How to "shut down" breast cancer's delivery system
If you've ever had a scan of a tumor in your body, you know that one of the first things the doctor looks for is whether the tumor has blood vessels running through it. It's often an indicator that the tumor is malignant. You see, cancer tumors survive on nutrients delivered by your blood vessels. And as the tumor grows bigger, so does its delivery system.
To increase its blood vessel supply, the tumor sends a signal to release a protein called HIF. This protein tells normal tissue to redirect its blood vessels into the hungry tumor. As a result, the tumor grows and spreads with nutrients delivered by these "stolen" blood vessels.
This is the process that the blockbuster drug Avastin is supposed to stop. But for some reason, it only works (though, temporarily, at best) for malignant colon, lung, kidney, and brain tumors. And it doesn't work at all on breast cancer tumors. That's why the FDA banned the use of Avastin for the treatment of breast cancer last month. And I say, good riddance. You're better off not taking this $88,000 scheister-of-a-drug.
But here's the good news...there is something you can take that does block breast cancer's delivery system. And it's not a drug. It's a plant compound found in one of the tastiest leafy greens on Earth. Better yet, compared to Avastin, it will only cost you pennies a day.
Plant compound targets breast cancer tumors
In a study I told you about earlier this year, UK scientists recruited a small group of breast cancer survivors. The scientists asked the volunteers to eat 80 grams of watercress (a cereal bowl full). Over the next 24 hours, the scientists collected blood samples from the volunteers.
They discovered two things about the volunteers' blood samples. First, the women had less HIF in their blood after eating the watercress. Remember, HIF signals the body to send healthy blood vessels into malignant breast cancer tumors.
Plus, the women had lots of the helpful plant compound in their blood in the 24-hour period after eating the watercress. This compound naturally blocks new blood vessels from forming to feed the hungry cancer tumors.
So if you're concerned about breast cancer -- especially if you're a survivor -- eat watercress as often as possible. You'll find this tart leafy green in the produce section near the lettuce. It‘s got a small, delicate leaf that almost looks like a flower.
Now, lets' talk about some things you can do -- nutritionally -- to prevent breast cancer...
Simple steps reduce breast cancer risk by almost 50 percent!
As you'll recall from last year's Guide to Good Health fiber does plays a role in preventing breast cancer. In fact, last year scientists found that women who eat the most soluble fiber reduce their risk of developing certain types of breast cancer tumors by 44 percent. You'll find soluble fiber in foods like oats, nuts, barley, and flax seed.
If you're concerned about developing breast cancer, you'll also want to avoid foods that contain trans fats. Foods high in trans fats include French fries, baked goods, processed snack foods, and margarine. Trans fats became popular in the U.S. because they don‘t spoil as quickly as regular fats. They can sit longer on the shelf...waiting for someone to buy them.
But your body isn't equipped to deal with trans fats. In fact, according to a recent study, women between the ages 50 and 74 with the most trans fat in their cells have a 40 percent greater chance of developing breast cancer. This data held up even after the researchers accounted for other known risk factors, such as smoking, body weight, and family history of cancer. So if you want to cut your cancer risk, cut out the trans fats!
In addition to cutting out trans fats, any woman concerned about breast cancer should follow a few rules of thumb:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Cut out all sugar & processed foods
- Exercise each day for 15 minutes (enough to raise your pulse)
- Fill your plate with lean, organic meats, healthy greens, and whole grains
- Take a high-quality multivitamin each day
- Supplement with fish oil as well as vitamins B, C, D & E
- Spend 15 minutes in the sun each day (without sunscreen)
Lastly, over the past few years I've written quite a bit about ways to prevent breast cancer. So take some time this January to go back and reread them. All you have to do is go to www.northstarnutritionals.com and click on the blue link on the right side of the page that says "view all articles." This allows you to search by keyword. Just type "breast cancer" into the keyword box and hit
You'll find 32 articles about ways to prevent this devastating disease from ever becoming a part of your life. One of my favorite studies examines the role sleep plays in the development of breast cancer. Without enough, you could raise your risk by a whopping 62 percent!
About the author
Nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” Dr. Spreen has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.
In addition to his role as a Senior Member of the prestigious Health Sciences Institute Advisory Panel in Baltimore, MD, Dr. Spreen also coaches diving at the international and Olympic levels. NorthStar Nutritionals is proud to have Dr. Spreen as our Chief Research Advisor.
Dr. Spreen also writes the Guide to Good Health.