As a lifelong advocate for women’s health, scholar and author D. Lindsey Berkson has been investigating the effects of hormone disrupters on the fetus.She writes, “During critical times such as pregnancy, a mother’s body has high levels of estrogen. Fortunately 99 percent of the estrogen a pregnant woman makes is attached to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). When estrogen rides i piggyback on these blood proteins, it is said to be bound. Estrogen that is bound does not cross the placental barrier, so the estrogen cannot enter the body and brain of the developing child. The estrogen that is not bound is referred to as free estrogen as it is able to pass freely into cells and bind with receptors.Free estrogen is thus the biologically active estrogen that can get into a cell and send a signal to start estrogenic activity. Only 0.2 or 0.3 percent of a mother’s estrogen is free and can get into the fetus.*7/165/1*
Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category
A recent test tube study reveals that Roundup can severely | reduce the ability of mouse cells to produce hormones, Roundup interferes with a fundamental protein called STAR (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein). The STAR protein is the key to the production of testosterone in men thus controlling male characteristics, including sperm production and also the production of the adrenal hormone (essential for brain development), carbohydrate metabolism (leading to loss or gain of weight), and immune system function. The authors point out that “a disruption of the STAR protein may underlie many of the toxic effects of environmental pollutants. In the womb the steroid hormones play a vital role by directing the development of the reproductive organs as well as influencing the development of the thyroid gland, liver immune system and brain. Critical times for breast development also occur before birth. This development requires an impeccable time sequence of events. Any alteration of that sequence can have disastrous and permanent consequences.*11/165/1*
Some people are more visual than others; they think in images. Some people tend to sense things. Others feel things. Some think in words. Because of these individual differences, we have found that when we use the word “see” in our instructions to the mental imagery process, some people might instead “feel” what it is like to be well. When we would say, “See yourself becoming well,” they might have the “sensation” of energy and health. It has become increasingly clear to us that a person should stay with the process or way of thinking that he or she is most comfortable with, rather than trying to become primarily visual. In the long run, all types of thinking tend to intertwine. A person who is mostly visual will begin to become more feeling, and a person who is more feeling will begin to become more visual. Permit yourself to operate first in the sense that is most natural to you.
Another problem we have found to be very common during mental imagery is the tendency for a person’s mind to wander. This often represents a lack of concentration, which can be aggravated by certain medications, by pain, or fear. From time to time it is a problem that affects everyone using the process regularly. One of the most effective ways for dealing with distraction is to stop the process and ask yourself what is going on: “Why is my mind wandering?” Pursue that line of thought for a short time, perhaps five minutes. Then focus back on the exercise and go through it with whatever degree of success you can attain.
A third difficulty is the feeling that saying the cancer is “shrinking” is actually lying to yourself. We’ve heard statements such as, “I’ve got a cancer growing on my shoulder, I can feel it, it’s not possible for me to see it shrinking when I know it’s growing bigger.” The problem here is a confusion about the purpose of the mental imagery process. We are attempting to help the patient visualize the desired outcome, not what may be happening at the time. It is possible to picture the cancer shrinking even when in reality it may be growing; you are picturing in your mind what you want to come about. Understanding this distinction is very important. Mental imagery is not a method of self-deception; it is a method for self-direction.
Now that you know the basic relaxation/mental imagery process, the next chapter will help you interpret and develop specific mental images so that you can understand your underlying beliefs about cancer and create a more positive expectancy for recovery.
Firstly, you are entitled to know that the procedure is experimental or unproven. You must be told the reason for the research and exactly what it would involve for you in terms of inconvenience, risk, possible side effects, and financial cost. You must know what the alternative standard procedures or treatments are and be assured that they are not known to be better than the research procedure or treatment. You must be assured of confidentiality— that you will not be identified by name in records going to other centres or when research results are published. You must have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers you can understand. You must be told that, whether or not you agree to take part in the research, you will still be treated by the same practitioner to the best of his or her ability. After entering the research study, you are entitled to withdraw at any stage and still receive treatment from the same practitioner if you wish. You are entitled to take time and consult with others if you wish before deciding whether or not to take part in the research. You must be assured that any adjustments or changes to treatment will be made in your own individual interest. This means, for example, that if the treatment is clearly not helping you or is producing unpleasant or dangerous side effects, it will not be continued.
Naturally, we all hope that advances will be made in cancer research. Taking part in research could be an experience which makes you feel better about yourself. You would be justified in feeling that, in this way, you could use your illness positively to help future patients. However, it is still most important to be fair to yourself and to put your own immediate interests first. Don’t agree to participate in research unless you feel good about it and know exactly what you are agreeing to.
These rights are not so special or extreme, are they? They should sound familiar because, basically, they are the same sorts of rights as should apply in all treatment situations.
Miso Soup with Kelp
3 cups of water
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1/4 cabbage chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 chunk ginger
1/4 cup of miso paste
2 tsp tamari
1/2 sheet kelp, shredded
Heat the water. Add carrot slices, chopped garlic, chopped onion, chopped ginger, chopped celery and cabbage. Heat for 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are slightly cooked. Mix miso with slightly warm water in another cup, until it has a liquid consistency. When vegetables are cooked, bring down heat and simmer. Add miso water, tamari and kelp. Don’t boil the miso, as this destroys its valuable digestion-aiding enzymes and micro-organisms. Simmer for a couple of minutes, take off heat and season. Sprinkle sea salt and extra kelp on top.
Vegetable Cleansing Soup
You will need:
2 carrots with tops
2 beets with tops
2 stalks celery with leaves
1 handful spinach
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch watercress/kale
2 to 3 cups water
Chop all ingredients and add 2 to 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook about 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Drain off vegetables and use only broth. This recipe can be refrigerated for future use.
Wholesome Country Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 small organic chicken breasts (cubed)
1 teaspoon of olive oil
500 g chopped fresh seasonal vegetables such as potatoes, swede, celery, leeks, carrots,
225 g tinned tomatoes
1 teaspoon of vegetable stock
Steam fry the onion and garlic in oil with the chicken. Add the vegetables and tomatoes, and enough water to cover, plus vegetable stock or cube. Cover and simmer on low heat until the vegetables are cooked.
What emotions you have is less important than what you do with them.
Strong emotions are not a problem unless they keep you from doing the right things. They are your body’s communication system for letting you know how you are doing and what you need to work on. Instead of worrying about the fact that you are so fearful, spend your energy exploring the source of your fears and ways to tame them. If you are angry, discover the source of your anger and find ways to dissipate or resolve your anger.
No matter what you are feeling, do the right thing.
A fireman is a professional who learns to brave flames and save burning victims, no matter what fear of flames or revulsion at burning flesh he or she feels. You can learn how to be a professional survivor, doing the right thing to prevent and stave off problems, no matter what you are feeling. Do the right thing for your overall health, no matter how you look or feel doing it. If you cannot, because of fear, emotions, or uncertainty about what the right thing is, get help.
Recovery after cancer is a family affair.
The cancer experience happened to you and everyone around you. Recovery, too, is a family affair. Despite the relief that your treatment is over, everyone has heightened anxiety and worry. Roles change, feelings are unleashed, and new problems surface. You will help yourself by being tuned in to those around you. Illness and recovery do not release you from the need to be sensitive to those around you, as much as you can.
Focus on what you can do to help your recovery
and maintain your renewed health.
There are many things you can do to facilitate your recovery and preserve your renewed health. Instead of worrying about bad things that could happen or things you cannot control, focus on realistic ways to strengthen your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Efforts toward progress, no matter how small, are life enhancing.
Worrying about your past or your future poisons your present.
Regretting or worrying about what you did, what you did not do, and what you could have done is a waste of time, energy, and emotion. You can never change the past. If you find yourself ruminating on the past, train yourself to focus on what you can do now to improve your health and enrich your life emotionally and spiritually.
Worrying about your future is also a waste of time, energy, and emotion. You may be worrying about a problem that will never materialize, in which case a nonexistent problem is causing you distress. Worrying now will not help you get through a situation that does develop in the future; it just prolongs and deepens the pain caused by the problem. You do not have to be free of all anxiety about your future before you can enjoy your present. Whenever you feel that you are living in a never-never land of “wait and see,” try to think of yourself as surviving in the land of “live and see.”
(for men) What Causes Impotence?
Impotence is the inability of a man to achieve and maintain an erection. It can be temporary or permanent, partial or complete. Things that affect sexual function include
• damage to nerves of the sexual organs
• damage to vessels of sexual organs
• damage to the sexual organs
• depression or grief
• side effect of current medications
• aftereffect of cancer medications
•anxiety, depression, or emotional stress
• change in emotional relationship with sexual partner
(for women) What Causes Decreased Lubrication? Decrease or Loss of Orgasm?
Lubrication and orgasm can be affected by
• hormonal changes
• damage to nerves to genitals from surgery or radiation
• damage to lining of female genital tract from chemotherapy
• damage to lining of female genital tract from local radiation
• genital infection
• depression, grief, anxiety, or emotional stress
• change in emotional relationship with sexual partner
If I Have Experienced a Change in Ну Sexual Functioning, What Can I Do?
Do not assume that sexual difficulties are due to an emotional problem. Discuss with your oncologist the changes you have noticed. Find out whether your cancer or its treatment could have played a role in the change in your sexual function. Ask whether you can expect your problems to resolve by themselves and how quickly you can expect to see a difference. Learn about everything you can do to help your sexual function recover. Treatment options include
• individual counseling
• support groups or group counseling
• family or couple counseling
• behavioral therapy
Fatigue is intimately related to sexual function and desire. Many of the problems that cause fatigue, such as low estrogen or testosterone levels, also impair libido and sexual function. Keep your doctor aware of any change in sexual function, because it will help him or her determine the cause and appropriate treatment for your
fatigue as well as your diminished sexual function and desire.
Grief, so common during recovery, is a physiological as well as psychological process that can cause both decreased libido and listlessness. As you grieve your losses, you may have no interest in sex for a while. However, if this lack of interest persists, consult with your doctor because physical or emotional issues other than grief may be responsible for it.
On a practical level, if your daily activities sap every last ounce of your energy, none is left for sex. In addition, the ongoing stress of dealing with the limitations imposed by your low energy can lead to chemical or hormonal changes in your body that manifest themselves as diminished sexual function. These changes can occur despite a positive attitude, emotional stability, and optimal social circumstances.
However, human sexuality is a highly complex phenomenon. Since sexual interest and function are influenced by your environment and emotional state, fatigue may indirectly inhibit them. For example, relationships strained by your lack of enough energy to perform (housework, child care, or job) are less conducive to sexual enjoyment.
Anxiety, low self-esteem, and fear about your changed body sometimes, subconsciously, may lead you to avoid sexual activity through crippling fatigue. Recognizing when this is a contributing factor will help you deal with the real issue: adjusting to your changed body image. Resolution of this problem will encourage a return to normal sexual activity.
While you were being treated for cancer, significant limitations may have prevented sexual activity. Hospitalization, severe pain, intractable nausea, and treatment-induced lethargy prevent sexual relations no matter how strong the desire. These limitations, lifted during remission, can leave their mark: you and your partner are less spontaneous and comfortable in relating sexually. Prolonged abstinence or near-abstinence may cause you to get out of the habit.
If during your treatment phase you had pain that was exacerbated by sexual activity, initiating sex or even thinking about it may trigger a conditioned type of anxiety or inability to function, even though the pain is now gone completely. This complaint usually responds to appropriate treatment. It is similar to a woman’s meeting her chemotherapy nurse in a grocery store ten years after the end of treatment and immediately getting nauseated and throwing up. (Needless to say, the encounter doesn’t make the nurse feel very good, either.)
Fatigue and diminished sexual function are often interrelated. Attention to both will facilitate their improvement.
Is There Something Wrong with Me If I Don’t Think about My Cancer?
As long as you are responsible about your posttreatment health care and follow-ups, it is great if you do not think about your cancer. If your cancer required relatively brief, easily tolerated therapy, if your prognosis is good, and if your cancer experience did not change your outlook on life, then it would be expected and healthy for you to forget about your cancer most of the time.
If you do not think about your cancer, because when you do you experience uncomfortable, even intolerable feelings, then you are repressing, not forgetting, memories of your cancer experience. It is best if your cancer history and cancer experience become integrated parts of your past.
What If I Miss Going for Treatment?
Inconvenient and uncomfortable as treatment may have been, it had its good sides:
• You had the comfort of knowing that you were doing something active to treat your cancer.
• You were the recipient of undivided attention.
• People were gentle and sympathetic toward you.
• You felt like everyone else at the doctor’s office; outside the medical setting you may feel like
the only cancer patient.
What Can I Do if I Miss Being a Patient?
Recognize the sources of your anxiety and allay it through knowledge, hope, and action. Savor the current success of your treatment, no matter how uncertain the future. Relish your liberation from treatments, visits, and tests.
You can replace the missing interactions by making efforts to get together with new people who understand your situation, needs, and emotions. Support groups and professional counseling can fill in some of the gaps during this transition to a new normal life.
If you find yourself wishing you were still a patient and reluctant to resume the interactions and responsibilities of healthy people, it may be helpful to reexamine the life you are reentering-Your illness may have functioned as a shield against unpleasant aspects of your everyday existence as a healthy person. Take stock of your values, priorities, and goals. Think about how your personal and professional pursuits do and do not satisfy you.
It is normal to miss some aspects of being a patient. However, if you wish you were still a patient, that is a signal to make changes in your circumstances or your relationships. This may be the time for you to confront issues that you avoided prior to your illness. Professional help is available if you need support and guidance during this period of readjustment.
Should I Tell a Prospective Employer about My Cancer History?
Whether or not you tell a prospective employer will depend on
• whether secondary effects of your cancer or its treatment might interfere with your job performance
• whether the type of relationship you expect to have with your boss would be hampered by withholding information about your cancer history or enhanced by sharing the information
What Are the Advantages of Telling My Boss or Co-workers about My Cancer?
Sharing your cancer history can be beneficial for many reasons. If you have some residual changes that are obvious, such as visible healing scars, the need to void very often, or a chronic cough, there will be no misunderstanding about why you look or act the way you do. You will not have to put up quite as convincing a front on difficult days. It can be stressful to try to hide the fact of your cancer history and to try to figure out how someone else might deal with it if he or she found out. You will not have to create excuses or explanations when you need to make schedule changes for tests and checkups.
Another benefit of informing your co-workers and boss about your cancer is that you may find an important support system at work.
What Are the Disadvantages of Sharing Your Diagnosis at Work?
There may be significant disadvantages to sharing your diagnosis at work. For example,
• you may have to deal with others’ concerns, fears, or prejudices about your situation (“Any sign of recurrence?”)
• people’s genuine concern may remind you about your cancer on days when you would have forgotten about it (“How are you doing? When is your next checkup?”)
• you may be disappointed by some people’s discomfort with your situation or by their lack of concern or sympathy when you need it.