In loving memory of Lauren Gue, whose research on breast cancer phenotypes and spreadsheet design inspired our ongoing work, and Sarah Hughes, who made valuable contributions related to TNBC.
Our creation of these freely shared breast cancer pathway worksheets honors the memory of Lauren, Sarah, and all of our sisters who have passed. These efforts represent our compassion and care for the breast cancer healing community.
Good sense & safety first.
The information presented in the worksheets should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult a medical practitioner before adding any drug or supplement to your protocol, and seek out guidance from an integrative cancer practitioner who can guide you in your protocol choices.
Collaboration, community & care.
The Breast Cancer Pathways worksheet project began in early 2019 as a collaboration between two stage IV breast cancer thrivers,Maria Wessling Bachteal and Abbey Mitchell. With help from members of our Facebook group, we have dedicated countless hours searching for and organizing breast-cancer-specific laboratory and clinical research that is accessible in the public domain.
We acknowledge our teachers.
We offer deep gratitude and appreciation to Jane McLelland, whose best selling book How to Starve Cancer inspired us to take the many steps needed to better understand the biological mechanisms underlying our breast cancer diagnoses. Visit Jane’s website to find her online learning support groups and online courses.
We honor the groundbreaking work of Douglas Hanahan, PhD and Robert A. Weinburg, PhD, whose landmark 2000 paper and subsequent 2011 update outlined the Hallmarks of Cancer, eight biological capabilities acquired during the multi-step development of human tumors as well as introducing other important concepts related to tumor progression.
And we acknowledge all the many pioneering researchers and clinicians who have published books and research that have informed our work on this project.
IMPORTANT: PLEASE DELETE ANY EXISTING VERSIONS OF THE WORKSHEETS (OR PREVIOUSLY NAMED FAST SHEETS) AND REPLACE WITH THIS UPDATED VERSION.
What information does the worksheet provide?
Here we present a systematic framework for breast cancer survivors and their clinicians to help organize their current protocol of off-label drugs and supplements based on a summary of available evidence. Cancer is complex, and many of the pathways affect and occur under multiple hallmarks, though we have placed each pathway under one hallmark for simplicity. This is not an exhaustive list of available evidence as many research studies are being added to PubMed and others have yet to be discovered
The worksheet is meant to be informational and is meant to enhance, not replace, standard-of-care (SOC) and or integrative oncology protocols.
The worksheet should not be viewed as a prescriptive “laundry list” of things to take. Instead, we hope this effort will lead you and your integrative practitioner to further consider the impacts of your protocol and explore the evidence available on the PubMed database.
The worksheet is organized into a set of pages, each representing one of the Hallmarks of Cancer, along with a resources page to further your understanding of the research on integrative approaches to breast cancer treatment.
These pages are:
Evade Immune System
Eliminate Cancer Stem Cells
Cancer doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s just as important to consider the environment in which your cancer is growing, so we encourage exploration into areas of your personal terrain that need attention, especially the emotional and environmental contributors.
How many drugs, herbs, and/or nutrients should you take for each category?
The information provided here is not meant to be prescriptive but rather serve as a guide to help you and your integrative cancer practitioner work within the context of your standard-of-care oncology protocol.
The worksheet summarizes research available in the public database PubMed. The strength of the evidence varies for each pathway and substance. In many cases, only in vitro (cells studied in the lab) evidence is available and the effects in humans are unknown.
We encourage users to seek out help from an integrative cancer practitioner to put the research into the context of clinical experience and help you create the best protocol for your individual situation.
Some herbs or nutrients may affect the bioavailability or side effects of certain drugs because of P450 enzyme interactions. This should be discussed with your integrative cancer practitioner.
Has this information been validated?
Most of the information summarized in the worksheet comes from pre-clinical research, meaning not verified in humans.Because of the lack of financial incentives, human research into the off-label drugs and supplements presented here is rare.
To provide a real-life clinical perspective, we consulted books, presentations, and textbooks published by integrative cancer practitioners. These practitioners have each used some of these off-label drugs, supplements, and therapies within their comprehensive protocols, in a clinical setting, to improve the effectiveness of conventional treatments.
The practitioners whose publications provided supporting information from a clinical perspective include, but are not limited to, the following (in no particular order) :
You’ll be brought to a Google sign-in page where you’ll be prompted to sign into your account or create a free G-mail account.
Open your Google drive (you get one free when you create a free G-mail account.)
Make a copy of the Worksheet as you are instructed.
Once your copy of the worksheet is open in Google sheets app.
Add your name and the date to the title of the worksheet.
e.g delete the words “ Copy of” and add your name and note the time period this worksheet will reflect. This title can be changed at any time.
At the bottom of the screen you can see the colored tabs that allow you to navigate your way to each page of the worksheet where you will see your master data menu choices reflected.
Fill in your Master Data using the pull-down menus and the fields on all the other pages will automatically populate with the choices you indicate.
Only ever indicate choices using the master data page drop down menu otherwise you will break the auto-fill code. Notice you have space on the master data page to make notes regarding your dosing schedule and sourcing and there are blank spaces for other items in your protocol, although these won’t be reflected in the other pages throughout the worksheet.
Use the SHARE button (top left) to add the email address of your doctors or anyone else you want to share your worksheet with.
Take your time, breathe! Make plenty of time and slowly read through the pages of the worksheet before getting started. Notice how many links are embedded to support you in learning more about each cancer hallmark and each pathway and how it may apply to your type of breast cancer.
Want a hard copy? Download each individual page or “sheet” onto your hard drive in Adobe and put in appropriate page breaks before printing. Do not print directly from a Google drive.
Need technical help? Google has many tutorials online, and many users have posted their own video tutorials about how to work with Google sheets.
Like us, our project collaborators are on their own cancer healing journey’s and like us are not able to help you directly with answering questions about your personal approach to integrating the research gathered and presented here within the breast cancer pathways framework.
Please show your respect by researching and presenting your personal questions to your cancer study support groups, your integrative doctors and your naturopaths that understand cancer and never message us or tag the breast cancer research project team members directly with your personal healing questions.
By sharing your questions with your online community, you give other users the opportunity to learn and explore aspects of the worksheet.
Here are links to 2 online breast cancer communities that may support you with your worksheet questions:
The above A-Z directory is helpful in that it takes existing group members directly to a thread of information on the same topic within the Facebook group. Existing conversation threads are the best place to read and ask your questions regarding the worksheet.
Join and participate in these online communities to learn all you can. Please be sure to search the group for key words that could answer your questions. Take your time and take notes before posting your questions. Many questions have already been asked and answered to some degree.
Abbey and Maria are ready to pass the baton.
What Is the Future of this Project?
The worksheet is the result of many hours of PubMed searches. Although we learned an incredible amount while working on this project, at this juncture, we are ready to pass on the baton for the project. We’ll stay involved but would like to find someone else to oversee the day-to-day administration and future updates.
New breast cancer research project team members are needed to take over otherwise the updates won’t continue.
If you or a loved one has education and training in a scientific or research-oriented field, we welcome your participation in this project. Future plans are to create a bibliography of sources of the research that was compiled to create this resource, but this won’t happen unless someone takes the baton. Or if you or a loved one has programming or fundraising expertise, please consider donating time to create a platform to make this information more accessible and user-friendly.