My mother, sister and I attended the Annie Appleseed conference
When I went through treatment in 2004, I believed in both conventional medicine and alternative therapies. I did a combination of both during treatment and continued with both after my active treatment was over. What that meant was that after every chemo session, my husband would drive me to the acupuncturist. He wasn’t trying to rid my body of the chemo, rather keep my body balanced so that the chemo could do its work. All throughout chemo, I was able to keep up my energy, work out and play tennis. I believe this was a direct result of the acupuncture. Now, 9 years later, I see my acupuncturist about once a month to stay balanced, I’m off of Tamoxifen and have upped my work out routine and nutrition guidelines.
So, it was natural for me to want to attend Annie Appleseed Project’s annual Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies conference. It was held at the beginning of March in West Palm Beach, Florida. It also gave me the perfect excuse to see my son, Michael who’s attending the University of Miami!
There was a lot of information presented and I furiously took notes! I’m going to try and share with you everything I learned.
Ancient Medicine – Mark Kaylor presented information on medicinal mushrooms. He was very knowledgeable and you can find out more on his website. He started by saying that there’s a lower risk for breast cancer associated with eating 3-4 servings a week of mushrooms, even button mushrooms. The Meshima mushroom stimulates the immune system and promotes healthy cell generation. It also may enhance chemo effectiveness. The Maitake mushroom stimulates the immune system as well, lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. It also has liver protecting properties. The Reishi mushroom is great for overall balance. It increases cell oxygenation, lowers cholesterol and decreases insomnia. Mark stated that the longer you take the Reishi mushroom, the greater the benefit you receive.
Control Your Destiny – John Lewis, a handsome, buff young man wore a “BadAssVegan.com” t-shirt, the personal training company he founded in Fort Lauderdale, FL. His presentation was very inspiring and included how to have a positive outlook on life in order to create your own destiny. At 15 years old, he realized that he needed to take control of his destiny because he weighed over 300 lbs. Today, he’s a vegan (doesn’t eat any fish or animal products including dairy) and working wonders with his personal training and nutrition efforts. He encouraged the audience to drop excuses, become more active (keep moving) and control what goes in our mouths. “Don’t view yourself as a loser and don’t be afraid to win,” he said.
Biofilms – I had no idea what to expect from Richard Longland and his talk about Biofilms. From Wikipedia, the definition is “an aggregate of microorganisms in which cells adhere to each other on a surface.” Mr. Longland, founder of WhyAmIStillSick.com, said that they are super bacteria that don’t show up on cultures and colonizes in various parts of our body. They start in our mouths and can escape into the blood stream. Periodontal disease is a biofilm. Approximately 1/3 – ½ of Americans have periodontal disease, which converts to about 17 million people with biofilm disease. He stated that about 550,000 people die every year from this type of infection. Oral wellness is key! Here are some tips, like them or not, to keep your mouth healthy:
- Consume raw vegetables, fruits, teas, xylitol
- Find a biofilm fluent hygienist
- Consider clay salts, essential oils (i.e. green tea, oregano oil, peppermint), ozone (I write more about oils below)
- Physical activity, sleep, love
- Floss, brush, scrape, rinse
- Decrease drug intake
- DON’T kiss your pets
Living Cancer Free- An older gentleman stepped on the stage. Bill Henderson watched his wife die of cancer 15 years ago and vowed to help other cancer survivors. He founded Beating-Cancer-Gently.com and set up his cancer coaching practice in South Florida. He stated that doctors describe cancer as something foreign that invaded your body. This is the wrong paradigm. He renames cancer as “Sluggish Immune System Disease (SISD).” One million cancer cells are produced in our body every day. Usually our immune system contains these abnormal cells and creates cell death (apoptosis). But, in some cases, somehow the immune system was overwhelmed and the cancer isn’t contained. 1.3 million Americans “get” cancer and 570,000 die every year. SISD is a result of lifestyle choices and experiences we have. First, we have to address the “cause” of the cancer. Yes, he said CAUSE of cancer!
- Emotional shock, stress and/or trauma (the adrenaline and cortisol-acid created during stress harms the immune system)
- Dental Toxins (root canals, fillings, cavitations, metal in the mouth, mercury being replaced creates anaerobic bacteria and/or biofilms to come out and grow)
- The things we put in our mouths (smoking, food, heavy drinking)
Most cancers are caused by 1, 2 or a combination of both. He recommended two books, “The Emotion Code,” by Dr. Brad Nelson and “The Roots of Disease,” by Dr. Robert Kulacz and Dr. Thomas Levy.
Dietary Essentials – Helayne Waldman is the author of “Whole Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors.” Helayne and I “met” on the internet several years ago but had never met in person. She’s dynamic and very passionate about nutrition, especially for breast cancer survivors. First, she explained what “GMO” is and how it has infiltrated our food supply. Monsanto developed the first GMO soybeans and corn to be resistant to pesticides. The term “Round Up Ready” refers to the pesticide Round Up, which is sprayed on the crops. These “Round Up Ready” plants resisted the pesticide so it kills only the weed, not the crops. About 80% of corn, 95% of sugar beets and 91% of soy crops are GMO. To date, we don’t know the effects GMO products will have on our bodies, so it’s best to stay away from them.
Helayne explained that fat is the gatekeeper of our body. Some fats turn up inflammation and some turn it down. We need a balance of Omega 6 fats and Omega 3 fats. Fat from corn, soybeans and canola increase the omega 6 fats in our body. Because corn and soybean products (high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil) are contained in many processed foods, our bodies are bombarded by omega 6 fats. That’s why it’s so popular to take an omega 3 supplement, to create the balance our body needs. Omega 3 fats are contained in coconut, avocado, olive oil and fatty fish. Other good sources of omega 3s are fatty fish, flax seed, walnuts, algae and a few green leaf vegetables such as purslane.
She continued speaking about various important vitamins, D, K, A and B’s. She thinks that vitamin K could be the missing link. K helps give calcium direction. K1 and K2 draws the calcium into the bone and teeth. She recommends taking K2 supplements, but speak with your doctor about it to make sure it’s appropriate for you.
She defined 4 compounds we are deficient in:
- Magnesium – found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, unrefined grains. Magnesium helps the body manufacture glutathione (helps prevent cell damage due to free radicals).
- Zinc – found in shellfish, red meat, nuts, pumpkin seeds and legumes. Zinc plays a role in hormonal balance, a key in breast cancer prevention.
- Selenium – found in brazil nuts, organ meats and seafood. Selenium has shown to have several anti-cancer properties.
- Iodine – found in seaweed, seafood and dairy. Iodine increases cancer cell death (apoptosis) and decreases the blood supply to cancer cells (angiogenesis).
Luana, Valerie (bc advocate) and I
Essential Oils in Cancer Care – I met Luana DeAngelis, found of YouCanThrive.org, in 2009 at the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD institute. As a breast cancer survivor, she realized her background in natural health was a turning point in her life. She founded YouCanThrive.org in New York City to support all breast cancer survivors during and after their treatment. Luana spoke about a couple of important essential oils to heal the body during and after cancer treatment.
- Frankincense – increases cancer specific cell death by activating genes responsible for suppressed cancer cell growth/ death. Frankincense can differentiate between cancer and normal cells, targeting the cancer cells for death.
- Limonene – the effects of limonene suggest that it may be efficacious in the chemoprevention and chemotherapy in patients.
- Clove – found in the buds and leaves of clove. Clove oil inhibits cell growth and increases cell death in breast cancer cells. Clove oil is a key ingredient in Thieves, an oil that can be used to support dental wellness.
Luana concluded by talking about some essential oils that can give some symptom relief:
- Neuropathy – Frankincense, peppermint, reflexology
- Hot Flashes – Peppermint on the back and on the neck
- Fatigue – Peppermint inhaled and on the temples
- Pain – Peppermint topically
- Chemobrain – Peppermint
- Depression – Orange
- Anxiety – almost any oil will help
- Nausea – Ginger, peppermint inhaled and on the tongue
- Insomnia – Valerian, lavender
- Lymphedema – Juniper, tangerine
- Courage – Frankincense, tansy, rosewood
Three Ways to Help Stop Breast Cancer Before it Starts – Susan Wadia-Ells is the founder of the National Breast Cancer Prevention Project, now known as Busting Breast Cancer. She spoke briefly about 3 ways to help prevent breast cancer.
- Raise vitamin D3 levels to between 50 and 80
- Avoid birth control pills. Yes, they are still linked to breast cancer!
- Enjoy a cancer-blocking diet with anti-inflammatory foods, eating organic, etc.
Please view her video and visit her website.
Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle for Prevention/ Treatment – I was fascinated listening to Bharat Aggarwal, PhD talk about anti-inflammatory components. He works at MD Anderson and was one of the researchers who identified TNF, Tumor Necrosis Factor, a key component in the immune system. Since 1989, Dr. Aggarwal has been investigating the role of inflammatory pathways mediated through TNF for the prevention and therapy of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Dr. Aggarwal started his talk by explaining that cancer is a preventable disease. Tobacco, diet, obesity, infections, environmental pollution and radiation promote cancer. By eliminating these, we can eliminate 90-95% of cancers.
NF Kappa B, the major mediator of inflammation that controls over 500 genes. By inhibiting NFkB, you can inhibit cancer. NFkB is the enemy within. Dr. Aggarwal continued by defining any disease ending in “itis” as an inflammation. He stated that nearly 43% of patients with ulcerative colitis could develop colorectal cancer in 25-35 years. Processed red meat is linked to colorectal cancer.
Dr. Aggarwal’s research found that 50 different spices can inhibit NFkB. Please check out his book, “Healing Spices” for more information. (I just bought the book and will review it in a separate post).
- Rosemary - Black Curcumin
- Ginger – Turmeric
- Oregano – Cloves
- Cardamom – Black Pepper
In summary, the conference was fantastic! I hope to see you at the next one!