Understanding what gene defects mean and how they operate is a function of medical research. Much has been learned in the last five years about what a specific gene does and what it cannot do when it is damaged or inhibited, thus  defective. However, more is unknown about the factors that cause cancers and the role genes play in its specific development. We do know that when a protective gene stops functioning, such as BRCA1 (breast cancer 1 gene) and BRCA2 (breast cancer 2 gene), then malignant cell grow can develop into not only breast cancer but also ovarian, cervical, uterine, pancreatic,  colon, stomach, gallbladder, bile duct, testicular, prostate and skin cancer.

Does removing one’s breast prevent the development of the other cancers? Absolutely not! Do we statistically even know the risk factor for these other cancers when one tests positive for either BCA1 or BCA2? NO! Yet some women are lured into a false sense of comfort by their doctors when plastic surgery can promise the illusion of more attractive, sexy, and so called healthy breasts! Similarly should a man testing positive for BRCA2 go out and get his prostate removed? What about your bile duct and gallbladder? Should we view these organs as superfluous if we can live without them?

The statistics for increased risk of cancer in those that test positive for BRCA1 or BRCA2 are considered foreboding. One’s risk is said to be increased by as much as five times over those without this gene mutation, according to the National Cancer Institute’s 2009 opinion. Yet by their own admission they disclose that no data is available comparing positive BRCA findings with negative findings long term for cancer risk. Thus they clarify that the reported risk factor is “nothing more than an estimate”. Therefore, it is not an accurate scientific or factual statement to say one’s cancer risk is increased! It is merely a proposition, a suggestive correlation that needs further investigation before it is established as fact.  They also acknowledge that no standard criteria exist for recommending or referring someone for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation testing. It stands to reason that rushing out to have one’s breast removed should be considered medically rash and not justified by fact or fear. Some doctors will nonetheless see no harm in such an “elective” surgery and encourage this “election”  because it pays their bills and well.

If one were to believe that research will someday soon prove that positive BRCA findings actually do increase one’s risk for cancer, it would mean that such individuals must be more diligent in their lifestyle. Lifestyle is something that has not been addressed or supported by allopathic medicine historically as contributing to one’s risk factor for disease until the last few years. Even now, there is no program, education or routine medical support given to the public  to specifically address healthy lifestyle changes to reduce one’s cancer risk. Neither are there any studies to document outcomes of those with healthy lifestyles that do test positive for the BCRA1 and BCRA2 gene. Yet independent studies of nations with the lowest cancer rate also correlate healthy lifestyle with reduced cancer risk. The Okinawan Centenarian study that began in 1975 was one such study. (Japan Population Research Institute, Fries JF. New England Journal of Medicine 1980; 303:131-5). What can we learn about lifestyle to protect our genes?

Elevated tissue estrogen increases our cancer risk. This is statistically observed in women that no longer ovulate, have irregular menses and those with low progesterone output despite normal ovulation. A salivary hormone panel as opposed to serum (blood) estrogen will identify one’s level of tissue exposure to excessive estrogens. Unfortunately, this testing though easy to do at home and mail in the results, has not been adopted as the gold standard for testing circulating estrogens. One can obtain a salivary test kit online:

If test results come back showing elevated estrogens, then one must do the following:

1)    Reduce exposure estrogenic compounds (eliminate soy,

2)    Improve liver methylation (detoxification of estrogens)

Why is family history significant? Because it suggest that we might have inherited genes that affect methylation, such as the MTHFR and/or COMT defect that make biding and excreting estrogens and other toxins less efficient than someone without such defects (such as seen in the autism population). Even with these defects, there are nutritional ways to navigate around these defects to help the body process toxins. Getting a blood test for these markers is also available.

One’s own medical history is also significant especially if one has already had some form of cancer. This is a red flag that one must improve their methylation and reduce their toxic load as well as observe certain nutritional modifications. Immune Matrix reports that in all their cancer screenings, those with cancer tested positive for an elevated level of toxic retention and were also acidic.

Dietary changes to become more alkaline are important. The American diet is high in saturated fats from excessive animal protein and refined carbohydrates. This causes us to have a higher need for alkaline minerals to process these products. Most individuals with such a dietary lifestyle do not eat large amounts of dark green leafy vegetables to supply the liver with appropriate alkaline minerals necessary to fuel the methylation pathway. As a result they become less efficient at processing toxins whose sustained and concentrated presence can alter gene function.

Processed foods are high in chemicals that become free radicals, known to alter and damage genes. Individuals with such a diet generally do not eat high anti-oxidant foods, neither do they take such supplements to counter the effects of their high free radical producing diet.

Stress also increases acidity, free radicals and alters , according to UCSF researchers, the end caps to the genes that protects them. Toxins from smoking, regular alcohol consumption, prescription and recreational drug use, aluminum and thimerisol (sodium ethyl mercury) from flu shots and other vaccines as well as methyl mercury from fish all increase our toxic and free radical load.

America is fat and it eats a ton of fat. Saturated fat from animal protein is high in  omega 6 as opposed to omega 3. Omega 6 leads to the formation of arachidonic acid which turns on inflammation! Fat also stores estrogen, making men and women prone to estrogen dominance and thus increasing our hormone induced cancer risk.

In summary what can you do?

  • Run a salivary hormone panel through Diagnos-Techs Lab
  • Eat a diet that supports alkalinity:
  • Drink ionized water, or water with no less than 7, preferably higher
  • Eat dark green leafy vegetables daily
  • Reduce consumption of saturated fats (animal fats, deep fried food, hydrogenated fat fortified food)
  • Reduce stress (do a salivary cortisol test to determine one’s biochemical marker for stress)
  • Add trace minerals to one’s water
  • Eliminate all refined carbohydrates
  •  Drink half your weight in ounces to aid detoxification
  •  active and I mean aerobic active! Aerobics moves the blood and that flushes toxins from the tissues and lining of your arteries, veins and capillaries. Doppler readings done on patients at Immune Matrix found the best circulatory elasticity in those that exercised an hour 3-4 times a week. This also correlated with other tests they ran reflecting lower toxic retention. These individuals were considered fit and athletic and ran or rode a bike. Nonetheless, no matter where you start, start moving and now!
  •  Sweat! Besides the internal benefits of aerobics, sweating is a form of excretion used but the body to detoxify. However, to continue to sweat efficiency, one must have electrolytes and good alkaline minerals.
  •  Get tested for oxidation/free radical levels and consider taking anti-oxidants such as turmeric, resveratrol, or microhydrin plus.
  •  Get tested for the MTHFR/COMT methylation defects to determine methylation efficiency and work with an experience health care practitioner that understands nutragenomics and the biochemistry of methylation. They will help advise you of the proper nutrition and supplementation your genetics requires for your body to maintain good liver detoxification pathways. It’s like owning a Ferrari. You just can’t put any type of gas in it and expect top performance. Our bodies are Ferraris, and for peak performance we need optimum neutragenomic nutrition.
  •  Work with anti-aging health care specialists knowledgeable in the latest gene repair supplements such as TA-65, Phyto-Multi and Celergen to improve telomere length, reduce oxidation and gene repair.

If all these lifestyle factors sound like a lot, it certainly can be for the unhealthy American hectic lifestyle when it’s not already part of your daily habit. Habits take at least six weeks to become ingrained and a regular part of our life. Begin by making small changes one step at a time and be consistent. Healthy living reaps benefits beyond cancer prevention. It improves vitality, endurance, function and longevity, essential cornerstones to a life worth living.

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan