Tests To Help With Breast Cancer Treatment Decisions

When you’ve just received a diagnosis of breast cancer, you are faced with many different treatment options. Your mind is in a whirl with fear, confusion, and disbelief. While none of these feelings help decision making, there are some tests that can help: Oncotype DX and Mammaprint. 

These tests are genomic tests that analyze the activity of specific genes in the breast tumor. They can help you determine if your risk of breast cancer coming back is high or low, which can help you in making a decision about whether to have chemotherapy, radiation, or other therapies to reduce risk after surgery.

There are two main types of tests – Oncotype DX and Mammaprint.

Oncotype Dx has two tests for breast cancer – one for Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – Oncotype DX DCIS and one for invasive breast cancer – Oncotype DX.  Mammaprint has one test for invasive breast cancer. Let’s look at these in greater detail.

What are genomic tests?

Genomic tests look at specific genes in your individual tumor and try to determine what is driving its growth. This is different from genetic tests which look at your inherited risk or predisposition for cancer. Genomic tests provide information that can help tailor your treatment plan to you as an individual. They are a type of personalized medicine. This is really important, because not all breast cancers are the same and, in fact, some breast cancers might have more in common with a prostate cancer than they do with another type of breast cancer. One size treatment definitely does not fit all.

Oncotype DX DCIS

Image showing the incidence of DCIS from blog on CALMERme.comThis test is only for people diagnosed with DCIS or, as it is often called, “stage zero” breast cancer. In addition to general information such as tumor size, margins, and grade, Oncotype DX DCIS helps determine the likelihood of DCIS recurring or invasive breast cancer occurring within the next 10 years.

It examines a sample of the tumor tissue that has already been removed during the lumpectomy for DCIS. By looking at the expression of 21 different genes in the tumor, it provides a DCIS score of between 0-100. The lower the score, the lower the risk of recurrence. Two scores are given, one to determine the risk of recurrence of DCIS and another for the risk of occurrence of an invasive breast cancer.

Knowing the DCIS score can help you decide whether to have radiation treatment  following the lumpectomy. If your risk of recurrence is low, then maybe you can spare yourself further treatment and the possible side effects that go with it.

To be eligible for Oncotype DX DCIS, you need to have recently been diagnosed with DCIS and had lumpectomy surgery. The decision should be made in discussion with your doctor/oncologist.

In the US, insurance might cover the cost of this test; the testing company will help you determine if this is the case and provide information to your insurers, as necessary. In the UK, these tests can be conducted under the NHS or privately.

Many oncologists are now familiar with these tests for invasive breast cancer; sadly, the Oncotype DX DCIS test does not appear to be known by all oncologists, so it’s good for you to be proactive and start the discussion. Here is a link to the validation work done on the test that you can forward to your oncologist, and further links are given at the bottom of this post:

Clinical validation of oncotype DX DCIS

I definitely think it is worth having a discussion with your oncologist, sharing the references as necessary, and if you don’t get anywhere with the oncologist, talk to your family doctor or surgeon.

Oncotype DX and Mammaprint

Both Oncotype DX and Mammaprint are genomic tests suitable for early stage invasive breast cancer. They both predict the benefit of chemotherapy or other types of treatment, as well as the likelihood of 10 year recurrence.

They are similar tests but have some differences, as outlined below:

Comparison of oncotype DX and mammaprint for invasive breast cancer

Looking at this table can help determine if you are eligible for either of these tests.

As with Oncotype DX DCIS, some insurance companies in the US will pay for these tests whereas some don’t include them in coverage. Both testing companies offer financial assistance or guidance, so it’s worth calling them to discuss if you are interested and want to check coverage. In the UK, these tests can be conducted under the NHS or privately.

These tests are important because some of the cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, can have many side effects and are hard to get through. If there is little to no benefit in these treatments for you as an individual, then these genomic tests give you the confidence to not have a treatment that has greater potential for risk than for benefit.

Obviously the decision of further treatment is based on more than just these results. It involves detailed discussion with your oncologist, but also personal consideration of what you want and how you feel. Remember, you can take your time over treatment decisions. You might feel rushed, but take adequate time until you feel comfortable that you are making the right personal decision. These tests can go a long way in giving you confidence in your decision, but it is still a personal choice that needs to be right for you as an individual based on your mind and spirit, as well as your body.

Here are links to each of these three tests for more information

Patient information on Oncotype DX DCIS

Oncologist information on Oncotype DX DCIS

Patient information on Oncotype DX

Oncologist information on Oncotype DX

Patient information on Mammaprint

Oncologist information on Mammaprint

Let me know if you’ve had any of these tests and how they helped you.

Ruth BaillieRuth Baillie is originally from the UK and now lives most of the year in Northern California. She holds two Master’s degrees, one in Personalized Nutrition (distinction), and another in Health Psychology. She is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, Certified Professional Cancer Coach, and Cancer Guide, and has undertaken considerable post-graduate studies in integrative naturopathic oncology. She is the author of “Choices in mind-body medicine for cancer patients in Sonoma County, California” and her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Natural Killer Cell Therapy and Cancer Treatment

learn-about-natural-killer-cells-nk-cells-for-breast-cancer-treatmentNatural killer (NK) therapy involves using natural killer cells derived from peripheral blood samples or cord blood samples as a treatment for cancerous diseases. It may be used as a treatment for those cancers that have failed to be eradicated by stem cell transplant treatment.

One article (1) looked at the use of natural killer cell therapy and the treatment of cancer. It studied ways in which NK therapy can be an effective way to kill cancer cells. They found that natural killer cell therapy directed specifically at cancer cells can preferentially kill cancer cells, leaving normal cells alone. The mechanism of action appears to be antibodies directed at cancer cells, which activate natural killer cells that go on to kill cancer cells.

They noted that this type of therapy is currently very expensive so it isn’t yet sure that it can be a cost-effective way to treat cancer.

Source: 1.Klingemann H. Challenges of cancer therapy with natural killer cells. Cytotherapy. March 2015; Volume 17, Issue 3, Pages 245–249.

Dr. Adem Gunes

Dr. Adem Gunes Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

Reflexology in Cancer

Advantages of Reflexology for Breast CancerWhat is Reflexology?

Reflexology is the appositeness of appropriate pressure to specific points on the feet, hands and the ear. A reflexologist is of the opinion that these areas and reflex points harmonize to various organs of the human body as well as the systems and that applying pressure over them has a beneficial effect on the persons’ general health.

How does reflexology work?

The primary mechanism behind reflexology is that it helps in reducing the stress that in turn increases the potential for healing and help body cell in re-growth.

Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington performed a research and according to their study, there is a relationship between the skin and the central nervous system. That’s the theory behind the healing mechanism of reflexology, which is, by applying pressure at a certain point, the body starts healing or reducing pain.

Where can you find reflexology?

Universally, practitioners who are licensed by the American Reflexology Certification Board can be found in certain therapeutic settings around the world.

Advantages of reflexology with different types of cancers:

People with cancer gain benefit from reflexology as it helps in reducing their anxiety, their levels of stress, and contributes in relieving their pain. It also aids in elevating their mood and gives the state of being well.

Some other benefits of this therapy are:

  • Its ability to support nerve stimulation
  • increase energy
  • boosts circulation
  • induce a deep state of relaxation
  • eliminate toxins
  • stimulate the central nervous system
  • prevent migraine
  • clean up urinary tract condition
  • speed recovery from trauma or surgery
  • helps relieve sleep disorder
  • reduce depression
  • relieves pain

What is the effect of reflexology on metastasis?

Massage has shown to be beneficial in reducing one’s anxiety

Does reflexology enhance the effect of chemotherapy?

As our body ages, the peripheral nerve endings become less sensitive in various parts of our body system, particularly in the extremities. By applying pressure on a single point, nerve function starts stimulating around on more than 7000 nerve endings which increase its sensitivity and keeps it in a healthy state. People who are having chemo with reflexology experience fewer episodes of shortness of breath, which is a common side effect faced by patients with chemotherapy. Patients with reflexology can perform their daily task quickly like climbing the stairs, getting dressed, going grocery, etc. as compared to patients who are having chemo session alone.

However, certain research studies still claim that reflexology does not seem to be effective in reducing emotional problems that one faces due to chemotherapy, such as anxiety, stress, and other psychological problems. It also does not aid in reducing nausea, which is a very common side effect of chemotherapy. Hence, the role of this therapy for cancer treatment is still controversial.

Does reflexology enhance the effect of radiation therapy?

Cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy often complain about early fatigue. Reflexology for cancer treatment has shown to relieve these symptoms of easy fatigue, sickness, anxiety and nausea in such individuals. Studies have reported better experiences of patients with breast cancer, who undergo radiotherapy with reflexology for cancer treatment. They are observed to have an improved quality of sleep and lesser fatigue during and after their radiation sessions.

Can reflexology reduce the side effects of radiation and chemo drugs?

Wyatt said that “These supportive measures are intended to create hard link for the patient to the treatment center,”

Reflexology reduces the side effect of chemotherapy because it enhances the function of peripheral nerve endings, along with improving the use of the central nervous system. It is also beneficial because it helps in alleviating the mood symptoms and in decreasing nausea

Wyatt said that “We see things like a decline in depression and anxiety, and improvements in spirituality and emotional quality of life,”

According to research at MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, patients who are having chemotherapy face a lot of problems with anxiety, stress, nausea, and pain. Reflexology is the treatment which helps them cope with these side effects.

What is the influence of reflexology on the immune system?

The most suitable way to boost your body’s defense mechanism is by undertaking reasonable measures such as reflexology and acupuncture.

Stress, lack of sleep, obesity and poor diet: these are some features which reduce immunity whereas reflexology is the treatment which deals with all these predisposing agents. It supports and enhances the peripheral nerve ending which in turn helps in reducing the stress and sleep disorder. All these factors eventually contribute towards and improved immune system.

Does reflexology increase the quality of life and the survival rate?

Reflex therapy increases the quality of life because it aids in reducing stress, anxiety, pain, reduce depression, lack of sleep; aces recovery from surgery, prevents a migraine, enhances central nervous system function and much more.

There are seven important sites in our body which help in increasing our immune system which indirectly boost the quality of life. These points are mentioned as follows:

  • great ravine
  • great rushing
  • three yin crossing
  • Three-mile points
  • she mansion
  • crooked pond
  • upper si of qi

SUMMARY:

Reflexology is the art of applying pressure on different parts of body to enhance nerve functioning in the body. It aids in reducing pain, stress, and nausea which arise as a consequence of various cancer therapies. It also boosts the immune system of our body.

If you want a personalized recommendation on your case, Contact Dr. Adem for online cancer consultation.  

References:

Top 7 Acupressure Points for Strengthening Immune System

reflexology

How Does Reflexology Work?

Reflexology popular amongst women receiving chemotherapy

benefits of reflexology

Dr. Adem Gunes

Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at

Introduction to Alternative Cancer Treatments – FREE E-Book

Natural Cancer Remedies With CancerTutor.comWritten by Webster Kehr, Independent Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. | Last updated on February 25, 2015.

Preface

Every human being has cancer cells in their body. Most people don’t even know they have cancer cells because their immune system safely and easily kills their cancer cells as they form. In fact, as long as there is a balance between the number of new cancer cells in their body, and the strength of their immune system, they will never “get cancer,” meaning the cancer cells will never grow out of control.

Cancer is caused by an imbalance between the number of cancer cells in the body and the strength of the immune system. Either there are more cancer cells than there should be or the immune system is too weak, or both. This imbalance allows the cancer cells to spread enough to be noticed and be dangerous.

Natural cancer treatments, also known as “alternative cancer treatments,” do three things:

  1. they safely get rid of cancer cells by gently killing the cancer cells.
  2. they strengthen the immune system.
  3. they fix the “inner terrain” of the body to make the body hostile to cancer cells.

Mission accomplished, the person has their balance restored and they are “cured” of their cancer.

These people have received good information and they have been cured of their cancer.

Now let us talk about the orthodox cancer treatments of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Chemotherapy destroys a person’s immune system because the immune system has many fast-growing cells. Chemotherapy also kills many fast-growing cells in the stomach and colon, making it difficult for the cancer patient to properly digest healthy foods.

Furthermore, chemotherapy is so toxic that if a person used enough chemotherapy to kill all of their cancer cells, the patient would die long before all of their cancer cells died.

Thus, chemotherapy makes both sides of the equation worse. Not only is the immune system damaged, but there are lots of cancer cells left over after treatment. The person becomes dependent on chemotherapy for life because they have no immune system; assuming they live very long.

One of the great deceptions of orthodox medicine is that they can put people into “remission.” You can rest assured when a person’s immune system has been destroyed, and many, many cancer cells have survived the treatment, a cancer patient can never be truly in “remission.” Their cancer will always come back because the balance has not been restored.

In addition, radiation and surgery also kill many healthy cells, meaning non-cancerous cells. Surgery is also hard on the immune system.

In short, orthodox cancer treatments convert a cancer patient (for as long as they live) into a patient with a chronic disease.

Orthodox medicine hates the term “cure” because they have no desire to “cure” cancer by restoring the balance between new cancer cells and the immune system.

All of this is why alternative cancer treatments can have a 30 times higher true cure rate than orthodox cancer treatments. Alternative cancer treatments TARGET cancer cells or they do no harm to non-cancerous cells. Thus, alternative cancer treatments can be used in much, much higher doses than orthodox cancer treatments and thus they can be far more effective.

Mother Nature knows how to CURE cancer (i.e. restore the balance)!! In fact, Mother Nature has put more than 400 different ways to cure cancer on this planet!!

That is precisely why many people have no fear of cancer. They know exactly what to do if they get cancer.

In fact, scientific studies have shown that a person who does nothing will live much longer than a person who uses orthodox cancer treatments. Yet medical doctors are constantly telling patients that “with chemotherapy you will live 4 months longer.” This is typical of unscientific statements made by medical doctors.

In addition, two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, PhD, and Dr. Ewan Cameron, M.D., demonstrated that a person who uses 10 grams of vitamin C a day, by I.V., will live ten times longer than a person who avoids all orthodox cancer treatments (though orthodox treatments are occasionally necessary to deal with emergencies, such as brain swelling or tumors pressing on the bile duct, etc.).

But there are far better alternative cancer treatments than even the Vitamin C protocol of Dr. Pauling and Dr. Cameron.

Thus, newly diagnosed cancer patients have several choices when they are diagnosed with cancer:

  • They can die quickly, be in incredible pain, and go bankrupt, by using orthodox treatments,
  • They can live longer and be in less pain by doing nothing,
  • They can extend their life by 10 times or more by using 10 grams of vitamin C by I.V. daily,
  • They can cure their cancer by rebuilding their immune system and safely killing all their cancer cells.

It is people who know all of these things who have no fear of cancer!!

So why haven’t you learned all of these things in the media? Why hasn’t the media ever told the truth about these 400 cures for cancer? Perhaps it is because the media makes billions of dollars every year for their alliance with the pharmaceutical industry!! Few people connect the dots and realize that the pharmaceutical ad money buys a lot of influence with the media!! In fact, the truth about alternative cancer treatments is totally blacklisted by the media!!

This discussion about information explains why, in spite of the vast superiority of alternative cancer treatments, more than 99% of newly diagnosed cancer patients begin their cancer treatment with orthodox cancer treatments!!!

Curing cancer with alternative cancer treatments is fairly easy for those who are recently diagnosed and do not have a particularly vicious type of cancer. It must be kept in mind, however, that cancer can be relentless, so the cancer should never be taken lightly!

Cancer patients who have had extensive chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, on the other hand, not only have a great deal of physical damage, a damaged immune system and many cancer cells, but they have lost many months of treatment time. Plus it probably took them weeks of Internet research to find a quality website on alternative cancer treatments.

Can alternative cancer treatments cure someone who has already had massive amounts of orthodox cancer treatments? While not everyone can survive their cancer, many people have cured their cancer with alternative cancer treatments after being sent home to die by orthodox medicine (Note: Over 15% of cancer patients who die of cancer are still on chemotherapy at the time they die, thus they are never sent home to die. This percentage will no doubt grow.).

This free eBook will go into greater detail on these issues.

Copyright (c) 2003, 2004, 2006 R. Webster Kehr, all rights reserved. This eBook may be downloaded, stored on the internet, printed, or emailed to others, as long as it is not modified in any way and this copyright notice remains intact.The Independent Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. (ICRF) is an organization which researches and develops new cancer treatments

Webster KehrAbout CancerTutor.com – Please note that NOTHING IS SOLD from this Website. The Cancer Tutor website is a product of the cancer researchers of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. (ICRF) headquartered near Salt Lake City, Utah.

In order for the ICRF cancer researchers to continue to maintain the Cancer Tutor website, and support the cancer patients who send us emails, we need financial support from those who use the Cancer Tutor website and who can afford to help without jeopardizing their natural medicine cancer treatment.

Here is how to support the ICRF researchers:

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Tips to Control Chemotherapy Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)

Tips To Control Chemotherapy Nausea & VomitingBy Margot Malin, Founder and CEO of Lots To Live For, Inc.

One of the most dreaded and anxiety producing side effects of cancer treatment is chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). In this blog post we offer a variety of tips to help you reduce chemotherapy nausea. Controlling nausea can significantly improve your comfort and help ensure completion of your chemo treatments as scheduled.

Medications
Speak with your oncology doctors and nurses to find the antinausea medicine that works best for you. Anti-nausea medications, also called antiemetics, are sometimes so effective that experts have shifted their focus from treating nausea to aggressive prevention. Unfortunately however, the majority of people on a chemo regimen still face some risk of becoming nauseous. Some patients have to try a few antiemetics before finding the one that works best.

Food
Try eating bland foods. For example – toast, oatmeal, bananas, broiled or baked chicken with no skin, or similar items. Eat small quantities more frequently. Delay eating for at least one hour after treatment. Try not to start treatment with an empty stomach. Avoid greasy, fried, salty, sweet, or spicy foods. A recent study funded by the National Cancer Institute showed that ginger, even in small amounts, can help reduce nausea.

Hydration
It is important to stay hydrated. Try taking small sips of water during the day instead of gulping or consuming large quantities at a single sitting. Broth is another liquid that may be easy to sip. Drinking natural root beer and/or ginger ale may be effective ways to reduce CINV. Some herbal teas may ease digestive discomfort while stimulating a weak appetite. Suck on hard candy such as Queasy Drops, popsicles or ice during treatment.

Smell
Avoid foods with strong odors. Avoid strong smells such as flowers, perfumes and some cleaning products. Some personal care product scents may irritate your senses. Some essential oils can be helpful, but they must be administered carefully.

Body Position
Do not lie down flat for at least 2 hours after eating. Rest by sitting up or reclining with your head elevated.

Products to Help
biobands_ pic_ 1Biobands – This simple and inexpensive wristband utilizes acupressure, a natural pressure therapy applied to a specific acupuncture point that controls nausea and vomiting. Wearing Biobands can help control nausea during treatment and throughout the day.

Queasy Pops and Drops are the natural way to ease a queasy stomach. They are effective due to their special formulation of essential oils, aromatherapy and their unique delivery method. They are also a great way to help with dry mouth symptoms.

Integrative Approaches and Alternative Treatments

Deep Breathing Exercises and Guided Meditation can help you relax before and during treatment. They can help put your mind in a calmer, positive and more proactive place.  An example of a CD to help teach you breathing techniques is Breathe With Purpose. An example of guided imagery is the Whip Cancer app. Calm.com offers a guided meditation app. Saagara offers two pranayama apps, with guided breathing.

Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment NauseaAcupuncture lowers nausea and/or vomiting in some people. In addition to reducing nausea, some patients find that it also helps to minimize hives and joint swelling, which can be other side effects of treatment.

Exercise – Get moving as soon as you can! Find an exercise that you enjoy and do it!  Even if the movement is minimal or slow at first, or on the days of treatment, don’t be discouraged. Exercise should help you through chemo fatigue as well.  However, exercising too soon after eating may slow down digestion and increase discomfort. A good resource is the new book Exercises for Cancer Survivors by Carol Michaels.

Hypnosis has been suggested by some professionals as another helpful complementary therapy.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
There are a number of essential oils and herbs that can be helpful. Discuss the use of these treatments with your oncology team before using them, because they have the potential to block the effects of your medication. Natural Remedies of CINV by Pamela Taylor is a helpful book that can help to familiarize you with herbs, essential oils, and aromatherapy.

Medical Marijuana
It’s long been general knowledge that marijuana can soothe nausea. This is now an option in some states where medical marijuana is legal. A synthetic version of the active ingredient, THC, is in the prescription drug Marinol (dronabinol).

Important NO-NO’s
No caffeine. No smoking. No alcohol.

The more comfortable you are during treatment, the better your mental and emotional state.  A more comfortable state of mind will contribute to optimizing your outcome. Don’t hesitate to consult with your oncology team for additional ideas. We hope our suggestions will improve your comfort by reducing your nausea during your cancer journey.

Related Article:

About Margot Malin: Intellectually cMargot Malinurious and fiercely independent, Margot Malin has a passion for knowledge.  After receiving her MBA from The Wharton School, she launched her career by analyzing and evaluating businesses.  In 2002 she embarked on the “creative reinvention” phase of her career with the intention of “giving back”. Margot founded Lots To Live For, Inc., an internet retailer that sells carefully selected products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation.

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