Etheridge’s Breast Cancer Comments Prompt Backlash
Melissa Etheridge, singer and celebrity, made comments regarding how diet could have influenced her cancer. The article recently appeared in USA Today on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. Doctors, genetic counselors, and women are challenging comments made by the singer implying that genes for breast cancer could be turned on and off by diet calling such assertions inaccurate and hurtful, and worrying they may influence millions of people because of her celebrity status. I (Terry) would like to make my personal comments. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have proven that diet can turn off and on genes that can positively and negatively influence cancer. Dr. Ajay Goel, Director of Epigenetics and Chairman of the Gastrointestinal Research Center at Baylor University in Dallas Texas was presented with a prestigious award for his discovery that curcumin and boswellia can wake up the so-called sleeping genes that can turn on genes to inhibit cancer growth. Recent statistics have shown that 40% of our cancers are diet related. I don’t believe there ever will be a drug developed for the cure of cancer. Our diet, good or bad, definitely influences the growth or inhibition of cancer. Our lifestyle choices and lack of physical activity all influence the growth of cancer. Curcumin in particular and grape seed extract, in vitro and in vivo, have proven to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Several hundred years ago, scurvy, due to a lack of vitamin C, was the cancer of the century and we know now that scurvy was cured by including vitamin C in the diet. It seems doctors cannot see a simple truth as diet being able to make an impact on our health, positively or negatively. When a celebrity such as Melissa Etheridge speaks out on diet, that becomes hurtful to many millions of people and creates a backlash because of her celebrity status . But when Angelina Jolie has surgery to remove her breasts, doctors hail that as a positive sign. It seems the world has been turned upside down and doctors want to believe that some major drug will change the cancer rates in America. I think most doctors and drug companies are blinded by greed and profit. Why should a comment on diet influencing cancer create a backlash when there is no backlash for removing one’s breast? I believe doctors cannot gain by one controlling their diet to influence cancer but they can gain by controlling the surgery.