Breast Cancer – The big ‘C’

Did you know that cancer cells are not invasive unless they spread out in the surrounding tissues and form a tumour? This means they are fed by the blood and start to grow. This is what is known as an invasive carcinoma. It is possible that individual cancer cells can separate from the tumour and travel to other parts of the body.

Did you know that in breast cancer the cells usually stay in the breast and may not be life-threatening?  By the way, men can also get breast cancer. Breast cancer’s growth of abnormal cells can be caused by damage to DNA which is the brain of the cell. This leads to the cells mutating several times which in turn leads to them being out of control. DNA damage can be caused by radiation, genetic defects, free radicals, electrical fields, chemicals, drugs, metabolic stress or viruses and it is this damage that precipitates the cancer.

There is no single reason why cells change however and no one is to know when they will start to travel. The mutations mount up and turn on oncogenes which are often diagnosed as atypia, dysplasia, or hyperplasia but these are not always cancerous. The damaged cells are not really any threat to life without a catalyst to promote them. Oestrogen for example is a promoter of breast cancer as it brings nutrients to the cells. Most things that promote the cancer are eaten and slip by hidden and the promoted cells are called carcinomas. Some research does show that these cells can exist without causing life threatening cancer and sometimes are reversible without invasive treatment.

If the breast cancer cells get to the liver, lungs, bone marrow, or the brain and continue to grow then of course they will be life threatening. The body tries to stop the cells spreading by locking breast cancer cells into lymph nodes and sending immune system cells out to consume the travelling cancer cells. If cancer cells however are in the axillary lymph nodes then the cancer is aggressive or metastasized carcinoma. 90% of cancer deaths are from these metastases.

Breast cancer cells usually stay in the breast
Damaged cells are not really any threat to life without a catalyst to promote them

The good news is that not everyone with damaged DNA will get cancer because the cells do have the capacity to repair themselves or shut down. A healthy lifestyle, good nutrition and supplements may sometimes stop damage.

Raised immunity has the capacity to eat potential cancer. Our system already has special immunity cells in it because the way we live often causes cells in the body to mutate in some way even when we are healthy. So the stronger the immune system the more these mutated cells are thrown out of the system but building immunity is sometimes not enough because cancer cells often trick our immune system into not attacking them. Because cancer cells are full of life and don’t die off like other cells the body often does not recognise them.

There are many different kinds of breast cancer because there are lots of cells that can ‘go wrong’ such as ducts, lobes etc. Most breast cancers however start in the duct cells. Slow growth cancers can double in size every 42-100 days and quick growing breast cancers can double every 21 days Post-menopausal women, who account for 60-80 percent of all breast cancer cases, usually have slow-growing cancers which rarely metastasize. These statistics however are what makes breast cancer so scary.

A microscopic examination of cellular tissue can diagnose the cancer. The first breast surgery is usually a biopsy which is taken when there is something suspicious on a mammogram or a lump. There is no other way to rule out cancer. If further surgery is needed then a pathologist needs to investigate the cancerous cells to determine the treatment. A number of pathologists will usually form an opinion.

Lymph glands are often removed from the armpit to work out which stage the cancer is at but this can cut some of the nerves to the arm and research shows that it does nothing to treat or cure breast cancer. It can cause numbness, pain, slow circulation, swelling and increase infection risk and a lack of cancer cells in the lymph nodes doesn’t necessarily mean that the cancer hasn’t metastasized. A positive finding means that it is somewhere else in the body as well.

Treatment is often to remove the tumour, use radiation to eliminate any other cancer cells in the breast, chemotherapy to kill other cancer cells in the body. However if one has chemo the possibility exists that some cancer cells survive, mutate and become immune to any further chemo. The chemo also sometimes affects hormones such as tamoxifen which is used to check metastatic growth.

Alternative treatments for breast cancer include caustic poultices to burn the cells away, nourishing and stimulating treatments to build immunity and a detox to eliminate cancers in the whole body. Exercise and specific nutrition is important as well as supplements such as phyt-oestrogens, energy healing, Reiki and counselling on an emotional level to attempt to prevent it recurring.

It is also important to buy your pink ribbon each year until such a time that we have overcome this scourge that has not only debilitated so many powerful, wonderful people but also killed so many.

And whilst on the subject of the big “C” don’t forget ovarian cancer. A pap test will not detect ovarian cancer so we need to be on our guard. Symptoms to watch for are pelvic or abdominal discomfort and pain or discomfort, strange but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as wind, nausea, indigestion, frequent and urgent urinating when you don’t have an infection, unexplained weight gain or loss, pelvic or abdominal swelling, bloating and feeling full, ongoing fatigue and unexplained changes in bowel movements. If you have a number of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks get a pelvic / rectal exam, blood test, and trans-vaginal ultrasound to make sure you do not have ovarian cancer!

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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