Daisygirl have you concidered having some hypnotherapy ? if so you could ask your BCN as all cancer patients can have this free of charge we have a centre in the same town as our main hospital & my BCN said I can phone them anytime & take advantage of the free treatments being offered to cancer patients including hypnotherapy, reflexology, aromatherapy .. you mau even find one of the other therapies might benefit you as these all help with anxiety/ stress/ sleep
There's a discussion currently going on another thread (immune) and I've posted a link on there which others may be interested in. It is about research currently being done to look in more depth at phyto oestrogens:
Thanks for this Ragamuffin, doesn't look very promising does it?
I am desparate to sort out my disdurbed sleep patterns (including hypnosis tapes) but nothing is doing the trick, now I have started taking Tamoxifen I think it is just going to get worse unfortunately 😞
I found this daisy girl
Don't think it's the magic answer.
I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the supplement Magnolia Phellodendron Complex? It claims to help control stress related eating and drinking, relaxes muscles and helps you to sleep and may also help to eliminate excess cortisol (hormone that stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin) from the body.
Am interested in this primarily for sleep but thought the claims re cortisol might also be of interest.
Interesting article in the news about soya
Soy 'does not ease the menopause'
Soy appears to do nothing to relieve the symptoms of menopause, scientists say, despite the high hopes of many.
A controlled study involving nearly 250 US women going through "the change" found soy tablets did not abate hot flushes or bone density loss.
The tablets were no better than placebo over the two-year-long investigation, Archives of Internal Medicine reports.
But experts said other studies have shown soy can ease menopause symptoms.
The dose given in the latest trial was twice that normally ingested by people with soy-rich diets.
Soy products like tofu contain natural plant oestrogens and experts have suggested that these might help women going through the menopause whose own oestrogen levels are dwindling.
'Not a candidate'
Many women are already offered oestrogen in the form of hormone replacement therapy or HRT to help with menopausal symptoms.
But following reports that prolonged use of HRT may carry a very small increased risk of other conditions, like breast cancer and stroke, some do not want to go on HRT and look for alternatives.
The researchers from the University of Miami say their work suggests soy is not a candidate, although they stress that they only looked at soy isoflavone tablets rather than other dietary sources of soy.
They recruited 248 menopausal women to take part in their study and randomly allocated them to one of two groups: soy or placebo.
The soy group received 200mg of soy isoflavone tablets daily for two years, while the women in the placebo group were given dummy pills.
During the follow-up, no significant differences were found between the two groups regarding changes in bone loss - a common side effect of the menopause.
Menopausal symptoms such as sleep disturbances affected both groups to similar degrees, although the soy group did appear to experience more hot flushes than the placebo group overall.
Lead researcher Dr Silvina Levis said: "My advice would be that women should reconsider taking these products for menopausal symptoms. We found soy isoflavone tablets did not provide any benefit.”
"We did not look at soy foods but I suspect these too would probably not be helpful."
Dr Malcolm Whitehead, a menopause expert at King's College Hospital in London, said: "I'm not at all surprised by the findings. In my clinical experience, women say this doesn't work for them."
He said HRT could be a safe and effective treatment for most women.
A spokesperson from the charity Women's Health Concern said that other studies had shown soy could be helpful for treating symptoms of the menopause
Another study showing exercise after a primary diagnosis reduces recurrence risk and improves overall survival in a dose-dependent manner, ie the more you exercise, the better you do:
Milk from cattle that have been given "somatotropin" contains higher levels of a growth factor called IGF-but as UK and European cattle don't get this hormone, our milk does not contain high IGF-1 levels.
IGF-1 is a naturally occuring hormone that we all make,The normal IGF-1 level in humans is 100 times higher than the level in the average pint of milk,there are many many factors that affect !GF-I levels in the circulation ie genetic make-up, the time of day, age, sex, exercise status, stress levels, nutrition level and body mass index (BMI), disease state, race, estrogen status and xenobiotic intake.
The issue of IGF-I and its connection to cancer is certainly in no way confined to the drinking of milk , there is now a substantial amount of evidence suggesting that women with relatively high blood concentrations of IGF-I do have a "moderately"
higher risk for developing breast cancer compared to women with relatively low IGF-I. However, more research
is needed to clarify the importance of IGF-I.
This is what T** K** who incidently is one of the leading professors of the EPIC study had to say on the Dairy and IGF-I issue in a email to me in October.
"Some of our research here is following the possibility that dairy products might perhaps
increase risk by increasing IGF-I, but we
don't know yet if there is much truth in this hypothesis. Therefore the best dietary advice we
can give is to choose a conventional "healthy
diet", to avoid obesity, and to limit alcohol consumption.
The issue with IGF 1 in the UK has nothing whatsoever to do with hormones (rBST) given to cows. That is only an issue outside the EU. Fortunately the hormones that all those organisations in the US assure us are safe, are banned in the EU because our tougher regulatory system recognised that they are not safe at all. So why would we trust the US authorities with their assurances about IGF when our own experts don't?
The issue in the UK is that consuming dairy raises human serum IGF 1 levels in a dose dependent manner, as shown in this meta analysis, and specifically in intervention trials:
It is simply not true to claim, as the authorities that Linda listed do, that IGF 1 ingested from food is not bio-available in the human body. Even the EPIC study found that excluding dairy and meat resulted in a dramatically lower serum IGF level.
There are so many studies that now confirm the link between diet, IGF 1 and cancer risk - too many to link to here. It is very misleading to claim the only issue is injected hormones, it really isn't.
Thanks Cherry Orchard for your posting on the US lecture on Vitamin D. It was really interesting. I am definitely going to get my levels checked before winter sets in. Thanks also to others who have posted really helpful research on foods to eat whilst on tamoxifen and also for oestrogen positive types too. Although I used to think I ate fairly sensibly I have made important changes to my diet now and have drastically reduced my intake of dairy and now limit my sugar intake - I have much more fresh fruit in my diet now and funnily enough don't feel the need for the double chocolate kit-kats every morning for breaks! Oh, so depressing to read some of the latest though that women in UK much more likely to get cancer as opposed to European counterparts. I was NEVER obese and almost teetotal when I was dx. Thankfully, they do mention genes etc play a part too!
Re any concerns of IGF-I in Dairy/Milk and in particular rBST treated cows.
"rBST treated cows were shown to have an increased level of IGF within its milk content. This increase was shown to be no more than the amount of IGF in early-lactation untreated cows or in the rBST content of human milk. It has also been shown that IGF administered orally has no effect on the organism which ingested it. This is because IGF is denatured within the stomach. IGF is produced by the cow in response to BGH injections, and it is this hormone which increases growth and milk production. Bovine and porcine IGF-I are identical to human IGF-I, while IGF-II differs among animal species.
Injected IGF: Neither IGF-1 or IGF-2 are absorbed by the stomach or intestine after ingestion. The link of IGF to cancers in humans due to rBST use in dairy cattle are unfounded. Injected or naturally occurring IGF serum levels plays a role in the formation of new tumours   and increased levels of IGF-1 may be linked to increased risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.   However IGF is involved in many biological processes so it is not possible to assign a clear-cut cause and effect relationship. IGF-1 is not denatured by pasteurisation, so consumption of milk from rBST treated dairy cows may increase the daily oral intake of IGF-I, but serum levels will not be effected due to the denaturing effect within the stomach."
The Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, American Medical Association, American Dietetics Association, and the National Institute of Health have independently confirmed that dairy products and meat from BST treated cows is safe for human consumption.
As Lemongrove has pointed out earlier dairy cows in the UK are not injected with any hormones .
Department of Animal Science
Hope this helps if anyone is concerned.
Thanks so much Linda - a really great reference. This is what they say about anti-oxydants and chemo (taken from FAQ):
"Can I take antioxidants to prevent the side effects of cancer therapies?
There are prescription drugs that act as antioxidants to help protect against the adverse effects of cancer therapies. The precise mechanism and the side effects of these drugs have been thoroughly examined. However, very few antioxidant dietary supplements have been studied for their safety and usefulness. Current information about the use of these products is confusing. Some think they help kill cancer cells or protect healthy cells from the damage caused by chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy. But antioxidant supplements may also make these treatments less effective. Until more is known, it is wise to avoid them during chemotherapy."
So my decision during my current Vinorelbine is to severely cut back on green tea and stop taking wheatgrass - so much for good intentions!! Cheers with a glass of water!
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center also have a extensive A-Z Database of Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products,such as Green Tea,Flazseed,Fish oils ect ect.
"This information resource, presented by our Integrative Medicine Service, provides evidence-based information about herbs, botanicals, supplements, and more."
Hope you find it helpfull,especialy if you are still undergoing the many different cancer treatments.
It would make sense that they are referring to rads rather than chemo or hormone therapy, as have never heard oxidation mentioned in that context.
I found this page very helpful and am following the suggestions while I'm having rads.
There is also one for patients undergoing chemo which I did not find until after I'd finished mine!
I read somewhere that rads work by causing oxidisation in the cell, so you don't want to be on an anti-oxidation diet while having RT. They were talking about prostate cancer but the same should apply to breast cancer as well, I would have thought.
Glad you found the Q & A video useful; glad I stumbled on it too. I watched the lecture before Q&As also. The beginning bit is a little dull but about 12 or 14 mins in it gets really interesting. Loved the explanation of gene microarrays, in the main types of BC. Strongly suspect that I am luminol B from this lecture.
thanks for suggestion Flinty -will report back on any info - it seemed an important issue for many of us that are working on diet although the SK Q&A video seems to view immunity from diet as a possible negative which is a challenging idea for some of us.....
Fran - a good question. Why not email SK and see if they can list which treatments come under this warning?
Thanks for posting about the Sloan-Kettering Cancer unit and it's research - really interesting. Have been reading about the suggested diet (under patient info section if you want to find it) and have found this comment:
"Some cancer treatments cause oxidation to help kill cancer cells. High-dose antioxidants may decrease the
effects of these treatments. Speak with your dietitian if you are adding any kind of antioxidant to your diet.
– Green tea.
– Vitamin or antioxidant enhanced water (e.g., Vitamin Water®, Snapple® Antioxidant Water, and Sobe
Lifewater®, and many others)."
Well I'm drinking lots of green tea and wheatgrass to help with antioxidants so am now wondering if I'm doing the best thing to help my chemo to work. Any thoughts or info? Am back on plain water in the meantime.....
Thanks for the info, lemongrove.
I had read that oestrogens are fat soluble so it makes sense that skimmed milk would have the lowest concentrations.
Thanks Lemongrove - Defra and the dairy industry have been saying for years there is no danger from hormones in milk, insisting that the oestrogen is destroyed in the human digestion system and cannot enter the blood stream. And yet we have the evidence from the study discussed here which directly contradicts that - it shows that drinking milk produces an immediate spike in serum oestrogen levels. I don't expect the dairy industry to ever acknowledge this as an issue - it would be commercial suicide - although I'm sure they are aware of the issue, as they spend so much time pushing back against it.
The issue with milk in the UK isn't hormones added to milk, although in other countries it is an issue, and we should be wary of food imported from countries where growth hormones are allowed.
We also know that diary, more than any other food, raises IGF 1 levels. It also stimulates bone growth/turnover more than any other food - irrespective of protein and calcium content. I'm not sure what that means for bone mets, but my instinct is to think it is best avoided.
We also know that milk is a complex food, and despite the oestrogen and IGF 1 - it also has some properties that have shown anti-cancer effects - as the buttermilk study showed, and which probably explains why dairy research throws up such contradictory results. Fortunately, the Conjugated Linoleic Acid in the fat that has been identified as responsible for this can be obtained from non-dairy sources (or supplements) - such as button mushrooms - so I have them on toast for lunch every day.
Just thought I would pass on some information I have acquired about cows milk. I have recently been adjusting my diet ( I have gone organic, and have agave nectar and acacia honey instead of sugar), and I also contacted DEFRA about oestrogen in milk. I explained why I was concerned, and asked whether it is true that there is a high level of oestrogen in milk due to cows being milked while pregnant. They said, (1) British farmers are not allowed to feed cows hormones, like growth stimulators, so milk doesn't contain added hormones (2) Cows are not milked beyond the second trimester, so oestrogen never reaches its peak (3) milk from pregnant cows is mixed with milk from non-pregnant cows, so the oestrogen is levelled out (4) most of oestrogen cannot be absorbed by human beings (5) most of the oestrogen is contained in milk fat, so that skimmed milk contains hardly any oestrogen.
Also Cornishgirl posted a link to a small study, which showed that milk actually reduced the spread of cancer in mice (see link below).
http://promega.wordpress.com/2011/08/01 ... body-good/
Just thought this might be of interest.
A new study shows Vit D also helps reduce some of the side effects of Aromatase Inhibitors - specifically aches and pains and bone loss:
It is specifically Vitamin D3 which is reguired.
Recommended levels are 2000 iu (international units) per day.
or 10,000 once per week.
I got my information from a lecture by Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Breast Cancer Programs Dr Larry Norton, at Sloane Kettering in New York. (FYI, Sloane is ranked No. 2 in the US for treatment of cancer)
His lecture can be seen on their website:
The information on vitamins and nutrition is found about 10 to 12 mins from the end of the Q & A session.
The rest of the lecture is fascinating and he is an engaging speaker.
Edit: Before DX, I was feeling unwell and the GP did some blood tests. The only abnormal result from the tests was a Vit D level below normal.
Re: Vitamin D. I have been reading a bit and came across something which said that it is the D3 rather than the D2 thats needed? (Sorry have a bit of chemo brain at the moment and finding it difficult to concentrate and assimilate the simplest info!)
I was wondering what particular supplements you women out there take. Is a generic vitamin D Ok or is it better to try to find a specific D3?
Also just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who asks and answers questions on this thread. I'm at the stage where I want to read the research but also want to avoid statistics related to survival etc so when people summarise what they have read, I find it hugely helpful.
Hi Daisygirl its a good idea to get tested as you can never tell your levels by guessing but ive seen alot of studies on a site for triple negativive BC in these studies are mainly american women as they are tested straight away once diagnosed, the studies were a real eye opener the amount that were lacking Vit D mainly under 30 !
You cant get Vit D tests here on the NHS & it costs around £150 for one but I was glad I had this done you also get chance to talk to a professional about your results .. I had been on Vit D 3 for about a mounth since diag & although my onco had read alot of 'encouraging' < His words) reports that are continuosly coming out on the subjecy with connections to BC & low levels he was unable to advice me. My levels were 50 which was classed as boarderline, so I was adviced to up my dose so I was on 4000 IU's a day then to re test in the winter as I was adviced probably need to up it another 1000 during winter months. My GP was only happy for me to do this after testing.
We cant get the amounts needed by sunlight/ Diet alone it would need you to do some serious sunbathing without protection. All of the TN ladies I know (in USA) had VERY low levels at diag below 20 so this was one subject that really interested me
Hope that helps
Daisygirl - you're very welcome. You're so right that nothing is straightforward!
With regard to Vit D3, I take 1000iu per day and try to get a good 20 minutes in the sun whenever I can. I will have a blood test in the autumn and evaluate from there.
Flaxseed took me a bit of getting used to but now its part of my daily diet (and my husbands). I usually have a good 3 or 4 tablespoons each day which I freshly grind. It can make you go a bit though, so some days I have to have a bit less!
After reading the above study, I decided to follow their recommendation of 4,000iu per day.
Thanks Finty & Elinda, I was hoping it would be straight forward but these things never are, are they?! Will read up on it all before I make up my mind but if it has oestrogen and higher in fat content then I may just go for organic cheese and be done with it. We don't have it very often but we are going to have an "Italian" weekend food wise and it won't be the same without cheese!
I am trying to introduce flax seed into my diet and so now I have a good reason to persevere!
Thanks again, you are both always such a wealth of useful information, I don't know what we would do without you!
I have been supplementing for 5 months probably of own accord and had vit D3 test from GP ( did not pay). I was in normal range but that suggests was low as that was post supplementing. A professor I saw said that normal range is not high enough and for cancer pts needs to be a higher reading and he suggesting doubling my intake of supplementing and to get checked every 2 months. I do try to go out in sun too.
I do research supplements and take a number I have decided are worth the money but difficult to research as very few take one only. I do use pub med and married to a doctor who is wary of non conventional stuff.
Hi Daisygirl - Just to add to what others have said, the research document I posted recently on what milk contained showed that in cow's milk generally there were more unwanted things in the whole milk as opposed to half fat and skimmed.
Whether or not buffalo are intensively farmed, their milk will contain some oestrogen (estrodial) - so it rather depends how much you want to eliminate.
Evening primrose oil does contain only omega 6 although it appears that omega 6 comes in different forms. Whilst our diets tend to have too much omega 6, the type in EPO is supposed to be healthier. Anyway that's what this article says:
Hi DG - not a daft question at all! Mozzarella should be made from buffalo milk, but I don't think it always is - best to always read the label. It's a good question as to whether it is better than cows milk, and I'm afraid I don't know the answer - information is scarce. I suppose if the buffalo are raised as intensively as cows, the same issues would apply regarding hormones. Also buffalo milk has about twice the fat content as cows milk (which surprised me - I had assumed it was lower). If the theory is correct that the hormones are in the fat, that could be a problem.
Re Omega 3 - the food with the highest Omega 3 content is flax seeds, which have proven anti-cancer effects, so that could be an alternative source for you if you don't like fish - or there are of course supplements.
Re EPO - I think it's only Omega 6, but I'm not 100% certain.
Hi DG have you tried an omega 3 capsules Im not an oily fish lover pilchards is about it, so I use an omega 3 sup
As for the buffalo milk/ cheese I really don't know but sure one of the other girls will
Also, I am a little confused with Evening Primrose Oil, is it only Omega 6 or does it have Omega 3 as well? I am trying to increase Omega 3 but finding it difficult as I don't like fish!
Sorry if this has been covered before AND a daft question!
Is buffalo mozzarella made from Buffalo milk, and if so is it a better option than other cheese if you are going dairy free?
Thanks and sorry again if this is completely mad!
Talking of excercising Ive got one of those step machines it was given us a couple of years ago its great for toning the legs & hignies :)) & good but gentler cardio workout .. Ive started doing this again as it was left on the landing its bit heavy to keep getting out & putting away & you can gradually build up on it
I suspect that moderate and vigorous means different things to different bodies - at the moment a walk on the flat wipes me out and gets all organs pumping but I'm sure it would have no benefit for Paula Radcliffe....
Nikki - that is progress - thanks. I just read the summary, but it makes clear why so few oncs give diet/lifestyle advice - they clearly feel very uncomfortable doing so.
It's frustrating when they don't say what the exercise is - but given the age of the group my guess is that it would mainly be walking. I'm pretty sure that if you walk at a pace that gets you a little breathless, that would count as moderate, and if you include some uphill work, that might even be vigorous. For what it's worth my pedometer counts a brisk walking pace as aerobic if you keep it up for more than 10 minutes. I do hope it helps with your fatigue.
Whilst we're on the topic of exercise/life style, I came across below initiative from Macmillan who established a 'Physical Activity Expert Advisory Group for Cancer Survivorship'. Basically a group that has summarised published literature and research on the benefits of exercise and other lifestyle factors – the review was commissioned by Macmillan.
The purpose and objective of the committee:
The report “Advising cancer survivors about lifestyle, a selective review of the evidence”:
Don’t be put off by the length of the document, there is an executive summary at the start of the doc and evidence-based recommendations towards the end of the document. Also, only the first part of the document relates to bc – other cancers are also discussed.
Hope you’ll find it of interest.
Looking at the research that Finty posted, I see the exercise needs to be moderate to vigorous. I was wondering that as about just under 3 hours a week doesn't seem much and it would be hard to think that most people don't do that anyway.
That will be quite a challenge for those of us with fatigue but I'm going to give it a go. I think dancing to music in my own house is where I'll start - I can't face an aerobics class! Elinda x
Thanks for info on oestrogen and exercise Flinty - now I know why exercise is the one life style change my Onc really encourages - will keep walking (or dragging myself "around" if it's a low energy day....)!! It's good to know the science behind the advice.
Hi Leadie - no I haven't looked specifically for Scandinvian studies, but if they are published in English I guess they would be picked up by databases like Pubmed.
finty, forgot to add, do you look at much scandinavian research, they seem to have some interesting and different studies