Breast cancer is the cause of over six-hundredthousand deaths yearly worldwide, and forty-six thousand in the United States. The majority of these were among postmenopausal women under seventy: premature death sentences, robbing each of fifteen to twenty years of life. According to a renowned international authority:
“It is the leading cause of cancer death in women throughout the industrialized world and in many developing countries.”
There is a real and significant increase inbreast cancer throughout the industrialized nations. Worldwide, one in eleven women in industrialized nations will develop breast cancer. In the United States, from 1950 to 1991, incidence increased fifty-five percent. An even more reliable estimate, including people of color, puts the increase, from only 1973 to 1991, at twenty-four percent. Furthermore, these figures reflect incidence, a more accurate indicator than mortality, which is influenced by a wide range of factors including access to health care.
‘GOOD’ ESTROGEN, ‘BAD’ ESTROGEN: SHIFTING THE BALANCE
Breast cancer is largely a disease of estrogen influence. By “estrogen influence,” we mean that the bodies of women at high risk tend to produce forms of estrogen (known technically a C16 alpha-hydroxyesterone) that are both long lasting in the body and induce cancerous processes. This may be caused by genetic inheritance; environmental contaminants and pollutants; diet; lifestyle; and prolonged use of medical drugs (e.g., hormone contraceptives or estrogen replacement therapy). Women at low risk tend to those forms of estrogen that are short lived in the body and relatively benign. (This least toxic form of estrogen is known as C-2 hydroxyesterone.)
In this report, we will look at a carefully selected contingent of supplemental vitamins, minerals and herbs that will help to protect women by both shifting the body’s production of estrogen from toxic to least toxic forms; while other nutritional factors help to protect cells from toxic forms of estrogen, as well as environmental toxins.
Every day that breast cancer is delayed is a day that it is prevented. So, let’s look more closely at few of the most important of these cutting edge nutrients and herbs that may both protect against breast cancer and may be used by women with the disease to improve their prognosis.
CRUCIFERS such as broccoli are highly protective against breast cancer. Most of a group of eighty women put on a diet, which included a third of a head of cabbage daily, increased their good estrogen levels within five days! Crucifers such as broccoli and cabbage are rich in indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphanes. These phytochemicals increase levels of safe estrogen, as well as protect against carcinogens. It is very possible that a generous serving of cabbage everyday could be a powerful protectant. Besides making sure to include crucifers in your diet, supplementing the diet with broccoli concentrate may also be protective. In a clinical study, women given 500 milligrams of indole-3-carbinol after only one week showed dramatic increases in good estrogen. Be sure that such concentrates are standardized for their sulforaphane content.
MAITAKE POWDER & MAITAKE D-FRACTION
A specific extract taken from the maitake mushroom, maitake D-fraction is believed to activate the body’s immune system and help to fight cancerous cells. Both crude maitake powder and D-fraction concentrate may be used as adjuvant treatment in cancer therapeutics. In fact,the Food and Drug Administration has approved investigational new drug status for maitake D-fraction to be used in clinical trials among women with advanced breast cancer. Clinical studies conducted in Japan suggest that breast cancers were improved by use of maitake D-fraction and crude maitake powder. In one case, a 45-year-old female with estrogenresponsive breast cancer underwent surgery in April 1992 to remove the tumor. She received mild chemotherapy until February 1994. But the cancer recurred in April 1994. She refused surgery and instead started to take 100 mg of maitake D-fraction and five grams of maitake powder every day for six months. After that time, she reduced her dosage of D-fraction to 50 mg a day. By May 1995, it was confirmed that the tumor had disappeared. Be sure your formula also contains a small amount of vitamin C, which synergizes the beneficial effect of maitake D-fraction.
Consuming green tea as a drink or supplement has been shown experimentally and in human studies to help protect against breast cancer. In a study among 472 patients with stage I, II, and III breast cancer, researchers found that increased consumption of green tea was closely associated with decreased numbers of axillary lymph node metastases among premenopausal patients with stage I and II breast cancer. Increased consumption of green tea also is correlated with decreased recurrence of stage I and II breast cancer. “Our results indicate that increased consumption of green tea prior to clinical cancer onset is significantly associated with improved prognosis of stage I and II breast cancer, and this association may be related to a modifying effect of green tea on the clinical characteristics of the cancer.”
An excellent source of iodine, iodine caseinate is not well recognized for its cancer preventive properties. That is because many women, like their doctors, do not know about the link between thyroid disorders and breast cancer. Although the coincidence of thyroid disorders and breast cancer has long been a subject of debate, associations with hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis and nontoxic goiter have been reported. Although no convincing evidence exists of a causal role for overt thyroid disease in breast cancer, the preponderance of published work favors an association with hypothyroidism. Recent reports have shown a direct association between thyroid enlargement, as assessed by ultrasound, and breast cancer. Although the exact mechanism for the demonstrated association between diseases of the thyroid and breast cancer remains to be elucidated, there is at least the possibility that the presence of thyroid abnormalities may influence breast cancer progression and this alone should stimulate awareness into the coincidence of the two disorders.
B COMPLEX [Vitamin B12 & Folic Acid]
Findings suggest a threshold effect for serum B12 with an increased risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women. This is the first observation to suggest that B12 status may influence breast carcinogenesis and therefore may be a modifiable risk factor for breast cancer prevention. We also now know that vitamin B12 deficiency may be widespread. Meanwhile, folate (i.e., folic acid) also has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk.
We know that high levels of serum betaglucuronidase activity contribute to increased cancer risk, particularly that of the breast, by stimulating the body’s production of toxic forms of estrogen. Fortunately, calcium D-glucarate, a nontoxic, natural compound, has been shown to serve as an efficient slow-release source of Dglucaro- 1,4-lactone, the potent endogenous inhibitor of this enzyme. Experimental studies further demonstrate that feeding a calcium D-glucarate-supplemented diet inhibits tumor development by over 70 percent-even after administration of a carcinogen. Therefore, dietary calcium D-glucarate can be used to lower blood and tissue levels of beta-glucuronidase, and in turn of those carcinogens and promoting agents which are responsible for increased cancer risk.
Dietary considerations, such as increased consumption of crucifers and green tea, can play an important role in reducing breast cancer risk. In addition to a healthy diet, exercise and avoidance of environmental carcinogens, women should also consider daily use of a well-rounded dietary supplement that contains each or most of the nutrients and herbal concentrates and extracts detailed in this report. Such use may be advised both for prevention and as an additive treatment in breast cancer therapeutics. Healthy Cells-Breast from Enzymatic Therapy is one such formula that women should find useful as a supplement to their diet.