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Posted on 05-20-2013
Let me start off by saying whatever someone does with their own health is their business. However when a drastic decision is made based on incomplete information, that troubles me. I'm of course referring to the recent decision of Angelina Jolie to have a double mastectomy based on her family genetic history.
Her decision is being touted as brave, revolutionary and heroic. As a healthcare provider I see it as reckless and very likely to send the wrong message. Remember I said what people did with their health is their business, that doesn't mean I have to agree with it. The message being sent here is that your genes doom you. If you have a certain gene, you have no chance. That's simply not the case. The complexities of cancer go deeper than your genetic make up. There's one hugely important word people have forgotten here...ENVIRONMENT.
Internal and external sources affect how our genes are expressed. Those sources include the food we eat, the things we drink, the environment we live in and things we come in contact with each day. It's the complex interaction of these internal and external sources and our DNA that make us who we are. In fact, this quote from the National Cancer Institute says just that regarding the BRCA1 and BRCA2 research:
"Estimates of breast and ovarian cancer risk associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations have been calculated from studies of these families. Because family members share a proportion of their genes and, often, their environment, it is possible that the large number of cancer cases seen in these families may be due in part to other genetic or environmental factors."
This information is from the government cancer website and it's from these studies that Angelina based her decision. It's these studies that people are quoting as gospel all over the internet to justify her decision. All I'm here to say is that there is an alternative to amputation. By avoiding cancer causing agents and eating healthy, anti-oxidant rich foods you can tip the genetic cancer scale in your direction. Removal of otherwise healthy body parts as a pre-emptive strike isn't the answer. What about those people who have genetic predisposition to heart disease or brain cancer? We obviously can't remove those things. We live in a toxic environment and it's up to each and every one of us to fight back to ensure true health.
How does chiropractic fit in this? Chiropractic is about the connection our brain has with the rest of our body. The nervous system controls everything including the process of removing cancer cells from our body everyday. Ensuring this connection is interference free helps our bodies function better. Couple this with proper diet, clean water and exercise and you'll be a lean, mean, cancer fighting machine!
I thought her decision was extreme! I think I was afraid to say so because everyone else was "hero worshiping" her decision. Cancer can't be "predicted". I have a friend with no family history of breast cancer, have breast cancer in her early thirties. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have gone out and had a mastectomy if somebody would have "predicted" five years ago she would encounter this hurdle in her life. However, she may have taken better care of herself, exercise, healthy eating etc if she would have known that could possible prevent cancer in the future. It seems like an easy equation; better care=better health. If you can't prevent illness, you're certainly more prepared to fight it when you're healthier-body, mind and soul!
Thanks Andrea, excellent comment! We literally fight off cancer every single day. It's when we have lost that important brain-body connection that we can have issues. That's where chiropractic comes in!