Last week we all learned the news about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer. Apparently she had the genetic testing done who identify whether she carried this gene which indicates a genetic predisposition to getting breast cancer. Of course, the percentage increase of likelihood is a subject that is still debated, but it does seem to indicate at least a 50% chance of getting breast cancer.
Since this has occurred, many have asked what I would do if I found out I had this gene. By the way, I am 99% certain I don’t have this gene, as breast cancer is rare in my family.
As a natural health practitioner, I know that people have the right to become as healthy as they want to be, and take whatever steps they choose. I am not criticizing Ms. Jolie. But this is still very disturbing to me on a number of fronts.
First, sometimes we take steps that make us THINK we are getting healthy, but in fact we are really going in the wrong direction. (Here is an example from a local blog writer that is a perfect example. http://woodbury.patch.com/blog_posts/deadly-antidepressants) From a homeopathic perspective, surgery only removes the expression of the dis-ease, not the dis-ease itself. Thus far, Angelina did not have any expression of dis-ease, but perhaps has some mental/emotional dis-ease which could lead to the physical dis-ease, which in turn leads to disease. Fear of cancer may be one expression of her dis-ease. So removing her breasts really only opens up the rest of her body to express the dis-ease somewhere else. Her mother, for example, actually died of ovarian cancer, not breast cancer. So is she setting herself up for that? Ovarian cancer, by the way, is much harder to detect in a timely manner than is breast cancer.
The main stream media (MSM) saw this as an opportunity to praise Jolie for her courage and hope that it would encourage other women who also carried this gene to do the same thing. I do not necessarily agree that making her a role model in this regard is a good thing. The MSM should have instead seized the opportunity to educate on other ways to prevent cancer. Studies done as long ago as 2005 and later show that an appropriate amount of Vitamin D on a regular basis reduces the risk of getting cancer through many mechanisms. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/mar2006_report_vitamind_01.htm? One study showed an 80% risk of reduction in breast cancer. One interesting fact is that using sunscreen may be preventing us from getting enough sunshine to obtain adequate amounts of Vitamin D, thus increasing everyone’s risk of getting cancer. Statistics show that dark skinned people have a higher risk of cancer, which could be due to their inability to obtain as much Vitamin D as light skinned people do from the sun. And of course, those of us in Northern Climates also need to be aware of our intake of Vitamin D, especially in the winter when the angle of the sun makes it really difficult to get make enough Vitamin D.
There is a certain part of me that feels like she got fooled, or she didn’t receive all the information she should have received to make an informed decision. If she really did receive this information, why was this not part of the story as well? She could have said something like, “I know that Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of breast cancer, but I chose to do this as well.”
Just because someone carries a particular genetic code does not mean that it will express itself. There are many ways that natural health modalities can assist in this. Homeopathy has categories of remedies that help with shoring up boundaries that are often weak in people who get cancer. Cancer is all about lack of boundaries and lack of cell differentiation. Often it shows up as people being who others want them to be or being over extending themselves on behalf of others and not taking care of themselves. Diet can also make a HUGE difference. I am saying all this as someone who comes from a family with the polycystic kidney gene. Fortunately, my father does not carry the gene, so I am safe. But I saw many of my aunts and uncles suffer and eventually die from this disease. I wish I could have done something to help, but at the time, I did not know about homeopathy.
So do your research before you make any life changing decisions. Look beyond the scope of what MSM or your doctor’s office tells you. (You may not be aware of this, but doctors are discouraged from learning anything outside the scope of their practice. So the viewpoint that if there were other options, surely you would hear about them from your doctor, is not based in anything but wishful thinking.) Call me if you have any questions.