genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, play in breast cancer disease risk and prognosis. BRCA mutations varywidely by ethnicity and are exceedingly rare in the general population, which is why, asNBCNews.com recently reported, "The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that onlywomen with a strong family history even think about getting a BRCA genetic test –which is only 2percent of U.S. women." But even in those in which a BRCA mutation is identified, the genes, inand of themselves, do not alone make the disease.Despite the commonplace refusal of so-called 'evidence-based medicine' to acknowledge the
of genetics, we moved into a Post-Genomic era over a decade ago following thecompletion of first draft of the entire human genome in 2000. At that moment, the central dogmaof molecular biology – that our DNA controls protein expression, and therefore disease risk – wasdisproved. Our genome was found to contain roughly 20,000 genetic instructions – notevenenough to account for the 100,000 proteins in the human body!As a result, we must now accept that factors beyond the control of the gene, known as epigeneticfactors, and largely determined by a combination of nutrition, psychospiritual states that feed backinto our physiology, lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures, constitute as high as 95% of what determines any disease risk. In fact, even the psychological trauma associated with beingdiagnosed with cancer can drive malignancy via adrenaline-mediated multi-drug resistance,[i]andaccording to a recent NEJM study, lead up to a 26-fold increased risk of heart-related deaths in theseven days following diagnosis.[ii]Given this fact, Jolie's decision to have a bilateral mastectomy in order to excisefrom her body thebreast tissue that contains BRCA1/BRCA2 genes which are known to interfere with therepair of radiation-induced DNA damage, rather than focusing on reducing or eliminating all future radiationexposure from her breasts, or incorporating hundreds of
nutritional componentsexperimentally confirmed to protect against radiation
and associated genotoxic insults to thebreast, reflects a iron clad faith in the inevitability of gene-driven cancer vis-à-vis a fundamentallypowerless subject, versus trust in the body's ability to prevent and heal all disease, assuming it hasthe right conditions.Another common misconception is that you either have, or don't have the "BRACA genes," as if they were monolithic entities, ascertained with the black and white certainty of a pregnancy test. Itis a little known fact that
of "mutations" in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have alreadybeen identified and characterized on a molecular level, adding much more complexity to the picturethan the present level of medical knowledge can claim to convert into compelling statistical riskcalculations and actionable treatment recommendations.These mutations are technically known as gene polymorphisms which are naturally occurringvariations of a gene present in more than 1% of the populations.
It will come to many as asurprise to learn that some of these so-called "mutations" actually REDUCE the risk of breast cancer
. BRCA1 variation K1 183R is related
to cancer risk, leading the authors of a review on the topic titled, "The case against BRCA1 and 2 testing," to conclude: "It seems thatsome polymorphisms may actually have a
effect."[iii]Moreover, research exists showingthat BRCA2 mutation carriers and non-carriers have similar breast cancer-specific rates of breast-cancer specific death,[iv]and that although BRCA positive patients have more frequently negativeprognostic factors, their prognosis appears to be equal to or better than in patients with normal,also known as wild-type, BRCA.[v]Another concerning blind spot in the framing of Jolie's decision is that approximately 70,000 breastcancers (31% of annual breast cancers diagnoses) are misdiagnosed by the vast
breast cancer'awareness' and treatment complex
each year.[vi]These are not just so-called "zero stage"breast cancers such as
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
(DCIS), which arguably should be reclassifiedas non-cancerous normal variations in breast morphology, but 50% are known as early-stage"invasive" breast cancers [view NEJM studyvideo analysis here].How many of these women, having received a mammography-detected diagnosis of breast cancerand then a follow up BRCA test, believed that the gene must have therefore "caused" the "cancer"?The popularization of this crude way of understanding natural, sometimes self-limiting variations in
Did Angelina Jolie Make A Mistake By Acting On The 'Breast Cancerhttp://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/did-angelina-jolie-make-mistake-a...2 of 115/06/2013 12:01 p.m.