Category Archives: Breast Cancer Metastasis

Stage 4 Breast Cancer CAN Be Healed Naturally

Hey there, I wanted to share this wonderful interview between someone I greatly admire – Chris Wark, from chrisbeatcancer.com, and Carla Camarillo, a woman diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. This interview is so inspiring and I wanted to make sure that all of my thrivers get to watch it so that everyone knows that stage 4 breast cancer can be healed naturally.

Here’s the video, it will take a little less than 20 minutes for you to view it:

Carla’s Story

Carla was diagnosed with a large breast tumor, about 6 cm. She was originally told she had stage 2 breast cancer, but after various scans and diagnostics, her doctor told her that the cancer had already spread to her lungs and other places in her body, putting her at stage 4. She was recommended to begin chemotherapy immediately to shrink the tumor before they would even consider removing it. She thought about that, but decided there must be a better way.

Carla shares with us that one of the first things she did was to change her diet, to get rid of any potentially toxic food and personal care products, she was “big” on juicing (and so are Chris and I!), she also employed the Budwig diet, took some very specific supplements, and had intravenous vitamin C treatments twice per week.

In only 3 months, Carla’s 6 cm tumor had regressed by one third. In 6 months, the 6 cm tumor had regressed by one half and all other tumors had completely disappeared. Carla had a PET scan after 7-8 months on natural therapies and that showed no evidence of cancer in her body other than a 2 cm lesion (dead tumor) in her breast.

Isn’t that remarkable? I have clients with similar stories. Natural therapies WORK, my lovelies.

If you have stage 4 breast cancer, please take some time to watch this video. Know in your heart of hearts that you can heal yourself but you need to be proactive. You must do some very specific things to help your body heal. If you’d like help, I have breast cancer coaching services available to you. Chris Wark’s website is chrisbeatcancer.com and Carla’s website is cancerwarriorclub.com. Find the one who resonates with you personally. All of us are committed to helping cancer patients thrive.

GET MY BEST TIPS on healthy ways to beat breast cancer and prevent recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right. You can also “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates. I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

The Benefit Of Mushrooms and 6 Tips For Taking

benefit of mushrooms1

Image source: stock.xchng and 13dede

There is quite a buzz in the cancer community about the benefit of mushrooms for cancer patients.  See my recent post Medicinal Mushrooms: Fungi That Fight Cancer Cells. Today I will share even more information on this topic, so read on, thrivers!

The Benefit of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are pretty fantastic for healing.  In addition to their culinary delights, many common mushrooms are a good source of protein, antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins (I believe they’re one of the only vegetarian sources of B12, though it is minimal) and also vitamin D, a vitamin that is known to be lacking in many breast cancer patients.

Research on mushrooms show that they have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits with potent immune bolstering benefits.

The Magic Part of the Mushroom

The most potent and beneficial part of the mushroom is the mycelium – the part on the underside of the mushroom cap that you can see in the photo.  The mycelium contains the “magic” ingredients that confer so many health benefits.

The Chinese have been using mushrooms to support their health for thousands of years and you might not be aware of it but some widely used drugs in Western medicine are derived from mushrooms, penicillin being the most popular.

One Passionate Man and His Research

According to Paul Stamets, DSc, one of the world’s leading mycologists and author of “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World” there are about 150,000 species of mushrooms and that about 5% have “interesting nutritional or medicinal properties”.

Stamets was involved in the study “Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Trametes versicolor in Women With Breast Cancer” and is on the advisory committee of the trial’s second phase.  Trametes versicolor (also known as turkey tail) improved the immune systems of breast cancer patients after chemotherapy and radiation.

Now that’s the kind of research I like to see – NOT involving synthetic drugs!

The best thing I wanted to share was that Paul Stamets’ own mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and given three months to live.  She took turkey tail mushrooms and is still with us, three years later, with no detectable tumors.  He speaks about her experience in this YouTube video and shares the dosage that she took. It must be stated that she was also taking the cancer drug Herceptin along with the mushroooms, but she is still alive and well and with us today. Inspiring!

6 Great Tips For Taking Mushroom Supplements For Healing

  1. Make sure the product you purchase has at least 10% to 12% polysaccharides
  2. Try to take only certified organic mushroom supplements – particularly if you have active cancer in your body
  3. See my post on which mushrooms have the most research to back them up
  4. Take a natural vitamin C supplement with your mushrooms to improve absorption
  5. Some are finding it helpful to take the mushroom supplement for a month, stop for a few days, then begin again
  6. According to the Phase 1 clinical trial mentioned above, up to 9 grams per day of Trametes versicolor was a safe and tolerable dose in women with breast cancer – that’s 9,000 mg!  Experiment with that for yourself though – start with a lesser dosage and work up to 9,000 mg to see how well you tolerate it.

Source article: Medicinal Mushroom Magic by Corinne Garcia, Energy Times Magazine, October 2012

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach).  When you’re in a desperate situation, you need an ally.  You can depend on me to help you through this.

New Chemotherapy Drug for HER2+: Genentech’s T-DM1

In June of this year, the results of a new study were released by Duke Cancer Institute for a breast cancer drug known as T-DM1 which is made by Genentech, a unit of Roche, who sponsored the trial.

I didn’t write an article about it at the time because I wanted to do a little more research.

How T-DM1 Works

T-DM1 is designed for those who are HER2 positive, meaning that their tumors have high levels of a protein called HER2.

T-DM1 works a little differently than most chemotherapy drugs.  It consists of toxins that are linked to proteins called antibodies.  The antibodies latch onto cancer cells and deliver their toxic payload directly into the cancer cells.  This is termed an antibody-drug conjugate.

More specifically, to make T-DM1, trastuzumab, the T in the name, is attached to DM1, a toxin more potent than the typical chemotherapy drug.

The trastuzumab latches onto cells with the HER2 protein protruding from their surface and is taken inside the cells.  Once inside, the antibody degrades and sets the toxin free. Although the toxin is still connected to the linker, it is still able to kill the cells.

According to the research, by doing this, side effects are supposedly reduced.

Study Results

The T-DM1 trial involved 991 women with metastatic breast cancer whose cancer was getting worse despite previous treatment with the drug Herceptin (also a Genentech drug) and taxane.  Half of the women in the study got T-DM1 and the other half received two drugs that are now commonly used for such patients — Tykerb, also known as lapatinib, and Xeloda, also known as capecitabine.

According to the study results, T-DM1 delayed the worsening of disease by about three months.  For those who received T-DM1, the median time before the disease progressed was 9.6 months, compared with 6.4 months for those getting the two other drugs.

While it is too early to state that T-DM1 prolonged lives (because not enough time had elapsed since the beginning of the trial and the release of the results), researchers were pretty confident that it would be beneficial.

T-DM1 Side Effects

I have been active in several breast cancer forums and I know of a few women who have been on the T-DM1 trials.  Here’s what some of them have had to say about side effects of T-DM1:

  • Neutropenia – neutrophils are a class of white blood cells in your immune system and neutropenia means a low count of neutrophils
  • Significant aching and stiffness of muscle and joints, pain and cramping – worse in hands and feet
  • Mouth sores, dry mouth
  • Drippy nose, sometimes bloody
  • Liver enzyme elevation
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Fatigue
  • Lung inflammation
  • Heavy periods (if not menopausal)

I thought you might like to know.  To me, that list of side effects sounds a whole lot like most chemotherapy drugs but if they are keeping people alive and giving them hope, that’s always a good thing.

I’ll get excited when researchers come up with effective drugs that don’t have side effects.

Reference articles:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/health/research/in-study-drug-delays-worsening-of-breast-cancer-with-fewer-side-effects.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&ref=health&src=me&adxnnlx=1344974462-qxirhUkbLGWgXzcVl83Qww

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trastuzumab_emtansine

http://healthyliving.msn.com/diseases/breast-cancer/is-tdm-1-a-miracle-drug-for-advanced-breast-cancer-1

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

New Australian Research Aims To Block Tumor Spread in Breast Cancer

research labExciting New Australian Research Focuses on Blocking Tumor Spread in Breast Cancer

My Australian friends have shared with me some great new research being done by Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in association with Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne.

The research shows great potential – as cancer survivors the main anxiety we have is that after undergoing all that treatment they throw at us, at the end of it all we’re left wondering “Did they get it all?  Or will it come back?” Our key concern is the possibility that the cancer cells could spread somewhere else in our body (called metastasis).  That’s how I lost my mother and grandmother, so it was a very real concern to me.

Sneaky Cancer Cells

Dr Belinda Parker of the Metastasis Research Laboratory at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre says that they have discovered that the disease spreads secretly by switching off the interferon immune signalling and hiding in the blood stream.  They are “quite excited by this because therapies that are currently already available can be used to switch this immune signal back on, and we’ve found that that actually prevents the spread of cancer to bone.”

In more simple terms, cancer cells produce signals, the same signals that are produced when we have a bacterial or a viral infection.  Cells that lose these signals are the ones that can spread without detection by the immune system.

Interferon Therapy

Because there are already clinical therapies for hepatitis, HIV, and other cancers like melanoma that can switch the lost signals back on and get the immune system to react to cancer cells, the chances are good that they will be able to create an interferon therapy for breast cancer patients whose tumors exhibit a loss of immune signals.

Dr Parker has proven that interferon therapies effectively reactivate the immune signal in mouse models of breast cancer.

“If we can stop the first spread to bone, then it is possible that we could prevent subsequent metastases to the brain, lung and liver,” Dr Parker said.

In the future (and they aren’t saying when), the pathology tests that determine whether a breast cancer tumor is driven by hormones, what stage it is and what grade it is, et cetera, may also include information about whether this particular tumor has lost its immune signals and, if so, that patient would then be treated with the therapies that switch the signals back on.

Dr Helen Zorbas is the CEO of Cancer Australia and, when interviewed, said that understanding how cancer spreads through the body is like the Holy Grail of medicine, she was excited by the new research.

Holy Grail indeed.  Good work, Aussies!

References:

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3551215.htm

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/bone-breakthrough-could-help-stop-disease-spread/story-fndo3ewo-1226432661341

http://www.petermac.org/PublicationsMedia

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids May Improve Chemotherapy for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Omega 3 Fatty Acids May Improve Chemotherapy for Metastatic Breast Cancer
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Kittikun Atsawintarangkul

A recent study from France indicates that supplements of omega 3 fatty acids (DHA) may improve outcomes for patients with breast cancer metastases undergoing chemotherapy.

How DHA works

According to the French study, the omega 3 fatty acid known as DHA appeared to sensitize tumors to chemotherapy, making the chemotherapy that much more effective.

Omega 3 fatty acids (oils) have long been known to have an anti-inflammatory action within the body, among many other health benefits like improved cardiovascular health, brain and vision development of infants, and natural joint flexibility and mobility.  Omega 3 oils are the building blocks of every living cell in the human body. They are absolutely necessary for normal health and development. Without them, cells can’t function, renew, or maintain themselves properly.

A cell membrane made with building blocks that come primarily from saturated fat has a different structure and is less fluid than one which incorporates more Omega-3 oils. This loss of fluidity makes it difficult for the cell to carry out its normal functions and increases the cell’s susceptibility to injury and death.

Study Dosage

Women with metastatic breast cancer were given 1.8 grams per day of DHA for between 2-6 months, as part of their anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimen (FEC). The study noted that women with the highest DHA levels in their blood tended to have longer survival rates.

Best Source of DHA

The absolute best source of DHA comes from cold water fish like trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna.  But they must be FRESH and come from safe waters, which is not always easily found these days. Some people really don’t like to eat fish, which poses a problem.

I’ve found a great source of DHA and it’s combined with EPA (another omega 3 fatty acid).  The company I’ve found uses only the highest-quality raw materials, you can rely on their purity and concentration.  This company’s scientists voluntarily joined with 23 other international companies, under the guidance of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, to work on developing standards for ensuring a supply of consistent, high-quality raw materials. Applying those standards, they start with high-quality fish oils from ocean fish like anchovy, mackerel, and sardines. They use a proprietary 6-step process to extract the Omega 3 fatty acids and purify them. Finally, they test the refined oil for purity, free from PCBs and other contaminants.  No one else does this.  Need more info?  Contact me.

Sources

British Journal of Cancer, Volume 101

Fats That Heal Fats That Kill” by Udo Erasmus

I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.