The secret killers lurking behind all those pink ribbons

How to take control of the top 3 deadliest women’s cancers—starting TODAY

If the term “women’s cancers” makes you think of pink ribbons, you’re not alone. The amount of attention breast cancer gets leads many people to believe it must be the one women need to worry about most.

But don’t be fooled.

There’s another kind of cancer that actually kills more women every year than breast cancer. But it’s not the “darling” of the government political scientists, so you don’t hear anything about it. And you don’t even have access to the screening you need to catch it early enough to have a chance at a cure.

But I’m going to share with you the best methods for screening the three deadliest women’s cancers—and the best strategies for preventing and fighting them—in just a moment.

First, let’s take a look at the killers hiding behind all those pink ribbons.

The cancer the government doesn’t want to treat

So what is the No. 1 deadliest cancer for women? And why isn’t it getting more attention? Simple: Because it’s not politically correct. Maybe that’s why the National Cancer Institute grants it less than half as much funding as for breast cancer.1

But the fact is, lung cancer kills more than 70,000 women every year (which doesn’t even count all the men), compared to breast cancer’s 40,000. But since the government is obsessed with blaming lung cancer sufferers instead of helping them, we never hear much about it.

Here’s the thing, though: Let’s put aside the fact that smokers are basically being told they’re out of luck. The fact is, tens of thousands of women who never smoked a single cigarette in their lives, and many more who quit smoking at the government’s advice, are being diagnosed with lung cancer ever year. What does the government tell them? Don’t they deserve to know why?

Unfortunately, the government policy decision 30 years ago to focus lung cancer research on the trendy new “behavioral sciences” of smoking cessation and prevention left studies on the biology of lung cancer frozen.

But if the government refuses to dig deeper into the science of lung cancer, shouldn’t they at least be warning women how common it is—that it is the No. 1 cancer killer of women? And telling them to get screened for this deadly disease?

In fact, you don’t hear government medical “experts” urging women to undergo routine lung cancer screening. Despite the fact that an effective and non-invasive screening tool exists for lung cancer. That’s right. Recently the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial made an important discovery. The researchers found that screening high-risk smokers and ex-smokers with annual CAT scans would prevent 12,000 lung cancer deaths per year. But still, CAT scans are not routinely offered—even though the American College of Chest Physicians is now recommending them.

Why? Because “experts” at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), insist that smokers don’t care enough about their health to get screening (see the Daily Dispatch from March 25, 2013, “How the government could prevent 12,000 lung cancer deaths per year, but won’t”). Of course, this NCI conclusion is not based upon any science. It’s just their prejudice.

The last government-sanctioned form of discrimination. And not only is it a slap in the face to smokers—but it also shows blatant disregard for the lives of all the non-smokers who fall victim to this disease.

Compare this negligence to the scientific cartwheels that are turned to determine when, how, and how often, to screen for breast cancer—the second most deadly cancer among women—and the discrimination becomes even clearer.

All eyes on breast cancer

The opposite situation has unfolded for breast cancer. Women now have a much better chance of catching breast cancer early and surviving it. Because of huge investments in breast cancer research, we know a tremendous amount about what causes breast cancer and how to treat it.

The largest risk factors for breast cancer are early age at puberty (menarche), late age at menopause, having no or late pregnancies (over age 30), having fewer pregnancies overall, not breastfeeding, taking birth control pills, and post- menopausal hormone therapy.

It’s no coincidence that the “epidemic” of breast cancer today coincides with the dramatic drop in fertility rate in the U.S. Pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as avoiding artificial hormones, dramatically reduce breast cancer risks.

Of course, it is not politically correct to recommend getting pregnant early and often. So instead, experts throw out every other generic “lifestyle” factor—like being moderately overweight or having a “high-fat” diet. Even though, in study after study, try as they might, no one has been able to prove these alleged associations.

Family history (two or more first- degree relatives with breast cancer) is also a very strong risk factor. While there is nothing you can do about this history, it lets you know you should be diligent about screening and early detection.

And as far as screening is concerned, mammograms are still the best option for women over 40.

But after much controversy about the risks of mammograms, the optimal screening interval and hundreds of millions of dollars spent on research, the data indicate that it’s simply not necessary to get a yearly mammogram. Bi-annually is just fine. However, women should perform frequent breast self-examinations. Of course, thanks to all the “pink ribbon PR,” these strategies are already well known. And have already led to many diagnoses—and likely saved many lives.

In fact, breast cancer diagnosis is more common among women than lung cancer. But far fewer women die of breast cancer than lung cancer. Long survival periods—20 years and more—are very common.

That’s because of the better science, screening, and treatment that has been developed for this highly publicized cancer.

In recent years another cancer that was once largely ignored has begun to receive a lot of attention. And as with breast cancer, some good has come out of it. But again, women are suffering from recommendations made based on politics and profits, and not science. Let’s take a look at the third most deadly cancer in women.

The truth about colon cancer

By comparison, colon cancer in women accounts for 9 percent of cancer cases and cancer deaths.2 Age is a major risk factor for colon cancer. More than 90 percent of all colon cancers occur in people 50 years and older.3

The mainstream medical establishment would have you believe that all these risks can be avoided with a routine colonoscopy. But the truth is there’s nothing routine about a colonoscopy. It baffles me that doctors, and even media celebrities, have made it their mission to push these invasive and dangerous procedures on everyone they see.

Especially when we know that other less expensive, less invasive tests work just as well. Research shows a test called the immunochemical fecal occult blood test reduces risks, is economical, and is more likely to be used by more people.4 (For a full discussion of these considerations, read “The hidden, grisly dangers of ‘routine’ colonoscopies” in this September’s issue of Insiders’ Cures.)

So it’s important to know all your options when it comes to screening. Now let’s talk about prevention.

Research has shown for decades that adequate calcium intake is linked to lower colon cancer risk. But doctors are finally paying attention to this association, now that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has finally given it the green light. The NIH and their “Amen chorus” at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) analyzed the data from almost 300,000 men and 200,000 women and found that higher calcium intake is associated with a 20 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer in men and a 30 percent lower risk in women.5

While calcium is best obtained from foods, the other part of the equation for healthy calcium metabolism is vitamin D. Vitamin D is a critical nutrient, and most people need to supplement because of inadequate diet and lack of sun exposure. In fact, increasing numbers of scientists are recognizing that we have a national and worldwide epidemic of vitamin D deficiency.

Fortunately supplementing with 1,000–2,000 IU per day of a high-quality vitamin D is safe and effective for most women.

The untold cancer secret

The bigger question we need to be asking about cancer in women—and in general—is why is it happening? And how can we stop it? Part of the answer, which is still being largely ignored by mainstream doctors, has to do with cutting off cancer’s lifeline.

Compared to normal cells, cancer cells grow very quickly. That’s how tumors grow out of control. But as they grow, they need an increased blood supply. They get this blood supply from new blood vessels that are formed and extend into the tumor. This process is called angiogenesis.

A promising approach to fighting cancer involves stopping these new blood vessels in their tracks. Some nutrients can actually work against angiogenesis. This observation was made experimentally decades ago. But only a few scientists are actually acting on this knowledge.

Still, despite the lack of research into effective treatments, we do know that certain natural ingredients are effective at combating angiogenesis. Here are a few of the most important ones.

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol). The research on vitamin E in cancer has been mixed, but that’s because the people doing the studies don’t seem to understand vitamin E. When we talk about vitamin E, it’s important to understand that it consists of four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. When testing it, we should be looking at all of those in combination—in the natural state of the vitamin. But the reductionist researchers insist on using just one or two components and then find that “vitamin E” has no anti-cancer effect. Even still, some studies have shown that alpha-tocopherol can protect against cancer. In one study using breast cancer cells, vitamin E inhibited their growth. A generally recommended dose of vitamin E is 100 IU per day.

Selenium. You’ve probably heard selenium mentioned in connection with prostate health. But it shows promise for fighting angiogenesis in women’s cancers as well. A study from the Center for Cancer Causation and Prevention showed that selenium reduced the density of vessels in breast tumors. That is, it stopped angiogenesis.6 Other research suggests it could help slow colorectal cancer as well.7 Selenium is a trace mineral and a little bit goes a long way. 100 micrograms of selenomethionine (the organic form bound in an amino acid) is adequate for most people.

Taking selenium together with vitamin E appears to enhance its health benefits.

Resveratrol. Found in the skin and seeds of grapes, and in wine, resveratrol is most famous for its “anti-aging” claims. But it can also act against angiogenesis. In laboratory studies, resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the growth of 12 different types of cancer cells, including prostate, breast, colon, pancreas, and ovarian. Research also shows it has potential to enhance the effects of standard chemotherapy and radiation.8 A generally recommended dose is 500 mg per day.

Genistein. This naturally occurring compound found in soy products and some other legumes has been clearly found to be highly active against many different types of cancer. Population studies have shown that higher genistein intake in the diet is associated with lower risk of cancer—including breast and colon cancers.9 A good dose is 50 mg per day. I recommend a brand called Bonistein™ Genistein.

Piperine (Piper nigrum). The compound that gives black pepper its kick has a long history of use in Ayurvedic and Southeast Asian medicine. Now it’s grabbing the attention of some practitioners in the United States. It boosts the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from foods and supplements, but it also has direct antioxidant, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory properties.10 In one study, piperine was shown to inhibit the spread of breast cancer cells.11 I recommend a daily dose of 20 mg per day, and a brand called Bioperine® Piperine, which is a 50:1 standardized extract.

Women’s health in women’s hands

It’s a shame, given the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars spent on cancer research over the years, that the government-industrial-medical establishment doesn’t have more to offer women who want to lessen their biggest cancer risks. But with the information you’re learning in Insider’s Cures, you can finally take control of your own health.

Too bad you can’t get a refund on all your wasted tax dollars.

 

Sources:

1 National Cancer Institute. Cancer research funding. Reviewed August 23, 2013. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/NCI/research-funding. Accessed October 2, 2013.

2 American Cancer Society. Cancer facts and figures 2012. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-031941.pdf. Accessed October 2, 2013.

3 Colon Cancer Alliance. Colon cancer statistics. https://www.ccalliance.org/colorectal_cancer/statistics.html. Accessed October 3, 2013.

4 Flitcroft KL, Irwig LM, Carter SM, Salkeld GP, Gillespie JA. Colorectal cancer screening: why immunochemical fecal occult blood tests may be the best option. BMC Gastroenterol. 2012;12:183.

5 Park Y, Leitzmann MF, Subar AF, Hollenbeck A, Schatzkin A. Dairy food, calcium, and risk of cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169(4):391-401.

6 Jiang C, Jiang W, Ip C, Ganther H, Lu J. Selenium-induced inhibition of angiogenesis in mammary cancer at chemopreventive levels of intake. Mol Carcinog. 1999;26(4):213-225.

7 Bhattacharya A, Turowski SG, San Martin ID, et al. Magnetic resonance and fluorescence-protein imaging of the anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor efficacy of selenium in an orthotopic model of human colon cancer. Anticancer Res. 2011 Feb;31(2):387-393.

8Aggarwal BB, Bhardwaj A, Aggarwal RS, Seeram NP, Shishodia S, Takada Y. Role of resveratrol in prevention and therapy of cancer: preclinical and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. 2004;24(5A):2783-2840.

9 Molinié B, Georgel P. Genetic and epigenetic regulations of prostate cancer by genistein. Drug News Perspect. 2009;22(5):247-254.

10 Kim HG, Han EH, Jang WS, et al. Piperine inhibits PMA-induced cyclooxygenase-2 expression through downregulating NF-κB, C/EBP and AP-1 signaling pathways in murine macrophages. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012;50(7):2342-2348.

11 Lai LH, Fu QH, Liu Y, et al. Piperine suppresses tumor growth and metastasis in vitro and in vivo in a 4T1 murine breast cancer model. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2012;33(4):523-530.


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