New data (April 2012) shows a definite link between inflammation and cancer

New study from the AACR presented April 2012 shows how those with inflammation develop metastatic cancer.

I have written many posts on how inflammation (the body’s response to foreign invaders) is the root cause of dozens of illnesses (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, alzheimer’s, arthritis, and more).  This study, just released this week in Chicago at the American Association of Cancer Research, proves that an inflammatory response in the presence of cancer makes the cancer metastasize, or invade the surrounding tissue and attack other organs.  In the body, tumor derived stem cell factors (SCF) bind with a receptor, c-Kit.  This tells the mast (tumor) cells to go out and invade other organs.  In the case of breast cancer, it’s usually bone and lung.  When an anti-inflammatory drug was given with a drug that that targets the c-Kit cells, the researchers found that the metastasis to other organs was greatly reduced.

“The clinical implications of this research are huge,” Dr. Das Roy said. “We already have data that show that women with breast cancer and arthritis have lower survival as compared with women with breast cancer and no arthritis. This research indicates that we may be able to design a therapy to block SCF/c-Kit signaling, which could help reduce metastases to the bone and lungs.”  Lopamudra Das Roy, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, N.C.

Another indication that cancer is directly related to inflammation is the finding that daily aspirin decreases cancer risk.  Just like heart disease, it’s no mystery why taking regular aspirin, a known anti-inflammatory, would reduce the risk of diseases where inflammation is the root cause.

So what does this mean to you?

Time and time again, inflammation is shown to be the root cause of serious illness.  There are simple lifestyle steps you can take to reduce the incidence of inflammation in your body.  By reducing inflammation and the inflammatory response, you reduce your risk of many illnesses.  Here’s how:

  • get your daly dose of vitamin D– the FDA is way behind the research on this one. 1000-2000 mg of supplemental vitamin D is the current recommendation taken from current data.  The evidence continues to show correlations between Vitamin D and inflammation. Low vitamin D levels are related to cancers, multiple sclerosis, and other illnesses.  You can read more about vitamin D here.
  • reduce dairy – the first thing my acupuncturist told me when I complained of swollen joints from my cancer meds was “get off dairy”.   I realize a glass of cows milk is as American as apple pie, but maybe that’s one of the reasons American’s are so unhealthy.  It takes about 6 weeks off milk to lose the morphine-like effects of casein (a dairy-based protein) Casein converts to casomorphins in our bodies…yes, like morphine, this substance is nature’s way of keeping the baby coming back for more milk. Read about alternatives to milk  here.
  • look at your Omega 3 to Omega 6 intake.  Omega’s are fatty acids that are contained in foods and are related to basic cell functioning and cell health. Omega 3’s reduce inflammation, and omega 6’s increase inflammation.  Your ratio of Omega 6: Omega 3 should be 2:1 for optimum health.  A typical American diet’s ratio is 20:1. No wonder American’s top the charts for heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers!  Eat more Omega 3’s which are found in  dark greens like kale and spinach. It’s also found in salmon, flax seeds, algae and walnuts.  Avoid Omega 6 fatty acids found in corn products, polyunsaturated oils (like safflower, soybean, and corn), eggs, butter, and meats (all animal fats are mostly Omega 6 fatty acids due to the corn-fed diet. Organic grass-fed meats contain less Omega 6’s and more Omega 3’s, but are still on the “high Omega 6 list. Get the whole “Omega”story here.
  • Try to eat organic.  Organics have less pesticides.  Chemical substances are “foreign” to the body and cause an inflammatory repsonse.  That’s not to say if you eat a waxed apple, you will swell up.  But on a molecular level, the body releases substances to combat the presence of the chemical.  You won’t even know it is happening as it is on a cellular level.  Over time an illness is born.
  • fight inflammation with food – certain foods are known to reduce inflammation. They are: onions, pumpkin, berries and broccoli.  Any foods that are high in anti-oxidants are known to reduce inflammation, but these in particular are good.
  • drink chlorine-free water – drinking water keeps things flowing and that that includes reducing swelling (one sign of inflammation is the retention of fluids). Make sure you know what you’re drinking…that bottle of water you just paid $3.00 for may contain unsafe levels of chlorine and fluoride…both unhealthy for your body.  Get the water facts here.
  • An extra benefit to controlling inflammation is weight loss since inflammatory responses causes increased cortisol levels. In short, cortisol increases fat production.  Less inflammation, less cortisol, less fat, less heart disease, less cancer, less diabetes…are you seeing a pattern here?
Controlling inflammation is the key to staying healthy.  Just small changes will add up to huge protection.
Of note: these lifestyle changes will not affect an inflated ego.
24 hours after this was posted I got this study in my mailbox which links stress to inflammation and disease.


Categories: breast cancer, health, health and wellness, healthy living blogs

Tags: , , , ,

13 replies

  1. Just re-read this post, as it contains so much useful info. Do you think the low dose asprin is of benefit for breast cancer? I skimmed the study you linked, but not sure……

    • In my opinion…not at this point. I think there needs to be lots more research done on this matter. Especially since taking daily aspirin still harbors a risk of bleeding and stomach issues.
      I noted it because it was interesting how a known anti-inflammatory would reduce the risk of cancer…and if that’s so, wouldn’t it behoove us to live clean & non-inflammatorily? (yep, I said non-inflammatorily)

  2. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. As a cancer health educator I get most of the studies that you write about but I really appreciate your excellent synposes, and your personal spin on the results and how they apply to real people. Really excellent work, done with such passion. I agree with Cancer Warrior about a Do’s and Don’ts list. DO IT! No pressure. Lol

    • Wow, that’s a serious compliment coming from someone of your background and knowledge! Thanks, and I am pondering (the first step when I post) a post about “a day in the life of” going over some things i do and why giving links to the posts I have already written.
      Truly appreciate your comment!

  3. Susan, I find your blog so educational. Whenever I have a question about what I should or should not be doing, I search your blog first. Soooo, here is a suggestion: would you consider doing a list of Do’s (such as which foods to eat, supplements, exercise) and Don’ts (soy, animal fats, corn, etc.) rather than give the data behind it, you can just link it to your posts, or other articles. Just something to consider for a blog post some time. I am keeping a list which I check each day: did I exercise for 30 min? Eat a tablespoon of ground flax seed? etc. BUT I would really like to pick your brain!

  4. Gotta gotta share everywhere… Good job!

  5. We can call it Warrior Sister’s International Conference for Better Being…..we need to talk…

  6. Susan, I love how you can take the latest research and translate it to terms that we can all understand. That is an amazing finding! Since I took on my anti-cancer diet in January, I have been doing “Mostly” the right things. My diet is certainly a lot better than it was B.C. (before cancer).
    Our water is chlorinated, but I didn’t know that was a problem. I don’t like to drink bottled water. I think if I let it sit overnight, however, the chlorine will evaoporate. Any thoughts on that?

So whaddya think?

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