Here’s a little ditty ’bout my family histtry

(I tried a rhyme there! did you get it!?)


*Note anything that looks like this is a cut and paste directly from the website mentioned

My maternal grandmother died at the age of 43 from breast cancer.
My aunt had breast cancer – in her late 40’s early 50’s
My sister was 35 for her first round of breast cancer and in June was diagnosed with cancer in the other breast at the age of 49.

Those are all very young. Breast cancer generally doesn’t hit until the age of 50 and increases in risk every decade after that. 70 being the highest risk age group. 

Randomly I had started writing these posts because of my own freak out a few months before my sister was diagnosed a second time. This has caused my research to get even more hard core, now I’m not looking only at prevention but also getting thru chemo, treatment, and on with life after.

We are a family of (TNBC) Triple Negative Breast Cancer. <- link to cancer.gov

From: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130515-breast-cancer-prevention-angelina-jolie-gene-mastectomy-science/
Angelina Jolie has the BRCA1 gene.
Women with BRCA1 gene are more likely to have triple-negative breast cancer, which is a harder cancer to treat. If you’re looking at an up to 87 percent risk, a mastectomy is not so radical. It makes a lot of sense.

This is a very well know woman, and everyone seems to know she had a double mastectomy. Most people don’t seem to understand anything beyond that. Also frightening is that genetic breast cancers like TNBC are only 10% – 20% of breast cancer.

While that means more than 1 out of every 10 women have some form of TNBC that also means 80% to 90% of women out there have a form of breast cancer that has no family history. The odds of being diagnosed with some form of breast cancer in America is 1 in 8. HOLY SHIT, 1 IN 8!!!

Look around you, you’re close with 8 women, you’re probably fairly close to 16 women.

(From: http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20131219/angelina-jolies-story-didnt-boost-knowledge-of-breast-cancer-risks-study)
“Since many more women without a family history develop breast cancer each year than those with, it is important that women don’t feel falsely reassured by a negative family history,” study co-author Dr. Debra Roter, director of the Center for Genomic Literacy and Communication at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Here are some more numbers:

From http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2012/nov2012_Epigenetics_Breast_Cancer_01.htm
Every year, nearly 250,000 women learn that they have invasive breast cancer. Roughly 58,000 more will be diagnosed with early cases of the disease.1 And about 40,000 will die.2

So I hope that we’ve established that the vast majority of people reading this that MAY develop breast cancer don’t have to. 

Up to 50% of breast cancer cases are now thought to be preventable through simple changes in diet and lifestyle.

I argue that up to 80% are preventable. There are some types you just can’t avoid. For instance in my family. My grandmother was from the “old country” she ate very traditionally and there weren’t nearly as many pollutants in the air as there are now. My sister is a health freak. She always has been. She was on the no bread, no processed junk, no soy, only yogurt and rarely eating meat, organic, love, diet before it even existed. After her first round of breast cancer she was even more focused. She works a highly physical job and raised three kids, and STILL found the energy to work out. She certainly does not now nor has she every needed to lose weight. 

Yet I don’t believe that means I will end up next year (when I’m 35) in the chemo ward. We didn’t have as much info then as we do now. The internets didn’t exist for my aunt or grandmother, and just now are people like me, who make health their life work, getting results from long term studies.

Now research is showing that these genes can be turned on or off. Other genes, responsible for killing off defective cells can be turned on. Yet another gene suppresses tumor growth. 

Next week I’ll dive into this deeper in the meantime…

Check this out:

From the same webpage cited above:
The use of specific agents to prevent cancer from developing is called chemoprevention. Utilized properly, chemoprevention should be able to eliminate pre-malignant cells, block the progression of normal cells into invasive tumors, and ultimately stop a cancer before it ever reaches a size that could cause symptoms or be detected.5

Research has demonstrated that there are scores of nutrient molecules with potent, and often multiple chemotherapeutic effects. For example, calcium, selenium, and vitamin D have all shown some effect in reducing cancer occurrence.6 An even larger array of nutrients is responsible for changes that promise powerful chemoprevention against breast cancer.7

Revolutionary New Science Holds The Key to Breast Cancer PreventionA relatively new science called epigenetics has shed light on the enormous control we as individuals have on whether or not we develop cancer. The science of epigenetics is the study of long-lasting changes in gene function that do not involve changes in gene structure.9 Epigenetics has taught us that we can use factors such as nutrients to turn a gene on and off.10

If the gene that’s activated is a tumor-suppressor gene (a gene that prevents excessive cell replication), or one that triggers termination of defective cells (such as pre-malignant cells through normal apoptotic processes), these epigenetic modifications are capable of blocking the progression of a cancer cell.10

The science of epigenetics has finally explained how nutrients and certain drugs can change the way breast cancer cells age and reproduce.9

Based on the science of epigenetics, Big Pharma is now racing to produce chemopreventive drugs.7 But nature is far ahead, as usual. Scores of researched nutrients have potent, and often multiple, epigenetic and chemotherapeutic effects (Table 1)—without the side effects associated with drugs like tamoxifen, which the FDA approved for breast cancer prevention.

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