When you are faced with a serious health challenge such as breast cancer, you have some tough decisions to make. Perhaps the most important decision is what route you will take—alternative, allopathic or a combination of both—as you work towards regaining health. Whatever course you choose, being aware of the facts will be VITAL in the months (and even years) ahead. And being informed of any side effects of treatment is especially important if you are considering any of the three allopathic treatment methods available today: chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Each one of these can warrant an entire article in and of itself when it comes to side effects for women with Breast Cancer. Below represent a mere sampling:
Radiation: Effects on the Heart
“There is no safe dose of radiation,” says physician and epidemiologist Edward P. Radford. Radford was talking specifically about the little-known effects of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan when he made this comment, but common sense indicates that we can apply the same statement to radiation exposure that is part of traditional Breast Cancer treatment as well. Radiation in any form basically creates free radicals and damages DNA in the body.
When radiation is used as a treatment for Breast Cancer, the targeted point for treatment is the chest area. Because of this, Breast Cancer radiation treatment specifically has the potential to harm heart muscles, arteries and valves. According to Harvard Professor Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, “the lifetime risk of having a heart attack or another major cardiac event goes up approximately 3%” in women who have had breast radiation. Women who have had radiation on the left breast (which is nearer to the heart) may have a higher chance of heart-related problems in the future.
Chemotherapy: Effects on the Immune System, But Not All Breast Cancer Cells?
Chemotherapy is a cocktail of chemicals intended to kill cells that divide rapidly. And while chemo may be doing its job at killing breast cancer cells, it is also destroying other vital systems, like digestion function, bone marrow and your immune system.
Ironically, chemotherapy may also be increasingly ineffective as a treatment for some types of breast cancer. This is due to the increasing presence of BPAs, or Bisphenol A, in our bodies. In 2003, a Center for Disease Control study which was considered representational of the overall US population found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of the people tested.
It has long been suspected that the presence of BPA in materials like plastic water bottles may be linked to cancer; a recent Duke University study goes one step further. Duke researchers found that BPAs may also make cancer cells found in Inflammatory breast cancer patients resistant to prescription chemotherapy drugs. In the US today, approximately 5 million pounds of BPA is pumped into manufacturing plants every year.
Surgery: Effects on the Body and Emotions
Surgery can be very traumatic both physically and emotionally. However, depending on size and type, removing a breast cancer tumor may be necessary and even beneficial. Always get a second opinion if you are considering surgery. Also, educate yourself about what you can do before and after to help your body heal.
Essential #6 of my “7 Essentials System™ “, an evidence-based approach to support and help heal the body naturally, provides you with ways to repair your body with therapeutic plants. For example, before surgery, you can boost your Natural Killer Cell activity with Chaga mushrooms and garlic. You can also increase your anti-inflammatory responses by taking supplements such as curcumin, milk thistle extract or Bromelain, which is an enzyme derived from pineapples that has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
After surgery, homeopathic products like Rescue Remedy, a combination of flower essences designed to balance emotions, can help to reduce emotional anxiety.
Biopsies used for information-gathering, on the other hand, is another thing altogether. Biopsies may actually create serious complications for breast cancer. A study conducted by the John Wayne Cancer Center found that needle biopsies increased the spread of breast cancer by a whopping 55% compared to lumpectomy. Why?
Needle biopsy is an invasive procedure; the needle has to pierce the tumor wall. In the process, it creates an opening for the release of opportunistic cancer cells into both the circulatory as well as the lymphatic systems.
The decision as to what course of action to take when you are first diagnosed with breast cancer can be overwhelming. By arming yourself with the correct information about the effects of traditional treatments like chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, however, you can make a sound decision about the course of your care that is in alignment with your own belief system about health and your particular situation. Whatever course you choose, remember─ knowledge is power!
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr. V”) is a best-selling author and founder of breastcancerconqueror.com. She specializes in Chiropractic, Bio-Energetics, Meridian Stress Analysis, Homeopathy and Digital Thermography. After 30 years in active practice, she decided to “retire” and devote her time to sharing her personal, non-toxic Breast Cancer healing journey with others. Her years of experience and research have culminated in “The 7 Essentials™ “, a step-by-step coaching program that unravels the mystery of healing the body. Her website and personal healing journey have touched the lives of thousands of women around the globe.