I want to share something with you. My best friend just got diagnosed with breast cancer. She became yet another statistic of the fastest growing second leading cases of death. I don’t want to be a statistic and I don’t want you to be one either. That is why I have to share this information with you.
Cancer is still a second leading cause of death. Approximately 600,000 people in the US die from some type of cancer every year. According to the World Health Organizations, the global cancer burden rises to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths in 2018. Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men (14.5% of the total cases in men) and the leading cause of cancer death in men worldwide. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women (24.2%, i.e. about one in 4 of all new cancer cases diagnosed in women worldwide are breast cancer). About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. About 7% of young women under 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer in US.
In 1971, President Nixon declared a war on cancer but since then the number of all cancers is still growing. From 1980 to 2000, the U.S. population grew from 227 million to 279 million (a 23 percent increase). During that same time period, the total yearly cancer incidence increased from 807,000 to 1.34 million (a 66 percent increase).
Government and other organizations spend billions and billions of dollars on cancer research. We donate money to find a cure for cancer. We raise awareness of cancer every year by running, walking, doing yoga, and wearing pink. Now people are so aware that it becomes a number one fear of dying from “C” disease.
It seams that all our efforts against this devastating disease don’t work. Do we fight with a wrong enemy? Or do we use a wrong weapon against it? Why do more and more women get breast cancer in a late stage and earlier age. Is it our genetics that predispose us to getting cancer? Or do we need to blame our hormones?
There are so many answers that we still don’t know or are still not clear to us. One thing for sure: it is easier, cheaper, and less stressful to prevent cancer then to fight it. And this is what I want to talk about today.
Your genes are not your destiny!
If you don’t want to know about your cancer blaming genes and go for double mastectomy as Angelina Joely did, I understand. Was it the only solution for her as media wants you to believe? Of course – not. Would her BRACA (BReast-CAncer) gene cause her cancer? Most likely – not.
The BRACA 1 and 2 genes are tumor suppressor genes (protective gene) that were discovered in 1991. Mutations (changes) that found in these protective genes make them less protective and therefore, predispose people with BRACA mutated genes to breast and/or ovarian cancer. Interestingly, recent research shows that BRACA gene mutations found also in people with other type of cancers such as prostate and pancreatic cancer. So, it is not a very specific gene mutation related to breast cancer as we thought before.
Besides BRACA, there are so many genetic changes, known as gene variance that can predispose us to developing different types of cancer as well as many other diseases such as cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, mental disorders and many others. Recently completed 13- year-long international “HUMAN GENOM PROJECT”, made it possible to learn more about our genome and to test for many genes that play a crucial role in developing many diseases including cancer.
What we learn is that genes are not our destiny. There are about 20,000 genes. They control every function in the body. Genes can be turned on (expressed) or turned off (silenced) by signaling the protein to maintain homeostasis, as well as growth (proliferation) and death. (apoptosis).
The genes load the gun but the environment pulls the trigger!
Do you know that only about 5-10% of breast cancer can be linked to gene mutations? About 85% of breast cancer occurs in women who have no family history of breast cancer. This means, having mutation (changes) on the gene doesn’t give your body the ability to grow cancer. It simply means that you are more susceptible to cancer in a certain environment as an immuno-compromised person is susceptible to infections in an unclean environment.
There are many factors that create the environment and generate a perfect storm for gene expression (becoming active) or silence ( becoming inactive). This process is called EPIGENETIC. As an analogy, I want you to look at your body as a garden; every garden has green grass with beautiful plants as well as weeds. If you provide a very nutrient-rich soil in your garden, you water it every day and you keep your weeds under control, your garden will flourish, grow exponentially and produce the best organic crop. If you don’t continue to nurture and maintain your garden, the crop will diminish, weeds will take over your garden and eventually die.
Interestingly, research shows that nutrition and lifestyle can influence epigenetics. That means that we can positively or negatively change our genes expressions.
What can you do to reduce your risk of breast cancer?
From Center for Disease Control:
Many factors can influence your breast cancer risk, and most women who develop breast cancer do not have any known risk factors or a history of the disease in their families. You can however, help lower your risk of breast cancer in the following ways:https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm
• Keep a healthy weight.
• Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week).
• Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.
• Avoid exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens).
• Try to reduce your exposure to radiation during medical tests like mammograms, X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans.
• If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
• Breastfeed your babies, if possible.
I would like to add more to the list:
- Detoxify your body on a regular bases.
We are all exposed to chemicals everywhere. Clearing toxins from your body through all eliminative organs every day is essential. Following practices will help you with toxin elimination:
- Drinking sufficient amounts of water helps to clear water soluble toxins.
- Having bowel movement at least once a day helps with fat, soluble toxins, bio-toxins and metabolic waist.
- Exercising or just moving your body throughout the day stimulates the lymphatic system to remove toxins from the blood and lungs. The best exercise for the lymphatic system are jogging, jumping or rebounding.
- Sweating in the infrared or regular sauna helps to eliminate toxins throughout the skin. Adding skin brushing before sauna will expedite the process.
- Deeper and prolong detox on cellular level helps to eliminate heavy metals, parasites and bio-toxins. Learn more about True Cellular Detox here.
When you have changes in genes that are coded for detoxification enzymes like MTHFR, COMP, GSTM1 or other, the toxins will re-absorb, recirculate and be stored in different tissues, particularly in tissue with high lipid content, such as cell membrane, breast, prostate, brain, abdominal and visceral fat. The more toxins we have the more fat we need to store them. So, it is very important to start any weight loss program with detox because reducing weight/fat by calorie restriction will redistribute toxins to other organs and tissues but removing toxins will remove unneeded storage (fat).
- Stimulate autophagy by intermittent fasting, prolong 5-day fast or Fasting Mimicking Diet.
Autophagy– The process of protein degradation and organelle turnover is required for the survival of cells, and the disruption of this process can result in the abnormal cell growth or cell death, leading to various disease states. If autophogy is a cell self-destruction, when all damaged and old cells get destroyed, recycled and reused, then the mTOR pathway is cell growth, tissue building and proliferation. So, by stimulating autophogy we inhibit proliferation and by stimulating mTOR by eating proteins and carbohydrates, we inhibit cell self-death. These two processes are different sides of the same coin and have to be in balance to sustain a healthy body.
When you have a mutation in either an autophogy or mTOR gene, the whole cell cycle can become a haywire and start to grow a tumor in a susceptible environment, such as toxicity or inflammation. It might take many years before cancer can show up on screening tests.
- Nutrient deficiencies.
Nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are very important to maintain healthy bodies. We all know by now that eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables will keep as healthy due to their antioxidant properties. Actually, we need optimal amount of nutrients for millions of biochemical reactions that happen every second in every cell of our complex organism. For example, methylation that activated by MTHFR enzyme (mentioned above) is one of the biochemical processes that is responsible for the first phase of hormones, particularly estrogens, detoxification in the liver. It requires vitamin B2, B6, B12 and folate to convert active hormones into inactive forms. Due to Vitamin B deficiencies, estrogens that our own body produce, phytoestrogens from foods or xeno-estrogens from plastics, perfumes or other hormone-mimicking chemicals would not be metabolized and will directly or indirectly cause oxidative DNA damage. It can lead to tissue damage and tumor growth.
As you can see that nutrients and genes are tightly interconnected. That is what the new field of nutrigenomics teaches us. Nutritional genomics is a science studying the relationship between human genome, nutrition, health. It is a part of a larger field of epigenetic.
NUTRIENT/LIFESTYLE ==>> GENE(e.g MTHFR) ==>> OUTCOME (UP-REGULATED)
Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression (active vs. inactive genes) that does not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence — a change in phenotype without a change in genotype. The term epigenetics, was coined by Waddington in 1942 but more interest to this field was in the 1990’s. Explosion of interest in epigenetics has happened several years ago after the Human Genome Project was completed. I mentioned to you about epigenetic changes during pregnancy in my book “Listen to your body and regain your health”. I am very fascinated about this new field in medicine which can change the way we diagnose, treat and prevent diseases. And now, as a DNA Analysis Specialist, I can offer DNA testing.
DNA Testing is an individualized analysis based on each person’s genome that lead to a very powerful form of preventive medicine. You’ll be able to learn about risks of future illness based on DNA analysis. Knowing your genetic changes, you will be able to focus efforts on the things that are most likely to maintain health for your unique body. That might mean diet or lifestyle changes, or it might mean medical surveillance. It is a personalized approach to keep ourselves healthy. I have done my DNA test and will share it in future articles.
If you would like, please schedule a 30 minute free consultation to see if you would benefit from DNA Analysis.
What about cancer treatment?
I am not here to give you any medical advise regarding cancer treatment but you should know that there are many options, in addition to the conventional surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation protocol. Please, explore any possibilities before making a final decision. I want to let you know that my friend opt. for non-toxic cancer treatment as a first choice before any standardized protocol. I support her one-hundred percent.
I think, support from family and friends is a very important part of any healing journey, particularly with cancer. We have our human rights to make decisions and choices on the way we want to be treated, on the way we want to live or die. I am here to support you for traditional treatment, as I supported my mom who succumbed to fallopian tube cancer, I support you for non-toxic methods of therapy, as I support my friend with breast cancer, or I support you for euthanasia, if it would be your only choice. Many times people with cancer feel isolated and depressed. There are many organizations, like Living Beyond Cancer, that provide endless support. There are many women with the same diagnosis that are willing to share their healing journey. You are never alone. And I am here for you.
In conclusion: There is so much information that you need to know and to do everything possible to stay healthy because….
“The only cure of cancer is PREVENTION”
Start today with implementing cancer fighting food to your diet every day. Plus, add some food to your diet that optimize your genetic expression.
Be Healthy and Happy!
Role of BRCA1 and BRCA2 as regulators of DNA repair, transcription, and cell cycle in response to DNA damage. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15546503
What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer? https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm
Epigenetic therapy for ovarian cancer: promise and progress. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30646939
Differential Methylation and Acetylation as the Epigenetic Basis of Resveratrol’s Anticancer Activity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30781847
Epigenetics: The Science of Change https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1392256/