We were all shocked to find out the beautiful Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy and reconstruction because she had the BRCA1 gene mutation.
Her doctors told her she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer. She wanted to take preventative measures. Some with the gene many choose to have their breasts and ovaries removed. Others do not. We know the father of a nurse last year who chose to do nothing and died. Genetic breast cancer ran in their family. Also men can be at risk for prostate cancer, breast cancer and other cancers.
You may be asking yourself what are the BRCA genes? Who gets them? Why are they hereditary? These are labeled tumor suppression genes.
Women with these mutations are at a higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer. These genes can also increase the risk of cancers of the cervix, uterus, colon, pancreas, stomach, gallbladder and skin melanoma. Do you have a family history of these types of cancers?
Most women do not have this mutation.
Dr. Christine Horner wrote a great book on Waking the Warrior Goddess. It is a great book.
If you have a strong family history of cancers, you may want to be tested. First you need to talk to a genetic counselor. Family history is a determining factor. What did everyone die from on that side? What diseases did they have?
Learn all you can about this gene mutation.
There was one study done that stated that women born before 1930 who had this mutation actually lived longer whereas those born after 1940 had a three time higher risk of developing breast cancer.
There are a few other studies on the diet and life style of women with these mutations.
What foods reduce your risk?
Coffee with BRCA1 gene mutation can reduce your risk. This study states your risk can be reduced by 70%.
Selenium which is needed to help repair oxidation DNA damage can reduce ones risk. In one study those women who took selenium supplements had an incidence of breast cancer that was 2 times lower. Amazing.
Omega 3 fatty acids in larger amounts (walnuts, flax seeds, wild salmon) reduces ones risk of BRCA1/2 cancers according to a French Study.
Vitamin D plays a role in turning ff the pathways that activate this gene. My feeling is that way too many breast cancer patients have low vitamin D levels.
Chinese researchers discovered Gingko Biloba may prevent ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1.
Going to bed by 10 p.m. also helped with the Melatonin level in a study of BRCA1 and 2 genes.
What are some other healthy live style choices?
Breast Cancer screening should be be less radiation. A better kind of screening may be thermography according to one European study. If you had radiation to your breast before age 30 you are at increased your risk.
Source of Information: Dr. Christine Horner, MD
Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine, Be a Thriver, Summer 2013