Sunday, October 29, 2006

Taking time to make a decision...

After surgery, most women are faced with choices about chemotherapy and radiation. Sometimes chemo is helpful and sometimes it is not. Taking the time to do the research can be of great help. Some women like to get a second opinion. Some women want to have the tumor tissue that was removed tested to see which chemo is going to help with their particular type of cancer. For information on chemo sensitivity testing, there is more information at Dr. Larry Weisenthal s website.

A new study shows that you can take some time to make your decision - up to 12 weeks - and the chemo regime will still be helpful. If you are having some difficulty making a desicion about what is best for you, we highly recommend Dr Ralph Moss' Cancer Report. Not only do you get great information about your type of cancer, you get some to an oncologist to ask questions about what your doctor is telling you.

Here are the finding from the study.

"Our findings can reassure women with early-stage breast cancer that it is okay to take some time before they start chemotherapy -- to gather information and be actively involved in treatment decision-making," lead author Dr. Caroline Lohrisch, from the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada, said in a statement.

The study, which is reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, involved an analysis of data for 2,594 women who underwent chemotherapy for early breast cancer at between 1989 and 1998. The women were divided into four groups based on the time between surgery and the start of chemotherapy: within 4 weeks, 4 to 8 weeks, 8 to 12 weeks, or 12 to 24 weeks.

No significant differences in survival were seen among the three groups that began chemotherapy within 12 weeks of surgery. By contrast, starting chemotherapy at greater than 12 weeks was associated with inferior survival.

Vitamin E slows cancer growth

This study posted by Ivanhoe is from the Cancer Research Journal. The role of antioxidants in protection from cancer will continue to be in the news. While there is a large push to isolate compounds (which can be patented.) that are effective in preventing cancer, the whole foods source is always a better option. Most studies show at least to take Vitamin E with A and C for the best effects. Vitamin E is known as a Super Antioxidant because it can regenerate itself and somewhat recycle itself.

Here is the study.

Altered Form of Vitamin E Stops Cancer Spread in Mice

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A special form of vitamin E may someday treat breast cancer that has spread.

The study from the University of Arizona in Tucson reveals chemically altered vitamin E mixed into mouse food dramatically reduced the spread of cancer in mice. It's the first study to show the synthetic compound has powerful anti-cancer benefits when given as a dietary supplement.

Researchers report mice that ate the so-called super chow had a 4.8-fold reduction in the number of tumors that spread to the lungs compared to the control mice.

Researchers say vitamin E cannot destroy tumor cells on its own. But chemically changing it helps it force cancer cells to self-destruct.

"Cell survival is maintained when pro-apoptotic proteins are confined, and these synthetic forms of vitamin E release them, pushing the cell into committing suicide," reports lead author Emmanuel T. Akporiaye, Ph.D., University of Arizona. "Only a little part of vitamin E is changed in these synthetic derivatives, but they show amazing anti-cancer properties, and they selectively target tumor cells." Pro-apoptotic means something that encourages the process of apoptosis, or cell death.

Researchers report combining this synthetic vitamin E derivative with other anti-cancer treatments may help treat and prevent breast cancer in humans.

This article was reported by, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to:

SOURCE: Cancer Research, 2006;66:9374-9378

Breast Cancer and Abortion

Full term pregnancies and subsequent breast feeding seem to be protective of the breast. There is the theory that when a pregnancy is terminated early, the health of the breast may be affected. This issue around breast cancer risk and abortion is really heightened by the pro-choice/pro-life movement. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish what is credible research because of this. There is also the question of miscarriage verses induced abortions. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer this month states that there is no increased risk from abortion. They did find that more than two miscarraiges indicated some sort of risk.

From a Holistic perspective, there is some sort of hormonal imbalance that would have caused the miscarraiges. This same hormonal imbalance might increase breast cancer risk. This is why we talk about symptoms as signs. All of your hormonal symptoms, PMS, miscarraige, endometriosis, fibroids, painful breasts, etc. are signs of hormonal imbalance. Dealing with this imbalance by using a combination of nutrition and reduction of exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals would make a lot of sense here.

This is a highly emotional issue for people on both sides. We would love to see a meta analysis of this issue done. For now, it seems more reasonable to spend time focusing on what we know is a risk factor. We will keep you posted on any new research that comes up on this issue. We've even tried to interview people about it, but politics gets in the way of interpretation almost every time. Anyone have views on this?