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.

GUIDED IMAGERY- Treatment Support

Questions To Help Guided Imagery For Cancer HealiongAs a person in treatment you will need as much support around you from many avenues. We have already talked about delegating as much as possible to other folks. Our “G” word is going to introduce you to Guided Imagery. Guided imagery is an avenue of training your brain to take to you to places of healing. For instance, I have a beautiful Bengal tiger that lives within me. I have developed a relationship with my tiger over the post years of treatment. Each morning my tiger goes through my body and gathers up all the mutant cells and takes them our of my body to an abyss where those cells cannot escape. The tiger is my ally.

Guided Imagery is a way to delegate healing to your body. Scientifically we know Guided Imagery is a powerful tool to help us live our lives in more meaningful ways. Use your Imagination to create imagery. Involve all of your senses in the imagery such as your visual, tactile, kinestetic (body awareness), olfactory and auditory channels. Take as much time as you need to make the guided imagery believable.

Here are a few guided questions to help you create your ally.

  1. What symbol, character, or animal have you been drawn to throughout your life?
  2. What symbol, character, or animal is strong enough to help you with your path to healing?
  3. Ideally, who would you like to accompany you in your mind’s eye or inner soul during this journey?

Now fully develop that image. What color is it? How big is it? Describe it fully by giving it characteristics, clothes, shape, smell, and voice. What does your ally have to say to you?

Ask this ally that you created this question. “Are you willing to accompany on a healing path during this treatment?” Journal this dialogue.

Now gently close your eyes and imagine your ally providing your body with healing in whatever way makes the most sense to you. Maybe you will see your ally breathing healing light into your body and lasering your cancer cells. Perhaps your ally will feed you healing ointment that attaches itself to the cancer cells and eliminates them from your body. One woman used the seven dwarfs mopping her cancer cells up. She was a first grade teacher so that imagery was believable to her. It is important to make the imagery as believable as possible. Use the images you create three to four times a day by finding a relaxing place, close your eyes and let yourself welcome the healing power of your ally. Especially use guided imagery when you become afraid.

Your mind is a capable ally in your healing process and the body mind connection helps our bodies transcend medical science. Use it wisely!

Photo source: Livestrong Relaxation Exercises

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. 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 Is Honey Effective In Breast Cancer Treatment?

Honey is effective in breast cancer treatmentsHoney As A Breast Cancer Treatment

The treatment for breast cancer produces a disastrous effect on the quality of life. Nowadays, two bee products have been discovered to significantly lower the common effects of breast cancer.

The issue of breast cancer overdiagnosis
According to an estimate around thousands of women each year are overdiagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 1.3 million of women are misdiagnosed with breast cancer over the past 30 years.[1]What happens is they are told that they have breast cancer despite actually having a benign lesion, for example Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) which usually never causes any symptom or harm.

In most cases, overdiagnosis of breast cancer ends up with unnecessary treatments such as Mastectomy, lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. In the last three decades, it was found that approx. 1.3million women in the U.S. were misdiagnosed and treated for breast cancer when all they had was a benign lesion. After treatment, most of the breast cancer survivors are given drug therapy for hormone suppression such as Arimidex and Tamoxifen.

Integrative medical approaches including honey and bee pollen
According to a study published in Molecular And Clinical Oncology, it is suggested that bee pollen and honey offer palliative support to overcome the side effects of cancer treatment. Side effects in breast cancer patients can include hot flushes and menopausal symptoms.

A new study is conducted to check whether bee pollen helps in the reduction of menopausal-like symptoms caused by chemical suppression of the hormone such as estrogen.

A recent trial also showed that bee pollen extracts decrease the number of hot flashes episodes and result in a better quality of life in menopausal women. In the study, pollen–honey mixture was compared with honey (placebo) for effects in breast cancer patients receiving Anti-hormonal therapy. Surprisingly, researchers have concluded that honey is as effective as pollen in reducing the symptoms of the patients.

In the study, the authors have proposed that honey has the ability to raise the estrogen levels in patients. Hormone-suppressing agents are based on the unsophisticated idea that estrogen is a carcinogen. But in reality estrogen is found to have a preventive or therapeutic effect in breast cancer or other hormone-sensitive cancers.

Conclusion
It is suggested that honey is a natural compound with estrogenic properties that are helpful in lowering the side-effects of suppressive hormone medications due to which it is used in the treatment of breast cancer. Additionally, honey is also found to have anti-cancer properties that favour its use in the actual cancer treatment apart from palliation.

Source: Should Honey Be Considered A Breast Cancer RX?, July 27 2015

Photo Source: Keepers of the Homestead

Dr. Adem GunesDr. 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.

 

Why are women at a higher risk of leukemia after breast cancer treatment?

leukemia after breast cancer treatmentResearchers have been trying to determine ways to prevent the complications in the breast cancer survivors to reduce the occurrence of a relapse. The breast cancer treatments that include radiation therapy and chemotherapy target the malignant cells in the breast tissues and destroy them.

However, these treatments also affect the healthy cells, which results in an increase in the risk of leukemia in the future, the researchers said. They are conducting studies to determine the factors that may cause an increased risk of leukemia after breast cancer treatment.

The possible factors that are believed to contribute to the risk of secondary malignancy are the family history of cancer and an inherited gene mutation.

The research involved a follow-up of 88 breast cancer survivors who were treated for breast cancer and developed leukemia at a later stage. It was found that the women had a family history of cancer, which suggested a genetic susceptibility to develop cancer like leukemia.

About 20 percent of the women in this study group had an inherited gene mutation, which can increase the risk of breast cancer.

“This is expected to enable the scientists in determining how these genes affect or modify the breast cancer treatment-related leukemia risk. It will also help to understand whether any specific treatment causes a higher risk based on the inherited genetic make-up of a woman,” said Dr. Jane Churpek, the study leader from the University of Chicago.

This will help the oncologists to have a patient-specific conversation about the potential risks of radiation and chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.

It may be difficult to determine the exact role of breast cancer treatment in the development of leukemia. Hence, it is important that the breast cancer patients are uniquely positioned so that the true frequency and the causative factors of subsequent leukemia can be ascertained.

American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Cancer Society have issued guidelines for improving the survival rates of breast cancer patients. The breast cancer survivors are advised to undergo routine physical exams and mammograms to check for any new tumor.  They do not need additional lab tests or imaging unless there are significant symptoms suggesting that a malignancy may have returned.

The guidelines include recommendations in five key areas, which include:

  • Regular surveillance for the recurrence of malignancy by physical examination and the patient’s cancer history
  • Regular mammographic screening
  • Management and assessment of the psychosocial and long-term physical impact of breast cancer treatment
  • Care coordination and practical implications
  • Promotion of a healthy lifestyle

With regular follow-up and monitoring, the occurrence of complications following breast cancer treatment is expected to decline. This will increase the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors and also improve their quality of life.

References:
1. Leukemia Risk After Breast Cancer Treatment
2. ASCO and ACS Issue Guideline on Breast Cancer Survivor Care
3. Organizations issue joint guidelines for breast cancer survivors

Featured Photo: HealthyWomen.org

Dr. Adem GunesDr. 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.

 

Joni Aldrich and Chris Jerry: Advocacy Heals U!

Joni Aldrich and Chris Jerry- Advocacy Heals U!By: Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos,  a TV/Radio Producer/Host of Wicked Housewives ON Cape Cod.

Are you a caregiver or grieving the loss of a loved one and looking for answers that may be too difficult to even be formulated? On the Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos Show from 6-6:30 EST on July 8th (on Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod Radio) Joni Aldrich and Chris Jerry shared tips, information and their heart with you. They understand your pain and grief because they have been where you are, now. Their new book, Advocacy Heals U is due out in the fall of 2015. Read it before you need it so you are prepared for life.

Click the LINK  to LISTEN:

During the radio show Joni shares 2 of the 15 keys to fast track results and emotional fulfillment and details their importance in advocacy:

  1. Step back and realize what 1 person can do.
  2. Now has never been a better time to be an advocate.

While every road to advocacy is different, there are similarities. We may think, “There is nobody else like me,” but Joni and Chris show you how we are all connected and interconnected through love.

Our connection goes beyond grief into love. We love those we’ve lost. Advocacy heals loss.
It wasn’t until Chris and Joni met face-to-face that they realized some amazing parallels between their own personal experiences.

Joni’s Gordon and Chris’s Emily both died in 2006.
Chris and Joni made major steps towards their advocacy mission in 2009. They were brought together in 2012 to advocate for advocates through Advocacy Heals U, the radio program, and now through Advocacy Heals U, the book.

Welcome to this special introduction to Joni and Chris’s wonderful new book that will be available later in 2015:

ADVOCACY HEALS U, 15 Keys to Fast Track Results and Emotional Fulfillment, and dedicated to the advocates of the world.

What or who is an advocate?

Advocates are normal people who achieve abnormal results through a passion that burns from within.
While others may travel through life on a buddy pass bypassing human needs along the way, advocates focus on lending a hand in the darkness. Maybe they are the caregiver for a beloved parent. Maybe they are proof positive that someone can survive pancreatic cancer. Maybe they offer food to the hungry because they were once hungry, or shelter in the cold because they were once homeless. Many advocates are driven by a deep-seated need to honor and/or support loved ones, or to pay it forward. Advocates are the catalyst for change in this world, and the voice for so many that may not have a voice.

In this…the only complete book that focuses on advocacy from the Event to emotional healing.
Authors Joni Aldrich and Chris Jerry bring advocacy into the much-needed spotlight through their combined twenty years of advocacy experience, and the experience of guests on Advocacy Heals U, the radio program. The Event can leave you devastated, but it also exposes the Need. The Call may lead you to ask, “Who me?”

Chris and Joni want you to get past the objections and answer, “Why not me?”

There has never been a better time to combine networking, the ripple effect, and social media tactics to meet your advocacy objectives on a local, national or international level. Even more important is the personal fulfillment…Joni and Chris want you to realize that advocacy does heal U!

No advocacy too large; no advocacy too small. Advocacy heals U! Until you reach healing, remember: You are not alone.

(I wish to thank Joni and Chris for sharing their press kit with me for additional information . Much of the information in this blog was taken from portions of Joni and Chris’s Press Kit. Contact Joni Aldridge or Chris Jerry for more information or the complete Press Kit.)

Advocacy-Heals-U Radio Show InterviewBio: Joni Aldrich is Co-Owner and Producer of W4CS.com The Cancer Support Network, author of six books on surviving cancer, caregiving, brain illness, and grief. http://www.W4CS.com (The Cancer Support Network), offers 24/7 cancer programs for the “whole” cancer patient, their caregivers and families. After her husband died from cancer, Joni gave up the corporate world to become a worldwide advocate to help patients, families, caregivers and friends get through a life crisis such as a cancer diagnosis, a caregiving challenge (including caring for a brain illness patient), and surviving the grief process. Learn more about Joni @ Joni@JoniAldrich.com

Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos Breast Cancer Authority ContributorAbout the author of this blog: Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is a TV/Radio Producer/Host of Wicked Housewives ON Cape Cod and Author/Lecturer of the International award winning and bestseller, Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing which promotes patient advocacy and connecting with inner guidance for success in health, wealth, and relationships. She taught Special Education and Psychology.

Questions and Answers About High-Dose Vitamin C

High-Dose Vitamin C

  1. What is high-dose vitamin C?

    Vitamin C (also called L-ascorbic acid or ascorbate) is a nutrient that humans must get from food or dietary supplements since it cannot be made in the body. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps prevent oxidative stress. It also works with enzymes to play a key role in making collagen.

    When taken by intravenous (IV) infusion, vitamin C can reach much higher levels in the blood than when it is taken by mouth. Studies suggest that these higher levels of vitamin C may cause the death of cancer cells in the laboratory.

    A severe deficiency (lack) of vitamin C in the diet causes scurvy, a disease with symptoms of extreme weakness, lethargy, easy bruising, and bleeding. The lack of vitamin C in patients with scurvy makes collagen thinner in texture; when vitamin C is given, collagen becomes thicker again.

  2. What is the history and use of high-dose vitamin C as a complementary and alternative treatment for cancer?

    High-dose vitamin C has been studied as a treatment for patients with cancer since the 1970s. A Scottish surgeon named Ewan Cameron worked with Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling to study the possible benefits of vitamin C therapy in clinical trials of cancer patients in the late 1970s and early 1980’s.

    Surveys of healthcare practitioners at United States CAM conferences in recent years have shown that high-dose IV vitamin C is frequently given to patients as a treatment for infections, fatigue, and cancers, including breast cancer.

  3. What is the theory behind the claim that high-dose vitamin C is useful in treating cancer?

    More than fifty years ago, a study suggested that cancer was a disease of changes in connective tissue caused by a lack of vitamin C. In the 1970’s, it was proposed that high-dose ascorbic acid could help build resistance to disease or infection and possibly treat cancer.

    Later studies showed that the levels of vitamin C that collect in the bloodstream depend on how it is taken.

  4. How is high-dose vitamin C administered?

    Vitamin C may be given by intravenous (IV) infusion or taken by mouth, although much higher blood levels are reached when given intravenously.

  5. Have any preclinical (laboratory or animal) studies been conducted using high-dose vitamin C?

    Laboratory studies and animal studies have been done to find out if high-dose vitamin C may be useful in preventing or treating cancer.

    Laboratory studies

    Many laboratory studies have been done to find out how high-dose vitamin C may cause the death of cancer cells. The anticancer effect of vitamin C in different types of cancer cells involves a chemical reaction that makes hydrogen peroxide, which may kill cancer cells.

    Laboratory studies have shown the following:

    However, not all laboratory studies combining vitamin C with anticancer therapies have shown benefit. Combining dehydroascorbic acid, a particular form of vitamin C, with chemotherapy made it less effective in killing some kinds of cancer cells.

    Animal studies

    Studies of high-dose vitamin C have been done in animal models (animals given a disease either the same as or like a disease in humans).

    Some of the studies showed the vitamin C helped kill more cancer cells:

    • High-dose vitamin C blocked tumor growth in animal models of pancreatic, liver, prostate, sarcoma, and ovarian cancers and malignant mesothelioma.
    • High-dose vitamin C combined with chemotherapy in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer showed that the combination treatment shrank tumors more than chemotherapy treatment alone.
    • Another study showed that vitamin C made a type of light therapy more effective when used to treat mice injected with breast cancer cells.
    • A study in a mouse model of ovarian cancer showed that combining intravenous high-dose vitamin C with the anticancer drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel made them more effective in treating ovarian cancer.

    However, other animal studies have shown that vitamin C interferes with the anticancer action of certain drugs, including the following:

    • Mouse models of human lymphoma and multiple myeloma treated with combinations of vitamin C and chemotherapy or the drug bortezomib had more tumor growth than mice treated with bortezomib alone.
  6. Have any clinical trials (research studies with people) of high-dose intravenous (IV) vitamin C been conducted?

    Several studies of high-dose vitamin C in patients with cancer have been done in recent years, including the following:

    Studies of vitamin C alone

    • Intravenous (IV) vitamin C was studied in patients with breast cancer who were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The study found that patients who received IV vitamin C had better quality of life and fewer side effects than those who did not.
    • A study of IV vitamin C and high doses of vitamin C taken by mouth was done in patients with cancer that could not be cured. Vitamin C was shown to be a safe and effective therapy to improve quality of life in these patients, including physical, mental, and emotional functions, symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, and appetite loss.
    • Vitamin C has been shown to be safe when given to healthy volunteers and cancer patients at doses up to 1.5 g/kg, while screening out patients with certain risk factors who should avoid vitamin C. Studies have also shown that Vitamin C levels in the blood are higher when taken by IV than when taken by mouth, and last for more than 4 hours.

    Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs

    Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs have shown mixed results:

    • In a small study of 14 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, IV vitamin C was given along with chemotherapy and treatment with a targeted therapy. Patients had very few bad side effects from the vitamin C treatment. The nine patients who completed the treatment had stable disease as shown by imaging studies.
    • In another small study of 9 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, patients were given chemotherapy in treatment cycles of once per week for 3 weeks along with IV vitamin C twice per week for 4 weeks. These patients had disease that did not progress for a period of months. The combined treatment was well tolerated and no serious side effects were reported.
    • In a 2014 study of 27 patients with advanced ovarian cancer, treatment with chemotherapy alone was compared to chemotherapy along with IV vitamin C. Patients who received IV vitamin C along with chemotherapy had fewer serious side effects from the chemotherapy.
    • Patients with acute myeloid leukemia, refractory metastatic colorectal cancer, or metastatic melanoma treated with IV vitamin C combined with other drugs had serious side effects and the disease got worse.

    More studies of combining high-dose IV vitamin C with other drugs are in progress.

  7. Have any side effects or risks been reported from high-dose vitamin C?

    Intravenous high-dose ascorbic acid has caused very few side effects in clinical trials. However, high-dose vitamin C may be harmful in patients with certain risk factors.

    • In patients with a history of kidney disorders, kidney failure has been reported after ascorbic acid treatment. Patients with a tendency to develop kidney stones should not be treated with high-dose vitamin C.
    • Case reports have shown that patients with an inherited disorder called G-6-PD deficiency should not be given high doses of vitamin C, due to the risk of hemolysis (a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed).
    • Since vitamin C may make iron more easily absorbed and used by the body, high doses of the vitamin are not recommended for patients with hemochromatosis (a condition in which the body takes up and stores more iron than it needs).
  8. Have any drug interactions been reported from combining high-dose vitamin C with anticancer drugs?

    A drug interaction is a change in the way a drug acts in the body when taken with certain other drugs. High-dose vitamin C, when combined with some anticancer drugs, may cause them to be less effective. So far, these effects have been seen only in some laboratory and animal studies. No clinical trials have been done to further research these drug interactions in humans.

    • Combining vitamin C with an anticancer drug called bortezomib has been studied in cell cultures and in animal models. Bortezomib is a targeted therapy that blocks several molecular pathways in a cell, causing cancer cells to die. Several studies showed that vitamin C given by mouth made bortezomib less effective, including in multiple myeloma cells. A study in mice transplanted with human prostate cancer cells, however, did not show that giving the mice different doses of vitamin C by mouth made bortezomib therapy less effective.
    • An oxidized form of vitamin C called dehydroascorbic acid has been studied in cell cultures and in animals with tumors. Several studies have found that high doses of dehydroascorbic acid can interfere with the anticancer effects of several chemotherapy drugs. Dehydroascorbic acid is found in only small amounts in dietary supplements and in fresh foods.

    See Question 5 and Question 6 for more information on combining vitamin C with anticancer drugs.

  9. Is high-dose vitamin C approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a cancer treatment in the United States?

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of high-dose vitamin C as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition.

    Because dietary supplements are regulated as foods, not as drugs, FDA approval is not required unless specific claims about disease prevention or treatment are made.

Source: National Cancer Institute: PDQ® High-Dose Vitamin C. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Date last modified (04/08/2015). Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq. Accessed <5/9/2015>.

The Ultimate Journey in Life is Going Within

The Ultimate Journey in Life is Going WithinBy: Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, Owner of Yoga Being.

The diagnosis of cancer pierces the dense illusionary promises of ‘tomorrow’. In a moment, we stand naked with ourselves, vulnerable and raw. We have immediate decisions to make. What will be my path? What will be my outcome?

Just two days ago, an acquaintance I have known through friends and through music making, was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. “Jean, I’m thinking of going to Mexico for alternative types of low-dose chemotherapy. I’m thinking that I need more time to make a decision. I am afraid the chemotherapy will kill me. And that it will kill my immune system. Will I be able to play the piano if I get neuropathy? Playing the piano is my life.”

No one has answers for anyone else. I can share my experience and what I’ve learned from other cancer patients in the twelve years since my own colorectal diagnosis. But the journey one takes is within to find their answers. Cancer is a fierce foe, and can be unrelenting in its onslaught. Pain can drive our minds to dark and fearful places. If we go within, what will we find? Beyond pain, is there stillness within?

Escape is not an option for those of us with a late diagnosis.
Time is of the essence.
What we choose can determine the length and quality of our lives.
Only we know our values and preferences.

However, they can be difficult to discern in the midst of devastating health news. Only we can decide, and if and when, we say, “Enough, I am done with cancer treatments. ”

The polar opposites of life and death seem rigidity clear. Our earthly self cries out: “I choose life!” The question sparks an internal journey: life on what terms? My mother was very happy to sit in her easy chair; the patio garden provided hours of satisfying gazing. Was she meditating? Yes, to me she was. When I asked her, “Mom, what would you spend more time doing, if you had to live your life again?” She looked up at the hummingbird feeder, then caressed the budding flowers with her eyes. “I’d spend more time with you, doing this: talking and looking out the window.”A hummingbird for Jean's Mom

It was a simple, but profound answer: a Truth. Words that I use as a compass through the rough waves of my life. I reflect on my choices. Am I doing the things that make me feel happy? Am I taking joy in simple pleasures? Am I in this moment? In my mother’s answer lies the very basic truth of being. She spent three years in her easy chair. I spent many hours beside her. Together, we journeyed along a footpath to her final days. We had a long good-bye. Ultimately, cancer claimed the final blow to her health.

She was offered chemotherapy. She refused. She chose to return home and live out her few short weeks without treatment. Her decision came from within. I believe the hours of dancing with birds and blooms gave her an inner wisdom. My mother knew the cycle of life and rebirth. Her garden flower blooms spoke of their brief joys and whispered of a new beginning. The hummingbirds heartbeats move their chests and wings. “I will come to visit you as a hummingbird and a Monarch butterfly”, she told me. And she does.

I take time to look and listen for her. When I am at my lowest, one or the other avatars appear.

Blessings,
Jean Di Carlo-Wagner
Owner, Yoga Being
Only Online Advanced Yoga Training
For Cancer Survivors

Jean Di Carlo WagnerAbout Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of Yogabeing.net
E-RYT200, E-RYT500 certified with Yoga Alliance
Yoga Therapist with International Alliance of Yoga Therapists
Atma Yoga Teacher Training, certified 500 hours Los Angeles
A Gentle Way Yoga, certified 200 hours
Silver Age Yoga, certified 200 hours

Learn Natural Breath Breathing Exercise For Breast Cancer Treatment

Yogic Breathing For Breast Cancer

By; Diana Ross E-RYT 500 Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Learning breath exercises will aide in the recovery process from breast cancer. First it is important to learn to breath correctly. Breathing correctly is done by taking in air deeply through the nostrils so that the lungs expand. Second, learn to use breath exercises so that they are used as treatments for specific situations, such as stress reduction or increase energy.

Natural Breath is used for stress management because it has the most calming effect of all the breaths. This breath reduces stress and tension by turning off the sympathetic “fight or flight” autonomic response.

Positions for breathing exercises during breast cancer therapy can be done in either a seated, laying down, or even in a standing position. However, you must be in a comfortable position so that the mind stays focused. Make a conscious decision to start with 5 to 10 minutes a day of deep breathing.

Benefits

  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Promotes diaphragmatic breathing
  • Supports expansion and relaxation of thoracic cavity
  • Reduces lumbar spasm and pain
  • Massages digestive organs and increases peristalsis
  • Relieves constipation
  • Stimulates flow of bile
  • Increases venous return and lymphatic drainage
  • Turns off sympathetic “fight or flight autonomic response”
  • Has one of the most calming effect of all the breaths

Instructions

  1. INHALE, drawing breath in through the nostrils, down deep into lower lungs; lower lungs expand and belly extends out.
  2. EXHALE, gently draw naval back towards the backbone releasing air from lower lungs through the nostrils.
  3. Let there be a natural pause of transition before you inhale again.
  4. Continue to lengthen and balance natural breath for up to five minutes.
  5. Continue and then begin to lengthen exhale; moving the breath into a 1 to 2 ratio.

Breathing exercise program aides in breast cancer recovery along with other benefits that a person gets by practicing it. Make a conscious decision to start with 5 to 10 minutes a day of deep breathing. Along with daily breathing techniques we encourage an anti-cancer lifestyle. This is a lifestyle that includes a variety of exercise, organic foods, clean, pure water and air. There are a few easy steps to keep the body safe and healthy on your road to recovery from breast cancer. Cultivate awareness of what goes into your body; stop and take notice of habits.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

 

Breath Importance Breathing Exercise CD's From Breast Cancer Yog

Use of Medicinal Herbal Teas During Recovery to Reduce Stress

Breast Cancer Yoga Soothing Tea BlendsThe use of botanical medicines, also known now as a complementary therapies include  medicinal herbal teas. Complementary therapies are beneficial in supporting the personal and emotional needs of the patient. It can also help with relieving nausea, insomnia and assisting in soothing nerves. It is common knowledge that herbal teas, aromatherapy and massage oils are all indeed beneficial to help support the personal and emotional needs of the patient.

Medicinal Herbal Teas to Reduce Stress
Botanical medicinals, include herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, and catnip. These teas are beneficial in supporting the physical and emotional needs of the patient. They help with relieving nausea, insomnia and assisting in soothing nerves. It is common knowledge that herbal teas, aromatherapy and massage oils are beneficial to help support the personal and emotional needs of the patient.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

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