Cancer Scare Does Not Have To End In Surgery

On May 14th, 2013, Angelina Jolie let the world know she had been diagnosed with carrying the BRCA gene giving her possibly a higher chance of contracting breast and/or ovarian cancer. She made the brave decision that for her the best solution was to have both breasts removed to bring the breast cancer risk factor down and is also contemplating having her ovaries removed.

As a Cancer Coach I was very interested in reading this article and considering the agony that she and her partner must have gone through making that decision. I am not making light of that, but I am concerned that many people will see this as the choice or only decision.

There are a few things that I have not heard from Angelina or many others that should be part of the decision making and I would like to take this opportunity to bring awareness to the following;

Of all the people who end up with breast cancer the percentage of breast cancer because of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene is only 5 – 10% and research has shown that lifestyle and diet may have played a detrimental role. Most people contracting cancer do not carry a faulty gene, but may be affected by the environment they grew up in, their lifestyle, the kind of foods they are eating, toxins, and the amount of stress they experience, ethnicity and other factors.

Angelina’s risk of breast cancer has been drastically brought down, because of her surgery, but what about any of the other cancers, the risk for those has not changed with this surgery and stays the same unless she incorporates other changes in her life.

Actually we all need to take stock, even if we don’t have the gene, for most cancers will have the following risk factors;

  • Poor diet, lack of physical activity, or being overweight
  • Growing older
  • Smoking
  • Getting a sunburn
  • Radiation
  • Many chemicals and other environmental toxins
  • Certain hormones
  • Family history
  • Alcohol
  • stress

However we can make changes. Though we cannot change our family history, our genes and the sunburns we have already experienced, we can:

  • Change our diet, start exercising and get to a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking and drinking
  • Avoid sunburns
  • Avoid chemicals
  • Bring down the amount of radiation (have less x-rays taken)
  • Avoid stress
  • Support all that is good and beneficial

If you have been diagnosed with the BRCA gene, don’t assume that surgery is your only option. Take some time and look at all your options.

Cancer can take decades to develop and while you are still fine, take stock of what you are doing now and whether you can make any of the above mentioned changes. You don’t have to wait for a diagnosis, act now by incorporating a healthy diet and lifestyle. You also cannot rely on surgery to prevent all cancers.

In June I will be offering the 6-Step Community Cancer Wipeout Program through the NAPCC, which is a non-profit organization that supports cancer patients where they are at.

If you are just diagnosed, have active cancer or are in early remission you could benefit from this program that will run for 3 weeks, each session 3 hours long. Space will be limited to 8 people, so contact me to reserve your spot

Week one will address risk assessment

Week two looks at nutrition

Week three tackles environmental risks

You can contact me at 604-489-0200 or to register for this program



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