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Topic: Cordyceps and Breast Cancer

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Nov 25, 2012 03:05PM

MariannaLaFrance wrote:

I just purchased some CorEnergy, which is Cordyceps, Panax Ginseng, and Green Tea. I did not research Cordyceps before I purchased, but I purchased it for the promise of energy and athletic performance. I am wondering if any of you know of contraindications for Codyceps. I found one source on the internet that suggested NOT to take it in regards to any hormonally driven cancers, but it's not a referencable study, etc. 

Wondering if any of you have any information on this.

Thanks!

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Posts 1 - 21 (21 total)

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Nov 26, 2012 07:02AM Momine wrote:

OK, I checked around and apparently cordyceps stimulates testosterone production in mice:

"Cordyceps also stimulated testosterone production in mice (9). Whether it exerts similar effects in humans is not known." http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/cordyceps

In women, testosterone is converted to estrogen, so that would presumably be why this supplement might not be great in ER+ BC.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 06/20/2011 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracil, TaxotereSurgery 09/13/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Radiation Therapy 01/09/2012 ExternalSurgery 03/08/2012 Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/01/2012 Femara
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Nov 26, 2012 01:07PM Timothy wrote:

That research leaves a lot of unanswered questions.  Showing it stimulates cells in the male testis (of mice) doesn't necessarily mean it stimulates testosterone production in females.  Testosterone might not be good in and of itself in breast cancer patients.  I'd say, when in doubt, avoid, unless there are proven benefits for yourself.

Concerned husband

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Nov 30, 2012 11:55AM DavidStoner wrote:

Cordyceps, like all medicinal mushrooms, is a Biological Response Modifier. It can balance your immune system.

It can increase the production of testosterone, but only when it's too low - it will push it to the normal level and stop there. That is why Cordyceps is also a popular supplement for athletes who do not want the risk of being tested positive for doping, like what happens when you use (illegal) chemical testosterone boosters. Cordyceps is not on the doping list.

A lot of background on Cordyceps can be found here: www.oriveda.com/cordyceps_deta... and that same site has a section with links to downloadable research publications. 

I don't think Cordyceps has a direct/indirect effect on breast cancer, but it might improve your quality of life, your renal and liver function and neutralize the side effects of immune affecting medication like chemo and radiation. So still worthwhile investigating, just like the Chaga and the Turkey Tail, which are discussed elsewhere on this forum.

I also gave this link in one of those discussions: supplement-facts.org/2012-6.php. It shows you what to look for when you are considering purchasing mushroom supplements. Most of the cheap stuff on the shelf has a bioavailability of zero and is therefore useless.

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Mar 10, 2013 11:20PM jojo68 wrote:

David, I am interested in purchasing Cordyceps...but, the link you attached doesn't open...is there another?  I am currently taking RM-10 and Turkey tail and would also love to at the ceps!  Thanks!

Completed DIEP recon... ILC Stage 2B/3A Grade 2/ER+/PR+/HER- 7/29 nodes/3cm tumor...Anti-chemo and rads girl!..."You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."~The good Dr. Seuss

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Mar 11, 2013 10:20AM, edited Mar 11, 2013 10:23AM by LtotheK

Cordyceps is very popular in Europe,and I had friends suggest it during my treatment.  It is widely understood there to be an anti-cancer intervention.

I am wary of treatments that suggest cancer is a monolith.  Any research on this treatment seems to pre-date knowledge of genetic assays or hormone and HER2 receptors.  Because of that, I am uninclined to try it.  I work with fish oil and D, as they seem to have a longer, proven track record of positive benefit for cancer.

Also, my oncologist told me to think twice about any supplements over US RDA while I'm on Tamoxifen.  She said they will never have the research needed on all the contraindications.  I made the choice for myself to take Tamoxifen, and incorporate holistic/naturopathic interventions as well, but I have been more conservative after my talk with her.  She is at a major research hospital, and I do find their advice tends to be more cutting edge up to the minute.

In a little wander through Dr. Google, what does seem to be clear (ish) about Cordyceps research is it is a hormone modulator of some kind.  I can't imagine any practitioner, holistic or otherwise, would recommend this treatment to ER/PR+ patients.  The hormone modulations are just way, way too complicated and not understood fully.

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Mar 11, 2013 10:32AM Momine wrote:

LtotheK, that is my basic approach as well. I am on femara, and it prevents the naturally occurring testosterone from converting to estrogen. Apparently that is what testosterone normally does in a woman's body. I already have more testosterone than I need, so I doubt I will be trying these "'shrooms."

More and more evidence suggests that you are better off getting needed nutrients from your normal diet, as far as possible. 

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 06/20/2011 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracil, TaxotereSurgery 09/13/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Radiation Therapy 01/09/2012 ExternalSurgery 03/08/2012 Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/01/2012 Femara
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Mar 11, 2013 01:59PM claireinaz wrote:

Hmmm, I too am taking tamoxifen. I am also taking tumeric/curcumin and about 4000 IUs of Vit D daily among others.  I'm interested specifically in what LtotheK and Momine have to say about those.  I've seen your posts on these boards for so long and trust your reasonable, logical voices.

In a week I'm meeting with a naturopathic oncologist. I'm curious to see what he has to say about what to take with tamoxifen, too.

Claire

9/29/11 ILC, 2 c. stage II grade 1, ER/PR+ HER2-, 6/11 nodes, lumpectomy, DDAC x 4, Taxol x 12, 33 rads, Tamoxifen to arimidex, BMX/immed recon 7/3/13 "God supposedly gives us only what we can handle. God must think I'm a badass."

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Mar 11, 2013 02:26PM Momine wrote:

Claire, I have no special knowledge, just trying to muddle through as best I can. I would be interested in what your onc says about the supplements. Some docs seem to like a lot of vitamin D, others are more iffy about it. I am not sure there. Turmeric is mainly an anti-inflammatory, as far as I know. I took some for a while, but since I take a baby-aspirin every other day, I figure that is good enough. But some sort of steady use of anti-inflammatories appears to be a good idea.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 06/20/2011 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracil, TaxotereSurgery 09/13/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Radiation Therapy 01/09/2012 ExternalSurgery 03/08/2012 Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/01/2012 Femara
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Mar 11, 2013 03:03PM SelenaWolf wrote:

My MO was "iffy" about Vitamin D.  She said that the studies linking Vitamin D deficiency to initial breast cancer diagnosis suggested a possible link between those issues only and that increasing one's intake of Vitamin D in hopes of preventing a recurrence was hypothetical, at best.  That said, she agreed that Vitamin D was essential to good health and, if someone was deficient (there is a blood test), then increasing one's Vitamin D daily dosage was wise to get one's Vitamin D levels up-to-snuff.  Otherwise, if one was not Vitamin D deficient, then the daily recommended dose of 400iu was more than adequate.

My pharmacist, on the other hand, suggested 1000iu daily.  He said that that was not going to cause any problems with the medications that I was taking.

"... good girls never made history ..."

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Mar 11, 2013 06:55PM jojo68 wrote:

Hoping David is still able to provide the link...
I would love to be able to get all of my nutrients from original food sources, but our soil and environment is not what it used to be...plus many problems with genetic modification etc...plus, you get a much higher concentration of a nutrient in s supplement...for example, 2 dim pills equals approx 2 pounds of cruciferous veggies..awesome for cancer fighting!!

Completed DIEP recon... ILC Stage 2B/3A Grade 2/ER+/PR+/HER- 7/29 nodes/3cm tumor...Anti-chemo and rads girl!..."You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."~The good Dr. Seuss

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Mar 29, 2013 04:10AM, edited Mar 29, 2013 04:13AM by LtotheK

Claire, what a compliment!  I feel like a total idiot on these boards sometimes, SO SO grateful to the many brilliant voices here.  Whatever I know has been mostly guided by folks here. What a light you've all put in my tunnel.

I am traveling so haven't been on board, but what I know about D and curcumin, both have been okayed by my oncologist. There seems to be some question about ideal blood levels of D--too much and it could be harmful. That just seems logical to me: treatments and preventions have repercussions, too. And, I usually subscribe to the "if it sounds too good..." model of thinking. For me, getting the D up a bit higher (I can't maintain it on 1000 mgs, unfortunately) really improved my overall health. I feel so much better now, and that's after aggressive cancer treatment!

The curcumin from what I've heard is less promising as a preventative.  I had a practioner who told me you'd have to eat the equivalent of a brick worth for it to have effect.  And, that probably wouldn't be smart with Tamoxifen.  I also was an indian food chef before diagnosis.  Had more turmeric in my diet than most! 

To the point about soil, my colleagues and I are convinced the US food really is problematic.  How is it when I work in SE Europe I eat whatever I want, have no stomach issues, and lose weight?  I walk less than I do at home!  I really think there are issues with soil, monocultures, and a host of other things.

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Mar 29, 2013 04:29AM Momine wrote:

LtotheK, we live in Greece and last time we visited the US (where we used to live), the poor quality of the food really struck me. We stayed a few days in a slightly down at heels suburb, and since the hotel had a kitchenette, I decided to go to the supermarket. There were 3 markets, each one stocked with sugary drinks, aisles and aisles and aisles of weird, pre-fab, frozen food and various boxed food. There was hardly any fresh, regular food in there. Restaurants in the area were a few cheapo Chinese joints, some cheapo pizzerias and an Appleby's (that was truly vile).

Here at least we still have farmer's markets in most neighborhoods and they are often the cheapest source for fresh fruit and veggies. Most of them will also have a stand where a fish monger sells inexpensive fresh fish, like sardines. There are still traditional taverns in virtually every neighborhood, where you can always get a decent salad, some sort of greens and various kinds of cooked veggies. Dessert in those places is usually fruit and often on the house. Even not so great Greek food is still better for you than most.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 06/20/2011 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracil, TaxotereSurgery 09/13/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Radiation Therapy 01/09/2012 ExternalSurgery 03/08/2012 Prophylactic Ovary Removal (Both)Hormonal Therapy 04/01/2012 Femara
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Mar 29, 2013 09:25AM, edited Mar 29, 2013 09:25AM by jojo68

I agree again about the food quality/soil...We live in Lancaster County, PA which is abounding with wonderful Amish farmlands!  So, I am able to get fresh, local organic produce and grassfed meats etc..So, we are lucky in that sense!

I have recently run across some info concerning vitamin D and magnesium..http://drcarolyndean.com/natural-health-books-by-dr-dean/

Supposedly, taking higher levels of vitamin D will deplete our magnesium levels...magnesium is so important.  I use magnesium transdermally...would love to also take magnesium drops, but i am very concerned with the bromine/bromide in the drops which is a haligen and displaces the much needed iodine in our bodies...

Completed DIEP recon... ILC Stage 2B/3A Grade 2/ER+/PR+/HER- 7/29 nodes/3cm tumor...Anti-chemo and rads girl!..."You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."~The good Dr. Seuss

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Mar 29, 2013 10:42AM gemini4 wrote:

Hi joellelee -- I think I've seen you post about magnesium spray. Can you point me to information about this? Is it basically an overall immune/wellness booster, or does it have specific BC benefits? Thanks! :-)

Age 48 at Dx, pre-menopause

Dx 12/7/2012, ILC, 1cm, Stage Ib, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/19/2012 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Surgery 01/15/2013 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 02/11/2013 ExternalHormonal Therapy 04/04/2013 Tamoxifen
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Mar 29, 2013 10:54AM, edited Mar 29, 2013 10:54AM by jojo68

You can visit http://www.ancient-minerals.com/

In my opinion, this is the best spray product for magnesium...you can also buy the flakes and make your own spray cheaper.  whenever i have heart palps or restless leg syndrom, this always helps!  I use it every day now when I get out of the shower and b4 i am off to bed...i think it's one of the most important minerals!

Completed DIEP recon... ILC Stage 2B/3A Grade 2/ER+/PR+/HER- 7/29 nodes/3cm tumor...Anti-chemo and rads girl!..."You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."~The good Dr. Seuss

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Mar 29, 2013 10:59AM gemini4 wrote:

Thanks! So looks like it's for general wellness (which of course is wonderful!) -- I'm curious to see if it would make any difference for chronic lower back pain. I used to take a cocktail of supplements for migraine that included magnesium tablets.

Age 48 at Dx, pre-menopause

Dx 12/7/2012, ILC, 1cm, Stage Ib, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/19/2012 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Surgery 01/15/2013 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 02/11/2013 ExternalHormonal Therapy 04/04/2013 Tamoxifen
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Mar 29, 2013 02:40PM jojo68 wrote:

Yep!  For general wellness....awesome for aches and pains/migrains...BUT, I am also finding out it is very good for cancer.

Completed DIEP recon... ILC Stage 2B/3A Grade 2/ER+/PR+/HER- 7/29 nodes/3cm tumor...Anti-chemo and rads girl!..."You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."~The good Dr. Seuss

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Mar 30, 2013 04:03AM HLB wrote:

Joelle I am your neighbor! Linglestown right between Harrisburg and Hershey.

Dx 10/2004, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 7/23/2012, IDC, Stage IVSurgery 10/30/2004 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Surgery 11/30/2004 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 01/02/2005 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolSurgery 09/15/2005 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 07/23/2012 Femara
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Apr 2, 2013 01:17AM jojo68 wrote:

Awesome, HLB! Would love to meet you some time!

Completed DIEP recon... ILC Stage 2B/3A Grade 2/ER+/PR+/HER- 7/29 nodes/3cm tumor...Anti-chemo and rads girl!..."You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."~The good Dr. Seuss

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Apr 2, 2013 09:00AM HLB wrote:

That would be great! I went to Roots for the first time a few months ago with a friend from work. Loved it! Maybe that would be a good place. Just have to take a tues off work.

Dx 10/2004, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 7/23/2012, IDC, Stage IVSurgery 10/30/2004 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Surgery 11/30/2004 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 01/02/2005 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolSurgery 09/15/2005 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 07/23/2012 Femara
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Apr 2, 2013 01:51PM jojo68 wrote:

HLB, I live 5 minutes from Roots!  But, I have an in-home daycare and would not be able to take off...LOL

Maybe we could meet for coffee sometime?  My parents live off of Rt 39 near Hersheypark so I am in your territory often!  xxoo

Completed DIEP recon... ILC Stage 2B/3A Grade 2/ER+/PR+/HER- 7/29 nodes/3cm tumor...Anti-chemo and rads girl!..."You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."~The good Dr. Seuss