Cancer is not a single disease with a single cause and a single type of treatment. There are more than 200 different types of cancer, each with its own name and treatment. Although cells in different parts of the body may look and work differently, most repair and reproduce themselves in the same way. Normally, cells divide in an orderly and controlled way. But if for some reason the process gets out of control, the cells carry on dividing and develop into a lump called a tumour. Tumours are either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Doctors can tell if a tumour is benign or malignant by removing a piece of tissue (biopsy) and examining a small sample of cells under a microscope.
In a benign tumour the cells do not spread to other parts of the body and so are not cancerous. However, they may carry on growing at the original site, and may cause a problem by pressing on surrounding organs.
In a malignant tumour the cancer cells have the ability to spread beyond the original area of the body. If the tumour is left untreated, it may spread into surrounding tissue. Sometimes cells break away from the original (primary) cancer. They may spread to other organs in the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is part of the immune system – the body’s natural defence against infection and disease. It’s made up of organs such as bone marrow, the thymus, the spleen, and lymph nodes. The lymph nodes throughout the body are connected by a network of tiny lymphatic tubes (ducts). The lymphatic system has two main roles: it helps to protect the body from infection and it drains fluid from the tissues. When the cancer cells reach a new area they may go on dividing and form a new tumour. This is known as a secondary cancer or a metastasis.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. About 46,000 women get breast cancer in the UK each year. Most of them (8 out of 10) are over 50, but younger women, and in rare cases men, can also get breast cancer. Estimated new cases and deaths from breast cancer in the United States in 2012 are: New cases: 226,870 (female); 2,190 (male); Deaths: 39,510 (female); 410 (male.)
From 1999 to 2005, breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. decreased by about 2% per year. The decrease was seen only in women aged 50 and older. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
Anatomy of the breast: A woman’s breasts are made up of fat, connective tissue and thousands of tiny glands, known as lobules, which produce milk. If a woman has a baby, the milk is delivered to the nipple through tiny tubes called ducts, which allow her to breastfeed.
Types of breast cancer: There are several different types of breast cancer, which can develop in different parts of the breast. Breast cancer is often divided into non-invasive and invasive types.
- Non-invasive breast cancer: Non-invasive breast cancer is also known as cancer or carcinoma in situ, or pre-cancerous cells. This cancer is found in the ducts of the breast and has not developed the ability to spread outside the breast. This form of cancer rarely shows as a lump in the breast and is usually found on a mammogram. The most common type of non-invasive cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
- Invasive breast cancer: Invasive cancer has the ability to spread outside the breast, although this does not mean it necessarily has spread. The most common form of breast cancer is invasive ductal breast cancer, which develops in the cells that line the breast ducts. Invasive ductal breast cancer accounts for about 80% of all cases of breast cancer and is sometimes called ‘no special type’.
- Other types of breast cancer: Other less common types of breast cancer include invasive lobular breast cancer, which develops in the cells that line the milk-producing lobules, inflammatory breast cancer and Paget’s disease of the breast. It is possible for breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph nodes (small glands that filter bacteria from the body) or the bloodstream. If this happens, it is known as secondary or metastatic breast cancer.
Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms but usually shows as a lump or thickening in the breast tissue (although most breast lumps are not cancerous). If cancer is detected at an early stage, it can be treated before it spreads to nearby parts of the body. The first symptom of breast cancer that most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast. Most lumps (90%) are not cancerous, but it is always best to have them checked by your doctor.
See a licensed healthcare practitioner immediately if you notice any of the following:
- a lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- discharge from either of your nipples (which may be streaked with blood)
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
- pain in either of your breasts or armpits that is not related to your period
So that you can pick up any changes as soon as possible, it is important to be breast aware. Get to know what is normal for you. For instance, your breasts may look or feel different at different times of your life. This will make it much easier to spot any potential problems. Breast self-exam should be part of your monthly health care routine, and you should visit a licensed health practitioner if you experience breast changes. If you’re over 40 or at a high risk for the disease, you should also have an annual, physical exam by a doctor. The earlier breast cancer is found and diagnosed, the better your chances of beating it.
*Although mammography is the most widely employed screening method for breast cancer, there are a number of compelling arguments for adopting other methods in its place. Current research within conventional medicine provides strong reasons why mammogram screening for detection of breast cancer ought to be reconsidered, namely: the link between mammograms and the risk of cancer (mammography exposes the breast to damaging ionizing radiation – John W. Golfman MD, PhD has spent 30 years studying the effects of low-dose radiation); the high rate of false positives (this wastes money and causes unnecessary emotional trauma – a Swedish study of 60,000 women revealed that of the 726 referred to oncologists for treatment, 70 per cent were found to be cancer free); high rate of false negatives (causing unnecessary distress and which ultimately could be fatal) and because oestrogen distorts breast x-rays (according to a study of 8,800 postmenopausal women aged 50 and older, the use of oestrogen replacement therapy – ERT – leads to a 71 per cent increased likelihood of a false-positive result.)
Mammography is a passing technology which will soon be replaced by safer testing methods. Two such methods are available already, including thermography and the Anti-Malignin Antibody Screen test (AMAS.) Thermography uses infrared heat emissions from the body to detect cancer and its advantage is that it does not use radiation. The AMAS measures serum levels of an antibody found to be elevated in the early stages of active, non-terminal malignancies.
The causes of breast cancer are not fully understood. This means that it is difficult to say why one woman may develop breast cancer and another may not.
Some things, known as risk factors, can change the likelihood that someone may develop breast cancer. There are some factors that you cannot do anything about, although there are others that you can change.
The risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. Breast cancer is most common among women over 50 who have been through the menopause. Eight out of 10 cases of breast cancer occur in women over 50.All women between 50 and 70 years of age should be screened for breast cancer every three years. Women over the age of 70 are still eligible to be screened and can arrange this through their licensed practitioner or local screening unit. Currently, there are on-going pilot studies in the UK looking at widening the screening age range to 47-73.
If you have close relatives who have had breast cancer or ovarian cancer, you may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. However, as breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, it is possible for it to occur more than once in the same family by chance.
If you have, for example, two or more close relatives from the same side of your family (such as your mother, sister or daughter) who have had breast cancer under the age of 50, you may be eligible for surveillance for breast cancer or for genetic screening to look for the genes that make developing breast cancer more likely. If you are worried about your family history of breast cancer, discuss it with your licensed health practitioner.
Previous diagnosis of breast cancer
If you have previously had breast cancer or early non-invasive cancer cell changes contained within breast ducts, you have a higher risk of developing it again, either in your other breast or in the same breast again.
Previous benign breast lump
A benign breast lump does not mean that you have breast cancer, but certain types of lump may slightly increase your risk of developing it. Certain benign changes in your breast tissue, such as atypical ductal hyperplasia (cells growing abnormally in ducts) or lobular carcinoma in situ (abnormal cells inside your breast lobes), can make getting breast cancer more likely.
Your breasts are made up of thousands of tiny glands (lobules), which produce milk. This glandular tissue contains a higher concentration of breast cells than other breast tissue, making it denser. Women with denser breast tissue may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer because there are more cells that can become cancerous.
Dense breast tissue can also make a breast scan (mammogram) harder to read because it makes any lumps or areas of abnormal tissue harder to spot. Younger women tend to have denser breasts. As you get older, the amount of glandular tissue in your breasts decreases and is replaced by fat, so your breasts become less dense.
Exposure to oestrogen
In some cases, breast cancer cells can be stimulated to grow by the female hormone oestrogen. Your ovaries, where your eggs are stored, begin to produce oestrogen when you start puberty in order to regulate your periods.
Your risk of developing breast cancer may rise slightly with the amount of oestrogen that your body is exposed to. For example, if you started your periods at a young age and entered menopause at a late age, you will have been exposed to oestrogen over a longer period of time. In the same way, not having children, or having children later in life, may slightly increase your risk of developing breast cancer because your exposure to oestrogen is uninterrupted by pregnancy.
Being overweight or obese
If you have been through the menopause and are overweight or obese, you may be more at risk of developing breast cancer. This is thought to be linked to the amount of oestrogen in your body, as being overweight or obese after the menopause causes more oestrogen to be produced.
If you are taller than average, you are more likely to develop breast cancer than someone who is shorter than average. This may be due to interactions between genes, nutrition and hormones, but the reason is not fully understood.
Your risk of developing breast cancer can increase with the amount of alcohol you drink. Research shows that, for every 200 women who regularly have two alcoholic drinks a day, there are three more women with breast cancer compared with women who do not drink at all.
Certain medical procedures that use radiation, such as X-rays and CT scans, may slightly increase your risk of developing breast cancer. If you had radiotherapy to your chest area for Hodgkin’s lymphoma when you were a child, you should have already received a written invitation from the Department of Health for a consultation with a specialist to discuss your increased risk of developing breast cancer. See your GP if you were not contacted or you did not attend a consultation.
If you currently need radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your specialist should discuss the risk of breast cancer before your treatment begins.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is associated with a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. Both combined HRT and oestrogen-only HRT can increase your risk of developing breast cancer, although the risk is slightly higher if you take combined HRT.
It is estimated that there will be an extra 19 cases of breast cancer for every 1,000 women who are taking combined HRT for 10 years. The risk continues to increase slightly the longer you take HRT, but returns to normal once you stop taking it.
If you do the Jeff McCombs Candida Protocol you will already be avoiding all of the foods that trigger cancer. However here are the foods to avoid at all costs.
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food or chain restaurants and all processed food.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eat mostly fresh, organic vegetables and fruits.
Avoid all foods that are high in unhealthy saturated and trans-fats, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated fats and oils, margarine, and shortening. Eliminate refined white flour, which is found in the majority of foods found on a typical grocery store shelf, including bread, bagels, crackers, cakes, cookies, and other baked good, pasta. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, simple carbohydrates, sugars and sugar products, foods that are overly spicy, and all processed and commercial “junk” food. Stay clear of all inorganic pasteurized milk and dairy products, including yogurt and cheese; best to eat only raw, organic dairy products.
Empower yourself, and choose a diet emphasizing organic whole foods, including plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, oats, whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Include a variety of preferably soaked, nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Minimize your intake of red meat; though be sure to consume adequate amounts of organic, free-range poultry, bison and wild-caught fish. Eat generous quantities of both raw and lightly steamed organic vegetables and large fresh salads daily. Preferably, cook with virgin coconut butter/oil and use extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil and hemp seed oil as condiments on veggies and as the base for your daily salad dressing. Throughout the day, drink plenty of pure, filtered water, and avoid drinking—as well as bathing, and showering in—unfiltered tap water, as tap water contains heavy metals and pesticide residues that can settle in high concentrations in the body.
The raw food diet is a food plan that can be of great benefit if you suffer from breast cancer. Using the guidelines outlined above as a base camp for a clean and healthy diet, one can then transition into a raw food diet as desired. Raw food generates rapid results because of its ability to thoroughly detoxify and liberate your body’s previously untapped energy.
The diet mainly consists of raw fruits, vegetables, and soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds, supplemented with daily consumption of fresh green juices made from a variety of vegetables such as celery, romaine lettuce, spinach, carrot, kale, parsley, and an ever rotating seasonal selection of other organic veggies. Raw foodists enjoy salads, dehydrated flax crackers, seed and nut patés, blended soups, smoothies, and marinated veggies, often mixed with soaked sea vegetables. Since little to no cooked food is consumed, the raw diet has the advantage of instantly eliminating many common allergens. No cooked wheat or wheat by-products are consumed, and generally dairy is omitted, though some might choose to eat moderate quantities of raw goat or sheep milk products, often in the form of a fermented food, such as homemade raw kefir or yogurt.
Dr Gabriel Cousins, at the Tree of Life Center, endorses the raw food plan as the ultimate healing diet, and offers 100% raw food meals at his healing retreat in Patagonia, Arizona. An important note when choosing a raw food diet: there is an issue of trade-offs. You might miss cooked foods, though you will not miss cancer. More times than not the raw food diet presents itself as an incredible tool that can be used to quickly transition from a serious health challenge into a healing process, ultimately resulting in greater health and well-being.
- Coral Calcium – Coral calcium website
- Vitamin D has been shown to be a key factor in healing cancer. Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day nc.vitaminstrength.com for a period of up to 4 weeks.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met.
- Omega 3s
Hemp Seed Oil
- Selenium – an essential trace vitamin which acts as a deterrent against cancer in general.
- Iodine – found in seafood, sea vegetables such as kelp and dulse, as well as iodized salt – known to protect against breast cancer.
Research now shows that massage can be very beneficial to those with cancer, specifically for managing pain and depression. The gentle massage used during an aromatherapy massage promotes relaxation and helps to eliminate toxins from the body. Even a simple hand massage can have a positive effect.
The essential oils of grapefruit (citrus paradisii), orange (citrus senensis) and lemon (citrus limonum) contain D-limonene, which has shown to have anti-tumor properties, chemotherapeutic activity and low toxicity. It is particularly beneficial for breast and colon cancer. Note that these citrus oils are photo-toxic and should not be used topically on people with skin cancer. When possible, organic essential oils should be used. These citrus oils, as well as neroli essential oil, are also antidepressants and help with anxiety. The hydrosol of neroli can be used as a body, room or linen spray. In addition to the citrus oils, other essential oils and hydrosols, which aid with killing of cancer cells include ginger (zingiber officinalis) essential oil which can be inhaled or taken internally in water, to ease nausea.
The essential oil and hydrosol of frankincense (boswellia carteri) has shown anti-cancer, antimicrobial and antioxidative activity. Frankincense can also distinguish between normal and cancerous cells and suppress cancer cell viability. Sweet fern (comptonia peregrina) and sweet gale (myrica gale) hydrosols can be combined and used topically as a compress or diluted in water and drank throughout the day. Both plants have shown to be cytotoxic (toxic to cells) against human lung and colon cancer cell lines.
Greenland moss, aka Labrador Tea (ledum greonlandicum) is one of the most powerful therapeutic hydrosols and only needs to be about 10% of the blend to be effective. It is currently in experimental stages for use with liver cancer and has shown anticancer activity against malignant lung and colon tumours.
Herbs that have proven to be beneficial in easing cancer symptoms include Artemisia, pokeroot, periwinkle, mistletoe (Viscum album), colchicines, hemlock, Berberis aquifolium, foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), and burdock root. Hoxsey formula (an herbal formula, developed by the late Harry Hoxsey, N.D.) is recommended, as is Essiac, a traditional cancer remedy of Native Americans. The herbal spice tumeric, which contains curcumin, an anti-cancer agent, can also be helpful, as can astragalus and maitake, a medicinal mushroom. Fennel tea can help to reduce the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Other useful herbs for helping to address co-factors related to cancer, such as immune deficiencies, include Cat’s claw (uno de gato), Echinacea, garlic, green tea, oregano oil, Pau d’arco, and nettle root. Milk thistle can be helpful because of its ability to detoxify the liver and improve hormone balance. Also consider Chimaphila umbellata, or pipsissewa, (an evergreen plant) horsetail, and uva ursi, which all have potent antiseptic properties. Betulinic Acid from Birch trees has been shown to block the growth of melanoma and thuja tincture has served as a successful therapy for many cancer cases, as has bromelain, phenolic antioixidants from mint, centella extract from gotu kola (hydrocotyle centella), perillyl alcohol from lavender flowers, pollen from honeybees, pearl barley (hordeum vulgare), reishi mushroom (ganoderma lucidum), shiitake mushroom (lentinula elodes), cauliflower (brassica oleracea), wax gourd (benincasa hispida), calendula (calendula officinalis), chaparral (larrea divaricata and larrea tridentate), white mulberry (morus alba), Japanese pepper (piper futokadsura), thyme (thymus serpyllum), Chinese cucumber (trichosanthes kirilowii) and stinging nettle (urtica dioica.)
In the mid nineteenth century, Samuel Thompson, a leader of one of the most popular movements of natural healing based primarily on the use of Native American herbs, reported the successful treatment of breast cancer. This was done by using a paste of thickened decoction of red clover blossoms. It was repeatedly and thickly applied to the woman’s breast and covered over with a protective bandage. After a short time the cancer literally sloughed off through the surface of the skin, leaving a shallow crater.
Combine red cabbage, celery, and lettuce juice, and drink 8 ounces twice a day. Carrot, cucumber, beet, radish, and garlic juice can also be helpful Combine grape, black cherry and blackcurrant. Wheatgrass juice is also beneficial, as is asparagus juice and fresh apple juice. Fresh green juices are an important nutrient dense boost to the diet; create new combinations of vegetables, and discover your personal favourites.
Exercise regularly, at least three times a week for 45-60 minutes each session. If you smoke, stop, and keep away from exposure to second hand smoke. Also avoid drinking alcohol, coffee, and all products that contain caffeine. Take care to properly manage stress and reduce your overall stress levels, as stress can negatively affect healthy immune function. In addition, drink an 8-ounce glass of pure, filtered water every two hours during the day to help flush out your urinary tract and keep properly hydrated.
Mushrooms help to promote health and longevity. They have an immune-boosting effect which helps reduce the risk of cancer and enhances heart health.
Soybeans and other legumes contain diadzein and genistein, naturally occurring phytoestrogens which block the action of oestrogen in the body, slowing the growth of hormonally-dependent tumours. Genistein also blocks the activity of certain oncogenes (chromosomal genes believed to initiate cancer.)
Curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper re anti-cancer, immune-stimulating, anti-oxidant and cholesterol-lowering and have a multitude of health-enhancing effects.
Broccoli does two jobs as a cancer fighter. It contains the anti-tumour compounds found in cruciferous vegetables as well as a fair amount of folate, a B vitamin that protects cells from DNA damage.
Cucumber: Cucumbers are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.
- Go for a walk outside in the sun every day for an hour.
- Laugh every day as often as you can, as much as you can.
- Get a magnetico sleep pad.