I defriended someone this week on facebook and in real life. She posted something after the Angelina Jolie reveal about how cancer can just be avoided with diet.
And I call bullshit.
Yes I do.
You mean to tell me that after a person takes a test that says they have an 87% chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime that your advice is to ignore that significant and scientifically proven risk and simply change everything by eating better?! Really?!
I will say it again, bullshit.
Is diet important? Of course it is. Of course it is. I have always tried to be a good eater, especially in the last few years. I understand that diet can improve many aspects of your life. Nobody understands that better than me.
But diet is only one piece to the puzzle and it is reckless and irresponsible for any person in the medical community, holistic or otherwise to advise people that they can beat the BRCA gene with their diet.
As you know, I learned earlier this month that I do not have BRCA mutations in my DNA. However. I do have a strong family history of cancer. I only learned of this history six years ago but it is undeniable regardless. Both of my biological parents have had cancer at young ages. My biological father and one biological grandmother died of cancer before reaching the age of fifty. I learned six years ago that genetically, the odds were against me. If someone in my immediate family was going to get cancer, it would most likely be me.
And I changed my diet significantly in the last several years. I started taking supplements, I started exercising more. And I still got cancer.
And now let’s talk about what probably was the most significant factor for me developing cancer at a young age, my environment. First, I grew up in the seventies in a small town not far from a major city and very close to a town full of steel mills. My town was rumored to house at least one Superfund site at the time I was living there, maybe two. And I saw enough pollution. I saw it with my own eyes. When I was fifteen, some friends took us to what was called The Abandoned Tire Factory, deep in this woodsy area. It was just as I said it was, a big old abandoned building. Kids played paintball there. And next to it, in the middle of the woods was the biggest pit you’ve ever seen, filled to the brim with old tires, and people, those tires were on fire. Now I couldn’t see the fire, all I saw was tens of thousands of old tires. A HUGE pit of tires. But I saw smoke. A line of thick black smoke coming from the tires. According to those in the know, the smoke came up perpetually, eternally, rain or shine, sleet or snow.
And our whole town was breathing it.
“That can’t be good.” I thought to myself.
My mom still lives in my hometown, a known hotbed of cancer. A lot of people get kidney cancer in my hometown. A disproportionate amount of people in fact. Kidney cancer killed my band teacher, it killed our neighbor, it killed my dad and many, many of his friends. It’s crazy how many people are dying of kidney cancer over there. There are other cancers too but for some reason, kidney cancer is a big one in my home town.
So here’s the thing, my mom announced at her church that I had breast cancer and she asked people to pray for me and after church, she told me that at least five members of her congregation came to her and told her that their daughters some my age, some younger, are fighting breast cancer right now too, just like me.
“That can’t be good.” I thought to myself when she told me this.
Because this cancer, that used to get the “old people”, now it’s coming for the young ones too.
But it’s not just Indiana.
Just for fun I looked up Superfund sites in the county I live in right now. And in Santa Clara County, right now there are 23 active Superfund sites. TWENTY-THREE. No amount of good eating is going to change the fact that I live in a toxic waste dump of a county. TWENTY-THREE STINKING SUPERFUND SITES just in my county!!!
So yeah, go ahead. Go ahead and tell me I caused my own cancer because I ate McDonald’s or drank diet soda. I hope it makes you feel superior when you are eating, living and breathing on a Superfund site full of toxic crap and calling it home.
I was born with a bad genetic set up I didn’t know about until I was 34 years old. I grew up next to toxic waste sites surrounded by people who smoked in the home (one of my earliest memories is playing Go Fish with my grandma while she smoked her filter-less Camels). I went to college in a town infamous for large amount of PCB’s in the air and water (Google Superfund sites in Bloomington, Indiana…YIKES). I lived in a large city after college and then I spent my last thirteen years in the Silicon Valley or what I now lovingly refer to as toxic town.
But if you want to think that all this cancer that is getting everybody an be prevented with an organic diet and supplements…well good luck with that.
I am glad you feel superior to the likes of me and Angelina Jolie. Sheesh, the woman just wants to give herself a chance to be there for her hot man and their many children. But according to some, she should have ignored her high risk and her environment (16 Superfund sites in Los Angeles County! WOOT!) and just changed her diet.
Whatever, that is just bullshit.