The Balanced Body Center Immunotherapy Program for Breast Cancer

Introduction to Breast Cancer

Breast cancer affects more women throughout the world than any other type of cancer except skin cancer, and breast cancer incidence rates were up to 1 in 8 women as of 2008. Based on scientific evidence, breast cancer is clearly a disease with many contributing risk factors. It is important to recognize the multiple and often interacting factors that influence the risk component. The cause of breast cancer is a complex web that includes an individual’s genetic material, what they consume, their activity level, lifestyle, reproductive history, and hormone profile as well as how much exposure they have had to radiation, chemical carcinogens, and synthetic chemicals. There are also different types of breast cancer, each with its own unique risks and ideal treatment options. The Balanced Body Center offers a comprehensive approach to finding the contributing factors of an individual’s breast cancer. We are uniquely positioned to help in the fight to overcome breast cancer with integrative and natural protocols.

Understanding Breast Cancer

1. Sign and Symptoms:therm breast cancer

  • Painful Lump
  • Nipple Discharge
  • Redness of Breast
  • Dimpling of the Skin
  • Fatigue
  • Breast or Chest Pain

2. Risk Factors:

  • BRCA gene mutation (10% of cases) associated with 40-85% lifetime risk
  • Early Menarche
  • Higher Bone Mineral Density (menopausal women)
  • Oral Contraceptive Pill and Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Alcohol Use
  • Consumption: Obesity, High Starch Intake, Low Fiber Intake, Low Vegetable Intake
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Chemical Exposure: Pesticides, PCB’s, DDT’s, Dioxins, Benzenes
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Melanocyte Nevi (moles): Premenopausal women with 15+ nevi greater than 3 mm on one arm are 35% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women who have no nevi (this is not a causal relationship, but likely a shared origin)

3. Alternative/Adjunct Breast Screening Tool:

4. Types of Breast Cancer:

  • Luminal A – Estrogen Receptor Positive
  • Luminal B – Estrogen Receptor Positive
  • HER2 Positive – Estrogen Receptor Positive or Negative
  • Basal-Like Cancer: Triple Negative Cancer

5. Most Important Prognostic Markers:

  • Tumor Size
  • Presence of Malignant Disease in Regional Lymph Nodes

The risk of dying from breast cancer increases with the number of positive nodes. Fairly consistently, each additional diseased node adds a 6% risk of mortality.

6. Two Compartments Regarding Cancers:

The first compartment is the tumor itself and all that goes wrong in a cancer cell.The second compartment is the body itself. The terrain in which the tumor is present affects the malignancy of the tumor to a great extent with co-influence and co-adaptation.

The Balanced Body Center Approach to Breast Cancer

Diagnostic Biomarker Tests

1. Blood Chemistry:

Complete blood panels are necessary in order to assess the terrain in which the tumor lives, but here we highlight some of the prognostic markers:

  • Vitamin D is a very important biomarker to look at for breast cancer. Individuals with insufficient vitamin D levels at the time of diagnosis tend to have more aggressive cancers as opposed to those with higher vitamin D levels. People who have adequate vitamin D levels also have a lower risk of metastasis.
  • Circulating Tumor Cells are a good measure of the benefit of treatment if measured before and after.
  • Genetic Polymorphisms (specifically COMPT) present in the blood points to the fact that the individual is not able to appropriately methylate their estrogen, which leaves the estrogen in a highly mutagenic state (quinones).
  • Insulin Growth Factor-1 in the context of longevity and body-building can be a good thing, but it is detrimental in the context of cancer. IGF-1 is now recognized as being responsible for a third of all breast cancer growth. This individual will need a lower glycemic eating program as well as supplements and herbs that help the pancreas to balance blood sugar levels.
  • C-peptide is a molecule that is made by the pancreas every time an insulin molecule is produced. Therefore, it is a clear measure of endogenous insulin production. C-peptide is associated with an approximately 50% increased risk of invasive breast cancer. Every 1 ng/ml increase in C-peptide is associated with a 31% increase in death and 35% increase in death from breast cancer. Once again, sugar lowering strategies and pancreatic help would be prescribed for this individual.
  • Galectin-3 molecules are “sticky” little particles produced by cancer cells that allow them to metastasize. It is a good marker for the potential of metastasis. Galectin-3 indicates the need for modified citrus pectin at 15g/day as well as cytotoxic immunity enhancement with substances like beta-glucan, active hexose correlated compounds and melatonin.

2. Thyroid Testing

  • The thyroid should be assessed since there is an increased prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease in patients with breast cancer.
  • Breast tissue competes with the thyroid for adequate iodine. Iodine deficient breast tissue is susceptible to lipid oxidation, a contributor to many diseases including cancer. Also, without adequate iodine, the breast tissue is subject to estrogenic stimulation. Because the breast tissue and the thyroid cannot function optimally without proper levels of iodine, thyroid testing is essential.

3. Inflammation Biomarker Panels:

Cancer is known to proliferate in chronically inflamed individuals and there are several biomarkers that can be assessed to determine the level of inflammation, the cause, and how it can be treated.

  • High Sensitive C-Reactive Protein
  • Ferritin
  • Fibrinogen
  • Interleukin-6 (due to the correlation between vascular endothelial growth factor)

4. Gastrointestinal Function Testing:

Improper gut function is a contributor to systemic inflammation and toxic overload. We can test for things such as:

5. Telomere Testing:

  • Telomeres are the protective caps on the end of chromosomes. When telomeres are abnormally short, they are unstable and more likely to mutate and become malignant. People with cancer who have shorter telomeres also have an increased risk of dying from cancer. Telomeres can be lengthened with an increased level of telomerase which can be achieved by flavonoids and lifestyle changes.

6. Heavy Metal Toxicity Testing:

  • Studies by scientists have widely demonstrated that the exposure to heavy metals shares several primary mechanisms of toxicity, including the production of reactive oxygen species, reaction with intracellular thiols, and competition with essential metals in biological systems. Scientific evidence indicates that long term exposure to certain metallic compounds induces different forms of cancer, including breast cancer.
  • The Journal of Toxicology states that lead was found to accelerate tumor growth rates. The same researchers also found evidence that lead and other metals also interact with iodine, a vitally important essential trace element that most likely protects against breast cancer development.
  • Multiple reports show that metallic compounds function as estrogen disruptors. This further underlines the connection between the exposure to metals or metal compounds and breast cancer risk.

7. pH Testing:

  • Acidity is a well-known factor associated with cancer. Lower pH levels in the extracellular space promote the invasive and metastatic potential of cancer cells.
  • Acid-base disequilibrium has been shown to modulate molecular activity including adrenal glucocorticoid, insulin growth factor (IGF-1), adipocyte cytokine signaling, cellular metabolism, and osteoclast activation, which serve as intermediary effectors of tumor promotion.

8. Hormone Testing:

Homeostasis of the endocrine system is imperative for proper immune up-regulation and protection against breast cancer risk and proliferation.

  • Science has discovered evidence to support a link between high lifetime synthetic estrogen exposure and increased breast cancer risk. New data suggests that maternal exposure during pregnancy increases breast cancer risk among daughters due to induced epigenetic modifications in the mammary gland and germ cells, thereby causing breast cancer risk through inheritance for multiple generations.
  • Exposure to psychological stress and stress-related cortisol release have been proposed to be associated with increased breast cancer risk. A study showed that prolonged exposure to stress may facilitate tumor progression by suppressing the removal of genetically altered mammary epithelial cells by cortisol.

Natural Strategies

The toxic load on the individual must be reduced to allow physiological systems to function at their optimum level. We cannot fight cancer effectively if our body is in toxic overload.

1. Body Weight:

  • Excessive weight or obesity is responsible for one of every five individuals diagnosed with cancer in the United States.
  • Individuals with a BMI over 30 increase their risk of dying from cancer by 34% in premenopausal women with estrogen receptor positive tumors.
  • Also, being too underweight increases the chance for recurrence of breast cancer.

2. Whole Food Meal Plan:

  • Most processed foods contain sugar and chemicals that are toxic to the body.
  • Fat intake is not associated with breast cancer and higher total fat is associated with lower risk of lethal breast cancer. Saturated fats are not associated with lethal breast cancer risk. Fat does not play a role in causing advanced or aggressive breast cancers.
  • Meat consumption should be limited to natural sources such as grass fed beef or organic poultry that have not been injected with hormones or antibiotics.
  • It's essential to consume plenty of vegetables and herbs/spices, choosing organic when available and washing/peeling when organic is not available.

3. Exercise:

  • Regular physical activity has conclusively shown reduced risk of dying from all cancers, specifically from breast and colon cancer.
  • Vigorous exercise has now been shown to reduce breast cancer risk more than moderate exercise. Risk reduction is greater with less time spent on exercise if the exercise is more vigorous.
  • 30 minutes of vigorous exercise 5 days a week has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by 25% compared with women who exercise less.
  • It’s not too late – research shows that women who were not exercising before being diagnosed with breast cancer and then started exercising had a 45% lower risk of dying from breast cancer than those who never increased their activity.

4. Avoid Toxic Chemical Exposure:

  • There are an estimated 80,000 synthetic chemicals used in the United States, while only 7% of those have been fully tested for their impact on human health. Reading labels and choosing chemical-free products is vitally important, especially if there has been a diagnosis of cancer.
  • Cleaners that contain toxic chemicals can put an individual in toxic overload.
  • Beauty products, lotions, shampoos, etc. may contain hormone altering chemicals.
  • Plastic and rubber products, carpets, etc. contain toxic chemicals.
  • The list is exhaustive, but avoiding toxic chemicals is a priority.

5. Stress Reduction:

  • Stress hormones bind to receptors on cancer cells and encourage proliferation.
  • Emotional stress that is not handled appropriately can lead to a physiological cascade of chemicals and hormones that are damaging to the body.
  • The CDC reported in 2013 that stress was the underlying cause of 80% of disease in America.
  • Individuals who are chronically stressed have an increased risk of breast cancer (or any cancer for that matter.)
  • Women who lead highly stressful lives without proper stress management techniques are at increased risk of progression, recurrence, and metastasis.
  • Life changes may be necessary for overcoming breast cancer.

6. Restorative Sleep:

  • A study of Japanese women that slept less than six hours per night showed a 62% increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women that slept over 7 hours.
  • Current research is being done on night shift workers to determine the role of decreased melatonin levels and increased risk of breast cancer.

7. Proper nutrient supplementation:

There are many supplements that are beneficial to individuals with breast cancer. The recommendations are based on each person’s needs, diagnosis, stage of cancer, type of breast cancer, and period of life. The Balanced Body Center is equipped to give individualized care.

  • Cautions: Some multivitamins contain isolated beta-carotene, boron, and copper. Isolated beta carotene is associated with increase mutations in DNA. It is okay to ingest beta-carotene in whole food form. Boron elevates estradiol levels and should not be taken by individuals with estrogen receptor positive cancers. Copper facilitates angiogenesis, which is not beneficial for those with cancer.
  • Green tea blocks oncogene formation. It is effective in early stage breast cancer, but has no benefit in late stages. In a study, after only 30 days, women who took 40 mg of ECGC (found in green tea) had lowered their level of KI67 (a marker to determine proliferation of cancer cells). Another study showed that women who drank 8 or more cups of green tea per day had a recurrence rate of only 16% while the group drinking 4 or less cups per day had a recurrence rate of 24%
  • Evidence suggests that the simultaneous administration of multiple phytochemicals is more effective than each one alone. The combination, in physiological relevant levels, resulted in a significant decrease in cellular proliferation, increased apoptosis, and decreased migratory and invasive capacity of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cells. Curcumin, Genistein, Indol-3-Carbinol, and Spirulina Platensis combined with Selenium, Resveratrol, and Quercetin were administered in the study.
  • Melatonin is one of the best studied natural substances in treating cancer. It has been shown to double survival rate and double the time before another recurrence in individuals receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation. It also impacts longevity when taken continually post-treatment.

While our clinic does not profess to treat cancer, we can help identify what factors may be contributing to the cancer and help to build up your immune system so that it has the best fighting chance possible.