Is double mastectomy the only option for Brac1 positive women?
As I wake to hear about the stoic decision that iconic Hollywood goddess Angelina Jolie has decided to have an elective double mastectomy and is now considering having her ovaries removed as well I can’t help but wonder how many other women will be lead to make similar decisions.
The story and a bit more about genetic information is covered well by this LA times article.
The decision to elective remove two very defining aspects of your femininity, your breasts, is never a decision taken lightly by women.
My comments today are to encourage women to have faith in themselves. If you chose to have a double mastectomy I support you. I applaud you and my heart goes out to you. It’s not an easy decision.
My comments in this blog are to encourage women to have faith in their BODIES and regardless of your BRAC status these are some other things that you can do to protect yourself! Discuss further with your doctor, naturopath or someone qualified.
Breast cancer is on the increase and when you look at the contributing factors, many are modifiable, although genetic mutations are not. Embrace what is in your control and do everything you can to protect yourself and your body.
Here are a few issues surrounding the current breast cancer endemic and some things you can try to protect yourself from this disease.
1. Vitamin D status
Find out what your Vitamin D status is.
Deficiency in this vital vitamin/hormone is implicated in not only breast cancer, but MS, osteoporosis, allergies, depression and anxiety. The evidence is overwhelming! I am disappointed and enraged when doctors refuse to do this basic blood test. With campaigns encouraging people to AVOID the sun (which is the easiest way for non-melanoma risk patients to obtain vitamin D) we have seen a massive rise not only in breast cancer but other diseases. Studies are showing that office workers, children and every day people are at risk of this deficiency.
Depending on the testing method used, you should aim to have your vitamin D level above 100. And if there is a cancer risk, bone issue, allergy or any other disease caused by deficiency, then aim for 150-200. It’s important to be retested 3 months after starting Vitamin D to make sure you are utilising it. I have more on Vitamin D here.
If you are a high meloma risk, then you need to eat foods rich in Vitamin D (cods, oily fish, yolks, alfalfa) or supplement.
2. Estrogen status
Estrogen (oestrogen) is the female hormone that kicks in at puberty and is responsible for the growth and development of breast tissue, ovary, uterine and cervical tissue. It is what defines us hormonally as women. Men have estrogen (and overall male levels are increasing hence breast cancer rates in men are rising too) but women have a lot more (hence their much higher risk of developing breast cancer).
Blood tests are very arbitrary and the WHO recommends saliva testing for estrogen to be the golden measuring stick. I do these in my clinic, or can post a kit to you that you do from home. Alternatively google someone in your area that does the testing.
3. Optimal Health
I know, two words that encapsulate ALOT!
I am serious. Don’t live in denial. Having a healthy body protects you not just from breast cancer but all sorts of other conditions and diseases. Take the step to make your health as FABULOUS as possible. Lose weight, eat well, moderate alcohol, exercise, have a healthy mind, end negative relationships. DO IT! I will back you, help you, read other blogs, find the mojo to make yourself healthy.
Be proactive on the breast cancer front, not reactive.
I would love to hear your stories as I know this disease affects so many women. Let me know your concerns and experiences good and bad.