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Topic: Gut Issues-Breast Cancer Connection??

Forum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IDC.

Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 06:15PM

Jons_girl wrote:

Hi Friends:

I’m not sure if I’ve asked this before. But I’ve seen studies I think online that connect issues with the gut to health issues like cancer in other parts of the body. I’m wondering if others with breasts cancer dx have also had long time gut issues.

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Nov 22, 2020 07:50PM AliceBastable wrote:

It seems like a stretch unless it's a by-product of chemo (for those who needed it). Just because we had breast cancer doesn't mean we're immune from all kinds of other things going wrong in our bodies that have no connection.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 22, 2020 07:56PM - edited Nov 22, 2020 08:07PM by Jons_girl

Hi Alice. Thanks for commenting. There does seem to be direct connection to gut and cancer. Here is one article:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.docwirenews.com/docwire-pick/hem-onc-picks/study-finds-link-between-gut-microbiome-and-spread-of-breast-cancer/amp/

I believe there are other articles on this too.

A dr told me a bad gut can be connected to even arthritis. They are learning how connected the gastrointestinal tract is connected to the whole system.

https://dammadaboutbreastcancer.com/what-to-eat-to-re-engineer-your-gut-and-reduce-breast-cancer-risk/

This article talks a bit about chemo too:

https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12885-019-5660-y

https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/108/8/djw029/2457487

Healthy guts are important to stay healthy I think. I've not had the best gut. I'm working on getting healthy. But it's interesting they are finding connection to microbiome/gut health and breast cancer.

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Nov 23, 2020 08:12AM - edited Nov 23, 2020 08:12AM by Jons_girl

bump

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Nov 23, 2020 02:25PM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

jons_girl - thank you for the links . DRs (regular, oncologist, surgeons etc) have never mentioned gut health and cancer) , several support healthy lifestyle including diet. But I keep thinking everything is connected, right? So if one part of the body is sick, unhealthy, or that if you are doing unhealthy things to one part of the body, it seems like it could affect another part of the body. Lifestyle changes can be hard to make. I've cut back on the sugar, probably need to cut back more. Diet is probably more contriversial than religion, and finding good information can be hard.

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Nov 23, 2020 02:36PM moth wrote:

All I know about the gut biome is from lactation work & the infant's perspective. We know that exclusively breastfed babies have a completely different gut biome than formula fed infants. We now also know that vaginally birthed babies have a different biome. As nectrotizing enterocolitis is a huge killer of premies, there is research ongoing on how to boost the gut health of babies.

It's hard to find actionable items for the average adult though. I know that we sometimes got requests for human breast milk for adult patients whose gut biome had been destroyed by chemo or surgery. If someone in my family was lactating I'd probably ask for some but honestly I've not really had any obvious gut disturbances (even though I'm on low dose prophylactic antibiotics for months now)

For me, high fibre, low fat, lots of different plant foods is the best info I can come up with. I do drink some vegan coconut milk kefir once in a while.

Initial dx at 50. Seriously???? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: 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 3/18/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/25/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Dx 12/10/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 12/15/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3 Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External: Bone
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Nov 23, 2020 03:15PM Beesie wrote:

jons_girl,

The first study you noted is a mouse study. I put no weight in mouse studies. Yes, most research discoveries start with mouse studies, but the percent of mouse studies that prove to be true is humans in extremely small. As I read this study, while the focus is on the gut (of mice) the culprit appears to be inflammation, due to treating the gut with antibiotics.

The second link you provided is referring to this same mouse study.

The third link is a proposed research study - not run yet so no results and nothing more than a theory.

The fourth link hypothesizes about different ways that the intestinal microbiome may be related to breast cancer. Some of the factors are things we know, such as how a fatty diet might increase estrogen.

So while this appears to be an area of study, at this point, at least from these 4 sources, there is no proven connection between gut issues and breast cancer. At this point it's just an theory. Therefore it's not something that our doctors will talk about, other than to suggest we eat a healthy diet. Because, obviously, what we eat affects our health in many ways. There's no doubt an unhealthy gut can lead to other health issues. I'm not one to go on a strict diet but I tend to follow a similar approach to what moth mentioned, aiming for a balanced healthy diet, high in fibre, low in fat and with a lot more fruits & veggies than meats & sweets. The one thing I do is take Metamucil every day. My PCP recommended it years ago when I was having some stomach issues. I actually found it funny a while back because I'd seen a number of different doctors over a short period, and each of them needed the list of meds and supplements I take, and every one of them had the exact same reaction to the Metamucil. Each one of them, including my MO and the doc who did my colonoscopy, said "That's good. Keep it up." It's the one thing I take that every doctor seems to agree on.


“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Nov 27, 2020 08:17AM Jons_girl wrote:

sorry for my late response.

Blue girl: you’re welcome!💕💐 I do think there is a connection between gut health and health in general so just found internet search interesting. Both myself and another family member who got breast cancer...we both have gut issues. I do think there is a connection. They do seem to have studied out there regarding breast cancer and gut or microbiome issues. One study is at a research hospital near me. But I don’t currently have cancer so can’t join the study.

Moth that’s interesting about breast milk. I am plant based eater most of the time. And very healthy otherwise. But my gut isn’t. And I’m learning more about the connection. I’m low in iron. But not anemic. My body is compensating somehow so I’m not anemic. But my MO said I may need IV iron because my gut isn’t absorbing iron like it should. So trying to get to bottom of why...as I eat good. Low stress. Happy life. It’s all weird.

Beesie: thanks for sharing your thoughts on the studies. Sorry I guess I didn’t post the best studies on the subject. 😊I’m not the greatest person regarding finding information on studies like you and others on the forum find. I just found the idea of gut connection to breast cancer even if it’s a theory and not proven yet....to me that’s interesting. Because I struggle with my gut not being optimally happy, it affects my life. And if they found a connection that would answer some questions for me. I do think the clinical studies they are doing will point to a connection someday. The gut microbiome and gut in general affects so much in regards to health. But time will tell. Thanks again for your thoughts about this subject.

Thank you all for your comments and thoughts on this subject.

Hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving!


Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Nov 27, 2020 09:59AM - edited Nov 27, 2020 09:59AM by BlueGirlRedState

Jons_girl - I've never done a food sensitivity test, and probably will not. Like my dog, I seem to be able to eat just about anything. I try to eat "healthy" and find it easier to do when alone, at least as far as meat consumption. My partner probably eats less sugar than me, but does like meat, we both like vegies and fruit. One friend who did do a sensitivity test because of often feeling bloated found out garlic might be an issue with leaky gut. So she cut it out pretty much completely for a year and said she was feeling better. I do not know if she has tried eating it again. Diets are so varied around the world. I hear a lot about how bad cow milk is, but am somewhat skeptical. An ND tried to convince me to substitute "plant milk" , which I see as a liquid supplement. I think Ghingas Kahn powered his army on milk/fermented milk, though it was probably yak, horse, goat milk.

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Nov 27, 2020 10:34PM - edited Nov 27, 2020 10:35PM by Jons_girl

bluegirl: yeah I just try to eat as healthy as possible. And stay active. I live on a farm so life tends to keep me busy! And I guess that's good.

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Jan 23, 2021 10:18AM TheNerdyLinda wrote:

Hello all, Jons_girl especially: I have gut issues that were really pronounced just before cancer diagnosis. Tried many probiotics before finding Align works best for me.

I believe that my gut issues lowered my body's defenses and created an environment for cancer to take hold. Now in my second year after successful cancer treatments, I was feeling really crappy lately for no good reason I could think of... Luckily my GP tested me and chocked most of the issues up to very low Vitamin D. After taking prescribed 50K IU for several weeks, symptoms have already gone away or lessened, including loss of balance, swelling in one leg, etc. These issues seem to have been nearly entirely based on the deficiency. I was skeptical of the importance of D before, but I'm sold now. Gut issues, computer-based vocation, and lockdown contributed to low D for me. Hope your gut health is improving!

Dx 10/24/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 12/3/2018 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jan 24, 2021 08:41AM Jons_girl wrote:

Hi Linda: Thank you for sharing your experience. my vit d levels have been typically really good. I get tested periodically cause I live in a northern state. But I take almost everyday 10000 IU daily of vit d. I was just tested again awaiting results. You’re right tho vit d is very important for good health. But it’s a vitamin you must test levels for periodically. To know where your levels are.


Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel

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