Angelina Jolie and "breast cancer prevention" via surgery - a role model?
On mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes as "cause" of high breast cancer risk: prevention by double mastectomy?
Copyright Healing Cancer Naturally © 2013
"Preventing breast cancer" by pre-emptive surgery: a viable option?
Women are scared with "authoritative" statements such as „women who carry harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations in their DNA have a 70%, 80% or even 87% higher chance of developing breast cancer than women who don't carry these 'deleterious' mutated genes". Additionally, with this kind of abnormality in their genetic makeup, women also are told that they have a 30%, 40% or even 60% higher risk of dying from uterine or ovarian cancer.
Whether genes or their mutations do cause cancer is a subject of hot debate and there is no scientifically watertight proof one way or the other. One of the best evidence however that the link between mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes and breast cancer risk cannot be true to fact is the case of the Jewish Ashkenazi women.
The Ashkenazim are a Jewish subgroup who nowadays make up approximately 80 percent of the world's entire population of Jews. Due to a long history of "reproductive isolation", certain genetic variations show elevated frequencies among Ashkenazi Jews, with one of these variations concerning the "evil" BRCA1 or/and BRCA2 gene: one in 40 women of this ethnicity carry them while only one in 500 women in the general population do.
But surprise surprise - while a whopping 2.65% of all Ashkenazi women (in contrast to only 0.2% in other ethnic groups) carry the genetic mutation, they still have the exact same breast cancer incidence.
As mentioned above, the odds of contracting breast cancer for a carrier of those genes is supposed to be 70-87% meaning that at least ten times as many Ashkenazi women should get breast cancer than the rest of the world's female population. So how come Jewish Ashkenazi women do not develop any more breast cancer than other women?
Even more damning is the following evidence: the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" have reported that just 3-5% of women diagnosed with breast cancer actually carry the abnormal BRCA1 gene (apparently it's not even clear whether this gene has been inherited or not).
Follow the money (again)
There is just one explanation for the above puzzling and contradictory facts: so-called scientific findings re genes causing breast cancer do not deserve that name.
Coincidentally(?), patent holder Myriad Genetics (MYGN) based in Salt Lake City (the city which for years has been churning out nearly all the data and studies on the subject of BRCA1 / BRCA2) also have developed the screening method for identifying the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. MYGN have provided the statistics stating an increased risk of 87% (without allowing their results to be verified by third parties). Myriad Genetics' share value nearly exploded in recent months, and Myriad Genetics earn (and very well) from each and every genetic screening for mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Some scientific objections to the gene theory of breast and other cancers
- It is well known that if the nucleus of a cancer cell (which contains the DNA) is implanted into an enucleated healthy cell, i.e. a healthy cell whose nucleus has been removed, the healthy cell continues to function as a healthy cell, rather than turn into a cancer cell.
- The exact same is true - only in reverse - when healthy DNA is implanted into an enucleated cancer cell. In spite of the new and sound DNA it supposedly is now controlled by, the cell will remain cancerous.
Compare Do cells become cancerous due to DNA damage?.
- Much research has been aimed at showing that cancer rather than being genetically based more likely is metabolically based, see On the anti-cancer effects of a low-calorie and/or ketogenic diet: new research into cancer as a metabolic disease.
Some common-sense objections to the gene theory of (breast) cancer
- Even if there seem to be families with a higher incidence of breast cancer (referring to the recent past), it's obvious that there are many factors to be taken into account, starting from nutritional all the way to environmental ones. Concluding that breast or other cancer runs in the family (i.e. is hereditary) because it has been diagnosed in two or more succeeding generations ignores the numerous variables that truly increase the risk of breast cancer (e.g. learned deleterious dietary habits and lifestyles, emotional patterns, and for families residing in the same house even such important but neglected factors as geopathic [and pseudogeo- as well as technopathic] stress).
- It's only in the more recent past that cancer took on epidemic proportions, with its incidence climbing in unison with rising chemical and electromagnetic pollution, the deterioration of food sources (soil depletion and ever more food processing), denatured and junk food consumption and lifestyles increasingly divorced from nature (to name but some of the major players).
- Environmental factors are more important than genes: environmental influences seem to contribute the lion's share to whatever genetic mutations have been observed. And as the young science of epigenetics is showing, even our internal environment is of prime importance: our genes are actually turned on and off by our thoughts and emotions (see Energy and Vibrational Healing: Books, "The Genie In Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention").
- Many independent cancer researchers not on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies have arrived at the conclusion that numerous / most cancers are expressions of a systemic and not a localised disease process, with the tumor simply constituting a symptom appearing at the locus of least resistance.
- Surgery should never be undertaken lightly. There are numerous risks involved in surgery (with mastectomies, at least when undertaken in diagnosed breast cancer cases, the major risk is lymphedema), compare Surgery risks.
- Taking the above to its logical (and absurd) conclusion, men with the genetic variations supposedly responsible for a 90% higher testicular cancer risk should have their testicles removed, carriers of mutated HNPCC genes their colon and other organs, and those who have Shh, Wnt, DDX3X and/or GPS2 mutations should have their brain taken out since these genes are causally involved in brain tumor formation (or so they say).
Dangerous role model and publicity for "cancer-preventive" bilateral mastectomy
Spreading the belief that genes (which supposedly we can't do anything about) are the cause of cancer, women and men are made to feel helpless victims powerless to change anything about their predestined fate. Genetic determinism also can provide the excuse and promote an attitude that says "There is nothing I can do about it anyway", rather than encouraging women and men to proactively learn about and look after their own health by minimising harmful and by encouraging helpful lifestyle factors to help prevent breast and other cancers. For a (highly) increased breast cancer risk, for instance, there is a clear link between ionising radiation (received via mammography and other routes, Bras & Lymph Node Constriction, and even lack of something as simple and basic as Exercise (!), and for cancer in general, among other factors there is a clear connection to fluoridated water consumption.
And last but far from least, considering that the majority of people still regard doctors as infallible gods in white and that doctors' pronouncements work as suggestions which can literally heal or kill (compare The power of belief), the kind of scaremongering expressed in the supposed genetic link existing in breast cancer could be considered criminal, rather than being sold to us as medical progress to be hailed and cheered.
Even the Christian Bible already contains the quote "What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me", testifying to the awareness of earlier generations regarding the power of the mind to create both positive and negative outcomes in the various areas of human life.
2 The above article was inspired by the German-language information on abnormal BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and their purported link to breast cancer risk provided by cancer researcher Lothar Hirneise at www.krebstherapien.de/page31/index.html.
- Bras, Lymph Node Constriction & Breast Cancer Link
- Studies on electromagnetic fields and radiation (EMFs/EMRs) & cancer risk
- Exposure to electromagnetic fields and radiation (EMFs and EMRs): critical protection and avoidance measures
- Geopathic Stress Solutions
- On the anti-cancer effects of a low-calorie and/or ketogenic diet: new research into cancer as a metabolic disease
- On Fluoride and Fluoridation Causing/Contributing To Cancer & Other Diseases
- Action Steps For Preventing Breast Cancer by reducing chest exposure to irradiation with ionizing radiation
- On Mammography
- Thermograms: superior painless alternative to mammograms (for women desirous of having their breasts screened)