Category Archives: Biology of Belief

Epigenetic Factors to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk – Part 1

Epigenetic Factors to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk – Part 1

Epigenetic factors to reduce breast cancer risk has been a particular interest of mine ever since I found out that I had breast cancer in 2004. I have studied everything I could lay my hands on with reference to epigenetic factors. The word means “above genetics” and is the science of how genes can be expressed differently using external factors without changing the DNA structure of those genes.

The reason epigenetics interests me so greatly is because I lost both my mother and my grandmother to breast cancer. When I was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer myself, I was quite concerned about the so-called genetic aspect of this disease. I spoke about this with a friend of mine and I can remember saying to her “What if everything I’m doing to get well and stay well turns out not to be enough if I’m genetically predisposed to breast cancer?” Her response was to introduce me to a scientist named Bruce Lipton and a whole new way of thinking. Dr Lipton’s book “The Biology of Belief” helped me to understand that we do not have to be slaves to our genes. The book introduced me to the  concept of epigenetic factors which can influence the expression of genes.

I learned that nutrition, thoughts, exercise and quite a few other factors can influence our genes in a very powerful way. What an immensely liberating thought – that we mere humans can play a huge role in turning off the very genes that might otherwise predispose us to breast cancer.

In a series of articles, I will be sharing some of the epigenetic nutrients that provide us with the ability to alter genetic expression, thus possibly preventing or reversing breast cancer. From my best count, here are the best 11 ways they do this (and one article will be devoted to each subject):

Epigenetic nutrients can:

1. Control regulatory genes
2. Prevent damage to DNA
3. Prevent rapid cell proliferation
4. Ease or prevent cancer-promoting inflammation
5. Change malignant cells into healthy cells
6. Restore receptors on cells
7. Inhibit excess estrogen production
8. Trigger cancer cell death (apoptosis)
9. Block growth factors
10. Block angiogenesis
11. Prevent metastasis

PART 1 – NUTRIENTS THAT CAN CONTROL REGULATORY GENES

Through genetic testing, we know that there are a number of gene defects that can predispose a person to certain diseases, including breast cancer. There are quite literally hundreds of ways genes can be influenced to control, slow or stop breast cancer growth. Any of these genes, when faulty, damaged or disrupted, can put us at a higher risk for breast cancer. Fortunately, there are a number of nutrients that have epigenetic targets in cancer cells and they block these processes, and can help to prevent carcinogenesis (formation of cancer cells).

Here are but a few of the most-studied genes involved with breast cancer:

MTHFR

The MTHFR gene plays a critical role in DNA methylation. This is a much-studied and ever-expanding subject, especially for breast cancer patients. According to 2012 research done at the University of Mississippi, a number of genes become abnormally methylated in breast cancer patients. [1] Methylation involves the addition or removal of a methyl group (CH3) to a substance so that it can metabolized. Methylation takes place daily inside cells, millions of times,  and requires the presence of enzymes known as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) to catalyze (cause or accelerate) the process.

For example, methylation is required to convert the neurotransmitter serotonin into melatonin. Methylation is involved in converting stronger estrogens into less aggressive estrogens and that is one of the reasons it is included in this discussion. MTHFR working properly means you can break down circulating estrogen and excrete it, otherwise it can build up to dangerously high levels and this increases breast cancer risk. Hypermethylation is known to be associated with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. [2]

The problem isn’t just with estrogen, however. MTHFR also provides the directions to produce an enzyme called methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase, which converts inactive folate (vitamin B9) to its active form, levomefolic acid, to enable cells to utilize it. An inability to convert folate into levomefolic acid affects many metabolic processes in the body. Active folate is essential for healthy cell division, DNA synthesis and repair, heart health, good vision, brain development, memory and mood, and so much more.

Helpful Nutrients:

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate – EGCG – found in green tea [3]
Curcumin  – from turmeric [4]
Genistein – from soy [5]
Lycopene – from tomatoes and apricots [5]
Resveratrol [6]
Caffeic acid – found in apples, apicots, buckwheat bran, coffee, chia seeds [7]
Chlorogenic acid – found in apples, tomatoes, black beans, almonds, coffee beans, chia seeds [7]

BRCA1, BRCA2

Much-studied genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 stand for breast cancer type 1 and type 2 susceptibility proteins. They provide instructions for the creation of proteins that repair damaged DNA and act as tumor suppressors. Having a mutated BRCA1/2 gene has been shown to put a person at a higher risk for breast cancer, ovarian and some other cancers. It is estimated that around 10% of breast cancer cases are caused by mutations in these genes. DNA methylation can be involved here too – a 2014 Chinese study investigating the regulation of DNMT1 (discussed above) in BRCA1-mutated breast cancer found that a transcription factor known as E2F1 was hypermethylated. Another key factor is a process known as histone deacetylation. Without getting into huge detail requiring a chemistry degree to understand it, acetylation of histones involves DNA binding proteins, activation of gene transcription and other cellular functions.  [8] Fortunately, there are a good many nutrients that can play a protective role for those with BRCA1/2 mutations:

Helpful Nutrients:

Genestein – from soy [9]
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate – EGCG, from green tea [9]
Soy foods [10]
Sulforaphane – from broccoli sprouts, cruciferous vegetables [11]
Garlic [11]
Caffeic acid – found in apples, apicots, buckwheat bran, coffee, chia seeds [7]
Chlorogenic acid – found in apples, tomatoes, black beans, almonds, coffee beans, chia seeds [7]
Resveratrol [12]
Vitamin D3 [13]

Special note for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers – when taking B-vitamins, carriers of the BRCA1/2 mutation would be well advised to consult a functional medicine doctor or integrative oncologist specifically trained to deal with this genetic mutation, because there are conflicting studies on the helpfulness of B vitamins for carriers of this mutation. One study reported that high folate levels were associated with an increased risk of breast cancer for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers [14] while another study indicated high folate levels were protective. [15]

Remember too that physical activity has also been found to be associated with a reduction in risk of breast cancer for those with BRCA1/2 mutations. [16]

P53

P53 is a tumor suppressor gene, regulating cell division by keeping cells from proliferating (growing and dividing too fast) or in an uncontrolled way. So you want this one to be working because when P53 is faulty, there is seen to be an associated increase in cancer risk. P53 is considered to be one of the most frequently mutated genes leading to cancer development.

Helpful Nutrients:

Quercetin [17]
Zinc [18]
Apigenin – found in celery, parsley, onions, grapefruit, oranges, chamomile tea [19]
Vitamin D3 [20]
Arenobufagin – isolated from Chan Su, a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb, aka Venenum Bufonis [21] (please do work with a TCM doctor when using this)
Berberine – found in goldenseal, barberry [22]

EZH2

EZH2 is a gene that has been shown in research to be a marker for more aggressive breast cancer. One study indicated “Aberrant expression of EZH2 has been associated with metastasis and poor prognosis in cancer patients.” [23]

Helpful Nutrients:

Omega 3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid) [23]
Ginsenoside RH2 – from Korean red ginseng [24]
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) – from green tea [25]
Curcumin [26]
Sulforaphane [27]
Berberine [28]
Tanshindiol – from the Traditional Chinese Medicine herb, Danshen, or Salvia miltiorrhiza [29]
Melatonin [30]

This is by no means an exhaustive list of regulatory genes, nor the nutrients that help to influence them. The purpose of this article is merely to inform you of the ones I am aware of that do exist and as I find more, I will add them to this lists. As you look through these lists of epigenetic nutrients, you begin to notice the repetition of a few, right? I think it’s pretty clear that those are the ones to focus upon and add to your daily protocols.

References:

[1] Epigenetic events associated with breast cancer and their prevention by dietary components targeting the epigenome – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21992498

[2] DNA methylation and hormone receptor status in breast cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4754852/

[3] Suppressive Effects of Tea Catechins on Breast Cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997373/

[4] Epigenetic diet: impact on the epigenome and cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3197720/

[5] Modulation of gene methylation by genistein or lycopene in breast cancer cells – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18181168

[6] Trans-resveratrol alters mammary promoter hypermethylation in women at increased risk for breast cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3392022/

[7] Inhibition of DNA methylation by caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, two common catechol-containing coffee polyphenols – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16081510

[8] Regulation of DNA methyltransferase 1 transcription in BRCA1-mutated breast cancer: a novel crosstalk between E2F1 motif hypermethylation and loss of histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936805/

[9] Reversal Effects of Genistein and (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Repression of BRCA-1 Expression in Human Breast Cancer Cells with Activated AhR – http://www.fasebj.org/content/30/1_Supplement/42.6.short

[10] Dietary intake and breast cancer among carriers and noncarriers of BRCA mutations in the Korean Hereditary Breast Cancer Study – http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/10/23/ajcn.112.057760.abstract

[11] Modulation of Histone Deacetylase Activity by Dietary Isothiocyanates and Allyl Sulfides: Studies with Sulforaphane and Garlic Organosulfur Compounds – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2701665/

[12] Acetylated STAT3 is crucial for methylation of tumor-suppressor gene promoters and inhibition by resveratrol results in demethylation – http://www.pnas.org/content/109/20/7765

[13] Cooperation between BRCA1 and vitamin D is critical for histone acetylation of the p21waf1 promoter and for growth inhibition of breast cancer cells and cancer stem-like cells – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4322975/

[14] Plasma folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 and breast cancer risk in BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutation carriers: a prospective study – http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2016/07/26/ajcn.116.133470

[15] The effects of plasma folate and other B vitamins on breast cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers – http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/75/15_Supplement/LB-185

[16] Effects of lifestyle and diet as modifiers of risk of breast cancer (BC) in BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers – http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2017.35.15_suppl.1505

[17] Anticarcinogenic action of quercetin by downregulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase C (PKC) via induction of p53 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cell line – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26311153

[18] Metalloregulation of the tumor suppressor protein p53: zinc mediates the renaturation of p53 after exposure to metal chelators in vitro and in intact cells – http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v19/n46/full/1203907a.html

[19] Evidence for activation of mutated p53 by apigenin in human pancreatic cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277744/

[20] 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 regulates T lymphocyte proliferation through activation of P53 and inhibition of ERK1/2 signaling pathway in children with Kawasaki disease – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28925469

[21] Arenobufagin Induces Apoptotic Cell Death in Human Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Cells via the Noxa-Related Pathway – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28892004

[22] Berberine Enhances Chemosensitivity and Induces Apoptosis Through Dose-orchestrated AMPK Signaling in Breast Cancer – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28775788

[23] Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids suppress expression of EZH2 in breast cancer cells – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2832544/

[24] 20(S)-Ginsenoside Rh2 suppresses proliferation and migration of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by targeting EZH2 to regulate CDKN2A-2B gene cluster transcription – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28928088

[25] (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate and EZH2 inhibitor GSK343 have similar inhibitory effects and mechanisms of action on colorectal cancer cells – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28925507

[26] Effect and mechanism of curcumin on EZH2 – miR-101 regulatory feedback loop in multiple myeloma – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28322158

[27] The Ezh2 Polycomb Group Protein Drives an Aggressive Phenotype in Melanoma Cancer Stem Cells and is a Target of Diet Derived Sulforaphane – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4919248/

[28] Naturally occurring anti-cancer agents targeting EZH2 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28323035

[29] Biological evaluation of tanshindiols as EZH2 histone methyltransferase inhibitors – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24767850

[30] Melatonin inhibits tumorigenicity of glioblastoma stem-like cells via the AKT-EZH2-STAT3 signaling axis – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27121240

DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this article is to provide information. It should not be interpreted as medical advice, and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any medical condition, or to be a substitute for advice from your health care professional.  If you have breast cancer, it is important that you work closely with a health care professional to properly treat your condition and monitor your progress.

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The Supreme Court Rules Against Myriad Genetics’ BRCA1 and BRCA2 Patents

 

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Kittisak
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Kittisak

The Supreme Court Rules Against Myriad Genetics’ BRCA1 and BRCA2 Patents

Last week, the Supreme Court finally issued its decision on whether or not it is legal to patent human genes.  

The Supreme Court ruled that genes found within the human body cannot be patented, however, synthetically created genetic material, called complementary or cDNA, can be patented.

The lawsuit upon which the Supreme Court ruled was brought against Myriad Genetics, a Utah based diagnostic test maker, by researchers, genetic counselors, the women’s health advocacy  group Breast Cancer Action, and individual patients stating that it was unlawful for a corporation to patent our very own human genes.  It has been a hotly debated topic for a significant length of time, and Breast Cancer Action views the high court’s decision as a big victory for women.

Myriad Genetics has been enjoying the rights to sell the only test currently available for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes linked to hereditary risk of breast and ovarian cancer – the test that actress Angelina Jolie recently took that showed she did have the mutated genes which purportedly put her at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer – and which information caused her to undergo a double mastectomy recently.

The significance of the Supreme Court decision is huge for women’s health because:

1. It will allow more women to have access to potentially life-saving information about their hereditary risk of breast and other cancers;

2. The genetic test, which has been exorbitantly expensive through Myriad Genetics, will no doubt become much more available at a much more affordable cost;

3. The monopoly of Myriad Genetics is broken, thus allowing other labs to begin conducting testing, research, and developing treatments using the previously unavailable BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

My Own Thoughts

Ladies, just as I’ve said it’s not just about estrogen, it’s also not just about your genetics.  There are so many things you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk – even if you do have the genetic mutation – and this website is all about teaching you how to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Most especially, read Dr Bruce Lipton’s book  “The Biology of Belief”, it’s eye opening stuff about genetics and how the power of your own mind can over-ride your supposed genetic risks.

Download my e-book and special report, read my newsletters, and find out what you can do for yourself.  Knowledge is power.

References:

VICTORY: Supreme Court Outlaws Human Gene Patents!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/supreme-court-gene-patenting-myriad-stock_n_3441802.html?utm_hp_ref=breast-cancer

 

 

My Thoughts On Angelina Jolie, Prophylactic Mastectomy and Genetic Predisposition

 

Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com / xymonau
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com / xymonau

My Thoughts On Angelina Jolie, Prophylactic Mastectomy and Genetic Predisposition

Angelina Jolie’s heart-rending choice to have a double mastectomy has certainly created a storm of controversy this week among breast cancer circles and my friends and subscribers have asked my opinion on the whole matter, hence today’s post.

First of all, please read her personally written article which appeared in the New York Times Opinion Page.  Eloquent.  However…

Two Lines Of Thought

There are those who applaud her decision and her courage for making it (because it had to be a tough one to make), while others believe it was incredibly stupid because she didn’t have breast cancer, just a strong family history.  I’m hovering somewhere in between those two lines of thought.  Mostly I just feel incredibly sad for her, because it’s apparent that Ms Jolie fell prey to fear, to overzealous medical providers who must have played a rather large part in that fear, and to the cancer industry as a whole.

Please allow me to share some of my thoughts on the matter.

Surgery Has Risks

In explaining her own choice to have this surgery, Ms Jolie does not mention the many side effects and risks of this type of surgery.  Surgery always comes with risks and side effects.  To complicate matters, breast implants are considered “high risk” by the FDA (not that I concern myself overmuch with what the FDA thinks).  The current statistics indicate that 4 out of 10 women who have had a mastectomy and implants will require additional surgery within 3 years of getting their implants.

More than a few of my subscribers have shared with me that had they known reconstruction surgery (whether flap reconstruction or implant reconstruction) was going to be so painful, so bothersome and such a disruption to their lives they would never have chosen it.  I truly feel for them.

Genetic Predisposition Vs Epigenetic Factors

As far as the genetic predisposition part of the story, an excellent article has been written by Sayer Ji, the founder of greenmedinfo.com, a website resource that I trust and often refer to because it always contains well-researched and well-written information on all sorts of health issues.  The article is titled Did Angelina Jolie Make a Mistake By Acting On The ‘Breast Cancer Gene’ Theory?   Do yourself a favor and click on the link and read that article.

I particularly appreciated the author’s assertion that “even in those in which a BRCA mutation is identified, the genes, in and of themselves, do not alone make the disease.”  I have been endeavoring to teach that particular line of thinking via my posts on this site.  In June, 2012 I wrote an article Cancer Genetics: BRCA1 and BRCA2 Are NO Cause For Concern! wherein I shared some information from the book “The Biology of Belief”, by Dr Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist, whose research and studies clearly indicate that many other factors are at play in health and disease than merely genetics.

To quote again from the greenmedinfo article, “…we must now accept that factors beyond the control of the gene, known as epigenetic factors, and largely determined by a combination of nutrition, psychospiritual states that feed back into our physiology, lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures, constitute as high as 95% of what determines any disease risk.

Did you get that?  Epigenetic factors (factors beyond the control of our genes) constitute as high as 95% of what determines disease risk.  Our bodies are incredibly smart.  They have the ability to prevent and heal all disease if they are given the right conditions! 

Human Genes Should NOT be Patented

The thing that bugs me the most about all of this is that Ms Jolie’s decision is going to persuade thousands of other young women to do the same – to needlessly lose a valued part of their anatomy.  Not every woman with a mutation will develop breast cancer!  And Myriad Genetics, the patent-holders of the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes, are profiting.  According to a Yahoo Finance report dated May 14, 2013, Myriad Genetics’ shares rose 4% after Angelina Jolie announced her mastectomy surgery.

I support an activist group called Breast Cancer Action, who in 2009 joined researchers, genetic counselors and cancer patients in a lawsuit to overturn Myriad Genetics’ patent on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  The case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court and a ruling is expected this summer.  Please visit this page on the Breast Cancer Action website for more information.

My best advice is to do three things:

1.  Sign up for my free newsletters to find out how best to reduce your risk of breast cancer;

2. Sign up for the free newsletters offered by greenmedinfo.com (use this link);

3.  Donate funds to Breast Cancer Action (use this link), help them to continue their good work, compelling the changes necessary to end the breast cancer epidemic.

Prophylactic Mastectomy, Thoughts Shared By a Cancer Coach

Mastectomy scars Mastectomy scars

Prophylactic Mastectomy, Thoughts Shared By A Cancer Coach

In my last article, I promised to share some information about prophylactic mastectomy, which is the removal of a single breast or both breasts, disease-free, to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. My own personal opinion (which may or may not count with anyone) is that this sort of surgery  is happening far too frequently these days, especially in younger women. While there are certainly situations when prophylactic mastectomy might make sense, they are few and far between. If your doctor has suggested prophylactic mastectomy for you, please read this article.

While the following is not an exhaustive list, these 7 situations are most frequently the basis for a recommendation of prophylactic mastectomy.

The 7 Situations When Your Doctor May Recommend Prophylactic Mastectomy:

  1. When you have a strong family history of breast cancer.
  2. When you have a personal history of breast cancer – the thinking here is that this your likelihood of developing a new cancer in the opposite breast than someone who has never had breast cancer.
  3. When you’ve tested positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which some feel increases the risk of breast cancer.
  4. When you have been diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), which has been shown to increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
  5. When you’ve had radiation therapy to the chest before age 30, which appears to increase the risk of breast cancer throughout your life.
  6. When you have widely spread breast microcalcifications (very tiny deposits of calcium in the breast tissue) sometimes this means cancer can be present, certainly not always.
  7. Some doctors are even recommending prophylactic mastectomy for women with dense breasts.  The thinking here is that it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose breast abnormalities which sometimes requires the removal of tissue samples to study under a microscope (biopsy).  If this happens too many times, the scar tissue that is created can cause problems for mammography screening.

My Answers To Those 7 Situations

Using the above numbering system, I would like to go out on a limb and offer a new way of thinking. Again I remind you that this is simply my opinion (and everyone, as you know, has one!) I have years of mind-body research, a background in natural medicine, years of experience as a breast cancer coach, I fought the disease myself, and I am continually reading the latest research.

1.  If your doctor recommends prophylactic mastectomy because you have a strong family history, get a new doctor.  That is practicing fear-based medicine at its worst.  I had a strong family history – both my mother and her mother died from breast cancer.  And even though I did get it as well, I learned that there are many causes of breast cancer, it is a multi-factorial disease. I learned what those causes are and limited my exposure, I learned not to be afraid of cancer and how to take my healing into my own hands, and now I teach these things to others.

2.  If you have a personal history of breast cancer, it doesn’t mean that just because you got it in one breast, you will get it in the other.  It’s not too late to change your life by taking some positive steps towards health and wellness.  If you need more information about this, sign up for my free newsletters on the right side of this page and you’ll get my two free e-books as well.

3.  Ah, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  Would you be interested in knowing that the ONE single company that tests for these genes (and charges thousands of dollars for doing so, thank you very much) is presently trying to take out a PATENT on the genes?  Would they be doing this if there weren’t a lot of money involved here?  Read my article on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genesRead also the web page of Breast Cancer Action, an organization that opposes gene patenting.

4.  If you have had LCIS then you might have an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer.  But as I said in paragraph 2, it’s not too late to change your prospects by being very proactive with body and mind and immune system. Find out what things will take you back to a state of extreme good health.

5.  If you have had radiation therapy before the age of 30 but you still have healthy breasts, there are things you can do to minimize whatever damage that might exist.  Don’t undergo needless mastectomy if you have healthy breasts.

6.  Microcalcifications in the breast do not mean that cancer is present.  Again, there are things you can do to minimize any possible problems.

7.  On Aug 20, 2012, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that high breast density does not increase the risk of death among breast cancer patients.  If you have dense breasts and your doctor recommends prophylactic mastectomy, get a new doctor.

Here’s what I recommend if you’re on the fence about prophylactic mastectomy.  If you have healthy breasts, you have time to make your decision.  Subscribe to my newsletter series because I’m all about being proactive with your health, both body and mind.  I have lots of top quality information based on actual research in my newsletters, and they won’t cost you a thing.

Prophylactic Mastectomy: No Guarantee

Although prophylactic mastectomy is shown to greatly reduce your chances of developing breast cancer, it is not a guarantee. For one thing, it is almost impossible to remove all the breast tissue. Cancer can still develop in the tissue that is left on the chest wall or underarm area.

The latest paleoanthropological research shows that cancer was virtually nonexistent before pollution and poor diet became the norm.

Science is still no closer to finding out what causes cancer because I think they’re looking in the wrong place.  Cancer is a man-made disease.  It’s going to require us getting VERY proactive with our food and nutrition, our environment, our body products, and our minds to rid ourselves of cancer.

Resources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/03/cancer-not-found-in-ancient-mummies-appears-to-be-recent-disease.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/13/at-least-onethird-of-breast-cancer-cases-are-avoidable.aspx

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/prophylactic_mast.jsp?gclid=CIyom-iliLICFeg-MgodklEAAg

http://ww5.komen.org/uploadedfiles/Content_Binaries/806-356.pdf

http://bcaction.org/our-take-on-breast-cancer/politics-of-breast-cancer/gene-patenting/

Sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem and please be sure to consult your health care professional when making decisions about your health.

Don’t Be Worried About Breast Size and Cancer Risk

Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and F Fokkelman
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and F Fokkelman

The Huffington Post released a news story on July 5, 2012 titled Breast Cancer Risk Might Be Tied To Breast Size, Study Says.

The article (which you can read by clinking the link above) basically tells us that researchers at a commercial DNA testing service say they have found a handful of genes that help determine whether a woman spends her life as an A cup or a D AND that those genes might be tied to a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Might being the operative word here.

Are we going to worry about this?  Are we going to spend one iota of our time being concerned?  NO, WE ARE NOT.

If you are, go back to my post of a couple days ago about The Biology of Belief.  Watch the one-hour video by Dr Bruce Lipton.  I will say it again – OUR GENES ARE NOT OUR DESTINY.

Here’s What We Do Need To Concern Ourselves With

In order to keep ourselves healthy, there are several things we definitely need to do.  As the article mentions (and I do agree with this), obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer, particularly after menopause.  So we need to keep our weight down.

We also need to build rock-solid immune systems so that disease can’t get a foot in the door.  If you need to know how to do this, contact me.

Studies have also suggested that women with dense breasts are up to 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer, but nobody seems to know why.  I don’t worry about that either.  I use certain essential oils to help keep myself healthy.  See my page Essential Oils For Overall Health and Specific Health Problems.

For more information, sign up for my newsletters and download my two free e-books that will (a) help you get through breast cancer if you are going through it, or (b) help you to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

By the way, while I was doing research for this article, I discovered that people are obsessed with breast size (no surprise there).  Apparently there were 1,300 worldwide Google searches on Angelina Jolie’s breast size.  Really?  People need to find something better to do with their time!  Just sayin’…

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Member No 267494
Member No 267494

Have You Read “The Biology of Belief” Yet? (You Should!)

reading a bookI have just finished re-reading “The Biology of Belief” by Dr Bruce Lipton, who was just in Loveland, Colorado last month at a speaking engagement.  Alas, too far away for me to get there.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr Lipton for this book and I’ll tell you why.

When I was going through breast cancer in 2004, the thing I struggled with the most (my elephant in the room) was my inherited genes from my mother and grandmother, who both died from breast cancer.

There were times when I thought, “What’s the use of doing chemotherapy if I am just going to die from this anyway?”

Being a natural therapist, I was aware of how powerful the mind is and I knew what a self-limiting belief this was and that it wasn’t doing me ANY good at all.

A Friend to the Rescue

About that time, I shared that worry with a new friend of mine, another woman going through breast cancer.  She invited me to her house to collect a video tape she’d received from somewhere, so on one rainy day I drove over and met her and she gave me the video to watch.

It was Dr Bruce Lipton giving a talk entitled “The Biology of Belief” about how OUR GENES ARE NOT OUR DESTINY.

That video is now available on You Tube and you can access it here .  It’s an hour long so be patient but please do watch it – it’s very powerful and will change the way you think about genes.

I felt totally liberated when I watched that video, and I began to change my thoughts to more positive, nurturing beliefs.

There Is More In The Book

Once you’ve watched the video, you still owe it to yourself to read the book.  Dr Lipton mentions lots of interesting things in the book that the video doesn’t cover.

I especially loved the section where he discusses the genes that supposedly cause breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2.  Dr Lipton says that 95% of breast cancers are NOT due to inherited genes, but to malignancies derived from environmentally induced “epigenetic alterations” (not due to genes).

I really enjoyed the section on prescription drugs, “Buying the Pharm”.  Dr Lipton tells us that pharmaceutical drugs are responsible for more than 300,000 deaths per year.  Did you know that?  Definitely read that section of the book.  It should be required reading for all medical students.

Dr Lipton states “Using prescription drugs to silence a body’s symptoms enables us to ignore personal involvement we may have with the onset of those symptoms.  The overuse of prescription drugs provides a vacation from personal responsibility.”  Confronting, I know.

Another eye opener – did you know that drug companies are studying patients who respond to sugar pills (placebos) with the goal of eliminating them from early clinical trials?  It apparently disturbs pharmaceutical companies that in most of their clinical trials the placebos (the “fake” drugs) prove to be as effective as their “engineered chemical cocktails.”

Which just demonstrates to me that we as humans are susceptible to the healing power of “something” you feel is going to help you.  Makes me think of leeches, blood-letting, rattlesnake oil…

Placebo vs Nocebo Effect

In the book, Dr Lipton discusses the interesting difference between the placebo effect, when the mind, through positive suggestions improves something injured or diseased in the body, and the nocebo effect, when the same mind is engaged in negative suggestions that can damage health.

How many of us have heard of the patient who walked into his doctor’s office, is told that he only has 8 weeks to live and 8 weeks later he promptly gives up the ghost?  That’s the nocebo effect in action.

I was telling you just the other day of a friend of mine who was told he only had a few months to live, to go home and get his affairs in order, but he chose not to accept that.  He went in search of holistic medicine and he’s still here with us 16 years later.  That’s the placebo effect working (along with a whole bunch of other things!).

Finally, I have found Dr David Hamilton’s wonderful YouTube video called How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body.  And he has a wonderful Scottish accent.  Enjoy (it’s only 6 minutes long).

I think I’m in love…

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Cancer Genetics: BRCA1 and BRCA2 are NO cause for concern!

Cancer Genetics BRCA1 and BRCA2 are NO cause for concern
Photo of DNA strand courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and ddpavumba

Today’s topic is going to be really controversial.  But I will repeat myself here: the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are NO cause for concern.

I’m sure they exist. I’m sure that scientists have spent a lot of time doing that research. But quantum physics is giving us some new answers and the fact that scientific researchers are ignoring what quantum physics has turned up is alarming and tantamount to sticking their heads in the sand like a bunch of ostriches, to say the least. For hundreds of years, Western medicine has been ignoring the reality that our bodies and our minds are connected. The mind (energy) arises from the physical body (matter). Our new understanding of the way things actually work is that the physical body can be affected by the immaterial mind.

Dr Bruce Lipton and the Biology of Belief

In his book, “The Biology of Belief”, Dr Bruce Lipton states, “Thoughts, the mind’s energy, directly influence how the physical brain controls the body’s physiology. Thought ‘energy’ can activate or inhibit the cell’s function-producing proteins…” He goes on to say, “The fact is that harnessing the power of your mind can be more effective than the drugs you have been programmed to believe you need… energy is a more efficient means of affecting matter than chemicals.” Dr Lipton discusses several documented instances where beliefs quite obviously overcame supposed biology – one man who doesn’t believe in germs wolfs down a glass of cholera bacteria and never gets sick, firewalkers who walk across beds of hot coals but never get burned.

You Do Need More Than Just Positive Thinking

Dr Lipton makes it clear in his book that you need more than just positive thinking. There are times when it’s just not enough and the reason that sometimes people who do all the positive thinking they can muster and still fail is because of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. They are not separate subdivisions of the mind, they are interdependent.

Dr Lipton explains, “The conscious mind is the creative one, the one that can conjure up ‘positive thoughts’. In contrast, the subconscious mind is a repository of stimulus-response tapes derived from instincts and learned experiences. The subconscious mind is strictly habitual; it will play the same behavioral responses to life’s signals over and over again, much to our chagrin.”

For instance, you find the toothpaste tube with the cap off and fly into a rage. Why? Because you were taught from a child to NEVER leave the cap off. That pushes your hot button and you automatically get angry. Dr Lipton states, “When it comes to sheer neurological processing abilities, the subconscious mind is millions of times more powerful than the conscious mind.”

Think of your subconscious mind as a programmable “hard drive” into which our experiences are downloaded. It’s like our “autopilot”, while the conscious mind is our manual control. You can be thinking about a fight you had with your spouse (conscious mind) at the same time as mowing the grass and not cutting your foot off or running over the cat (subconscious mind). Or you can be driving along and having an engaging conversation with someone and suddenly you realize you haven’t paid any attention to where you’re going, but everything is still fine. You didn’t hit anything, you weren’t speeding. Your subconscious mind was in control. Your conscious mind can think forward and backward in time, while the subconscious mind is always operating in the present moment.

Mind Over Matter

Okay, I can hear you asking “What does all this have to do with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes?” If you BELIEVE you are genetically predisposed to having breast cancer, you will probably, at some time in your life, get it.

For instance, I was always told I had a higher risk of having breast cancer because my mother and grandmother had it. So what happened? I got it too, despite the fact that I resolved (via my conscious mind) to be the woman in our family who didn’t get it. Nobody told my subconscious mind that bit of information apparently.

What about those who are diagnosed with breast cancer and had no genetic predisposition? Or did have the BRCA1 and 2 genes but didn’t know about it and had no family history? It’s hard to say but cancer is a multi-factoral disease. There are so many other factors involved – a toxic environment, toxic thoughts and emotions, high stress levels (just to name a few).

I would definitely urge you to read “The Biology of Belief” and look at the piles of research that the author has included and upon which I have relied to write this article.

Our Beliefs Can Limit Who We Are

Early in life (research suggests it is even happening prior to conception) we acquire beliefs and behaviors from other people, such as parents, friends, teachers, doctors. Have you ever tried to use positive affirmations to change some aspect of your life but failed miserably?

I certainly have. It’s most probable that somewhere along the way, those beliefs you acquired from other people are limiting you – keeping you from being the healthiest, wealthiest, happiest person you would like to be. A person could consciously believe they are quite healthy but at some point in their past may have heard a parent describe them as being “sickly” or “weak”. Quantum theory suggests that the cells of our bodies are listening to our subconscious minds every second of the day, and doing the bidding of that mind.

The Good News Is…

You can reprogram the subconscious mind. You are not stuck with your genes. Let go of unfounded fears. If necessary, try a course in hypnotherapy. Begin to meditate. Shift your life wherever possible. Know that the best thing, the healthiest thing possible for you is love.

With you in your healing journey,


PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS BLOG POST IS INFORMATION I HAVE DISCOVERED FOR MYSELF. IT FEELS TRUE FOR ME. THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS NOT MEANT TO DIVERT YOU ON YOUR HEALING PATH, IT IS ONLY INTENDED TO RAISE AWARENESS OF OTHER WAYS OF THINKING. YOU MUST DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU.