Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What a Difference a Year Makes

One year ago.....  bald and recovering from mastectomy

And now, healthy and happy.  I worked really hard to get here.

Now all I need is to have my kids home.  I miss them so much!! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Do Root Canals Cause Breast Cancer?

As I was desperately trying to find the cause of my adult cystic acne that began a few months ago, I ran across a few articles linking root canals and breast cancer.  And I thought to myself, "What kind of craziness is this?"  And I started reading to find out if I could understand the logic behind it.  There seems to be a big debate between a few researchers and the entire dental community about whether or not a root canal is a safe procedure.

I don't claim to know anything about teeth.  But from what I understand, there are tubules, small holes that run horizontally from the inside of the tooth to the outside located within the dentin (see below).  These tubules are shown in microscopic images of teeth (see below).  Some teeth, like molars, can contain up to 3 miles of tubules.

Anatomy of a tooth:

Microscopic image of dentinal tubules in a tooth:

This is where the large debate started 

The researchers, Weston Price, DDS, Dr. George Meinig, and Hal Huggins, DDS, MS, as well as a few others over the past couple decades, have claimed that microscopic bacteria can grow within the tubules, despite treatment with root canal.  The researchers suggest that by doing a root canal and sealing the microscopic bacteria within the dentinal tubules of the dead tooth, it can lead to the bacteria becoming extremely concentrated and leaking into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system.  And if your immune system is not strong enough, they suggest that this toxic overload could lead to heart disease, breast cancer, sinus problems, brain abscess, and many other systemic illnesses, like MS.  You can find out more about Hal Huggins, DDS, MS at hugginsappliedhealing.com, where they talk about some of the systemic issues that this toxic bacteria can cause.

Microscopic image of bacteria growing within the dentinal tubules of a root canaled tooth:

Some doctors, dentists, and especially homeopathic doctors believe this to be true, and they treat patients that have systemic illnesses by first extracting any root canaled teeth and old mercury fillings.  There is a video below of a doctor in New Zealand which shows his ability to reverse early stage breast cancer by removing a root canaled tooth and mercury fillings, then treating with natural therapy.  The way he talks, he acts like we all should know breast cancer is related to dental care.

 See the above chart of Tooth-Organ Relationships at  http://www.naturalworldhealing.com/Dentalinfo/tootho2.jpg

So is it true? Do root canals cause breast cancer?

I honestly have no idea.  Like I said, I don't know anything about dentistry.  The theory does make sense to me, but that doesn't make it true.  Maybe it's a matter of whether or not there is an issue with the root canaled tooth, since some of them fail and need to be retreated or extracted.  It's also apparently standard knowledge to the dental community that a root canal is only supposed to extend the use of the tooth by about ten years.  It should be removed after that.

To further discuss whether or not a root canal caused MY breast cancer,  I will share with you my own story.  

Back in 2010, I had an extremely painful abscessed molar while out of town one weekend.  I had a fairly new dentist (to me), and he was kind enough to prescribe pain medicine by phone, then scheduled to see me as soon as I got back three days later.  He knew that I would most likely need a root canal, and said that he could do it in the office when I got there.  I agreed, and had my very first, and only, root canal.

April 2010
The following couple months, I made several calls to the dentist to tell him that I still had pain in my tooth and that something was wrong.  He explained that I couldn't have pain because the nerve was gone, but I was convinced the tooth still had an issue.  He suggested that I wait to see if it calmed down, and I ended up just getting used to the annoyance of that tooth and went about my days.  It did hurt, and felt "wrong", but I didn't go back to the dentist.  I thought that maybe that's what a root canaled tooth is supposed to feel like.  I didn't have experience.

By August of 2010, I started to have constant ringing in my ear (Tinnitus).  Then, by September, I started to get a very painful stabbing feeling in the back right of my head.  It was occasional, but would almost bring me to my knees.  It happened about two or three times a month, and by March of 2011, I was certain I had a brain tumor and went to the doctor.   The brain CT didn't reveal anything unusual, but I continued to believe that something was wrong.

I learned to live with the ringing in my ears and the occasional pain in the back right of my head.  And in 2012, I started to have generalized fatigue.  Nothing to be concerned over, as I was a full time mom and it's expected that I would be tired, but still, it was noticeable.  And then I began having occasional heart palpitations and strange body pains, like deep pain the right side of my abdomen.  By November of 2012, the heart palpitations had gotten so bad that I even drove to the emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack.  They also did an abdominal CT scan.  Again, they couldn't find anything wrong.

In the beginning of 2013 the heart palpitations were many times throughout the day and even causing dizziness and breathlessness.  Around the same time, I discovered my thyroid medication had been recalled and removed from the market.  I assumed that was the cause of my heart issues as the palpitations reduced greatly after switching to a new medication.  However, after a couple months, the palpitations came back and fatigue started to take over.

In August of 2013, I found the lumps in my armpit and right breast.  And in September of 2013, they found six malignant tumors in my right breast and 3+ in my axillary lymph nodes.  When the doctors interviewed me to find out more symptoms, I told them about the pain in the back right of my head and constant ringing in my ear.  They were convinced the cancer had spread to my brain, but the MRI again showed no change.  So I fought my cancer battle, still convinced that something else was going on.

During my cancer treatment, I must have seen the Cardiologist about my heart a dozen times, with the heart monitor having hundreds of "events".  They even put me on a beta blocker during chemotherapy because of the palpitations, but they kept saying that nothing was wrong with my heart despite the flutters.

The cancer was gone completely by mid-2014 and I was starting to get my energy back.  And monthly check-ups at the Oncologist always led me to tell the doctor about the heart palpitations and dizziness.  By October of 2014, the doctor was concerned enough to do another brain MRI.  Again, perfectly normal.

I feel like I know my own body pretty well, so what the heck was the problem??  By November, every time I bent over, I felt like I had water deep in my ear, like I had been swimming.  No matter what I did, I couldn't get it out and I started to feel pressure like maybe I was getting a sinus infection, but it lasted for months.

Then I started to get cystic acne all over my face.  I have NEVER had an acne problem my entire life.  I figured, "Okay, it's probably one of the supplements I take", and I started to eliminate them one by one.  As I did that the acne got worse.  Almost three months of acne and I was on a mission to figure out the cause.  All the websites out there talk about identifying the source of acne based on where it is on the face.  Mine was mainly on my right cheek under the cheek bone.  That indicated a tooth problem.

And that's where all this began with the root canal research craziness.  The only thing I've ever had done before a root canal were some porcelain fillings.  So when I looked up how to identify a root canal gone bad, I stumbled upon all the breast cancer related media.  The research suggested that the breast cancer was due to the root canal on the same side.

Out of curiosity, I posted in a breast cancer support group on facebook asking other women if they'd had root canals and were they on the same side as their breast cancer.  A flood of responses came in.  The majority, but not all, had a root canal on the same side as their breast cancer.  I found it curious, but honestly, that didn't prove anything.

But because I would rather be safe than sorry, and this tooth always bothered me anyway, I made an appointment to get the tooth out.  I read that if I was going to get the root canaled tooth extracted, that it needed to be done the right way.  They need to remove the periodontal ligament and part of the bony socket to remove any adjacent bacteria to the tooth.  I chose to call a Biological Dentist to do the extraction (http://www.palmerdmd.com/).   Not only do they remove the ligament and part of the bony socket, but they also do a bone graft of Beta Tricalcium Phosphate and Ozone Therapy (a type of anti-bacterial treatment).

So I went last week with the intent of having the root canaled tooth removed, not really knowing if this was all hogwash and hooey.  And this is what they found....

My tooth had major infection that the dentist said had been in there for a long time, most likely since I had the original root canal in 2010.  I didn't feel the extent of it because the nerve was gone.  As they took pictures, I had a crowd around me of employees all talking about how bad the infection was.  It had gone all the way into my jaw bone.

As he extracted the tooth, the decay was so bad that inside of the tooth had turned black and it broke as he was removing it.   Gross pic below....

And as they reached the base of the root, against the periodontal ligament and jaw bone, was a large fibrous blob, which was my body's way to try and isolate or wall off the long term infection (according to my dentist brother in law).  This ultimately shows that the infection left the confines of the tooth.  Another gross pic below of the "blob".

After the dentist cleaned, drilled, scraped and treated the socket and jawbone, he stitched up the area and sent me on my way.  With a Biological or Holistic dentist, they don't typically prescribe antibiotics to treat this type of infection.  They encourage building the microbiome of bacteria with natural supplements.  So I got up from the chair, and.....

By the time I reached the front desk, the ringing in my ear, that had been there for almost five years, was gone.  

When I got home, I bumped up my supplement intake, focusing mainly on wound healing and detoxifying the body.  I had minimal swelling considering the extensive procedure, but it was definitely painful.  And this week, yesterday, I went to get the stitches out.  The dentist said it had healed so quickly that he had a hard time even getting the stitches out.

One week out from getting this nasty thing out....  No more ringing in my ears.  I have not had a single heart palpitation.  And ALL acne is gone from my face.  All fluid from my ear and pressure from my sinuses is gone.  And I feel like my energy has increased, and I am just feeling "lighter" (although that may just be in my head).  

So where does that leave me with breast cancer? 

Honestly, I don't know that the root canal caused my breast cancer.  But knowing the infection was there this entire time, it may explain why my body chemistry was off, and that may have lead to cancer.  My immune system was obviously compromised.  There were even weird things during cancer like my body rejecting the port and becoming allergic to any adhesive material.  But I shrugged those off, not realizing why my immune system was overreacting.

The bottom line is, there is no longer an ongoing, long term infection in my body.   And I feel like there will be nothing but genuine healing from this point on.  Take what you will from this article.  There are perfectly reasonable arguments on either side of the root canal debate.  Just ask questions and trust your body and instincts.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to Kill Cancer Naturally- A Guide

When I had cancer, I started with traditional cancer treatment because I wasn't offered any other option.  I did seven rounds of chemotherapy and five surgeries.  Once I knew about the natural options, I shifted my treatment halfway through, turning down radiation and hormone therapy, and opted for a more natural approach.

Now Let's Get Down to The Good Stuff

As you've seen in my previous posts about what causes cancer, The Basic's of Cancer- in Layman's Terms and One in Three Will Get Cancer, the way we optimize our health is by killing active cancer cells and reestablishing a balance within our body.  When you are diagnosed with cancer, you can either choose traditional treatment of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, or you can treat it naturally.  But if you choose the former, traditional treatment, you will need to work much harder to create proper balance after treatment.....that is, if there ever is an "after treatment".  

With what I know now, I would have never agreed to conventional treatment before trying the natural approach.  The problem was, I didn't know about the natural options prior to having cancer treatment. I didn't even know anything about cancer!  There are so many sources for information on the internet, and so many conflicting opinions, it's nearly impossible to filter through, especially when you are scared beyond belief and holding your new cancer diagnosis.

As I researched cancer, I started to develop a clear understanding and strategy for getting healthy.  Once I finished chemotherapy and surgery, I chose to turn down radiation and get my immune system up and running as fast as possible.   A strong immune system is an important way to prevent cancer and recurrence.  I wish I had known what to do from the very beginning.  I could have avoided all of the torture of conventional medical treatment.  Regardless, here is what I know now.

In my research, I found the main things required to treat and prevent cancer within our body are... 

Create Healthy Bloodflow- Thinner blood, unclogged arteries, healthy blood pressure and increased circulation all work to prevent damaged and sedentary cells from mutating to form cancer cells.

Reduce Oxidative Stress-  Toxins and bacteria enter our bodies and create free radicals (damaged cells).  These damaged cells can mutate to form cancer cells, dividing and multiplying to form tumors.  Anti-oxidants play an important role in scavenging free radicals and killing them before they mutate, relieving us from oxidative stress, inflammation and premature aging.

Boost the Immune System The immune system is our biggest ally in preventing cancer.  Our white blood cells devour toxins, bacteria, and viruses.  Sugar can be detrimental to our white blood cells, so one of the ways we can boost the immune system is to prevent excess sugar (glucose) from getting to the white blood cells either by reduced consumption or blockage of glucose.

Reduce Acidity-  Cancer likes an acidic environment.  Not only does it thrive in acid, it creates it as a byproduct of cancer growth.  A diet full of soft drinks, red meat, and processed foods all greatly increase acidity in the body.  But one of the biggest acid producers in our body is stress.  By living with a great deal of stress, the body is constantly producing and retaining lactic acid in muscles....cancer's favorite environment.

Now that we know WHAT to do, 
how do we go about doing it?

This is where we "CONNECT THE DOTS"

There are four categories of what I feel are the most important components to combat not just cancer, but diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and many other systemic ailments.  The first category is called GOLD, the strong active cancer killers.  These are the strongest, most important compounds that have proven to cause cell death in many different types of cancer.  And even more importantly, these have little to no negative side effects.  Because these in particular are so important, there are links to each ingredient to another blog post with information about them and references from clinical studies done on each one.

Category One 
Strong Active Cancer Killers

Black Cumin Seed- Nigella Sativa comes from a flowering plant found in Asia.  It has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, as far back as the 5th century BC, and was even found in the tomb of one of the Pharaohs of Egypt.  It is a strong anti-oxidant, produces apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells, increases circulation, and is used in treatment for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, allergies, colitis, and numerous other ailments.   It boosts the immune system and bone marrow.  They are also a good source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  The health benefits of Black Seed and Black Seed Oil are extraordinary.  Works in synergy with Honey.

Indian Long Pepper Fruit- Piper Longum has also been used for centuries, and its use dates back to the 5th century BC.  This hardened unripe pepper has proven to be a strong anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial agent.  It has shown activity against parasitic infections, protects against the effects of radiation, and induces apoptosis in many different cancer cells.  It has been proven to be effective against prostate, breast, ovarian, and colon cancers, as well as melanoma, lymphoma, leukemia and glioma tumors.  There's so much punch packed in this small fruit.  Works in synergy with Curcumin (listed below).

Mangosteen- Garcinia Mangostana is a strong anti-oxidant.  Many studies have shown this fruit's anti-cancer effect on breast, prostate, bladder, pacreatic, colon, melanoma, and colorectal cancers.  There are more than 50 xanthones found in the pericarp of this fruit, with many found to be beneficial in fighting cancer, reducing tumor rowth and preventing metastasis. Mangosteen also works as an anti-inflammatory, and its effect on insulin production has been found to be therapeutic to those with diabetes or obesity.  Controlling glucose levels plays a key role in weight management and cancer prevention.  Works in synergy with Curcumin.

Dandelion Root  Yes, I mean the root of that inconsequential little weed growing in your yard.  This little plant is packed full of nutrients and cancer fighting properties. Numerous studies have now shown the great benefit of these little plants.  They have proven to be a strong anti-oxidant, inducing apoptosis in cancer cells in pancreatic cancer, leukemia, breast cancer, prostate cancer and even drug-resistant melanoma.  The root of the Dandelion contains high concentrations of Vitamin A as well as other important vitamins, and acts as a diuretic, cleansing the kidneys and liver.  Other evidence has also shown that this little plant can also positively affect insulin secretion.

Curcumin comes from the Turmeric Root, a yellowish root from the ginger family.  It is a strong anti-oxidant which protects the body from oxidative stress and inflammation.  It has been proven to be effective against cancer, Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, Alzheimer's, Diabetes, and even Cystic Fibrosis.  It has great wound healing and pain relieving benefits, as well as the ability to increase circulation and lower cholesterol. Works with Long Pepper and Mangosteen.

Bitter Melon- Momordica Charantia is a bitter vegetable native to Asia and is used in Asian cooking.  It has been used in Indian medicine to treat diabetes by inhibiting glucose transport throughout the body.  It has the ability to cause apoptosis, or cell death, in cancer cells.  Bitter Melon has proven to be effective against breast, lung, prostate, bladder, colon, liver, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, leukemia and other cancers.   In regard to breast cancer, one study in particular showed very promising results.  When breast cancer cells were exposed to Bitter Melon's extract, 80% of the cancer cells died within 48 hours, and none of the normal cells were affected.   You can see more information about this study here. 

Side note:  There are other compounds found in nature to be strong cancer cures not listed here.  One of the most powerful is the Cannabis/Marijuana plant.  In fact, the US Government Department of Health and Human Services holds the patent on the extracted compounds of Cannabis that prove effective against cancer.  However, due to the plant's legality in many states, this has been excluded from the list.  

Other strong, natural cancer cures include Essiac Tea, Black Salve, Soursop, Astragalus, and Vitamin B17, also known as Laetrile.  Although these compounds are proven to be effective against cancer, they also may come with serious side effects or contraindications for many people.  I intentionally left those out due to their potential complications.  

Category Two  
Strong Anti-Oxidant Plus+

This category of natural compounds includes major players in preventing oxidative stress.  Like the ones above, they have cancer fighting ability to induce cancer cell death, but their role is more importantly to help alleviate inflammation caused by oxidative stress and improve circulation, cardiac function and glucose management.  These are also extremely important in building the body's immune system. 

Resveratrol comes mainly from the skin of red grapes.  It improves cardiac function and physical capacity.  It helps reduce inflammation, prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and makes it more difficult for platelets to stick together and form the clots that can lead to a heart attack. Resveratrol is thought to limit metastasis of cancer cells and triggers the process of cancer cell death in Bladder, Colorectal, Gastric, Cervical, Liver, Ovarian, Colon, Breast and Leukemia.  It also helps prevent insulin resistance, a condition in which the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of the blood sugar-lowering hormone, insulin.

Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid found in animal tissue.  This strong anti-oxidant is known for it's ability to improve cardiac function by a number of pathways, including lowering blood pressure and reducing oxidative stress.  It calms the nervous system resulting in less reaction to stress, and it supports insulin health, helping to prevent diabetes.  Low Taurine levels are newly becoming a marker for many types of cancer.  This essential amino-acid is also a strong anti-inflammatory. 

Ashwagandha / Indian Ginseng has been known for centuries for its rejuvenating and healing properties.  It has adaptogenic properties which allow the body to deal with emotional and oxidative stress.  It is full of amino acids and vitamins.  This herb is often used for energy and vitality, memory and concentration.  Ashwagandha has also proven to have potential in selectively killing tumor cells by causing apoptosis.     

Green Tea is loaded with strong anti-oxidants that improve brain function, lower the risk of cancer and enhance fat loss. It protects cells from damage due to toxins and bacteria. It is an anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-tumor and anti-bacterial agent.  It may also reduce risk of stroke.  Other studies look at it's ability to inhibit metastasis specifically in breast cancer cells.   

Rhodiola Rosea is also known as the golden root or arctic root.  It is a strong anti-oxidant known for it's ability to prevent fatigue, relieve depression, protect the kidneys from damage and induce apoptosis in cancer cells.  It's also a free radical scavenger and improves heart function. 

Gotu Kola / Centella Asiatica is a swamp plant that grows in Madagascar and Indonesia.  It has been used for centuries for wound healing, mental fatigue and concentration, anxiety, dementia, skin conditions, and respiratory infections.  It protects the cells against oxidative stress, and has been shown in studies to reduce liver tumors.  Gota Kola may also protect the skin against Gamma radiation (reference). 

Category Three  
Probiotics and Enzymes

Category three, Bronze, provides fundamental bacteria and live enzymes that establish a functioning chemical balance within the body.  

Probiotics are comprised of the working bacteria mainly contained in the gastrointestinal tract where 70 to 80% of our immune system cells are found.  Probiotics help prevent infection, inflammation, and may even bind to carcinogens in the intestinal tract, promoting their excretion.  They are essential for optimizing a properly functioning immune system.

Enzymes are proteins that speed up the chemical processes in the body, mainly digestion.  There are many types of enzymes all throughout the body, however the role of digestive enzymes is to break down the food we eat for our body to properly utilize the nutrients.  Raw, plant based foods contain the highest levels of enzymes, but most of us eat cooked or processed foods that no longer contain these beneficial proteins, leaving us deficient.  Stress can also lead to low enzyme levels in the body, compromising our immune system further.  Low enzyme levels are also linked to Liver, Pancreatic and Ovarian Cancer. 

The most important enzymes are as follows:

Quercetin is a plant pigment and flavinoid found in fruits and vegetables, mainly apples, onions, grapes, and berries.  It is a strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, and may protect against heart disease and cancer.  It may also suppress insulin receptors, impairing cancer cells' ability to multiply.  Quercetin has also been proven effective against cancer in Breast, Ovarian, Bladder, Prostate, Oral, Pancreatic, Cervical, Head and Neck, Lung, Liver, Renal, and Leukemia.   

Bromelain is a protein extract found mainly in the stems and juice of the pineapple.  It has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and aid in the wound healing process. Used in conjunction with Quercetin, it aids in digesting and utilizing a greater amount of Quercetin.  Bromelain has been shown to be effective against the following cancers:  Mesothelioma, Breast, Gastrointestinal, Colon, Glioma, and Skin Cancer.  

CoQ10 is an anti-oxidant that is found in every cell.  It is found naturally in the body and in many food sources, and helps convert food into energy.  It is at the very basic level of cell function.  A deficiency in this can cause chronic physical and mental fatigue, high blood pressure, poor blood sugar regulation, stomach ulcers, heart failure, and poor response to depression medication, as well as a number of other ailments.  In regard to cancer, CoQ10 has proven to combat oxidative stress and relieve chemotherapy related fatigue.  

The Big Three- Amylase, Protease and Lipase are digestive enzymes that break down starch, protein and fat within the digestive tract.  As we age, the number of enzymes our pancreas excretes reduces.  If we are deficient in these digestive enzymes, our cells do not get the proper nutrients from food.  A deficiency is also caused by eating cooked, processed or irradiated food, killing the live enzymes.  This can create inflammation within the body as well as compromise the immune system.  Cancer patients have notably low levels of enzymes, and new studies are emerging with the use of enzymes as a therapy for cancer.   

  Category Four  
Vitamins, Nutrients and Minerals

This final category is about the basic compounds we need in our body to function optimally, reduce oxidative stress, build muscle, reduce acidity, promote a healthy immune system, reduce inflammation and prevent negative systemic responses and illnesses.  Most of these can be found in a healthy, well rounded diet, but may need to be supplemented.  

1.   Daily Multivitamin with Selenium
2.   Vitamin D- Supports healthy immune system
3.  Magnesium- Supports the body's ability to use Vitamin D
4.  Iodine- Deficiency may cause Thyroid or Autoimmune problems
5.   Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)- reduces acidity
6.   MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) sulfur- used for joint health, circulation, wound healing 
7.   ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)- Helps turn glucose into energy, builds Gluathione levels, and is a strong anti-oxidant
8.   Melatonin- Free radical scavenger and sleep aide
9.   Cayenne- Digestive aide and promotes healthy circulation
10.   Ginger- Digestive aide and nausea preventative
11. Cilantro- Detoxifies the body of heavy metals
12. Garlic- Improve immune function, reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol, strong anti-oxidant

Are YOU getting what your body needs 
to be completely healthy?  

References to the GOLD category may be found by clicking the links to each ingredient.  You will be redirected to their information page with references.  Many of the following references are links to the National Institute of Health's website with a search selection.  The reason for this is due the sheer volume of clinical studies and articles done on each compound.  You will see many selections and examples of how each substance has helped with oxidative stress, cancer, heart disease, and numerous illnesses.  

Resveratrol- studies of apoptosis in cancer cells
Ashwagandha- Indian Ginseng
Widodo N, Priyandoko D, Shah N, Wadhwa R, Kaul SC.
PLoS One. 2010 Oct 21;5(10):e13536. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013536
Green Tea- 
Luo KW, Ko CH, Yue GG, Lee JK, Li KK, Lee M, Li G, Fung KP, Leung PC, Lau CB.
Rhodiola Rosea- 
Gotu Kola- Centalla Asiatica