Eric Bakker N.D.May 12, 2022

A strong adrenal response ensures a powerful immune response. If your HPA stress-axis is strong and balanced (hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis) you have a better chance of fighting any cancer, including breast cancer.


Cortisol and Breast Cancer Survival

A study found a significant association between variation of salivary cortisol throughout the day in patients with metastatic breast cancer and their subsequent survival.1 Salivary cortisol levels of 104 patients with metastatic breast cancer were assessed 4 times daily for 3 consecutive days.
Cortisol values were measured and the slope of the daily variation was calculated by plotting the values on a graph.
The cortisol slope was predictive of survival up to 7 years later. In patients with relatively “flat” rhythms, which indicates a lack of normal variation, earlier mortality was found. Patients with “flat” rhythms also had significantly lower Natural Killer (NK) cell counts and suppressed NK cell activity – and increased cancer activity. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which is the principal hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, located at the upper end of each kidney. Cortisol levels are usually lowest in the morning and increase dramatically throughout the day.

This study is a powerful testimony to balancing the adrenal hormones. Cortisol is one of the major adrenal hormones. A flat curve, as the study describes above, would indicate stage three adrenal impairment of the most severe kind, so it is not surprising to find increased mortality in cancer patients. Many health-care professionals now recognise that the adrenal glands need support and provide nutritional supplements, herbal medicines and glandular supplements to assist their clients, particularly so if the person has cancer. These methods are is certainly better than pharmaceutical drugs and the traditional medical paradigm which certainly does not address the factors that cause the adrenals to become dysfunctional.

Generally speaking,  one needs to address amongst others, the following issues to improve adrenal health, particularly if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer:

  • Get to bed BEFORE 10.00pm. Rest and repair occurs from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. and if you are awake it does not happen.
  • Optimise your diet. You cannot hope to recover if your diet is sub-optimal or ‘hit and miss’.
  • Address stress issues.Unresolved psycho-emotional stress issues and burn-out are the most common reasons why the adrenals are impaired. Cancer is seen to preventable by optimising your diet and lifestyle in many cases.
  • Identify hidden causes of stress. These may well be metabolic poisons or toxins such as solvents, pesticides, mercury from amalgam fillings, yeast or anaerobic infections in the gut, parasites, root canal infections, structural misalignments, and a large number of other stressors. Why wait until you are diagnosed?, start by making some clean and green choices around your house right now.
  • After the above issues have been addressed, or concurrently, I can recommend  treating your adrenal gland response, this can help to reset the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (stress) axis. See your naturopath or integrative medicine doctor. The process can take from as little as 6 weeks up to two years depending on the degree of stress or burnout, but is incredibly effective at normalising the adrenal function thereby allowing a person to cope better significantly and improve the quality of their life.

1. Journal of the National Cancer Institute June 21, 2000;92:994-1000

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