A couple of weeks ago, Angelina Jolie made the national news by choosing to have both her breasts surgically removed as a means to prevent breast cancer. And unlike most flash-in-the-pan celebrity stories, this one is sticking. Headlines are still cropping up. And her story has raised lots of questions about risk factors for this disease.
In Angelina’s case, new genetic testing revealed that she has the gene that places her at the highest risk of developing breast (and ovarian) cancer as she gets older. (Yes, even in Hollywood, women eventually grow older.)
She is reportedly frightened and baffled at her situation.
And no wonder.
Indeed, the dimensions of the breast cancer problem have grown over the years.
First, the alarm was raised when it was found that 1 in 11 women got breast cancer during their lifetime. Then it went up to 1 in 10 women. And now 1 in 9 women will get it. (That ratio is higher, by the way, than the number of heavy smokers who will get lung cancer. Just being a woman in the modern U.S. has become a greater risk factor for cancer than are decades of heavy smoking!)
But it gets worse.
When it comes to breast cancer, the most common cancer in women, the treatment options offered by modern medicine are more like medieval torture. You have your choice:
1. Cutting (surgery)
2. Burning (radiation)
3. Poisoning (chemotherapy)
My grandmother had breast cancer at the age of 83. Doctors treated her with radiation. They cured the breast cancer. But the radiation ruined her lungs and killed her. And unfortunately, things haven’t really changed since my grandmother’s time.
No, things have not changed much at all. Despite billions and billions spent by the National Cancer Institute. Despite all the running around in pink ribbons. And despite dressing up professional athletes in pink shoes.
The pink ribbon people know all about publicity stunts. And political correctness. But they ignore the truly innovative research and natural solutions. And women are still resorting to double mastectomy before they even get the disease!
To find real solutions, we must first face up to the real causes of the problem.
Over the years, the government tried to pin breast cancer on all the usual suspects: Eggs, meat, smoking, saturated fats, excess calorie intake, and being overweight. But none of these factors really adds up to much.
My Ph.D. dissertation research found that dietary and other behaviors during adulthood have little impact on breast cancer risk. (Although diet, nutrition, and growth during childhood may impact longer-term risk. Just something to keep in mind when you’re preparing meals for your daughters and granddaughters.)
We have known about the biggest risk factors for breast cancer for many decades. Mainstream experts have long acknowledged that family history is a big factor…and now the “breast cancer gene” has been identified.
But every woman is at risk for breast cancer–even if you don’t have the gene. In fact, when I was in medical training, surgeons–usually male–frequently referred to the female breast as a “pre-cancerous” organ.
And unfortunately, it has become true. The other big risk factors are increasingly common amongst women. They are:
1. Early age at menarche (early puberty)
2. Late age at menopause
3. Having few (or no) pregnancies
4. Late age at first pregnancy (over 30)
5. Lack of breastfeeding
6. Lack of being breastfed (as an infant)
Given these factors, it makes sense that we do need to focus on early detection of breast cancer. We need to figure out how to administer safe and effective mammogram screenings. And we need to determine the right intervals at which to conduct them.
We also need to move ahead with safe and effective treatments. Modern medicine offers chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. But real “cutting edge” science is finally beginning to look at how cancer cells grow into tumors in the first place. And some scientists have already begun tackling this problem. Even without wearing pink ribbons.
You see, individual cancer cells continuously arise in the body. But a healthy immune system eliminates them before they can cause trouble.
For those cancer cells that do survive, the only way they can grow into a tumor is by hijacking your body’s blood supply. It diverts blood vessels from other parts of the body and pulls them into the tumor. This stolen blood supplies nutrients to the growing tumor. This process is called angiogenesis.
Drug companies are finally discovering this “new” approach to treating cancer. For example, the blockbuster cancer drug Avastin blocks the growth of new blood vessels.
But scientists have known about this property of “anti-angiogenesis” for a long time. And the good news is, many natural remedies already have this property. Better yet, they are available to you now. You can learn more about them in my report “The one word battle plan for crushing cancer” (available free on this website to subscribers of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter).
So now you know. You don’t have to resort to drastic, surgical measures to prevent breast cancer. It’s just too bad Angelina Jolie, theoretically with access to “the best of everything,”–as well as so many other women–didn’t have this information sooner.