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"I promise, Suzy... Even if it takes the rest of my life." - Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

What is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?

WHAT IS TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER?

Just in recent years, Triple Negative Breast Cancer has sparked interest in the news where instead of calling the tumor as ER-negative, PR-negative, and HER2-negative; researchers began using the shorthand term, "Triple Negative," dubbed the "new type" type of cancer. Being Triple Negative, you don't have a targeted therapy and that your only treatment option is chemotherapy.

Triple Negative is seen in about 15% of all breast cancers. Triple Negative is a very aggressive cancer that tends to strike younger women, pre-menopause, especially among African-American women and women who have BRCA1 mutations. The tumor tends to be fast growing and is less likely to show up on an annual mammogram. TN is more likely to metastasis early on; has a high rate of recurrence in the first 2-3 years from diagnosis and has a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer due to lack of specific, targeted treatment for TNBC.

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Courage and faith
to face whatever Tomorrow may bring.

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Be thankful for our blessings.
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Dr. Andrew Weil's Lifestyle Recommendations for Lowering Breast Cancer Risk


"Dr. Weil recommends that all women diagnosed with breast cancer seek treatment with a qualified and experienced breast surgeon, oncologist and radiation specialist. However, he emphasizes the need for the following lifestyle measures to reduce the risks of developing breast cancer in the first place and to help prevent recurrences after treatment" :
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Weight gain after age 18 to between the ages of 50 and 60, has been consistently associated with risk of breast cancer after menopause. When the ovaries stop producing hormones after menopause, fat cells produce most of the estrogen in the female body. The more fat tissue in a woman's body, the higher her estrogen levels are likely to be, and the higher her risk of breast cancer.
  • Exercise. Regular physical activity can reduce the risks, possibly because it can lead to weight loss and decrease the amount of body fat, thereby reducing exposure to circulating estrogens produced by fat that could foster development of the disease.
  • Reduce exposure to xenoestrogens. A large number of synthetic chemical compounds that we all encounter have estrogen-like activity. Among them: common pesticides, industrial pollutants and hormone residues in meat, poultry and dairy products. While evidence linking these hormones to breast cancer is conflicting, Dr. Weil recommends limiting exposure as much as possible. Choosing hormone-free dairy and animal products and organic produce is a good start.
  • Avoid alcohol. A study reported in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the more a woman drinks, the higher her breast cancer risk. Data from a study including 108,986 nurses who were followed from 1980 to 2008 showed that having two or more alcoholic drinks daily increased a woman's risk of breast cancer by 1.5 times compared to women who never drank alcohol; for women who had one alcoholic drink per day, the risk was about 1.2 times higher than normal. Alcohol is believed to increase a woman's risk because it increases levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone receptor positive breast cancer.
  • Avoid long-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study of hormone replacement therapy that was halted ahead of schedule in 2004 showed an increased risk of breast cancer among women who took HRT, a combination of estrogen and progestin to slow post-menopausal bone loss and relieve menopausal symptoms. Follow up studies have shown that this increased risk continues for about 11 years after women stop taking the hormones. However, when the WHI study was stopped, women who were taking estrogen alone had a 23 percent reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those who took a placebo. Since then, studies have shown that the lower risk persisted for at least five years. (Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) alone should only be prescribed for women who have had a hysterectomy - it presents a risk of endometrial cancer for women who still have a uterus. Adding progestin lowers this risk.) Until there are definitive data suggesting otherwise, Dr. Weil continues to recommend limiting use of HRT.
Nutrition and Supplements
  • Choose fats wisely. Studies have shown that women with a higher intake of olive oil have less breast cancer. Omega-3 fats, found in cold-water fish (especially wild salmon and sardines), freshly ground flaxseed and walnuts have also been associated with inhibiting the growth of breast tumors. Consider taking 2 grams of a good fish oil supplement daily.
  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruit. They contain cancer-protective phytochemicals, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and watercress. Dr. Weil recommends eating 8 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits a day.
  • Eat less meat. Women who eat the most meat have a higher breast cancer risk than those who eat the least or none. If you eat meat, choose organic varieties to lessen exposure to residues of hormones used as growth promoters in cattle, and cook it less rather than more - a preference for well-done meat correlates with increased risk because carcinogenic compounds form as animal tissue is cooked at high temperatures.
  • Use freshly ground flaxseed or other sources of fiber daily. Diets high in fiber seem to help reduce estrogen levels and promote appropriate weight loss, thereby reducing the risk of breast cancer. In addition, the lignans contained in flax may have a protective effect against breast cancer.
  • Eat more soy. Although the isoflavones in soy have a mild estrogenic effect (they are able to bind to estrogen receptor sites in human tissue), soy foods contain many cancer-protective substances and also appear to possess anti-estrogenic effects. For this reason, and also because population studies have failed to show a relationship between soy consumption and increased risk of breast cancer, Dr. Weil recommends eating one serving of whole soy foods a day. If you have female children, he suggests starting them on whole soy foods early. Regular, moderate consumption of whole soy foods early in life influences development of breast tissue in ways that appear to reduce risk.
  • Drink green tea. Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to a lower incidence of many kinds of cancer.
  • Take a multivitamin. Choose one that contains vitamin D and antioxidants, all of which have been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer. Although your diet should be the primary source of most of your nutrients, a good daily supplement can help insure that your intake is adequate.
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1 comment:

  1. Good read, Melissa. Thanks1 I do most of these things but just can't lay off the wine LOL BTW, with regard to avoiding pesticides EWG (Environmental working Group) has a Dirty Dozen list that tells you what vegetables to only buy organic to avoid most pesticides. EWG has a clean list too of veggies that you don't have to buy organic. You can google EWG Dirty Dozen

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