Hollywood actress and UN goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie Pitt stunned the world yet again by announcing that she underwent preventive surgery to have her fallopian tubes and ovaries removed last week.

In an edit piece in the New York Times on Tuesday, the actress said, “My doctors agreed that surgery to remove my tubes and ovaries was the best option, because three women in my family have died from cancer.”

Jolie’s decision has triggered many debates worldwide. Dr Susan Domchek, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Basser Research Center, which specializes in BRCA mutations said, “Prophylactic removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes is strongly recommended in women before age 40 in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.”

Jolie’s surgery was done based on tests that indicated elevated levels of inflammatory markers which could possibly be an indication of cancer. Angelina, who lost her mother to ovarian cancer in 2007, carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene that put her at an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.

Dr Elizabeth Poynor, gynecologic oncologist and pelvic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital said,” The problem with ovarian cancer is that we don’t have great prevention strategies other than prophylactic surgery.”

Cancer preventive surgery may involve breast tissue removal, removal of fallopian tubes and ovaries. A major challenge faced post operation is the recovery and prevention of cancer. Here are some herbs that could help speed up recovery and reduce the risk of cancer.

Herbs To Fight Cancer
1) Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom (ABM Mushroom)
Also known as ‘The Mushroom of God’, the ABM mushroom has the highest amount of beta glucans as compared to any other mushroom. It stimulates the immune system and promotes natural mechanism to battle infection and cancer. The polysaccharides found in this mushroom was found to have a restrictive effect on ovarian cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and liver cancer.(1,2)
How To Take It: The ABM mushroom can be taken in the form of a supplement. Since clinical trials are still ongoing, one could take the capsule three times a week. To buy this supplement, click here.

2) Bindweed (Convolulus arvensis)
This herb gets its antitumor property by inhibiting angiogenesis, a process that restrains blood vessel formation in tumors. Tumor growth requires an adequate supply of blood vessels. With its blood vessels destroyed, the tumor starves and shrinks in size. (3)
How To Take It: Bindweed is available as a capsule. To buy this online, click here. The dosage of bindweed supplements needs to be determined by your healthcare provider.

3) Turmeric
Curcumin is the principal compound found in turmeric. Laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. Curcumin modulates genetic activity and expression—both by destroying cancer cells and by promoting healthy cell function. It also promotes anti-angiogenesis, which means that it helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth. It is found to be beneficial in treating breast cancer, bowel cancer and stomach cancer. (4,5)
How To Take It: Turmeric can be easily added to your food. You can also order curcumin supplements online.

4) Astragalus
This herb increases the production of an immune system chemical interleulin-2 (IL-2), which is effective in fighting cancer and the human papilloma virus. Astragalus was also found to reverse the dominance of Th2 cytokine—which is associated with tumor progression. (6, 7, 8)
How To Take It: 
You can take an astragalus supplement twice daily. Buy them here.

Read Angelina Jolie Pitt’s op-ed column for the New York Times here.

The content made available at Z Living has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by any other governmental agency. It is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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1. F. Firenzuoli, L. Gori, and G. Lombardo, “The Medicinal Mushroom Agaricus blazei Murrill: Review of Literature and Pharmaco-Toxicological Problems,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 3-15, 2008. doi:10.1093/ecam/nem007

2.Kimura Y, Kido T, Takaku T, Sumiyoshi M, Baba K. Isolation of an anti-angiogenic substance from Agaricus blazei Murill: its antitumor and antimetastatic actions. Cancer Sci. 2004 Sep;95(9):758-64. PubMed PMID: 15471563.

3. Riordan NH, Meng X, Riordan HD. Anti-Angiogenic, Anti-Tumor and Immunostimulatory Effects of a Non-Toxic Plant Extract (PGM), Presented at Comprehensive Cancer Care 2000, Arlington, Virginia, June, 2000.

4. Shehzad A, Lee J, Lee YS. Curcumin in various cancers. Biofactors. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):56-68. doi: 10.1002/biof.1068. Epub 2013 Jan 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 23303705.

5. Aggarwal BB, Kumar A, Bharti AC. Anticancer potential of curcumin: preclinical and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. 2003 Jan-Feb;23(1A):363-98. Review. PubMed PMID: 12680238.

6. Wei H, Sun R, Xiao W, Feng J, Zhen C, Xu X, Tian Z. Traditional Chinese medicine Astragalus reverses predominance of Th2 cytokines and their up-stream transcript factors in lung cancer patients. Oncol Rep. 2003 Sep-Oct;10(5):1507-12. PubMed PMID: 12883732.

7. Auyeung KK, Law PC, Ko JK. Combined therapeutic effects of vinblastine and Astragalus saponins in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft via inhibition of tumor growth and proangiogenic factors. Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(4):662-74. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2014.894093. Epub 2014 Mar 24. PubMed PMID: 24660995.

8. Li L-K, Kuang W-J, Huang Y-F, et al. Anti-tumor effects of Astragalus on hepatocellular carcinoma in vivo. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2012;44(1):78-81. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.91872.

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.