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I thought it was an urban legend. I thought that a mastectomy “spreading” the patient’s breast cancer was a myth. According to the study linked and excerpted below, surgery possibly spreading breast cancer is not a myth.
If I read the article below correctly, it is the healing process from the surgery that can cause BC to spread. Or I should say that the biological process called angiogenesis that causes the spread of BC after a mastectomy. The “blood vessel growth” refered to in the article below is called “angiogenesis.” There are a host of chemotherapy regimens as well as non-toxic angiogenesis inhibitors. Several of them are effective at my slowing my blood cancer, multiple myeloma.
The important aspect of the “anti-inflammatory treatment” referred to in the second study below could be conventional (FDA approved) or non-conventional. The non-conventional anti-inflammatory supplements that I take to remain in remission from my cancer also are cytotoxic to breast cancer. Curcumin, Resveratrol, Green Tea extract and others are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-breast cancer. I take Life Extension curcumin, resveratrol, and green tea extract.
If you would like to learn more about anti-angiogenic foods, and anti-BC lifestyle therapies such as exercise and detoxificaiton, please scroll down the page and post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Breast cancer patients are more likely to experience a return and spread of their cancer within 18 months after a mastectomy or removal of the breast tumour along with healthy breast tissues. The reason for this or this association has been hitherto unexplained. According to a new study from MIT and the Whitehead Institute, the process of healing of the surgical scar after surgery is the cause for spread of the cancer…
Normally the body’s immune system prevents the spread of the cancer from the breast to other tissues in the body. When the healing from the scar is ongoing after a surgery, the immune system is too busy to stop the spread of the cancer cells to other parts of the body. This means that the cancer cells are transported to distant sites in the body and the cancer thus progresses…
According to senior author Robert Weinberg, who is a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it is not the surgery itself that is leading to this phenomenon but the “post-surgical wound response.” This wound response provokes the already disseminated cells to grown and become distant tumours called metastases…
Weinberg explains that when a surgical scar is healing, the immune system works overtime to send in cells that promote repair, prevent infections and promote blood vessel growth. These mechanisms are also seen when a cancer is growing. As the immune system is busy repairing the surgical wound, he said, the cancer cells fuelled by the very same immune system go unchecked to other parts of the body where they act as seeds for new and dangerous tumours. These are called secondary tumours and are far more dangerous that the primary ones in the breast says Weinberg. For example when the tumours have spread to the brain, lungs or liver, they are more likely to become life threatening sooner than when they are confined to the breast…
Taking anti-inflammatory drugs may be one of the solutions suggest the authors. The team of researchers looked at the phenomenon in mice and found that if the patient was given anti-inflammatory drugs such as Meloxicam, the immune system continued to exert its control and prevent the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body. More studies are necessary to see if these drugs are actually successful to a significant extent, but as of now this is an exciting find say researchers. Earlier smaller studies have shown that anti-inflammatory drugs like Ketorolac after mastectomy could prevent spread of the cancer. More research on this is necessary to extrapolate the results in humans say the authors of the study.”
“Can wound healing worsen metastasis?
Relatively early metastatic recurrence after primary surgical resection is common in breast cancer patients. This phenomenon could be due to tumor cells released into the circulation during surgery or could be the result of existing metastatic outgrowth. To distinguish between these possibilities, Krall et al. used a common wound-healing model in mice harboring breast cancer cells. In this model, there is no surgery to disturb a primary tumor bed. They discovered that T cells are able to keep distant tumor cells in check, but that inflammation induced during wound healing may disrupt this delicate balance. Anti-inflammatory treatment reduced metastasis in the mice, and existing clinical data also suggest that perioperative anti-inflammatories reduced early metastatic recurrence in breast cancer patients. By separating surgery from resection, these results may explain this curious clinical occurrence…”
I have learned to live with cancer. When I say live with cancer I mean I live with extensive collateral damage aka side effects from active therapy years ago. I live with the fear of relapse. And finally, I live with a very real risk of secondary cancer. Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer must also learn to live with it.
So when I read that Angelina Jolie chose to undergo contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, yet she had not been diagnosed with breast cancer, I thought I understood why. Sort of. I say sort of because, let’s be honest, Angelina Jolie isn’t like the rest of us. She is a famous movie star who must think about her physical appearance more than I think about my physical appearance.
The more I thought about contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, the more I wondered why someone would choose to have their breasts removed to reduce their risk of cancer. Certainly a fear of a cancer diagnosis is a powerful motivator.
But could it also be that plastic surgeons have gotten so adept at breast reconstruction surgery that women like Angelina Jolie can focus on preventing a possible future cancer diagnosis and what this may mean for their lives, families and friends and worry less about their physical appearance?
If you have been diagnosed with early stage BC- DCIS, stage 1 or 2, please understand that there are a host of evidence-based, non-toxic therapies that can reduce your risk of getting or relapsing.
For more information on non-toxic BC therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.
“Increasing numbers of women with breast cancer are electing for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) to reduce the risk of developing contralateral breast cancer…
Of 2,504 breast cancer patients, 1,223 (48.8%) underwent total mastectomy. Of the 1,223 patients who underwent mastectomy, 284 (23.2%) underwent immediate or delayed CPM…
Multivariable analysis revealed several factors that were associated with a patient undergoing CPM:
We identified specific patient and tumor characteristics associated with the use of CPM. Although genetic testing is increasing, most women undergoing CPM did not have a known genetic predisposition to breast cancer.”