Monday, January 31, 2011

Recommendations Received by Others

Foods. From the "lower-cancer-risk" low fat, high anti-oxidant diet in its more extreme interpretations to raw foods....

I.e., to use food as medicine.

Now, I am inclined to not view food as medicine. But you've heard it: no animal protein, no cooked animal protein, no cooked animal or vegetable protein... no yeast, yeast cakes, etc.

The true question, then, is that even though very thorough and complete diet different from the (commercial, popular standard) makes no significant change / improvement in testable outcomes of health, where cancer is concerned, it may, in populations with cancer, make subtle but important changes.

Side Effects: #1 Weight Gain

It is called central body fat, and it is coming your way; about 8 lbs of it is normal. One approach is probably accommodating it, coupled with low fat diet and exercise.

Another approach is possibly fighting it, with a low-calorie diet, exercise for weight loss but targeted to central body fat (pilates?) Trial and error to determine which (low fat or low carb) works best.

Exercise for weight loss is not yoga!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Memory Effects

Like many drugs, Lupron comes with inserts warning of a number of potentially serious side effects, including: depression, joint disorders plus loss of bone density, or osteoporosis.

Yet none of the warnings - except for bone loss - state the side effects might continue long after stopping use of the drug.

However, seven of the women interviewed for this story say they suffered memory loss and bone aches while on Lupron, and that the problems continue years after stopping the drug. Some say seizures and serious vision problems that started while on Lupron also haven't gone away.


The results of a new study suggest that side effects of tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug, can lead to decreased cognitive abilities and memory loss.

Women who took tamoxifen for a year or more were found to score lower on verbal memory and executive functioning tests, according to researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. Their results were published this month in the online version of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


Co-STAR showed "specific impairments in processing speed and verbal memory in women receiving hormonal therapy for the treatment of breast cancer".

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Still Searching for Chemical Ovarian Ablation

" if patients receive chemical ovarian ablation (ovary shutdown) and truly have suppression of estrogen production, that aromatase inhibitors can be very effective. In premenopausal women who have early stage breast cancer, this is a research question. "

In other words, there seems to be no data on chemical ovarian ablation WITHOUT tamoxifen, or with an AI on top of the chemically-induced menopause as of 2008. Why?

In the metastatic setting, ovarian ablation and tamoxifen monotherapies produce comparable outcomes and MAY be more effective when used together.

Now, this is not early-stage breast cancer, obviously.


[There is] significantly greater disease-free and overall survival rates for women under the age of 50, regardless of nodal status, receiving ovarian ablation as a single adjuvant therapy.


Ovarian ablation followed by some years of tamoxifen produces similar results to those seen with adjuvant chemotherapy in women with hormone-receptor positive breast cancer; however, the value of combining these modalities is still unclear.

Unsaid is what ovarian ablation without tamoxifen.

Other areas of ongoing investigation include the appropriate duration of therapy with LHRH analogues in the adjuvant setting, the long-term sequelae of ovarian suppression among young breast cancer survivors, and refinement of the population most likely to benefit from ovarian ablation or suppression.

Here's some other info.:

Potentially reversible castration can be accomplished medically using luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) analogues.

So that's what is next here.


Raloxifene reduces recurrent breast cancers, but doesn't cause quite so many strokes or uterine cancers. Nor quite so many cateracts. "maybe slightly less clots"

While tamoxifen protects against bone loss in menopausal women, IT INCREASES BONE LOSS IN PREMENOPAUSAL WOMEN. This is in caps because I found this NOWHERE in tamoxifen info., only in raloxifene info. Raloxifene, actually a treatment for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, also increases bone loss. So when you hear about the beneficial side effects of tamoxifen, ignore it. They don't apply to you.

The major study, called STAR, was on postmenopausal women, though, and it was in 2006; most postmenopausal women now choose Aromatase Inhibitors.

A study completed in 2009 on premenopausal women "at risk of developing breast cancer" (i.e., with the gene)

While AIs do lower numbers of recurrent breast cancers, in premenopausal women, they don't lower risk as much as other treatments.

Since tamoxifen halves recurrence risk, it could be that my "post-tamoxifen" risk of 11% "without radiation" could be as high as 22%. The "without radiation" caveat is that most data available was from a time when lumpectomy + radiation rather than masectomy was experimental.