(This was first published a couple years ago, but not in the Health and Fitness blog thread).
In this post, the latest info on genetic variations. Where is the norm?
No one is perfect
Because my youngest daughter Ruth was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer three summers ago, after already having a melanoma removed from her arm at the same age (34) that I had a malignant breast removed, Group Health decided to do a genetic study of the two of us. My mother had died of pancreatic cancer but had been diagnosed with breast cancer around age 68 or so. They came up with a genetic variant: P53. It turns out that 8 families in the US are now in a study because of multi-generational variants in P53.
I haven’t taken the time to research what this mean for our family except to worry about the melanoma part for myself. (I have been treated for actinic keratosis on my face with chemo cream that makes you look absolutely freakish). Shall I share the photo of a face under reconstruction? Maybe not in this post. There is a third cancer showing up in the families in this study: brain cancer. “Holy Shit” is the only response I could find.
Ii spent time with my mother’s remaining relatives this past summer. One cousin died of melanoma; another of breast cancer. My aunt died of a brain tumor. Were they all carrying this genetic tendency marker, P53? Who knows. And double Holy Shit.
So when Dr. Stephen Chaney, noted cancer researcher and Shaklee consumer and promoter, sent his take on a recent article explaining how many errors our individual genomes have, I was eager to read on. We are all full of variants. ”We’re all defective in one way or another”. I have always said in my health talks that we must not give up in the face of genetic markers, known or unknown. (Want to read the study? http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6070/823)
People say, “maybe it’s genetics” when they confront a diagnosis. I find what Dr. Chaney has to say to be comforting, and, while I pay attention to little tweaks and pains here and there questioning the big Cancer picture, I am not about to stop taking care of every prevention measure I can come up with, just because I now have a “genetic tendency caused by a variant in P53.”
Now some of you may be saying ‘What does this mean for me?’Dr. Chaney says, “When you carry this idea through to its ultimate conclusion, the bottom line message is:
1) Nutritional recommendations are based on averages -none of us is average.
2) The identified risk factors for developing diseases are based on averages – none of us is average
3) Clinical trial results are based on averages – none of us is average.
4) Even clinical trials of drug efficacy for treating disease or drug safety are based on averages – none of us is average.
That means lots of the advice you may be getting about your risk of developing disease X, the best way to treat disease X, or the role of supplementation in reducing the probability of disease X may be generally true – but it might not be true for you.“So my advice is not to blindly accept the advice of others about what is right for your body. Learn to listen to your body. Learn what foods work best for you. Learn what exercises just feel right for you. Learn what supplementation does for you. Don’t ignore your doctor’s recommendations, but don’t be afraid to take on some of the responsibility for your own health. You are a unique individual, and nobody else knows what it is like to be you.”I couldn’t agree more. This is my whole reason for writing this blog and sharing information with you. Even with known variants, we can shape our health future. Thirty years ago I was introduced to Shaklee vitamins and other food supplements. I believe these products have made all the difference. If you already take supplements, or have never started, may I suggest the brand you take could be important? Changing brands could change your life. Browse the product guide, and try them out. You will feel better or your money will be fully refunded.
Be well, Do well and Keep Moving. Betsy
Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving