Angelina Jolies Breasts RIP
Last night I watched the news channel light up with pictures of Angelina Jolie, and her decision to remove her breast tissue, triggered by her fear of dying from cancer, as her mother did. I am not too surprised at her fear-based emotional reaction, but I am deeply saddened by the medical advice she followed. We (in the functional medicine field) do know what causes cancer, and how to prevent it. Even the statistics do not favor her decision: she is facing a very small chance of getting the cancer in the first place, and natural cancer treatments are having an excellent success rate. I was going to write my own piece, by my friend and our member Donna Tennant beat me to it. I dont think I would put it better, except I would not be nearly as tolerant and conciliatory.
I read with great interest and respect Angelina Jolies op-ed in the New York Post yesterday on her radical decision to have a pre-emptive double-mastectomy (and reconstructive surgery) to reduce her risks of acquiring, and potentially dying from breast cancer. She made this choice because she has the BRCA1 gene that puts her at high risk and that contributed to her mothers own death from breast cancer at the age of 56. I applaud her taking charge or her own health and support any womans right to determine her own health journey.I am now begging the governments who ultimately control access to much of our medical and social support systems to do the same take a radical approach to address breast cancer. Here are my suggestions (based on my own breast cancer journey and extensive research) for systemic changes required to reduce cancer occurrences and increase positive outcomes for those with a diagnosis:
- Mandate a reduction in pesticide, hormone and chemical use in our food supply (Israel banned hormones in their milk supply and the countries breast cancer rates were cut in half over a 10 year period).
- Invest in increased preventive, non-invasive dental care for people (in a study in Australia 96 out of 100 women who had a breast cancer diagnosis had a root canal within 1-2 years of diagnosis). Healthy gums and teeth are imperative to health in general
- Invest in affordable counseling and mental health support for people (trauma, particularly sexual trauma, has been linked to breast cancer).
- Stop promoting the medical paradigm currently used for cancer (chemo, radiation and hormone treatment) as evidence clearly indicates it does not work, or does not work to the level that it is promoted. Or at the very least invest in advanced diagnostic measures similar to what Germany has done, where each breast cancer tissue is analyzed to determine its reaction to chemotherapy before mandating the treatment.
- Require all oncologists to provide statistics for comparing treatment to non-treatment to patients not in scientific terminology but by expected life benefit to ensure women understand this before making any treatment decision. (I had to beg for this information)
- Stop the use of mammograms and look for alternatives such as ultrasounds as mammograms have been proven to increase womens risk of acquiring breast cancer over a 10 year period.
- Address the situational poverty many women face when entering into breast cancer treatments (and for women who began in poverty this is particularly devastating).
- Make alternative options covered by insurance programs.
- Acknowledge that cancer treatments positively impact the GDP while not generating the same positive impact for the patient and that there is a financial benefit to the greater community to have women undertake expensive treatments which may not be effective or have more devastating long term impacts than led to believe.
- Acknowledge that for many of these early-stage breast cancers, no treatment is necessary and many go away on their own.
I realize this is a lot of information and if anyone is interested in the research that backs up each and every one of these claims, please Facebook message Donna and she would be happy to provide a lot more detail.
Heres the full article My Medical Choice by Angelina Jolie.