Recurrence of Breast Cancer. Cancer Stem Cells.
Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with recurrence of breast cancer after 20 years. Actress and singer Dianne Carroll recently died after battling breast cancer. She was first diagnosed in 1998.
In my latest visit with my oncologist I brought this up asking how breast cancer returned after so many years. He explained to me the difference between estrogen receptor and Her2 positive breast cancer. Although I had an aggressive type of cancer cells (Her2 positive), the prognosis is better at having no recurrence after 5 years. Something he said also made me very sad. He said that estrogen receptor breast cancer never goes away. What causes breast cancer to return?
In July 2018, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, published a study titled “Breast Cancer Stem Cells”. The study was funded by a National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute grant.
Researchers, as well as many cancer patients, have wondered why there is recurrence of cancer. As long as there is possibility of the cancer returning, patients live on egg shells.
Researchers have found cancer stem cells. The stem cells are given as reason for the returning of cancer. The study talks about molecular pathways and there is lots of scientific language used in the study. The best way I can put it in layman’s terms is by using an analogy. There is a mother ship in tumors. The mother ship communicates with cells causing them to divide uncontrollably, building tumors and taking over the planet/body. The mother ship is resistant to chemotherapy drugs and radiation. As long as the mother ship exists, it seeks to survive.
In another study published in October 2018 by the same organization, it reports:
“Cancer stem cells (CSCs) make up a small subpopulation of cells within a tumor, are capable of self-renewal and, are responsible for tumor initiation, formation, and recurrence.”
The good news is that in September 2015, professional studies were published reporting that 6-Shoal, a content found in ground ginger, kills cancer stem cells.
I would never suggest that any cancer patient forsake traditional treatment for herbal treatment. However, I incorporated ground ginger into my diet while having treatment. The way I thought about it is, it couldn’t hurt. I was originally scheduled for 7 treatments with 4 drugs. Because of allergies and side-effects, I only received one treatment with 4 drugs. One teaspoon of ground ginger became part of my daily diet. In March after surgery, the pathologist’s report of tissue and lymph nodes removed found no cancer cells. The tumor had gone. In August, I had my post-surgery PET scan. It was clean. For the next 3 months I still have to go for labs and port flushes, and another PET scan is on the horizon in January. Then, the port is removed and I should only have to go for labs and tests every 6 months.
A warning to diabetic patients. Ginger balances blood sugar, so anyone who is taking insulin and wants to take ginger should monitor their blood sugar. If you have any illness that requires ongoing medication, talk to your doctor before taking ginger.