Bioactive Compounds: Natural Corrective Allies against Breast Cancer and Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)
As the domains of Epigenetics and the Metabolic Theory of cancer continue to expand, research has unveiled the potential of numerous bioactive natural compounds in rectifying breast cancer and Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). This piece delves into the scientific underpinnings of these groundbreaking discoveries, shedding light on the mechanisms through which these natural compounds interact with TNBC and breast cancer. Additionally, we provide insights into specific foods beneficial for HER2 breast cancer.
Breast Cancer, TNBC, and the Role of Bioactive Natural Compounds
Breast cancers, including TNBC - which account for up to 15% of cases - are particularly concerning due to their aggressive nature and prevalence among younger women. However, over the past decade, mounting research has revealed the substantial impact of bioactive natural compounds in both preventing and rectifying breast cancer, including TNBC. The role of certain foods in protecting and correcting our bodies in the fight against cancer has become increasingly evident. Research by the American Cancer Society (ACS) in 2012 showed that an optimal diet and regular exercise could prevent cancer recurrence and increase survival rates. Johns Hopkins researchers in 2019 further demonstrated the astonishing potential of exercise in reducing the risk of developing lung or colorectal cancer by up to 77% and decreasing the risk of death from them by up to 89%. Exercise, acting like a drug, carries epigenetic benefits.
The Intersection of Epigenetics and Breast Cancer
Epigenetics is a rapidly evolving field since its inception in 1995, and it revolves around the concept of gene expression regulation. According to this theory, blockages surrounding the DNA structure prevent gene sequences from transmitting their messages. These blockages could be due to a buildup of homocysteine and methylation, resulting from factors such as environmental toxins, hormonal imbalance, poor diet, gut bacteria loss, and increased infection. The profound and consistent findings from this line of research have challenged the traditional Somatic Theory of Cancer, suggesting that cancer isn't exclusively caused by DNA sequence changes, but rather by alterations in the external environment of the DNA. Therefore, a proper diet and hormonal balance might relieve these blockages and correct the cancer, suggesting that cancer is reversible and we are not destined to succumb to it.
In the forefront of this research, scientists at Addenbrooks, Cambridge, have shown that high levels of homocysteine predict diseases like cancer and dementia, and also link to heart disease. Conversely, higher levels of plasma B vitamins such as folic acid/folate, which are primarily produced by gut bacteria, can reduce homocysteine levels, thus preventing diseases. Epigenetics has revealed that diet, environmental toxins, stress, and hormones can influence the expression of core genes by modifying methylation bonding, and these changes could even be passed on to future generations.
Understanding Homocysteine and Folate
Just as homocysteine can trigger increased methylation, it can also be reversed. The chemical bonds formed by environmental toxins and poor diet can be corrected. Folic acid or folate, known for its protective role in cell division, has been shown to have similar positive effects as many other bioactive compounds in nature.
The Challenges of Orthodox Medicine in TNBC Treatment
TNBC poses a significant challenge for oncologists because it doesn't fit into any conventional treatment formula. It isn't driven by estrogen, progesterone, or HER-2, making standard treatments like Tamoxifen and Aromatase Inhibitors ineffective. Consequently, oncologists often resort to conventional chemotherapy drugs or newer ones like Taxol/Paclitaxel, whose efficacy has been questioned due to increased metastases with little or no overall survival benefits. Thus, the quest for alternative therapeutic avenues, such as reversing methylation in breast cancer, is crucial.
The Promising Role of Bioactive Natural Compounds in TNBC
Women with TNBC might find solace in the promising potential of specific bioactive natural compounds. Below are some of the compounds backed by research we have highlighted in Cancer Watch:
This blog article merely scratches the surface of an exciting and evolving field of research. The above-listed compounds are only some of the options available. However, it reinforces the hopeful message that one may not be doomed to cancer's wrath and can take active steps in the journey towards recovery. Always remember to consult your healthcare provider before initiating any new treatment regimen.