Breast Cancer Psychologist Offers Self-Healing Books For Patients

Good afternoon this is Robin Dilley from Phoenix Arizona.  I’m making this video, especially for Breast Cancer Authority Blog because I think there’s a couple of fun things that you don’t know about us yet that I would like for you to know. One is Dawn Bradford and I have been collaborating and we have a project that we finished over a year ago and we’ve not done any advertising and I think it’s about time that you know about it because book two is almost ready to come out.

Our first book is Breast Cancer: A – Z Mindful Practices, this is a very simple very short trip through the alphabet.  A to Z it’s designed for those people in treatment at this time and it’s designed to keep it safe simple and uncomplicated.

When I was a breast cancer patient I wanted a story that let me know how other people did it and at that time I wrote the book In a Moment’s Notice a Psychologist Journey with Breast Cancer.

In addition to my first book, I also wanted to compose something simple. There were so many medical appointments, so many treatment options, so many decisions to be made it became overwhelming.  Most of the time you need something simple so I’ve created a simple book along with Dawn Bradford’s help.

This simple book has wonderful little things for you to think about, like how important is laughter, which is the L word for this book.  It’s so important that we keep laughing through this process.  life is short for all of us and laughter is the best medicine.

So you can pick up your copy of this today amazon.com by just typing in Breast Cancer A – Z Mindful Practices. I hope you’ll do that I hope you’ll find the book really helpful and keeping you present calm and collected through your treatment.

I just want you to know that it’s a very tedious hard journey and you are the hero in this journey so whatever we can do to help you out we want to do that and hopefully this little book will be helpful you can download it or you can buy it in paperback it’s completely up to you and I wish you the best on your journey.

Dr. Robin B. Dilley’s Books:

Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

Animal Protein May Play a Role in Cancer Risk

In the two decades between 1990 and 2010, the leading causes of death and disability remained relatively constant. Heart disease remains the leading cause of loss of health and life, but among the diseases whose incidence has increased the most over the past generation is chronic kidney disease. The number of deaths has doubled.

Our “meat-sweet” diet has been implicated in this escalation. Excess table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup consumption is associated with increased blood pressure and uric acid levels, both of which can damage the kidney. The saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol found in animal products and junk food are also associated with impaired kidney function, and meat protein increases the acid load to the kidneys, boosting ammonia production and potentially damaging our sensitive kidney tissue. This is why a restriction of protein intake is often recommended to chronic kidney disease patients to help prevent further functional decline.

Is all protein created equal? No—not all protein has the same effect on your kidneys. Our kidneys appear to handle plant protein very differently from animal protein. Within hours of consuming meat, our kidneys rev up into hyperfiltration mode, dramatically increasing the kidneys’ workload. This is true of a variety of animal proteins—beef, chicken, and fish appear to have similar effects. But an equivalent amount of plant protein causes virtually no noticeable stress on the kidneys. Eat some tuna, and within three hours, your kidney filtration rate can shoot up 36 percent. But eating the same amount of protein in the form of tofu doesn’t appear to place any additional strain on the kidneys.

Why does animal protein cause the overload reaction while plant protein doesn’t? Researchers discovered that after giving subjects a powerful anti-inflammatory drug along with animal protein, the hyperfiltration response disappeared, suggesting the hyperactive response was triggered by inflammation.

Animal protein may also play a role in cancer risk. IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor 1, is a cancer-promoting growth hormone that is released in excess when we eat animal protein. This is presumably why those who eat less meat, egg white, or dairy proteins have significantly lower levels circulating within their bodies within weeks of making the dietary switch. This lowering of IGF-1 levels is thought to be why the blood of men and women eating plant-based diets suppresses prostate and breast cancer growth in vitro significantly better than those eating the Standard American Diet.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Dr. Michael Greger on Breast Cancer Authority Blog

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

14 Helpful Ideas To Cope With Cancer During The Holidays

Treatment is coming along but it is my first Holiday Season living with the knowledge that there is this aggressive invader in my body. What am I to do? Sound familiar? Identify?

Living with a cancer diagnosis is not for the faint of heart. And the Holiday season only amplifies the reality that you have come face-to-face with your own mortality. This diagnosis like none other slaps you into the reality that life is not forever for anyone, especially your life, as you are actively fighting for it. I found it helpful during my treatment to keep my life as “normal” as possible. So here are a few to-dos that might be helpful.

  1. Do decorate but do not go overboard. Your energy is needed to heal.
  2. Do buy your favorite foods even if they don’t taste quite the same.
  3. If you are one of those who loves to cook or bake then choose a favorite and make it.
  4. If you send out a Christmas letter then focus on the positives of the treatment process and use the letter to tell them what you need to hear from them this coming year. The reality is no one knows what to say and often say nothing in order to not say the wrong thing. So include a little paragraph that says something like this:
      “I know the C word makes everyone nervous and afraid. Thank goodness Cancer is not contagious and you can’t transmit it by talking about it. Do not be afraid to ask me, “How are you doing?” Don’t be afraid to ask me, “Do you want to talk about it?” Or “What do you need?” I have good days and bad days and often times I don’t know what I need but it feels good to be asked. And what I need to hear from you most is: “I don’t know what to say or ask, but I am wanting you to know you are important to me, what can I do?”
  5. If you love shopping, go off times when everyone else is at work.
  6. Listen to great Christmas music and if you get bored or teary with it, then switch to music you really love. Don’t be afraid of your tears. Tell your journal how you are feeling and what you are experiencing.
  7. Watch holiday movies. Go to a play or live performance.
  8. Get outside. Bundle up and walk around the block or drive to a park. A change of scenery always feels good.
  9. If you are too weak to drive have someone take you to see Christmas lights.
  10. Buy an adult coloring book to color in as the days turn into weeks and weeks into months. Coloring can be a useful and fun activity that keeps your mind from worrying so much.
  11. Drink tea. It is a wonderful healing ritual.
  12. Wear your favorite and most comfortable clothes.
  13. And if you are traveling for the holiday on trains or airplanes consider wearing a mask in addition to keeping hands clean to help protect from others’ germs. These are not full-proof measures but the extra steps to help.
  14. And, best of all, give yourself permission to NOT do anything you don’t want to do. If you hate wrapping presents, switch to gift bags only. If you hate cooking, order your holiday meal. Pamper yourself.

Create new memories for next year. Having cancer is a real bummer but do not let it control you and your mood. You are still alive right now and use this time to make the most of it with your loved ones. None of us are immortal. We will all die. We do not get a choice about that. But we do get a choice about how we live and what we create while we are here. Never allow self-pity to steal your joy. Find something to enjoy every day. Give back. Call a friend who is down and cheer him/her up. Look for ways to make a positive difference in the lives of people around you. You may have cancer but that does not mean your entire identity has changed. Don’t let cancer own you. Live your life the best possible way and get determined to enjoy this Holiday Season regardless. Turn up that music now!

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Dr. Robin B. Dilley’s Books:

Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

New Self-Help Book For A Positive Future

“Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness” offers a map from one’s past to successful, fulfilled present!

Robin B. Dilley, PhD releases ‘Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness’ that explores one’s past to understand their actions and launch their way to a positive and fulfilled future with her new self-help book. “Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness” (published by Balboa Press) expounds on the power of journal writing in addressing issues and inspires readers to tell their own success story.

Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness” provides reflective questions and writing pages that help readers dig deeper into the themes in their life. It is a book for the curious; with a hands-on approach designed to take the reader into the heart of their childhood and lead them on the path out to a healthier lifestyle in the present.

“Everyone has a family with good and bad traits. Identifying those messages is the first key to integrating and resolving present day bad habits that you have been wanting to ditch for years,” Dilley points out. “I want readers to experience their own resilience and celebrate their strengths moving forward with hope and courage.”

Engaging and thought-provoking, this book discovers “more of who you are and freeing you to become who you want to be,” highlighting how change becomes essential to growth. “Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness” is a map from the past to the present.

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About the Author
Robin B. Dilley, PhD, the author of “In a Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer” and is currently working on “Breast Cancer: Emotional Support A-Z,” is a licensed clinical psychologist with 35 years’ experience. She studied and practiced psychotherapy for many years earning a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and proceeded to earn her doctoral degree from Union Institute in 1992. During her journey with breast cancer, she fell in love with the spiritual practice of walking the labyrinth and became an advanced Veriditas Labyrinth facilitator as recently as 2015. She also practices the importance of meditation to improve health, reduce stress and usher in happiness. In her free time, Dilley’s passion to write, whether it be as a professional blogger or author, has opened avenues for her to reach others searching for personal empowerment, healing and growth.

Lavender for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Lavender oil, distilled from lavender flowers, is “most often used in aromatherapy and massage. Despite its popularity…only recently [have] scientifically-based investigations [been undertaken] into its biological activity,” however. There have been “small-scale studies” suggesting benefit from lavender massage; but, maybe it’s the massage, not the lavender.

There was a study on patients in intensive care, comparing massage with odorless oil to lavender oil, and though patients massaged with lavender oil did say they “felt less anxious and more positive,” there were no objective differences found in terms of blood pressure, breathing, or heart rate. Frankly, maybe the lavender was just covering up the nasty hospital smells.

Subsequent studies using more sensitive tests did find physiological changes, though. We know, for example, the smell of lavender changes brain wave patterns. But, what effect does this have? Well, evidently it makes people feel better, perform math better (faster and more accurately), whereas the smell of rosemary, for example, seemed to enable folks only to do math faster—not necessarily with greater accuracy.

What if you actually eat lavender flowers, or, in this case, take capsules of lavender-infused oil, so you could double-blind the study to compare lavender head-to-head to a drug like Valium (lorazepam, known as Ativan), for generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized and persistent anxiety is a frequent problem, and is treated with benzodiazepines—benzos or downers, like Valium. “Unfortunately, these substances” can not only make you feel like you have a hangover, but “have a high potential for drug abuse” and addiction.

So, they decided to give lavender a try. The drug Ativan certainly reduces anxiety, but, so does lavender. By the end, you couldn’t tell which was which. And, in fact, among those that responded to either, the lavender actually seemed to work better.

“Since lavender oil has no potential for drug abuse and causes no hangover effects [it] appears to be an effective and well-tolerated alternative to benzodiazepine [drugs] for [the] amelioration of generalised anxiety.”

Cautionary Note

There was a case series published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Prepuberty Gynecomastia Linked to Lavender.” Reports of young boys exposed to lavender-containing lotions, soaps, hair gel, and shampoo starting to develop breasts, which disappeared after these products were discontinued—suggesting that lavender oil may possess hormone-disrupting activity.

And, indeed, when dripped on estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells, lavender does show estrogenic effects, and a decline in male hormone activity, though it’s unknown if similar reactions occur inside the body when lavender flowers or lavender oil is ingested.

Doctor’s Note

The math thing is so cool! How else might one use natural means to improve cognitive performance? Check out Does a Drink Of Water Make Children Smarter? For more mind-body brain hacking tips, see Dietary Brain Wave Alteration.

More on dietary interventions for anxiety in:

In fact, the saffron may be aromatherapeutic too. See my follow-up to the PMS study, Wake Up & Smell the Saffron. And, speaking of brain effects, see Saffron vs. Prozac, Saffron for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s, and Saffron vs. Aricept.

For more flower power, see my blog post, Hibiscus tea: flower power. Also check out my videos, on hibiscus tea (Better than Green Tea?) and chamomile tea (Red Tea, Honeybush, & Chamomile and Chamomile Tea May Not Be Safe During Pregnancy). And hey, broccoli florets are just clusters of flower buds. See The Best DetoxBroccoli vs. Breast Cancer Stem Cells, and dozens of my other videos on broccoli.

How else might diet affect with the hormonal balance of young boys? Check out Dairy & Sexual Precocity.

More on lavender in my next video Lavender for Migraine Headaches.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Dr. Michael Greger on Breast Cancer Authority Blog

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

3 Steps To Develop Courage During Cancer Treatment

What is courage and how do you get courage now that you need it more than ever?

While choosing to create new COURAGEOUS plans moving forward, just remember to always look back to see where you’ve been. Remember in the Wizard of Oz that each character already had what they(he/she?) needed without realizing it? Recall how Scarecrow thinks and problem solves; the Tin-Man, an emotional connector to his core; and the Lion, leading the way to the witches’ castle. They needed the journey down the Yellow Brick Road to realize what was inside of them all along.

You have been dumped into an unfamiliar land, language you can barely interpret, and the idea of feeling optimistic or positive about seeing what you are made of is probably not on your radar. But the reality is, this cancer is here now, so you might as well learn all the things you can during your own journey down the yellow brick road.

In the Wizard of Oz, like the Lion – our representation of COURAGE – is introduced later in the movie while trying to intimidate the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. Again, Toto comes to the rescue. We watch the Lion chase after Toto until Dorothy has had enough and slaps the Lion to make him stop. You must decide to today to take control of your Lion. Taking control may take some very strong words, such as: “Stop talking about death. Stop saying this cancer is going to kill me. And for crying out loud quit wasting time on that false belief!” Others may think, “What did I do to deserve this?” This cancer is not your fault. If you want to keep up that under serving thought, just take a virtual walk through St. Jude’s hospital for children or Google children with cancer. After you have taken that virtual tour, you tell me which one of those young vulnerable children caused his/her cancer? So, why do you think you are any different than any one of those vulnerable children?

Cancer happens. Cancer happens to everyone all around the world. Statistics told us in 2011 that 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year, and 7.6 million die from the disease. You did not have a choice, nor did you cause your disease. Your choice now is, how do you plan to live with this cancer. And the answer so far is: ACTION, BREATH, and COURAGE. You are going to build a courageous heart and a disciplined mind. You are going to fight this with all your wisdom, strength, and courage. You are going to live your life now like you have never lived it before. When you are so tired that you can’t do anything but sit on the couch, you are going to turn off the T.V. and spend ten minutes meditating. Then you are going to read something positive. Then you are going to journal or color. Then you are going to drink some green tea or lemon water. Then you are going to take a nap. Next you are going to repeat the above until you have the strength to go for a walk for ten minutes. COURAGE is developed over a period of time. It is not a magic pill that you take and everything gets all better.

THREE STEPS TOWARD COURAGE

  1. Read someone else’s story that has been where you are. (Great book to start with –  In A Moment’s Notice:A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer)
  2. Make an appointment with a psychotherapist, health coach, or spiritual director.
  3. Watch movies where the heroine/hero win.

Photo source: Rose Medical Center

For more information and exercises for cancer patients read Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices: Self Care Tools For Treatment & Recovery

Dr. Robin Dilley

Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

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In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey With Breast Cancer Book Review

Breast Cancer Authority Blog Bestseller Book Review! – In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer

In A Moments Notice - Breast Cancer Authority Bestseller

About The Book

This book is the culmination of Dr. Robin B. Dilley’s poignant journey to wellness after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Dr. Dilley’s story offers a unique voice, blending her clinical insights with spiritual awakenings along her journey. She describes in detail her emotional struggle to make sense out of the disease and the medical world while showing a strong and solid reliance on her profound spirituality. Her journey introduces amazing characters that she encountered along the way as her life took on new meaning, including the development of her friend and ally, the Tiger.

From the Author

In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer  Finally, I have finished my book about my eleven-year journey with breast cancer. When I was going through treatment I wanted to read someone else’s story, but could not find a book that talked about the ups and downs of treatment and how this disease drastically as well as subtlety changes your life and the lives of those around you. I read thousands of articles, and medical reports, but at that time, I could not find a single book that would talk to me about what it was like. I have now written that book and you can order it now.

About the Author

Dr. Robin B. Dilley is an Arizona licensed psychologist in private practice.She received her doctoral degree from Union Institute in 1992 and has been practicing as a clinician in the field of psychotherapy since 1978. “Psychotherapy for Personal Growth and Redirection” is the heart of Dr. Dilley’s practice, so regardless of what the problem is, there is a solution. The solution is found in the journey, not in the destination.

The Gap: An Important Mindfulness Technique

I had the pleasure of listening to Pema Chodron (Buddhist Monk and author) and KD Lang (Musician, singer, songwriter) in a conversation this morning on Live Stream. I was struck by several things, but the one that stood out for me is the concept of the Gap. I want to share the concept of the Gap with you, the reader.

The Gap is that in between space where you come to understand the presence of NOW. It is that moment when you look up from a hiking path and notices the sky, the tree, or the bird. The Gap is a sacred space within, when you realize you are part of the outer world.

It seems to me that as people living in the world of cancer, you can use the practice of the Gap regardless of where you are on your path. For instance, fall is my favorite time of the year and I am so excited about its arrival. that I know I will have many Gap moments when I see beautiful leaves dropping the magic of their colors on the ground as they leave naked branches ready for winter. What Gap moments might you look forward to this fall? What magical part of the day will you practice breathing into the Now. The Gap is that space within you that allows you to breathe deeply from the inside out.

As people experiencing cancer life can become very ugly and painful as rancid smells and nauseating waves of emotion run askew inside of your inner darkness. It is important that you do not live in the darkness. Pema Chodron might say something like, “Don’t run from the darkness, touch it, explore it and move on past it.” The practice of the Gap is a tool to help you move past the darkness into the NOW.

Looking for something good and magical in your day will help you practice the Gap and stay in the Now. If you can’t see magic in your day then create magic in your day. If you are irritated with not getting the results you want with your health care, then focus on something else that you have control over. For instance, purchase some fall flowers. Take time to have a Gap moment with those flowers. Smell them, touch them and notice how each one is uniquely different from every other one. Have you ever noticed that no two flowers are exactly alike? Notice the nuances in the shades of the colors, notice the stems. Notice each flower as you arrange it in the vase. These flowers traveled from rich fertile soil and were “harvested” for your delight. All cut flowers will die. But each flower has its own elegance, story, and purpose in your life today. That purpose is here to bring you joy and to put a gentle smile on your face. Enjoying flowers is a Gap moment. Take a breath and look up and see your room come to life because you placed a vase of flowers on your night stand or kitchen table. You took the time to create a Gap that brings you delight.

As you learn to experience Gap moments, be the Gap in someone else’s life today. Pick up the phone and call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you. Send a card to someone who needs a connection. Smile at the clerk in the grocery store and tell them, “I hope you have a really good day,” as you look them in the eye. Be the Gap in other people’s lives daily and you will experience more Gap moments in your day-to-day life that is full of the necessary medical appointments, follow-ups and tests. I even imagine your health care team will respond to you more positively if you are practicing Gap moments in your life.

See you are not cancer. You are not your disease. You are a person with many roles and facets to your life. Don’t let cancer define you. Smile, in spite, of the cancer. Bring smiles to other people’s lives. Make a difference today and you will be happier because you did.

For more information and exercises for cancer patients read Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices.

Dr. Robin Dilley

Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

How Meat Stimulates Breast Cancer

In 1979, an epidemic of breast enlargement was noted in Italian children. Poultry or veal was suspected, given that estrogens may be fed to farm animals to accelerate their weight gain. After this episode, Europe banned the use of anabolic growth promoters in agriculture, and has banned the importation of American meat from animals injected with drugs like Zeranol, sold as Ralgro Magnum.

Zeranol is the one of the most potent known endocrine disruptors—100,000 times more estrogenic than the plastics chemical, BPA, for example. And Zeranol constitutes a special case among potential endocrine disruptors, because in contrast to all other estrogenic “endocrine-disrupting” chemicals, Zeranol is present in human food, because it’s deliberately used—in fact, designed to be a potent, persistent, estrogen, whereas the estrogenic properties of the other chemicals are accidental.

And if you drip blood from a cow that’s been implanted with the drug on human breast cancer cells in a petri dish, you can double the cancer growth rate. We don’t drink blood, though, but preliminary data also showed that muscle extracts, meat extracts, also stimulated breast cancer cell proliferation.

Furthermore, Zeranol may cause the transformation of normal breast cells into cancer cells in the first place. Zeranol-containing blood from implanted cattle was capable of transforming normal human breast cells into breast cancer cells within 21 days.

Obese women may be at greater risk of developing Zeranol-induced breast cancer, since they already have high levels of leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells, that can itself promote breast cancer growth. And Zeranol exposure can greatly enhance this growth-promoting action. This result also suggests that Zeranol may be more harmful to obese breast cancer patients than to normal weight breast cancer patients, in terms of breast cancer development.

In conclusion, because these anabolic growth promoters in meat production are, by far, the most potent hormones found in human food, we should really be testing people, especially children, before and after eating this meat. It amazes me that it hasn’t been done, and until it has, we have no idea what kind of threat they may pose—though the fact that Zeranol is as potent as estradiol—the primary sex steroid in women and DES—should concern us. DES is another synthetic estrogen marketed to pregnant women—all pregnant women until 1971, when it was shown to cause vaginal cancers in the daughters. But few know it was also used in meat.

In the absence of effective federal regulation, the meat industry uses hundreds of animal feed additives, with little or no concern about the carcinogenic and other toxic effects of dietary residues of these additives. Illustratively, after decades of misleading assurances of the safety of DES and its use as a growth-promoting animal feed additive, the United States finally banned its use some 40 years after it was first shown to be carcinogenic. The meat industry then promptly switched to other potentially carcinogenic additives, such as Zeranol.

When girls started dying from vaginal cancer, DES-treated meat was subsequently banned in Europe. However, misleading assurances, including the deliberate suppression of residue data, managed to delay a U.S. ban on DES in the meat supply for eight years.

Today, virtually the entire U.S. population consumes, without any warning, labeling, or information, unknown and unpredictable amounts of hormone residues in meat products over a lifetime. If all hormonal and other carcinogenic feed additives aren’t banned immediately, the least we could have is “explicit labeling requirements of the use and of [hormone] residue levels in all meat products, including milk and eggs.”

Doctor’s Note

Isn’t that amazing about the DES story? I had no idea it was used in meat production. Check out some of the other Big Pharma on Big Farms: Illegal Drugs in Chicken Feathers.

The most dangerous additive used in the meat industry is antibiotics, though. See, for example:

For more on what may be bad for the breast, check out:

And for what may be protective, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

Is Soy Healthy for Breast Cancer Survivors?

Soyfoods have become controversial in recent years,…even among health professionals,…exacerbated by misinformation found on the Internet.” Chief among the misconceptions is that soy foods promote breast cancer, because they contain a class of  phytoestrogen compounds called isoflavones. Since estrogens can promote breast cancer growth, it’s natural to assume phytoestrogens might too.

But, people don’t realize there are two types of estrogen receptors in the body—alpha and beta. And, unlike actual estrogen, soy phytoestrogens “preferentially bind to and activate [estrogen receptor beta]. This distinction is important, because the 2 [types of receptors] have different tissue distributions…and often function differently, and sometimes in opposite ways.” And, this appears to be the case in the breast, where beta activation has an anti-estrogenic effect, inhibiting the growth-promoting effects of actual estrogen—something we’ve known for more than ten years. There’s no excuse anymore.

The effects of estradiol, the primary human estrogen, on breast cells are completely opposite to those of soy phytoestrogens, which have antiproliferative effects on breast cancer cells, even at the low concentrations one gets in one’s bloodstream eating just a few servings of soy—which makes sense, given that after eating a cup of soybeans, the levels in our blood cause significant beta receptor activation.

So, where did this outdated notion that soy could increase breast cancer risk come from? The concern was “based largely on research that showed that [the main soy phytoestrogen] genistein stimulates the growth of mammary tumors in [a type of] mouse.” But, it turns out, we’re not actually mice. We metabolize soy isoflavones very differently from rodents. The same soy leads to 20 to 150 times higher levels in the bloodstream of rodents. The breast cancer mouse in question was 58 times higher. So, if you ate 58 cups of soybeans a day, you could get some significant alpha activation, too. But, thankfully, we’re not hairless athymic ovariectomized mice, and we don’t tend to eat 58 cups of soybeans a day.

At just a few servings of soy a day, with the excess beta activation, we would assume soy would actively help prevent breast cancer. And, indeed, “[s]oy intake during childhood, adolescence, and adult life were each associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer.” Those women who ate the most soy in their youth appear to grow up to have less than half the risk.

This may help explain why breast cancer rates are so much higher here than in Asia—yet, when Asians come over to the U.S. to start eating and living like Americans, their risk shoots right up.  For example, women in Connecticut—way at the top of the breast cancer risk heap—in their fifties have, like, ten times more breast cancer than women in their fifties living in Japan. But, it’s not just genetic, since when they move here, their breast cancer rates go up generation after generation, as they assimilate into our culture.

Are the anti-estrogenic effects of soy foods enough to actually change the course of the disease? We didn’t know, until the first human study on soy food intake and breast cancer survival was published in 2009 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggesting that “[a]mong women with breast cancer, soy food consumption was significantly associated with decreased risk of death and [breast cancer] recurrence.” Followed by another study, and then another, all with similar findings.

That was enough for the American Cancer Society, who brought together a wide range of cancer experts to offer nutrition guidelines for cancer survivors, to conclude that, if anything, soy foods should be beneficial. Since then, two additional studies have been published, for a total of five, and they all point in the same direction. Five out of five, tracking more than 10,000 breast cancer patients.

Pooling all the results, soy food intake after breast cancer diagnosis was associated with reduced mortality (meaning a longer lifespan) and reduced recurrence—so, less likely the cancer comes back. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t cracked a journal open in seven years.

And, this improved survival was for both women with estrogen receptor negative tumors and estrogen receptor positive tumors, and for both younger women, and for older women. Pass the edamame.

Doctor’s Note

This is probably the same reason flax seeds are so protective. See Flax Seeds & Breast Cancer Survival: Epidemiological Evidence and Flax Seeds & Breast Cancer Survival: Clinical Evidence.

What about women who carry breast cancer genes? I touched on that in BRCA Breast Cancer Genes & Soy, and it’s the topic of my next video, Should Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer Avoid Soy?

What about genetically modified soy? I made a video abut that too; see GMO Soy & Breast Cancer.

Who Shouldn’t Eat Soy? Glad you asked. Watch that video too! 🙂

Not all phytoestrogens may be protective, though. See The Most Potent Phytoestrogen is in Beer and What are the Effects of the Hops Phytoestrogen in Beer?

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In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

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