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breast cancer

Bedside Manners / breast cancer

Have Breast Cancer? Start Taking Vitamin D

Vitamin D can help you beat breast cancer.  A bold statement but one that's backed by science. Vitamin D is made by our bodies from direct sunlight exposure, as well as from eating certain fish and supplementation. There is growing scientific evidence that higher levels of vitamin D prevent colon cancer, breast cancer, and several other cancers. How does this cancer fighting vitamin work? The exact ways vitamin D prevents cancer is not fully known but there are a few theories that might explain why. How Does Vitamin D Prevent Breast Cancer (both new and recurrent)? It boosts the immune system, which is key to keeping breast cancer at bay [1] It stops cancer cells from growing uncontrollably (this is called ‘anti-proliferation,’ and may help breast...

Pau D’Arco: Anticancer Herb from the Amazon

How many cancer drugs can one find in nature? Well according to recent reports, approximately 60% of cancer drugs get their start from a plant, with 84 anticancer drugs isolated from Brazil’s Amazon forest [1].  The Lapacho tree, also known as the herb pau d’arco, is one of them, having been hidden to those outside of the Amazon for centuries, perhaps millennia, with historical uses in indigenous medicine for the following: Bacterial infections Cancer, several types including breast, lung and leukemias Fever Fungal infections Inflammation Malaria Stomach ailments Viral infections In recent years the ingredient that gives this tree its healing properties was discovered and coined beta- (β) lapachone, a natural quinone compound. If you’re a malaria survivor, or familiar with the disease, then you’ve heard...

Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer and Cruciferous Vegetables

Can We Trust the Reports on Cancer Prevention? I just came back from a relaxing and enjoyable weekend in suburban Boston getting trained on yoga for breast cancer patients and survivors. The focus was on reducing the side effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation with gentle yoga. Our breast cancer yogini was Camille of exclusive yoga, and she did a fantastic job of not only demonstrating the movements, but also on the science behind benefits of yoga. The added bonus of this training was learning about how to read the statistics of scientific studies. Camille expertly explained that reports of the latest drugs for treating breast cancer may overly state the benefits. Could that be true for healthy eating studies focused on cancer patients? I went back...

The ONE Mushroom that Relieves Chemotherapy Side Effects

Some people love them, others hate them, but one’s thing for sure, a diet consisting of mushrooms is one of the best things you can do for your health.  Not only do they help reverse cholesterol and heart disease, mushrooms can lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetic patients.  If you’re vegan or vegetarian you know that mushrooms are a godsend for your diet as they add a hearty, meaty flavor with a good amount of protein too. Adding mushrooms to the diet of breast cancer patients is an alternative medicine tip that gets overlooked. One mushroom to consider is Agricarus.  If you’ve ever walked in a wooded area on a hike, you've probably seen this very common scaly mushroom popping up out of the ground.  The...

Treatment Options for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients

Last week I had a consult with a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Besides her fear of the diagnosis, which is understandable, she expressed concern about the treatment options given to her by her doctor. It seems that she was offered an extremely long course of radiation therapy. She expressed to me that she remembered hearing a story on NPR some months ago that there were shorter treatment options for women with early-stage breast cancer.  I assured her that she was correct, there are shorter courses of radiation treatment. Mastectomy vs. Lumpectomy For women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, breast-conserving therapy is the standard of care that should be offered to every woman. What does this treatment entail? 1) Breast-conserving therapy means just that: the breast is...

7 Nutrition Facts Every Breast Cancer Patient Should Know (Medical Minute #8)

In typical Bedside Manners fashion, we’ve scoured the medical literature and came across this gem of an article specifically for breast cancer patients.  It was published in the medical journal Advances in Nutrition, and the authors are nutritionists who reviewed 15 years of medical studies on nutrition in the breast cancer patient. Below is a convenient summary of their 7 science-backed nutritional recommendations for breast cancer patients. As always, consult your healthcare practitioner and a qualified nutritionist when making dietary changes. See disclaimer below. #1 – Get expert guidance from a nutrition expert. The nutritionists in this study recommend seeking a qualified nutritionist who can develop individualized nutritional guidelines for you.  These days your nutrition can be just as tailored to your body as your chemotherapy. Ensure...

3 Surprising Ways to Lower Risk of a Breast Cancer Recurrence Naturally

Over 2.9 million women in the U.S. have a history of breast cancer.  Health challenges can continue for some women who have conquered their breast cancer treatment and are now living cancer free.  And there is still the risk of a breast cancer recurrence or the development of a new cancer at a different body site. However, science now shows that helpful lifestyle changes can lower the risk of a breast cancer recurrence.  The good news is that these same changes can also lower the risk of any type of new cancer developing as well. So to all the breast cancer survivors out there, here are 3 surprising facts on lowering your risk of a breast cancer recurrence… #1 – Cut The Fat Eating less fat helps lower risk...

How African American Women Can Reduce Their Risk of Breast Cancer by 40%

The good news is that African-American women eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables (e.g. collard greens, cabbage and broccoli). The bad news is that we don’t eat enough total servings of fruits and vegetables every day, which has been scientifically shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer. A sampling of 59,000 African American women (known as the “Black Women’s Health Study,” aka BWH) found that on average the number of fruits and vegetables eaten every day was 1 serving or less (0.7 servings of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables). This study found some interesting trends in less risk of getting breast cancer and how this relates to the number of fruits and vegetables eaten: For postmenopausal African American women. 4 or more servings a day of fruits...

Breast Cancer Survivor and Warrior – Nacole Ali

Ok breast cancer patients and survivors it's time to get motivated! I'm happy to present our monthly spotlight on a breast cancer survivor and this time it's none other than Nacole Ali. She's a 20-year vet in human resources, been featured on The Wendy Williams Show, and I happen to know she's also completed a marathon post-cancer diagnosis. To say that she's a survivor is an understatement, she's a breast cancer warrior! Read more about how her diagnosis brought her face-to-face with her deepest fears and how she overcame them one step at a time by writing her book and having some fun as a globe-trotter.  You can find more about her at www.nacoleali.com. Here's to your best health! Deanine Grace, PhD Q: Hi Nacole, can you tell us a little about yourself?  A:...