Squeezing Breast Tissue May Prevent Malignant Cancer Cell Growth

There are always tons of faux “research” studies placed on the internet that go viral and people get all aflutter about nothing, so I really thought for sure that this was another bit of internet hokum, but I always have to delve deep! Apparently there is some validity to this study, but lets not just start groping women in the name of science, there is always a time and a place for things, plus, the study that was done wasn’t based on people grabbing breast tissue in a recreational manner.

What is the Research?

At the University of California Berkeley, a study was performed looking at the effects of physical pressure on malignant (or abnormal cells) and their growth, and actually visualize of this pressure helped to change how the cells grew and their patterns.  They were able to use flexible silicone chambers, that housed malignant cells, and they found that when the pressure was high enough, during the first stages of growth, the cells actually started to  mutate, in a good way, and start growing in a healthier and more organized fashion. Essentially, by squeezing the cells, they were able to redirect how the cells grew.  Once the tissue was structured as breast tissue should be, they stayed in a normal state.  The malignant cells that had no pressure applied to them, grew with no true structure and just as typical cancerous cells grow, without purpose and causing destruction. squuze boobs

What does this mean?

Well, as I said, it doesn’t give people carte blanche to go around groping women’s breasts BUT it should add fervor to your monthly self exam (maybe check weekly, ladies!) but it is a huge leap forward in breast cancer research.  There have already been companies attempting to create cancer detecting bras, maybe they can create compression bras (or weren’t those just called corsets??) On a serious note, do feel free to really squeeze with your self breast exam, and anything abnormal that you may feel….and then go see your healthcare practitioner (HCP).

And, I guess there is a new pick up line out there for anyone who wants to feel some breasts….just what we all needed!

Yours in Good Health


A Gentler Chemotherapy?

I know that almost everyone fears cancer for tons of reasons, but the first thing that people always think of are the treatments: chemotherapy, radiation, and the horrible side effects. Breast cancer will be diagnosed in over 230,000 women in the US in 2013, and over 39,000 will die from the disease, and it is one of the top killers of women worldwide annually. With numbers like that, and previous treatment options, the fear is real. Since we have first started treated cancer, the goal was to kill the cancerous cells, prevent them from growing, spreading, and replicating, which meant that some of our healthy cells were eradicated as well.  Depending on the type of cell that was being targeted, there are unwanted side effects, like loss of hair, nausea, vomiting, and pain as the most notable, and that is what makes people most fearful of cancer: the treatment.  There is some good news though for women that suffer from non-hormone receptive, and aggressive forms of breast cancer; a new chemotherapy that works WITH your body and not against it!

KadcylaWhat is this new treatment?

It is a drug that has just been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is a completely new type of drug that specifically targets the cancer cells and leaves the healthy ones alone, so there are almost none of the harsh side-effects related to the death of healthy cells and the normal functioning of your body. As with any medication there are side effects such as nausea, fatigue, low platelets, impaired liver function, etc.  It is called Kadcyla, and it is the mixture of three medications, one is a well-known and widely used chemotherapy agent, but one of the medications added binds the other two together, and is an antibody that keeps all of the medications bound, until it find the specific type of cell that it is looking to kill off, then the medications are released on those specific cells and it helps to slow growth and kill off the cancerous cells. It was showed to increase people’s lives by over 6 months as compared to other chemotherapy agents, which may not seem like that much, but when you aren’t vomiting constantly, feeling miserable, and losing all of your hair, it is a better quality of life, which is something you cannot put a price on.

What type of cancer does it treat?

It does seem almost too good to be true, but Kadcyla treats HER2 (Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor-2) specific cancers, which is a large number of breast cancers. It is mainly for breast cancers that are aggressive, with metastatic disease (cancer cells have spread to other areas of the body), that have not responded to other hormonal treatments. Especially while it is newly approved, they will have strict treatment guidelines, but as more trials are done on the drug, there may be more options for treatments and a wider array of patients may benefit.

So, while this drug is not targeted at a huge number of cancer victims, this very moment, it is a huge breakthrough in the treatment of cancer that it can help to target tumor specific cells and bypass the healthy cells, preventing most of the horrible side effects that make people miserable during their treatments. Now that this has been created and approved for use by the FDA, other drugs can be created using this technology for other types of cancer cells; we are one step closer to curing cancer altogether!

Yours in Good Health


GMO: What does it mean?

There has been a TON of talk lately about GMOs, and I think most people know they are bad….but they have really no idea what they are and what the controversy is, so I thought it would be helpful if I could shed some light on the topic.  GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms.  Now what does that mean? Basically, an organism as been genetically altered (or modified) using modern scientific approaches to change the make up; the most frequently modified organisms are bacteria, yeast, plants, fish, mammals (including the chicken and beef that we may be eating!)

What do GMOs mean to me?

Well, it seems like we would be able to easily pick out foods that are genetically modified and just not eat them, right? Well, unfortunately, we don’t really know all of the foods that are genetically altered and what is added to our foods.  Plus, just buying organically does not necessarily mean that foods don’t have GMOs added.  It is not required by law to list GMO ingredients.  So, despite all efforts to eat organic, healthy, non-altered foods, and to serve them to your family, we may still be eating genetically modified foods, all because they are not listed, and corporate farms are not required to report genetic modification of their crops. For example, you might not think that your family ingests a high amount of soy products, but soy is often altered and added to other foods as a filler, so you are all eating more soy than you think! The real risk is that we do not truly know the long-term health effects of eating GMO food, but there have been numerous studies (using rat and mice models) showing that there is an increased tumor rate and shorter life expectancy when eating high GMO diets. Obviously, the studies have not proven 100% that eating GMO diets will kill you, but there is a risk, and the studies are strong enough that I really try to keep as GMO free as possible. Many of these foods are modified with various hormones and chemicals that do put us at risk for various cancers, and adding high amounts of soy to the diet can increase females estrogen levels, and that is just all the more helpful for estrogen supported tumors (i.e. breast and ovarian cancers, among others.) The best way to prevent ingesting GMO foods, is to know the crops at highest risk and try to steer clear of them, or only eat these fruits/veg from local farms where you know they are GMO-free.

What are the crops most at risk for GMO?

– Alfalfa sprouts

– Corn

– Soy

– Cotton

– Papaya

– Zucchini and Yellow summer squash

– Canola

– Cotton

– Sugar Beets

– Siberian Kale

– Acorn squash

– Flax

– Rice

– Chard

– Table beets

– Bok choy

– Turnips

Some additives that commonly are from GMO based products are:

Aspartame, Xanthan gum, High Fructose Corn Syrup, any “natural” or “artificial” flavors added to products, Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sucrose, Maltodextrins, Molasses, MSG, Vitamins, Yeast products, Hydrolyzed Vegetable products, etc.

As you can see, a LOT of these foods are foods many of us ingest daily, and the additives, while we might not always know what they are, see them on package labeling constantly.  I think it is really hard to have a completely GMO-free diet at this point, but some brands are marketing that they use GMO free products, which is great, and identifying the products that are high risk GMO is a great start.  There are people out there trying to stop GMO in the US and The Non GMO Project is one of them, a non-profit, working off of donations to change legislation and prevent GMO and/or at least force companies to have to label their GMO practices, so we are not ingesting chemicals and hormones that we are not intending to.  The Non GMO Project also has rigorous standards for companies, and testing, if they prove they are GMO-free, they are allowed to use their “GMO Free” seal: 

And you can feel safe and assured that those products are truly GMO-free.  The European Union has gone GMO-free, and hopefully the US will soon follow suit!

So hopefully you know what to look for and what to stay away from, to steer clear (as mush as possible) from GMO foods. No one needs to ingest hormones or chemicals when they are trying to eat some healthy fruits and veg! Keep your eyes peeled, and support local agriculture using GMO free methods, as much as you can!

Yours in Good Health