer?

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 21 March 2014

A round-up of the news from Google Alerts for Breast Cancer and Cancer, for the week ending 21 March 2014.

This week’s lead is a study proving that exercise prevents breast cancer which is stating the obvious and still doesn’t answer the question of “why”.  It’s all very well having stats so that GPs can use them to nag patients, but I want to know what physiogical changes occur during exercise that increase a person’s ability to prevent breast cancer.

At the integrative conference in Fulda in December 2013, a link was made between exercise and its effect on a transcription factor,  hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1).  HIF-1 activity mediates hypoxia (the state of low oxygen concentration) by downregulating mitochondrial oxygen consumption in the cell.  Hypoxia often keeps cells from differentiating [sounds familiar? Remember, cancer cells are poorly-differentiated cells] and also promotes the formation of blood vessels [angiogenesis oh-oh], and is important for the formation of a vascular system in embryos, and cancer tumors.   So that’s my explanation for why exercise helps to prevent not just breast cancer but any cancer by oxygenating the body and rendering it less hypoxic.

According to the scientists of the study, it doesn’t have to be doing bench-presses at the gym, exercise can include playing with the children or carrying the shopping, as long as it adds up to at least an hour a day.

The second article is about another miracle drug that has transformed the lives of terminally-ill leukaemia and lymphoma patients.  I know it’s not about breast cancer, but it offers us hope, and that’s good news.  We need more hope.

Shopping

Even carrying the shopping or playing with the children counts as exercise.

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Mastectomy #8A – When disaster strikes (Part 1) …

Several hours after the mastectomy, I woke up, disoriented, and discovered I couldn’t move my left arm.

My arm felt very very heavy, and my shoulder was frozen.  I tried to flex my fingers, and I couldn’t feel them.

Maple Tree with Broken Branch, Chorley Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

image credit: superstock.com

I realised that this. Was. Not. Normal.

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The cost of Bravo Probiotic — GcMAF Yoghurt — Maf314 — someone find me a camel!

For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

Updated 21 June 2014 – there is a new version of Bravo Probiotic called EasyKit – like it says on the can it is easier to prepare and is also slightly-cheaper because it comes with colostrum already included.

Updated 21 March re. daily cost of Bravo Probiotic, with adjustments for interest rates and also addition of US$ cost.

I’ve previously posted about Maf314 (which is the original version of Bravo Probiotic).

Now thanks to the generosity of friends and family who donated to my cancer-fighting fund, I’ve been able to afford a new set of Bravo Probiotic cultures.

GcMAF Success

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 14 March 2014

A round-up of news for Breast Cancer and Cancer from Google Alerts, for the week ending 14 March 2014.

This week’s studies feature several from the University of the Obvious, but still welcome news.

The first is research directly linking BPA (the compound used to make plastic bottles) and breast cancer.

plasticbottles

Drink me and get Breast Cancer. image credit: http://www.green-4-u.com

Most cancer patients, in the course of their reading, will come across research which potentially links BPA with cancer, so in this sense, this is a new development because it shows there’s a direct link.  BPA is an endocrine disruptor, i.e. disrupts anything to do with hormones.  [Did you know that BPA was used as a synthetic estrogen in the 1930s?]

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Mastectomy #6B – after the mastectomy – what they don’t tell you (Part 2)

MastectomyDrains

This is a continuation of my previous post (6A) on things that they don’t tell you about what happens after a mastectomy.  I realise that this post is graphic, but I’m not trying to be sensationalist.  I just want to give readers (or anyone who’s about to have a mastectomy) an idea of what might be involved in a mastectomy.

The “they” in the title is the medical profession, and I’m not saying they withheld information, it’s more that there’s only so much they can tell, and everyone’s experience is different.  I suspect also that it’s a bit like the conspiracy surrounding the pain of childbirth – it can’t be described and if anyone knew how bad it was, there would be no children born!

What they didn’t tell me:

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 7 March 2014

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

A weekly round-up of the news on the breast cancer and cancer front, culled from Google Alerts, for the week ending 7 March 2014.

The week started off slowly, with the usual bog-standard research on gene expression and chemotherapy.  (I had a minor panic, thinking I was going to have to invent something sensational (preferably with rats or mice)!)

Then at the end of the week, not one, not two, but THREE juicy news items suddenly appeared, all vying for pole-position.

In the end I went with the 10-minute breath test for detecting breast cancer as Number 1, because it is the answer to the squashing nightmare that is the mammogram [did you know that a mammogram applies a pressure of 20kg on the breasts?  If men had to have mammograms for their testicles, an alternative would have been found years ago!]  The incredible news is:  it’s not at the rat/mouse trial stage, it’s commercial [swoons].  I wonder how many women will have the guts to take the test though.  I have friends who would rather avoid any tests than find out they may potentially have cancer.

Item 2 is one of my favourite topics of interest, Vitamin D (and here’s my post – Vitamin D, are you getting too much?).  There is some debate on what is considered the optimal level of Vitamin D (too high and people died from diseases other than cancer), and I used to ere on the side of caution, but the GcMAF clinic (gcmaf.eu) uses up to 20,000 IU per day and once the upper limit of the reference range is reached, up to 5,000 IU.  I met a woman who had ovarian cancer and she told me that in the summer months, the shrinkage of her tumour was more than that in the winter months.  She ascribed this to the fact that there was more sunshine in the summer, and her body was able to produce the Vitamin D she needed.  Moral of the story: please supplement with Vitamin D if you have cancer.

The third item isn’t strictly about breast cancer, but it’s an amazing article about how brentuximab, a monoclonal antibody, got rid of all the tumours (70 of them) in a man with metastatic cancer – anaplastic large cell lymphoma.  The before-and-after photos are nothing short of a miracle … best of all, it’s within our reach, and offers hope to everyone with cancer.

Oh yeah … find out why you should become an astronaut if you have cancer … and another item shows that chemotherapy damages the methylation DNA of normal white blood cells, thus causing inflammation and fatigue.   To those who’ve had chemotherapy and suffered the side-effects, this study seems to be from the University of Obvious.  Now if only those brainy people who came up with the study can find a way of protecting normal cells from the side-effects of chemotherapy … .

BreathLink kit

1.  Ten-minute breath test that can detect breast cancer

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Cancer and employment law – Mon 31 March – seminar at The Haven (London)

The Haven breast cancer charity in London are holding another of their popular seminars, Working it out, on Cancer and Employment Law on Monday 31 March 2014.  It is free-of-charge.

This is a must-attend for anyone with cancer wants to know what their employment rights are.

HavenEmployment

I went to last year’s seminar and it was a real eye-opener.

For example, did you know that:

  • in the UK, cancer is classed as a disability and all cancer patients have the same rights as disabled people?
  • that your employer is not allowed to sack you for cancer-related reasons (e.g. that you have cancer, that you have to take time off for cancer-related treatments, for your sickness record for cancer)
  • that even if you are in remission, you are still considered to have cancer, and still entitled to the same rights?
  • that if your employer infringes any of the rights, and you can prove it, you can sue them for UNLIMITED liability? [employers – please sit up and read this and treat your employees fairly]
  • that if you’re a partner/carer of someone who has cancer, you are also entitled to certain rights to care for them?

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Mastectomy #7B – More gifts for someone who’s going to have a mastectomy

gifts

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you give – it will cheer us up! image credit: http://www.jadekerrion.com

As you can see from the previous post (Mastectomy #7A – Best Gift for someone who’s having a mastectomy), I prefer gifts that are practical, but if someone had given me a pair of diamond earrings I wouldn’t have said no!  To drown out the noise of the Bair Hugger, the perfect gift would have been a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, like the Bose Qc20i, but at £200 plus, they were but a dream and I suspect out of the reach of most of our pockets.

So here are some other gifts that are a little more affordable (and a little bit more practical than the ubiquitous flowers) and would come in handy for someone who’s had (or about to have) a mastectomy.  If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 28 February 2014

I am now fundraising for treatments at:  GoFundMe http://www.gofundme.com/78jh2w  and https://www.justgiving.com/goBananasforRona

A summary of Google Alerts for Breast Cancer and Cancer for the week ending 28 February 2014.

Soy

Damned if you do … damned if you don’t. image credit: usatoday.com

Monday 3 March was Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Day.  While significant progress has been made in breast cancer research, there is little known about triple negative cancers, even though they impact up to 1 in 5 women diagnosed with breast cancer. TNBC does not have any of the known treatment receptors — meaning that many of the advances in breast cancer treatment don’t work for women diagnosed with TNBC.  For more information: http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/tnbcday2014/learnabout.htm and http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Breast/Aboutbreastcancer/Typesandrelatedconditions/Triplenegativebreastcancer.aspx 

This week’s lead article wades straight into the debate about soy isoflavones as it shows that they cause estrogen-positive breast cancer cells to become more aggressive.  [Bear in mind that the experiments were done on rats and not on humans and some of the signalling pathways in mice/rats are different.]

It has been posited that increased intake of phytoestrogens (which are contained in soy) may be associated with a lower risk of cancer in the breast, although there is controversy surrounding this activity.  Do soy isoflavones increase breast cancer risk?  Should women with breast cancer avoid soy isoflavones: genistein, dadzein, glycitein?

It’s not clear if soy isoflavones affect breast cancer, especially hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers. Isoflavones may affect hormonal therapy’s ability to do its job if both of these molecules compete to get into the same estrogen receptors. If isoflavones deliver a weaker estrogen signal to the receptor compared to tamoxifen (and your body’s estrogen), then the isoflavones might be able to decrease breast cell growth that’s estrogen-dependent. But if the isoflavones give breast cells a stronger estrogen signal than tamoxifen, that’s a problem. [taken from http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/nutrition/reduce_risk/foods/soy]

I’ve just gone into Pubmed and typed in “soy isoflavones breast cancer” and the search has thrown up 510 articles both for and against soy isoflavones.  It will take me awhile to plough through them.

If you have any comments on this controversy, please post them below.

1.  Soy supplements with isoflavones ‘reprogram’ breast cancer cells to become more aggressive

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