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Topic: Thoughts on Flax Seed consumption?

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: Mar 19, 2019 07:06PM

kec1972 wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering what everyone does about consuming flax seeds? Is it one of those things like soy that women with hormone positive BC are encouraged to avoid? Or do flax seeds have a protective effect? I seem to be reading conflicting advice on the internet.

Dx 12/17/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/7/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/20/2019 Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 20, 2019 03:23PM Rah2464 wrote:

My MO suggested utilizing mskcc.org , which is run by Memorial Sloane Kettering and has information on a tremendous amount of herbs and vitamins. Flax Seed is listed there as being phytoestrogenic, meaning those of us with hormone receptive cancer need to discuss its use with our MO. Mine is fine with me taking two tablespoons a day in my oatmeal. But I am on Tamoxifen. Maybe if I wasn't on that she would feel differently I just don't know.

Dx 5/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/26/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 7/26/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 20, 2019 07:55PM kec1972 wrote:

Rah, thanks for that website. I’ll check it out

Dx 12/17/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/7/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/20/2019 Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 26, 2019 03:08PM - edited Mar 26, 2019 03:11PM by Husband11

There is no definitive answer on this question. There was some research done in Canada, where they gave women with breast cancer flax seed muffins for some time before their surgery. The cells in the excised tumor were compared to the prior biopsy. The women who got the flax seed muffins showed some markers of lower metabolic activity in the breast cancer cells. No more research was done, and the University researcher in charge of the study joined one of the pharmaceutical companies to research drugs, not flax seeds.

Limitations on this small study: It was for a limited time frame, and no long term conclusions can be drawn from it.

Among the questions that remain unanswered, is whether flax seed is estrogenic in the sense that it promotes growth in HR positive breast cancer, or is it estrogen like in a similar manner to tamoxifen, in that it may estrogenic in some tissue, such as the uterus, and block estrogen in breast cancer cells. That's one of the very tricky things about estrogen like substances, slight differences in their structure can have radically different results in living tissue.

https://www.oncologynutrition.org/on/erfc/healthy-nutrition-now/foods/flaxseeds-and-breast-cancer

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1061885.stm


Concerned husband Dx 2008, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 7/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2016, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 15, 2019 03:04PM Martha615 wrote:

I can't understand why flax seeds would be a problem. They have more lignans than any other food and, if I understand correctly, are phytoestrogens that attach to oestrogen receptors, and studies show they inhibit the growth of cancer cells. While I can understand people assuming flax seed won't help I personally take flax seed for a number of reasons, including the value of the lignans, omega 3 and roughage.

There are a lot of studies that favour lignans for those trying to avoid recurrence of breast cancer. Here's an extract from one:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808339/"In several experimental studies, diets including 5 or 10% of flaxseed (approximately 25–30 g of flaxseed daily, in humans) inhibited the growth of the ER+ in human breast cancer cells injected in mice. The same happened with the growth of the ER−. Flaxseed also reduced the metastasis of ER− breast tumor.

During clinical trials, researchers have concluded that flaxseed has the potential to reduce the growth of tumors in patients with breast cancer, mainly postmenopausal women, and decrease the risk of this type of cancer.

Although many of the studies reported in this paper concluded that flaxseed intake may be related to the decreased risk of breast cancer and also to the reduction of the tumor's growth and size, some studies including premenopausal and postmenopausal women did not show the same results."

This quote relates to another study: "A prospective cohort study, including 58,049 postmenopausal French women, found that those with the highest lignan ingestion (>1,395 μg/day) had a significantly decreased risk of breast cancer. The beneficial effects of lignans in this study were limited to ER+ breast cancer and progesterone receptor positive." That study can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC22928...


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Apr 15, 2019 03:44PM moth wrote:

you might be interested in this https://foodforbreastcancer.com/foods/flaxseed

fwiw, I have about 1 Tbsp flaxseed on my oatmeal every morning. I use Northern Edge brand which is organic & grown in a part of Canada where there is no cadmium in the soil.

Seriously???? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." nevertellmetheodds2017.tumblr.... Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab)
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Apr 15, 2019 05:37PM - edited Apr 15, 2019 05:38PM by kec1972

Thanks for the tip Moth. I had no idea about the cadmium! I just ordered from Northern Edge as well :

Dx 12/17/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/7/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/20/2019 Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 26, 2019 09:40AM Pamela23 wrote:

Lignans in flaxseed help protect against breast cancer and prolongs survival. I LOVE this website. Dr. Gregor takes research and puts them in layman's terms through his videos. Search the site for breast cancer and there's a TON of info.

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/breast-cancer-sur...


9/15/2016, IDC, Left, 3mm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/15/2016, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/6/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 11/15/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/20/2017
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Apr 26, 2019 10:02AM MelissaDallas wrote:

From Memorial Sloan Kettering's supplement site (For Physicians)

Because flaxseed has phytoestrogenic effects, patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer should use flaxseed with caution.

It also says you should also not take it if you are having radiological studies because it can interfere with readings

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/flaxseed


LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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May 27, 2019 08:13PM kec1972 wrote:

I’ve read about a lot of studies that show that flax has s protective effect in post menopausal BC survivors, but what about premenopausal? Does it have the same effect for us? I can’t seem to find a definitive answer.

Dx 12/17/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/7/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/20/2019 Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 19, 2019 07:43AM Totallytubular wrote:

I stay away from flaxseeds for their potential estrogenic activity. I have a whole bag in the fridge.. because I thought they would be helpful but MSK says no to these lignans. wishing you luck.

Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 19, 2019 07:43AM Totallytubular wrote:

I stay away from flaxseeds for their potential estrogenic activity. I have a whole bag in the fridge.. because I thought they would be helpful but MSK says no to these lignans. wishing you luck.

Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 19, 2019 11:24PM - edited Sep 22, 2019 12:00PM by WC3

I saw a nutritionist at my cancer center who advise me to stay away from flax seeds themselves as my cancer was ER+ and they are estrogenic, but recomnended lignan free flax seed oil.

The problem with flax seed oil is that it goes rancid fast. Fresh flax seed oil should have a mild, nutty/sunflower seed taste. Rancid flax seed oil tastes burnt and bitter. It can easily be obtained fresh in the U.K. as it's produced there but most brands I have tried in the U.S. are rancid off the shelf. I've had the best luck with the Wholefood's brand but they have not carried the lignan free kind recently.

I'm highly suspicious of Solgar brand flaxseed oil. It had no taste initially, which was odd. It's bottled with a layer of nitrogen which helps preserve flax seed oil by protecting it from oxidation but I think enough oxygen should have gotten in the bottle as I was pouring it that it should have eventually gone rancid after a few months and take on the burnt and bitter taste and it did not. It ended up tasting like stale canola oil. I suspect it might be.

I guess it could just really be that pure but I would rather have some indication that the oil I'm using is really flax seed oil.

Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Apr 18, 2020 01:13PM honeybair wrote:

After reading about studies done on flaxseed consumption, my conclusion is that flaxseed consumption is safe for post menopausal women so I eat two tablespoons per day as part of my ketogenic breakfast.

When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes... Oprah Winfrey Dx 12/6/2012, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 1/29/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 4/2/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 8/18/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes

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