The recurrence of my mother’s cancer got me thinking really, really hard.
She was a stage one grade c patient (tumor size 2.0cm, lymph nodes 0/14), Estrogen/Progesterone Positive and HER2 Negative. Meaning, her cancer is fueled by estrogen and her genetic make up does not produce a certain protein which multiplies aggressively. It was supposed to be the “safest” cancer to get.
Since her cancer is not chemo sensitive, she is under hormonal therapy. To stop fueling the cancer, she took TAMOXIFEN for 18 months. When adverse side effects of the medicine affected her liver, she switched to AROMASIN. Her recent condition prompted her doctor to change her hormonal therapy to ARIMEDEX.
“Some breast cancer cells require estrogen to grow (as in my mother’s case). Estrogen binds to and activates the estrogen receptor in these cells. TAMOXIFEN is metabolized into compounds that also bind to the estrogen receptor but do not activate it. It prevents estrogen from binding to its receptor. Hence breast cancer cell growth is blocked”.
“In women who have had their menopause the main source of oestrogen is through the conversion of androgens (sex hormones produced by the adrenal glands) into estrogens. This is carried out by an enzyme called aromatase. The conversion process is known as aromatisation, and happens mainly in the fatty tissues of the body. Aromasin is a drug that blocks the process of aromatisation, and reduces the amount of estrogen in the body”.
AROMASIN is steroidal which INACTIVATES the aromatase in her body permanently. ARIMEDEX on the other hand is non-steroidal which INHIBITS the aromatase in her body. Since ARIMEDEX only inhibits the aromatase, it is thus temporary, unlike AROMASIN which inactivates it permanently. Unfortunately, since the cancer recurred despite her intake of AROMASIN, her oncologist ordered her to start taking ARIMEDEX instead.
Having cleared the slight difference of Aromasin and Arimedex, I was more alarmed by what I read further. Tamoxifen, Aromasin and Arimedex (and the rest of those hormonal therapies) only block, inactivate and inhibits the estrogen PRODUCED by the body and NOT THE ESTROGEN THAT IS DIRECTLY TAKEN INTO THE BODY. I read more and I discovered that there are actually foods which have natural estrogens. So I searched thoroughly, and to my horror, the list includes the following foods:
Dairy Foods – Eggs
Papaya – Pomegranates – Plums – Apples – Cherries – Dates –
Red beans – Split peas – Chickpeas – Cowpeas (black- eyed peas)
Red clover – Sage – Parsley – Garlic – Hops – Licorice – Clover – Alfalfa
Rhubarb – Pumpkin – Potatoes – Peppers – Peas – Tomatoes – Yams – Olives – Cucumbers – Beets – Carrots – Eggplant
Sesame seeds – Sunflower seeds – Fennel – Flaxseeds – Anise seed
Soybeans – Soybean sprouts
Wheat – Oats – Rice – Barley – Baker’s yeast
OH MY GOD. My mother’s “healthy” anti – cancer diet is mainly rice, papaya, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, oats, eggs, cucumbers, eggplant. While these are generally anti-cancer foods, these are not good for breast cancer – estrogen positive patients because their cancer rely on estrogen to survive. It’s like my mother directly fed her cancer cells to recur. Aromasin failed because it cannot inactivate the estrogen not being produced by the her body.
I want to cry, I want to cry, I want to cry. I had strictly imposed upon my mother to eat loads of raw tomatoes and carrots every meal, oats for breakfast, red rice for lunch and dinner. It’s like we brought her cancer back.
Instead to dwelling on this frustration, I read on to learn that there are also food that naturally inhibit estrogen in the body:
Berries – Citrus Foods – Figs – Fruits (except apples, cherries, dates, pomegranates) – Grapes – Pears – Pineapples – Melons
Cabbage – Corn – Green beans – Broccoli – Onions – Squashes
Millet – Buckwheat – White rice – White flour
So, starting last night, my mother’s diet had drastically changed to a narrower choice as listed above.
She is also taking lemon grass water now. Lemon grass, or tanglad, is known to cause the cancer cells to self-destruct.
My husband’s friend was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was on treatment for six weeks but his condition did not improve. He later drank lemon grass water and a month after that, he got cured, his prostate returned to normal.
Our aunt’s neighbor in Bohol was poor and was not able to avail of the usual treatments and only drank tanglad water and she’s still alive.
Aside from lemon grass, my mother will also devour malunggay.
My brother in law’s aunt had cancer in the advanced stage. Her breasts had turned hard like stones and turned yellow, grey and violet. She did not undergo surgery. Her armpits had lumps all over. Since she was also poor, she did not undergo treatment but only ate malunggay. That was in 2006. It’s already 2009 and she’s still alive.
Die, cancer, die!