Chelation therapy is a medical treatment that removes toxic levels of heavy metals and minerals from the body. These substances can get into the bloodstream through cigarette smoke, food, drinking water, or environmental pollution. Though some metals and minerals are essential to certain biological processes, they can be harmful and potentially poisonous in excess.
With chelation therapy, water-soluble compounds called chelating agents (or chelators) are administered through oral supplementation or intravenous (IV) infusion. Chelators bind to toxins in the bloodstream and are then passed through urination.
Chelation is one of several alternative treatments offered to breast cancer patients at Immunity Therapy Center. If you or a loved one want to learn more about how to treat breast cancer without surgery, you’ve come to the right place. Find a detailed rundown of the approach below.
How Is Chelation Therapy Used for Breast Cancer?
As we mentioned, low levels of metals and minerals are considered vital to overall health. But when these substances build up in the soft tissues, circulatory system, and organs, the effect can be toxic.
Thanks to the kidneys, liver, lymphatic system, and the body’s ability to produce glutathione, the detoxification process occurs naturally and without effort for most people. Unfortunately, bodily systems don’t always work as they should, in which case an intervention like chelation therapy might be necessary.
The Link Between Heavy Metals and Breast Cancer
Some heavy metals have been shown to disrupt the hormonal balance within the body, including iron, cadmium, copper, chromium, cobalt, zinc, and manganese. In clinical research, levels of these substances were substantially higher in breast cancer tissue than in benign tissues. In particular, cadmium is an intensely toxic heavy metal; and cadmium exposure has been linked to carcinogenesis in tissues like the breast, esophagus, stomach, intestines, lungs, prostate, and testes. Because cadmium exposure can also affect men, there is also chelation therapy for prostate cancer.
Heavy metals are thought to aid in the proliferation of cancerous cells while also stimulating estrogen receptors. In some cases, medications used to block estrogen receptors don’t effectively stop the hormonal effects of the metal ions.
How Metals Affect Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells
Receptors commonly found in breast cancer cells include estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor (HER2). But with triple-negative breast cancer, the tissues don’t have these receptors, so traditional hormone therapies may not effectively destroy the cancer cells.
Research suggests that high levels of heavy metals like cadmium help triple-negative breast cancer cells grow. The belief is that these substances may activate pathways that allow for cancer cell proliferation.
Removing Metals Through Chelation
Chelation comes from the Greek word chelos, which translates to “claw.” As such, chelating agents bind to toxic metals, almost like pincers, to remove the substances from the body.
IV Chelation Therapy for Breast Cancer
As mentioned above, chelating agents can be given by mouth or intravenously. However, IV administration is most often used to treat breast cancer patients.
EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid) and DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) are among the most common and well-researched chelating compounds. After binding to toxic metal ions and pulling them out of tissues and blood vessels, the water-soluble agents (and the bound metals) are passed through urine and thus released from the body.
Copper Chelation Treatment for Breast Cancer
High levels of copper have been detected in tissue samples from those with various types of cancer, including prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lung cancer, and breast cancer. Since copper levels tend to go back to normal following cancer treatment and surgical removal of breast cancer tissues, some experts believe chelation is a suitable alternative treatment.
According to a report published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, copper chelation therapy has been shown to prevent the growth and migration of breast cancer carcinomas. The treatment is often offered in conjunction with cancer immunotherapy to support immune system function, a combination shown to hinder tumor growth and metastasis in both in-vitro and in-vivo clinical trials.
Tetrathiomolybdate for Copper Chelation
Tetrathiomolybdate is a chelating agent sometimes used to remove copper from the bloodstream and cancer cells. The chemical compound has shown promising effects in stopping the growth and spread of breast carcinomas.
Iron Overload and Breast Cancer Risk
Iron is considered necessary for overall health, playing an essential role in various metabolic pathways, such as oxygen transport and DNA synthesis. While low iron levels can have negative health effects, an excess of the metal has been linked to numerous diseases, including heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and different types of cancer.
Hemochromatosis (often called iron overload or dysmetabolic iron overload syndrome) is a genetic condition in which the body stores excess iron. A study conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) found that iron overload increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by 31%.
Iron Chelation Therapy for Breast Cancer
Iron chelation has shown to be an effective alternative treatment for breast cancer. By binding to the heavy metal and facilitating its exit, chelating agents limit the bioavailability of iron to cancer cells.
Deferasirox and deferoxamine are chelating compounds that help the body rid itself of intracellular iron with minimal side effects. In both in-vivo and in-vitro studies, these iron chelators have been shown to curb the growth of tumor cells by disrupting the tumor microenvironment.
Similarly, CHBH (3-chloro-N’-(2-hydroxybenzylidene) benzohydrazide) is sometimes used as an iron-chelating agent to minimize breast tumor proliferation by killing cancerous cells.
Lead Toxicity and Breast Cancer
Some researchers believe there is a link between lead toxicity and breast cancer. Multiple studies have shown elevated lead levels among those diagnosed with the condition, suggesting that excess lead may increase the risk of breast cancer or support carcinoma growth.
Succimer is a chelating agent used to treat lead poisoning. The chemical compound may also be beneficial for those with breast cancer. In addition to copper chelation, deferasirox has been shown to minimize the adverse effects of lead exposure.
Testing for Heavy Metal Toxicity
Chelation therapy for breast cancer often begins with checking blood or urine levels of various heavy metals. For instance, a serum ferritin test indicates how much iron is stored in an individual’s body. Patients are tested again after oral or intravenous administration of chelating agents.
The effectiveness of chelation depends on a few factors, including the heavy metal in question, the amount of ions present in the cancer tissues, and the specific agent used. Immunity Therapy Center will carefully evaluate your condition and analyze your tests to determine which chelator will work best for you and whether it should be given by mouth or IV.
Alternative Cancer Treatment Programs from ITC
At Immunity Therapy Center, we understand that thorough research is often a necessary first step in beginning a new treatment. We’re proud to offer a range of alternative therapies for breast cancer and other serious illnesses, including EDTA chelation therapy and oral supplementation detox, and we’re ready to answer all your questions along the way.
Our patient advocates are available Monday through Saturday to discuss breast cancer treatment plans over the phone. If you fill out our online form, a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible. Contact us today.
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