GENES, GENETIC TESTING, and CANCER
What do genetic sequencing of healthy newborns and Angelina Jolie have in common? Beautiful Angelina Jolie made international news for undergoing a double mastectomy as she had a strong family history of breast cancer via the BRCA gene mutation. Recent news is suggesting that the government is moving to begin genetic sequencing of healthy newborns.
(source: Wall Street Journal)
Why? “Such testing could provide doctors and parents a vast pool of data likely to reveal a wider range of potential medical risks than the traditional heel-prick test, in which a small sample of newborns’ blood is taken to check for more than two dozen possible conditions. The data could be used years later to help develop personalized medical treatment, such as choosing the most effective asthma medication.”
So let’s apply logic to the above. All of this, of course, pertains to “normal” individuals, not those with overt inherited diseases like sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis, etc. 1) do you trust the government to have any data on you? Now it will be your genetic sequence? Hmmm 2) Will knowing your genetic sequence make a huge difference? Perhaps for Pharma to make designer petrochemicals for you? 3) What is the real low down on genes and cancer?
Answers: 1) I would not want anyone to have my genetic profile. Government has shown repeatedly that it cannot be trusted, a lesson taught by our Founders. 2) You can’t do anything to alter or “correct” the genetic sequence of your DNA. So why bother? So let’s get to the meat here.
3) Angelina Jolie was definitely carrying a greater risk of breast cancer, so she chose to have them removed. She made a wise decision – for HER! I cannot judge her decision. However, we know that not everyone with BRCA mutations gets cancer, breast or otherwise. Why? We now know that in MOST cases, more important than your genetic sequence are the effects of environment on how your genes behave. New research shows that at least 50% if not more of cancers could be avoided by healthier lifestyle choices. That would also include BRCA mutations. (BRCA mutations affect the ability of your DNA to repair itself. With less accurate repair of breaks, the cell is more likely to get into trouble).
My take on this is as follows. I am not particularly interested in the genetic testing of individual healthy people. The crucial matter for all of us is what chemicals, drugs, heavy metals, and lack of essential nutrients is doing to the proteins that control our genes. This is called “epigenetics” – the effect of environment and lifestyle on what your genes do.
To be more specific, you have a computer in front of you. There is a hard drive, the software within, which is essentially the genetics of your computer. But you, at the keyboard and mouse, are in control of what your computer does. The toxins and lack of essential nutrients act similarly to you at the keyboard, capable of confusing your computer with commands it cannot recognize or beyond its capacity to respond. The program goes on tilt. The BRCA gene makes the latter easier to happen, but not certain to happen.
Hence, our civilization best pay attention to the poisons it puts out, the nutrient depletion of the soil, the GMO toxic food US politicians are paid (in campaign contributions) to protect, etc. Mining your genetic data will simply give them more reason to “mine” your wallet to “protect” you from what DNA God gave you. Intelligent choices in your life will do more to protect you than ANYTHING else. If you have fear of cancer, as most do, and you carry BRCA, then if double mastectomy will allay your fears, as it appears to have done for Ms. Jolie, then it may be a wise choice. I’m not here to tell you otherwise. (I don’t think my physician wife would have made the same choice, though).
But if you wish to keep the jewels God gave you, and that is YOUR choice, then emphasis on the most exemplary diet and lifestyle you can achieve might just trump the disfigurement choice. But nothing is 100%. Ms. Jolie could still develop cancer in organs other than her lost breasts. And considering that 1 in 40 women got breast cancer in 1900 before the onslaught of our toxic environment, clearly even 100% chemical free life is not a cancer free guarantee either.
So, regardless of the choice you make, please consider the advice I’ve given tens of thousands over the years. “If God didn’t make it, don’t eat it. Eat what grows around you, ripe, organic and when in season (whenever possible). Get exercise. Detoxify heavy metals with chelation, and chemicals with sweats and oxidation. Get adequate but not excessive sunshine on your skin. Do everything you can to avoid toxin exposure of any kind (and that includes GMO “Frankenfoods”).
I don’t recommend genetic testing on normal babies. I do recommend NO vaccines to derange their immune systems, breast-feeding, love, and the instillation of self worth. Then, the child might not need the asthma petrochemical drug for which they want to DNA test to get the “right” chemical!! And you’ll have far greater chance to avoid BRCA associated cancers breast or otherwise.
And finally, I also implore our “rulers” to reign in the corporation (man made fictions) sociopaths killing our planet, stop voting for their interests, and place emphasis on all decisions in favor of flesh and blood God made men and women. We, not corporations, are the only ones truly vested with God given “unalienable Rights” as declared in our founding document by Thomas Jefferson.
My thanks to Facebook reader Pamela L. for asking me to write on this topic. Please continue to comment on my general medical posts here to help me help you make the wisest choices you can in your health care.
Your Medical Servant,
Robert J. Rowen MD