BRCA Gene Mutations

Breast Cancer Gene Mutations

The function of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is to help repair damage to the DNA and to help keep the cells of the breast developing normally. When these genes are damaged or mutated, they fail to to do their job properly and this can lead to more rapid accumulation of DNA damage over a person’s lifetime and this can increase their overall risk of breast cancer development

When BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes fail to function properly

Women who carry breast cancer gene mutations are actually more susceptible to damage caused by radiation exposure during a mammogram.  Recent research reveals that the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes are responsible for repairing radiation damage to the DNA, yet women with these mutations are being told that they need to have more mammograms and this will lead to more damage to the tissues.

This information is contrary to conventional assurances that radiation exposure from mammography is trivial and is similar to having a chest X-ray, or about 1/ 1,000 of a rad (radiation-absorbed dose), but the routine practice of taking four films for each breast results is about 1,000-fold greater exposure.  One rad, focused specifically on each breast rather than the entire chest, exposes pre-menopausal women to a total of about 10 rads for each breast when they are screened over a ten year period.  Present day radiation risk models that are used to assess the known breast cancer risk associated with mammography against the purported benefits do not take this information into account.  Appropriate screening methods should instead include thermography and/or ultrasound.

Risk assessment

Women who carry the BRCA mutations are told that they have an 87% increased lifetime risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer over the general population of women, but the actual percentage of breast cancer cases that are due to BRCA1 mutations are estimated to be only 3.5 – 6.2%, and 2.1 – 3.4 % for BRCA2 mutations. 

It should also be noted that the research and studies that are related to BRCA1 and BRCA2 statistics have been performed by the company who owns the patent on the genes and they do not allow other scientists to study the genes independently.  The website of the National Cancer Institute reported the following about the increase in cancers that are related to the defect in the BRCA gene:  “the studies have been done on large families with many individuals affected by cancer. Estimates of breast and ovarian cancer risk associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations have been calculated from studies of these families. Because family members share a proportion of their genes, and often similar environments, it is possible that the large number of cancer cases seen in these families may be due in part to other genetic or environmental factors.  Therefore, risk estimates that are based on families with many affected members may not accurately reflect the levels of risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers in the general population. In addition, no data is available from long-term studies of the general population comparing cancer risk in women who have harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations with those who do not have such mutations. Therefore the percentages given above are estimates that may change as more data become available.” Link to the article at the National Cancer Institute.

If you have the BRCA gene mutation

Millions of women may carry defective BRCA genes and yet they will never develop breast cancer because they follow a healthy lifestyle that includes optimal nutrition, taking breast supporting supplements, have regular exercise, have regular exposure to sunlight, and take steps to avoid cancer causing chemicals

Selenium and BRCA mutations

Studies have shown that supplementing with 200- 275 mcg of Selenium every day can help to reverse the risk factors of being BRCA1 positive.   “Oral selenium is a good candidate for chemo-prevention in women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 gene.  It is absolutely amazing that taking 200 mcg of selenium can completely reverse the negative risk of carrying the BRCA defect without the need for radical mastectomies, or other extreme measures that seem to be in the news as of late, and yet this very simple measure is not being shared with women.”  Link to the study.

 

A daily dose of selenium will mitigate the risk of BRCA mutations, putting a woman who carries the gene on a level playing field with those who do not carry the defective gene.


Iodine supplementation

Iodine serves many functions in the body: The immune system can’t function without it and you can’t fight infections without it. But its main job is to maintain the normal architecture of the endocrine glands, these include: the thyroid, breasts, ovaries, uterus, and the prostate, which is where many new cancer cases are occurring.

When one has an iodine deficiency, one of the first problems to occur is the formation of cysts within the breasts, ovaries, uterus, prostate, and the thyroid. If the deficiency goes on longer these cysts will become nodular and hard. If it continues, the tissues may become hyperplastic, which is a precursor to cancer. Over 80 percent of women are currently suffering from fibrocystic breast disease and David believes this can all be remedied with iodine supplementation. Read more about iodine.

Additional reading

Read an article about thermography

Diet and lifestyle recommendations for breast health

Read more about iodine with this post.

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