Angelina Jolie Plans More Surgery in Lieu of Cancer Prevention Lifestyle

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 1, 2014

Angelina Jolie

Actress Angelina Jolie is in the news again for her radical approach to health.

In May 2013, she revealed the shocking news that she had opted for a double mastectomy in an attempt to ward off breast cancer.

Ms. Jolie’s reasons? Her genetic history of inheriting the defective gene BRCA1 which apparently increases her breast cancer risk to 87%.

Angelina’s own mother tragically died of ovarian cancer at the age of 56 after a courageous and hard fought 10 year battle. Jolie’s aunt died of breast cancer at the age of 61.

Both women had the defective gene BRCA1. Defective mutation of the BRCA2 gene also results in increased risk.

Now, Ms. Jolie is making headlines again for hinting that she plans additional preventative surgery. This next round of going under the knife would involve a hysterectomy and an oophorectomy to remove her ovaries. These surgeries will eliminate the estimated 50% chance she may develop ovarian cancer, again due to the BRCA1 gene.

However you may feel about Ms. Jolie’s health decisions, one thing is clear: some women will go to extreme lengths to avoid the risk of female cancers.

While I am not personally of the philosophy that we are a slave to our genes and need to remove body parts to be healthy over the long term, knowing our genetic history and biological tendencies can indeed be helpful as we navigate our life choices, including dietary and environmental influences.

While I admire Ms. Jolie’s determination and gumption, it’s not at all certain that undergoing surgery will actually prevent cancer. The harmful mutation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes may also increase the risk of other types of cancer such as pancreatic.

Would reducing cancer risk for the breasts and ovaries by surgically removing them in fact spike the risk for the more deadly pancreatic cancer, the third most common cancer for those with a defective version of these genes? Pancreatic cancer can’t be avoided by surgically removing it as the pancreas is a vital organ. Worse, it is a silent disease with few if any symptoms and is difficult to screen for.  

In fact, this is exactly what happened to one BRCA2 positive woman with a strong family history of ovarian cancer.  She had her tubes and ovaries removed in what she thought was a smart preventative move only to be diagnosed with the more deadly pancreatic cancer.

Time will tell if a surgical approach for preventing cancer is truly effective, but until that time, it seems wise to manage cancer risk with appropriate diet and lifestyle choices, not by removing body parts and organs.

How to Protect Yourself With a Cancer Prevention Lifestyle

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), Traditional Diets, which all contained both animal and plant foods farmed by nontoxic methods, are rich in factors that are highly protective against cancer. Many of these protective factors are found only in animal fats such as butter, cream, tallow, lard, egg yolks and organ meats.

Below is a list of the nutrients suggested by the WAPF that are especially critical for preventing cancer and the foods that contain them in high amounts. Please note that obtaining these nutrients via supplements manufactured in a factory setting is not an optimal way to consume them.

Co-enzyme Q10: Highly protective against cancer. Found only in animal foods.

Vitamin A: Beta carotene in plant foods is not Vitamin A, is not easily converted to Vitamin A in the body and never converted in quantities to support optimal health.  True Vitamin A strengthens the immune system. Essential for mineral metabolism and endocrine function. Helps detoxify. True vitamin A is found only in animal foods such as cod liver oil; fish and shellfish; and liver, butter and egg yolks from pasture-fed animals. Traditional diets contained ten times more vitamin A than the typical modern American diet.

Vitamin C: An important antioxidant that prevents damage by free radicals. Found in many fruits and vegetables but also in certain organ meats valued by primitive peoples.

Vitamin B6: Deficiencies are associated with cancer. Contributes to the function of over 100 enzymes. Most available from animal foods especially grassfed raw milk.

Vitamin B12: Deficiencies are associated with cancer. Found only in animal foods.  Liver is the best source by far.

Vitamin B17: Protects against cancer. Found in a variety of organically grown grains, legumes, nuts and berries.

Vitamin D: Required for mineral absorption. Strongly protective against breast and colon cancer. Found only in animal foods such as cod liver oil, lard, shellfish and butterfat, organ meats and egg yolks from grass-fed animals. Traditional diets contained ten times more vitamin D than the typical modern American diet.

Vitamin E: Works as an antioxidant at the cellular level. Found in unprocessed oils as well as in animal fats like butter and egg yolks.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Strongly protective against breast cancer. Found in the butterfat and meat fat of grass-fed ruminant animals.

Cholesterol: A potent antioxidant that protects against free radicals in cell membranes. Found only in animal foods.

Minerals: The body needs generous amounts of a wide variety of minerals to protect itself against cancer. Minerals like zinc, magnesium and selenium are vital components of enzymes that help the body fight carcinogens. Minerals are more easily absorbed from animal foods.

Lactic Acid and Friendly Bacteria: Contribute to the health of the digestive tract. Found in old fashioned lacto-fermented foods.

Saturated Fats: Strengthen the immune system. Needed for proper use of the essential fatty acids. The lungs cannot function without saturated fats. Found mostly in animal foods.

Long-Chain Fatty Acids: Arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help fight cancer on the cellular level. They are found mostly in animal foods such as butter, organ meats, cod liver oil and seafood.

Additives in Processed Foods that Can Cause Cancer

While a cancer prevention lifestyle includes eating a whole foods diet rich in the nutrients above, it is equally as important to avoid the chemicals, additives and other dangerous substances in processed foods that contribute to its development.

The list below provided by the Weston A. Price article How to Protect Yourself Against Cancer with Food summarizes what to avoid:

Trans Fatty Acids: Imitation fats in shortenings, margarines and most commercial baked goods and snack foods. Strongly associated with cancer of the lungs and reproductive organs.

Rancid fats: Industrial processing creates rancidity (free radicals) in commercial vegetable oils which are in nearly all processed cookies, crackers and chips.

Omega-6 fatty acids: Although needed in small amounts, an excess can contribute to cancer. Dangerously high levels of omega-6 fatty acids are due to the overuse of vegetable oils in modern diets.

MSG: Associated with brain cancer. Found in almost all processed foods, even when “MSG” does not appear on the label. Flavorings, spice mixes and hydrolyzed protein contain MSG.

Aspartame: Imitation sweetener in diet foods and beverages. Associated with brain cancer.

Pesticides: Associated with many types of cancer. Found in most commercial vegetable oils, fruit juices, vegetables and fruits.

Hormones: Found in animals raised in confinement on soy and grains. Plant-based hormones are plentiful in soy foods.

Artificial Flavorings and Colors: Associated with various types of cancers, especially when consumed in large amounts in a diet of junk food.

Refined Carbohydrates: Sugar, high fructose corn syrup and white flour are devoid of nutrients. The body uses up nutrients from other foods to process refined carbohydrates. Tumor growth is associated with sugar consumption.

What Do You Think?

Do you think it’s a good idea to have surgery to remove breasts and ovaries if one has a defective, mutated gene that raises cancer risk considerably?  Or, is a cancer prevention lifestyle which includes emphasis on Traditional Diet a better approach?

More Information

How to Protect Yourself Against Cancer with Food

Angelina Jolie Reveals Plans for More Surgery after Double Masectomy

Would You Ever Do Chemo or Radiation for Cancer?

Angelina Jolie Says Being a Vegan Nearly Killed Her

Picture Credit

 

Comments (127)

  1. Be careful what you read on the internet. Soothsayers and snake oil salesmen(women) have never been so abundant with their advice. Some are just uneducated crooks out to make buck, and some are educated crooks (doctors, economists, ect.) just out to make money. Angelina is a world class beauty and role model who is wealthy/intelligent enough to access the best doctors and make and educated decision about what she does with her body. Her decision was right for her. Not really something to blog about. I use a computer about 20 minutes a day to check email, the news, and
    today a recipe for sweet potato ice cream. If you are spending more than an hour a day on a computer(for any purpose …..work, entertainment, etc.) then you are putting your health at risk. Now there’s something to blog about (for 20 minutes). There’s lot of research out there to back this up (then again could be snake oil health nuts putting this info forward). Anywho, I’m headed out for a long walk since I know I will soon exceed my
    daily 20 minutes.

    Reply
  2. Question: Is this BRAC1/2 gene found in men as the only stories I hear about on this is women removing body parts prophylactically to prevent cancer??

    This article is not blaming or accusing Angelina of anything, there is no diet that is guaranteed to prevent any health malady, but thier most definitely are foods that strenghten the body to give one at least a fighting chance. So, one would have to ask does the practice of amputating the body strengthen it and in doing so may affect your ability to stave off cancer or other disease or diminish it. That is the real question that needs to considered in all of this.

    Reply
    • Corretion: BRCA1/2

      Also, I think we should not confuse the horrifying conventional treament and treatment aftermath of cancer with cancer itself.

      Reply
  3. Some of the best resources on women’s health and well-being can be found on Susan Weed’s website, susanweed.com. Rosemary Gladstar is also a wonderful resource for women as well as men. Her website is, I believe sage mountain.com but you can just type in her name and you can find her site. Green Blessings!

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  4. I am 33 and I have the gene; I have been told by my doctors that I should remove my breasts and ovaries once I am done having children. I discovered WAPF a few years ago and have been trying to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle. My question is, what if my gene has already been turned on and it is only a matter of time? Can I undo the years of leaving unhealthy, which include my entire childhood, adolescence and basically up until the last few years. Even if I try my best to live well now, is it possible for genes to turn themselves on and then later turn off and redirect the course?

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  5. i grew up in a spiritual house…my mom is a Shamanic practitioner and we were taught that we are made of energy so our thoughts have a HUGE impact on our health because thoughts ARE energy. I believe we focus too much on the physical symptoms and not enough on our emotional health. Of course i believe we need to look after our physical body, but from personal experience I believe that all physical dis-ease begins with our thoughts and emotions….Louise Hay has a great book ‘You Can Heal Your Life” in which the focus is repeating affirmations for specific illnesses or symptoms to heal a certain thought pattern that is the cause of the illness you are experiencing. we can change anything with our thoughts because that means changing the energy of an illness or disease. So of course if we start cutting off/out body parts in an attempt to prevent cancer, our soul holds onto that imprint and this creates a lot of anger in our body..cancer is about unresolved anger and resentment so you just keep creating more cancer.

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  6. While I opt to live preventatively, with a traditional diet like the one described above, not everyone has the knowledge or the trust in this approach. This approach requires a great deal of study, time and effort. I feel the effort is worthwhile, as it may mean that I prevent much more than just cancer. But again, most people just don’t trust this approach. We are taught, more and more, to NOT trust our bodies and their healing capabilities. Big Pharma wants to ensure our distrust of our bodies and to put our health entirely in the hands of conventional medicine (which is largely owned and propelled by Big Pharma). This is why I love this kind of website. The more we can learn and empower ourselves, the more we may come to avoid harsh and (perhaps) unnecessary medical interventions such as the one Angelina Jolie endured.

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  7. I had a 60%+ chance of developing breast cancer without having any known genetic mutation. Genetic testing and my oncologist had no real answer for the high breast cancer death rate that exists throughout multiple generations in my family. Through much prayer, years of research, diet and lifestyle changes and knowing multiple internal and external influences can and will cause cancer, I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction. It was supposed to be a prophylactic procedure since I had no previous diagnosis of cancer. But the surgical pathology results six days after my procedure returned a cancer diagnosis of multiple tumors throughout my left breast. The choice to have this procedure ultimately saved my life. I am healthy, happy and cancer free today.
    Angelina Jolie has no influence on my life choices. No one (including the comments made here or within this article) will convince me the choice I made to have this surgery was poorly made, improperly researched or resulted from a paranoid delusion.

    Reply
  8. Tina Malone via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I really don’t think any of us should judge someone’s decision when faced with the cancer risk that Angelina Jolie is facing. I would make the same choice in her shoes. I had to have an emergency hysterectomy due to hemorraghing. I was bleeding to death. When they asked if I wanted them to take my ovaries, I said “Hell yes!”. I wanted to avoid ovarian cancer and if they were in there already, might as well take them. I was done having kids. You don’t cite any studies that show that pancreatic cancer increases after having your ovaries removed, however, there are studies that show that removal of the ovaries saves lives. When you are making blanket statements like “the cancer moves to the pancreas” and “cancer will just crop up in the weakest part of the body”, please cite studies instead of anecdotal data.

    Reply
    • No where in this article is there a blanket statement that says “the cancer moves to the pancreas” or “cancer will just crop up in the weakest part if the body”. It clearly says “it MAY increase the risk” and asks the question WOULD the surgeries spike the risk of pancreatic cancer?

      It then mentions a woman that exactly that happened to with a link to an article, written by her Doctors, stating it was unexpected & they suggest pancreatic screening also before making the decision for surgical removals for cancer prevention.

      There was no judgment in this article. Simply providing information with regard to the BRCA1 & BRCA2 screening, whys & what fors with a suggestion that proper diet & lifestyle choices may be more appropriate.

      Seems to me judgment quickly went pointing toward the writer when inaccurately & unjustly reading judgment where none exists.

      Reply
  9. SoldiersforJmj Jmj via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 10:21 am

    And we all have 100% chance of dying, so shall we all commit suicide as a preventative? Shall we remove our brains for potential brain cancer, our heart for potential heart attack, our eyes for potential blindness, our skin for potential wrinkling, our ears for potential deafness, our bones and joints for potential arthritis, our liver for potential cirrhosis….where does the stupidity end? Doctors that perform such and insurance companies that pay for such should be put out of business. What happened to the Hippocratic oath that each doctor must take….first do no harm? Maybe removing the brain is not such a bad idea after all…smh.

    Reply
  10. Rhodie Brooks Green via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Removing your ability to produce important hormones is self-destructive. Living in fear will make one weary; however, monitoring the situation can prevent problems without butchering yourself. If estrogen really caused cancer, then ALL women would have it. “Fake” estrogens from pharmaceutical birth control are a completely different issue. Like most things, be careful what you put in your mouth!

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  11. Cindy Noone-White via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 9:57 am

    You “Christians” are not very Christlike. Judge not lest you be judged. You have beliefs. Angelina has beliefs. You’re both entitled. Leave it at that.

    Reply
  12. B Juliana Leo via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I’m not standing on any judgment either, my two cousins – ages 54 and 59 – JUST recently died from cancer, within weeks of each other. One reason that I believe could have contributed to it, was the amount of pesticides that were used in the area in which they lives – in Jackson, TN – lot of cotton fields. Their mom told me, they could smell the pesticides when they were being used. How can you completely avoid everything? Sugars, wheat, flour, corn – all GMO infected foods are part of the reason, right?! We’ve been duped for years that we’re being fed good food….all the while it was contributing to the disease. The Government and the Big Companies have been in cahoots over this for decades…and we are the by BY-product of their insane chemical usage. WE HAVE ALL BEEN GUINEA PIGS and never knew it. :-(

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  13. Kathy Ruth Ellis via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

    When it comes to cancer, some people are willing to try any alternative treatment. I can understand that. This is very radical, and I don’t believe many others could afford, or would do the same, just because Angelina did it. Also, we do not know her heart or her feelings. It is not right to make mean remarks, or to judge her based on what we think we see. I know as a person, she trys to help other people. Anyone who has experienced deep emotional pain in their life, would know how hard it is to live with. I am sure she has her own sorrows to deal with, rich as she is. Money does not cure everything. Also, a person shouldn’t be ridiculed for the money they earned, by their own talent and hard work. Parents should be role models, not celebrities, anyway. If a grown adult decides to copy Angelina, that is there own choice.

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  14. Kathryn Phillips Sims via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 8:46 am

    How do you know she isn’t already taking care of herself by eating well and supplementing? I would venture to say she’s already doing that. Why wouldn’t she be?

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  15. To everyone who is commenting about her ‘responsibility’ she has as a role model to the public, and that she shouldn’t ‘spread a panic’ or ‘having too little faith’, I think you’re being ridiculous. You’re only saying that because it’s not what YOU agree with. I’ll hazard to guess that none of you made any comments like this when Jenny McCarthy or Kristin Cavallari made public comments about the anti-vaccination movement (which is incredibly misleading, unscientific, fear-based, and wrong).
    Her choice about her body is hers alone. Her ovaries, or lack thereof, do not affect any of you. Leave her alone and let her do what she thinks is best for herself. None of you are in her shoes, and she is doing what she feels is right. And besides, none of you know what her eating/lifestyle habits are. And contrary to the belief of some here, rubbing some oils on yourself or drinking kale smoothies won’t cure cancer. It won’t even prevent cancer 100% of the time.
    This post is inflammatory and is only here as an attention grab, in order to generate FB traffic.

    Reply
  16. Jeni Gillespie via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 8:13 am

    My question is where does this stop?! What’s next lungs, can’t breathe without those. Brain, can’t function without that. Along with all the other organs that cancer can manifest itself in, especially when cancer seems to travel to other places sometimes once diagnosed in different areas. I agree that if people with money start making this the norm, then it’s possible it could turn into something required and isn’t an option. I’m sorry that her mother passed but take steps to less stress and more self care along with a proper diet. She should be celebrating the life her mother had instead of removing body parts and organs. It is just setting herself up for more stress of constantly worrying what next. Just my opinion.

    Reply
    • You might feel differently if you had been through what other BRCA mutation carriers have been through. BRCA1 mutations are known to cause breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers specifically. My mother had breast cancer at age 34, again in her early 40′s and died two years ago from ovarian cancer at age 56. Her sister died from ovarian cancer at age 34. Her mother also died from ovarian cancer. Her father from pancreatic. And all of her father’s siblings from various forms of cancer. Her grandparents both had cancer as well, but survived to their 90′s. My mother ate a plant-based macrobiotic diet for 23 years. My grandmother used essential oils, tried juice fasts, and dozens of other alternative ways of healing. My mother’s aunt had chemotherapy and surgery after she was diagnosed. None of these women survived. So if having surgery BEFORE a cancer diagnosis might prevent the devastation and suffering, then it’s worth a shot. I don’t think it’s a scam, or a fad. It’s a desperate attempt to live. And if you understood the depth of heartache and suffering in families with BRCA mutations, who have watched cancer strike down person after person, you might understand why someone would chose such a radical solution. I miss my breasts. I miss feeling normal. And I miss my mom too…

      Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
        Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm

        I am so sorry for your loss Kristin. Obviously, no one can understand that unless she has gone through it personally.

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    • That’s exactly the point Tracy – as a woman who made this decision myself, I wanted to stop living a life in fear of what my body would do. I watched as my mother survived one breast cancer/a unilateral mastectomy – refusing to remove her left breast at the time only because she feared (thanks to our society’s values) that it would make her “less of a woman” – and then watched as she had breast cancer of the 2nd breast with metastasis that killed her. I’ve had several lumpectomies/scares myself and didn’t want to go through that anymore. Oh, and lest you assume that I’m some under-educated “self-mutilating” “star-struck” innocent who was taken advantage by “the medical consipracy” – Nope, I fully believe in natural approaches to healthcare first – am a chiropractic physician (for 17 years) with a Masters and PhD in Nutrition and am a Registered Dietitian. I probably have the single best diet and lifestyle of anyone I know – live on a farm and eat only what we grow/harvest off our own land (all organic of course) – but I also read the science and know what the statistics tell me. And I still got a GI cancer! I didn’t want to face breast cancer as well. And for what it’s worth, these analogies to cutting out our brains, hearts, etc are ridiculous – more like having a defective toenail removed since breasts serve no biological purpose once breastfeeding is past. It’s just adipose tissue, no different than that in your belly or rear but of course, that’s not the value our society places on these particular lumps of fat.

      Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
        Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

        What your oncologist doesn’t want you to know.

        The Case Against BRCA Testing

        In the research paper titled “The Case Against BRCA1 and 2 Testing”, published in the journal Surgery in June 2011, the four authors from the Department of Surgery, University of California explain what many oncologists don’t want to hear:

        “It turns out that, like a book, a gene can be ‘read’ both backward and forward. Small sections (or chapters) within a big gene can be ‘read’ alone. The three-dimensional structure of DNA controlled by site-to-site methylation prevents many chapters from being “read” at all. In addition, short segments of RNA (22 base pair micro-RNA) can cycle back to control DNA transcription.

        So, DNA is just the starting point, and like flour, you do not know whether the chef is going to cook a croissant or a tortilla with it… Are BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 unique? Or just like other genes, is their expression controlled by the inner cellular attitudes (both epigenetic and environmental) of the individual patient?

        BRCA 1 and 2 code nuclear proteins, also known as tumor suppressor genes, capable of repairing damaged DNA… Both mutations increase the lifetime risk of breast cancer in a woman. Less than 5% of women diagnosed with either ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive ductal cancer are a result of inherited BRCA genes…

        But BRCA 1 and 2 may speak with many voices. Polymorphisms are naturally occurring single nucleotide variations of a gene present in more than 1% of the population. Polymorphisms and other single-nucleotide variants have been identified within the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes. Indeed, more than 500 mutations in BRCA 1 alone have been documented and most render their proteins inactive—so, some BRCA genes seem to be shooting blanks. And a single nucleotide polymorphism, albeit only a single nucleotide change, can have a formidable influence on protein expression.

        Sequence variant S1613G, for instance, results in increased mutational risk of BRCA 1 neoplastic expression, whereas a variation in K1183R is related inversely to cancer risk. It seems that some polymorphisms may actually have a protective effect.”

        Good info here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/05/27/angelina-jolie-double-mastectomy.aspx

        Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
        Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm

        I really hope your decision works for you long term. I truly do. But, it’s misguided to claim that surgery is the answer to preventing cancer for women with the BRCA mutation … it’s a long shot guess at best and any “evidence” that is claimed by doctors is not actually evidence based medicine at all. We won’t know the final word on this for quite some time. Cancer takes years even decades to develop.

        Reply
  17. She obviously has mental issues. And too much money! I think a normal person would just eat right and try to live a healthy lifestyle. She must be so afraid to get cancer that she is willing to put her body through all of that.

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  18. She should make the decisions which she thinks are best for her but what I´m afraid of is that she is such a great rolemodel for many women and could spread a panic. Maybe she herself is perfectly informed and can afford the best doctors, but other women are not in the same position and could make wrong choices…

    Reply
  19. Marcia Miller via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 7:42 am

    She is either an idiot or she is mentally ill. She needs to be put in an institution to be checked out. She will never stop cancer until she has taken control of her life and eats better. She can’t stop cancer in her body….it can happen in all organs….including her brain. Maybe they need to check her brain for cancer that causes these voices in her head that keep telling to destroy her body.

    Reply
  20. Joan Bishop via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 7:36 am

    It is medically unsound to think that chopping off bits of your body will prevent cancer or a recurrences of cancer. My mother had a double mastectomy and STILL has cancer deep in that area. Any doctor who would agree to keep taking bits off of this person should not be practicing medicine.

    Reply
  21. Gina Snow via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I’m sad for her but I don’t believe chopping my body up into tiny pieces will prevent a thing….let alone the suffering you do while trying to heal. She needs a healthier lifestyle and a good homeopath. ♥ then she needs to embrace life as it comes ♥

    Reply
  22. Kerry McRae via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Watch your Ph levels, cancer thrives off of acidic bodies and cAnnot grow in an alkaline body??also get rid of sugar :)

    Reply
  23. Great information but it seems as if everything is aiming at animal products while somehow leaving the message that these animal products are the best and the only possible option.

    I eat butter, lots of healthy fat and drink raw milk but I don’t see why the nutrients that are abundant and cancer fighting in non-animal products can be given some credits. How about Plant Sterols, Plant Fiber and so on.

    Is like you went our of your way not to mention any beneficial nutrients from plants.

    Reply
  24. Alsi Karl via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Cancer is not caused by having too many breasts, so by removing them is not going to solve anything. If she is eating wrong foods and living a lifestyle that can cause cancer, it will appear somewhere else in her body. Removing parts is not the solution to the problem.

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  25. Numerous members of my immediate family have died of various type of cancer and I have personally had few ‘scares’, so I understand very well about fear. If she chooses to go publicly with her self mutilation when she is not sick and there is guarantee that this will work I have no sympathy.

    Reply
  26. Barbara Bobbie Walker via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Her mother died of cancer……… not that long ago. She has small children. A healthy diet may be insufficient to give her the peace of mind that she needs……. so that she will be able to love and raise her family without fear. It’s one of those “walk a mile in my shoes” kinda things. What you need for your peace is different than what she needs for her peace. You don’t have to see what she needs. A little respect and honor for another human being would go a long way.

    Reply
  27. Attention seeking disorder. If she really cared about other people she should donate money to the multiple cancer research institutions. The average people cannot afford selective surgery so she’s not helping anyone with her public pretence. And yes Mark, she should try to eat some food. A good heathy balanced diet may keep her alive.

    Reply
  28. Aurelie Cous via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 1:15 am

    I have read somewhere that women with the same gene in developing cpu tries only have 5% chance of getting those cancer, so what about epi genetics? Doesn’t the environment changes your genes ? Must be a better way!!

    Reply
  29. Kirk Wolljung via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Can’t judge her, lost my 10 yr old daughter last summer to cancer. Taking body parts as a way to “avoid” cancer well personal opinion she needs to do some homework before jumping to a drastic course of action

    Reply
  30. Sandee Perry via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Her body, her decision! Not yours! You do not have the right to judge her! She is doing what she thinks is best for her and her family!

    Reply
  31. Heather Elise Riley via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 12:58 am

    By making her health decisions public, she has set those decisions up for public scrutiny (especially if her intentions are for others to follow suit). I reject removal of body parts and organs as a wise preventative measure. Of course she has the right to do so, but I consider it risky, unnatural, unnecessary, and definitely a matter of too much fear and too little faith.

    Reply
  32. Alise Lara Certa via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Until I walk in her shoes, I cannot judge. I am sorry she is faced with types of decisions

    Reply
  33. Kerry McRae via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 12:35 am

    I think since it can be cured naturally, that maybe just taking steps to preventing it with organic juicing and things would be a Better choice. Removing ovaries can cause a heck of a lot more problems for her.. A drop of cannabis oil a day my friends :)

    Reply
  34. Wendy Molina Correa via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 12:31 am

    All of this info is peculiar to say the least and counter intuitive. So, I agree with Op that this is a bizarre stance on health that can be more harmful in ways unseen, perhaps? However we all should respect peoples decisions, they deserve that.

    Reply
  35. Elizabeth Nelson via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Timothy you have not been diagnosed with this gene and you don’t have a risk of breast cancer or ovarian/uterine cancer. this surgery is life-saving and is an alternative to poisonous oral chemotherapy drugs. I think the lifestyle changes are just as important and should be done.

    Reply
  36. She also helps the government/NATO promote war. Remember Libya, she helped promote that war? Also, Nigeria, she did a promo for that. Both places are hot oil spots. I wonder if she ever reads about what really happens, before she promotes it. Libya is a very sad story. You should look for stories outside of mainstream. It’s shocking what happened over there. Very sad, indeed.

    Reply
  37. She’s trying to lengthen her life by eliminating body parts…. Like I said if cancer is meant to happen… It will!!! That’s not a judgement it’s a fact… That is …. If you are a Christian and trust in Gods judgement! If she truly believed in the Lords love and had faith in him she would leave it alone till something happens!! Boo hoo!

    Reply
  38. She needs to focus on diet and lifestyle, not on removing organs and body parts! The focus is on fire prevention. Not hosing down the area where there is no fire. What’s next? remove her brain to prevent brain cancer? Sounds like she has nothing to worry about there! Lol

    Reply
  39. Anna Slavich via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 12:04 am

    I normally really enjoy this group and get a lot of insights, but this is the first time I’ve felt like the majority if the comments come from judgmental and hypocritical people. She is doing what she believes is best for her family. Isn’t that what we all strive to do?!

    Reply
  40. More money than brains… Why doesn’t she spend some of it on our county’s homeless or abused children instead of ignoring the needy here and going to another country to find children. Or if she’s too ignorant for that, maybe she could have surgery to fix her lips permanently fat…. She’s rediculous … If it’s “meant” for her to have cancer … She will!

    Reply
  41. Alex Ides via Facebook June 2, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Baby steps – they’ll be promoting cutting testicles next – ignorance is a Choice – cancer rates have risen exponentially on the last 100 years. Genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger!

    Reply
  42. Curtis Kittelson via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Allow people to make their own decisions no matter what you think you know, no matter what you think is best. It is so easy to be judgmental, but it is not easy to make the decisions she is making. The decisions are hers to make!

    Reply
  43. I don’t understand how these people can be so close minded and uninformed. Imagine someone telling you that you have the risk of “Hand Cancer” and you decide to cut your arm off, in 2014, because you have the risk of getting cancer. Because there are some probabilities of you getting it.

    She doesn’t have cancer but just the thought of ever getting it, is enough for her to remove her breast and now everything down there.

    With all the information and knowledge available, specially for someone with her situation, how come doesn’t she try something else? Is she really that close minded?

    I really wish her the best. :(
    She must be in the worst situation ever, in her head where she has to decide to cut her body in pieces just to avoid cancer when there are so many natural ways to achieve the same without cutting your head off.
    Alan Santana\’s last post: Brownie “Orgánico” Saludable (Receta)

    Reply
  44. Is it even known that she isn’t altering her lifestyle as well? While I don’t follow her logic, I am not in her shoes, either. I would only hope her method is not advocated carte blanche, without respect to individual circumstance. I am very thankful for the freedoms we currently have in regards to health choices and along with that comes the fact that we will never all agree with one another on what is best.

    Reply
  45. Jennifer Madden Rillera via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    You don’t know the medical care she’s doing???? I doubt very much she is making decision based on nothing. Leave her alone. I find this post outrageously judgmental. Focus in your own health and help people like you do so well. Seriously.

    Reply
  46. Michelle Ratti Libicer via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    I lost my mom to cancer, too, so I understand that fear. She can cut out whatever body part she wants, but there’s no guarantee that’ll keep her from getting cancer or dying earlier than she’d like.

    Reply
  47. Lorraine Givney via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    To many she is a role model. I question the wisdom of making her choices public. It serves the surgeons if people follow in her footsteps. Who has influenced her decisions… to have the ops and to make the information public knowledge?

    Reply
  48. Anetta Bosch via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I am 56, still have all my organs, we have cancer in the family. I supplement with Tissue Salts and vegetable/fruit juice. I don’t see the need to live in fear.

    Reply
  49. Hdr Supermama via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    It has been recently studied and proven that over 75% of elective mastectomies do not prevent cancer including both women who do it because they are told they have “the gene” and woman who have breast cancer in one breast and are told to remove both.

    Reply
  50. Rachel Holmes via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Guys she’s scared. That’s it. Plain and simple. Please don’t judge her if it wouldn’t be your personal choice. This makes me sad :(

    Reply
  51. David B. Lane via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Sorry, but with time most of medical science is found to be disputable. One day I fear we will be seen as living in the dark ages. If you think it’s dangerous or doesn’t serve a purpose… Cut it out or chop it off! Sounds logical to me…

    Reply
  52. Sarah Lynn via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    wouldn’t a complete turnaround in diet be more efective and less risky? something tells me there is more going on than just trying to prevent cancer. couldn’t she aford to hire somebody to feed her a diet that will eliminate most of the rusks to getting cancer in the first place.

    Reply
    • As a Registered Dietitian, Physician and PhD in Nutrition Sarah, I can tell you that there is no scientifically proven diet (nor will there likely ever be) that will un-do the risks of the BRCA gene. I’m the first one to believe in the power of food – and yes, we have many studies that show that diet can prevent many cancers and other diseases – but BRCA is it’s own animal.

      Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
        Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm

        Given that the last California Dietetic Association conference was catered by McDonalds, I don’t think your definition of healthy diet and mine are on the same page.

        Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
        Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 2, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Here’s a doctor who disagrees with you: An article by Dr. Daniela Drake titled “Why I’m Not Having a Preventive Mastectomy” presents the other side of the preventive mastectomy argument, and highlights the problems of our current paradigm:

        “Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)… increases my odds of developing cancer from 12 percent to 30 percent. But still, my options, my doctor explained, include immediate bilateral mastectomy… She tells me that my chances of developing cancer are 80 percent and that if she were in my shoes she would ‘just have them both removed.’ …Her offhand manner suggests something deeply unserious—like a manicure…

        Although I used to be a vociferous advocate for aggressive medical interventions, my perspective changed radically when I began working as a house-call physician. My patients are too debilitated to go to the doctor’s office—and many were disabled by botched surgeries… I’m concerned about my surgeon’s flippancy and I suggest alternatives: ‘There’s growing data that this is a lifestyle disease. You know the Women’s Health Initiative shows exercise can greatly decrease risk.’

        ‘I don’t know. That may be true,’ she shrugs. ‘If we don’t do surgery, then we’ll just do mammograms every six months.’ When I object, saying that LCIS doesn’t show up on mammogram, she responds, ‘I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either.’ It becomes evident that we don’t know how to deal with my condition. The medical system does not tolerate ambiguity well, so breast amputation has become the answer…

        Now I know why patients are so mad at us. This is supposed to be patient-centered care. But it feels more like system-centered care: the medical equivalent of a car wash. I’m told incomplete and inaccurate information to shuttle me toward surgery; and I’m not being listened to. I came to discuss nutrition, exercise and close follow-up. I’m told to get my breasts removed—the sooner the better.

        Mastectomy may be appropriate in some cases, like in those where your risk of cancer is virtually 100 percent. But the risk of surgery—operative complications, infections, device and graft complications—remains significant. It’s callous and irresponsible to elide the risks to the public.”

        Reply
        • For one, I don’t agree with the Academy’s decisions on sponsorship and have spoken out against it. For two, my own personal diet is probably exactly along the lines of what you’re thinking. We eat almost exclusively what we can grow/hunt on our 80acres of (organic of course) land or buy from local CSA’s/farmers that I know and trust treat their land and their food the same. I’m an outspoken critic of the “food system” and in fact teach a large university class using the principles of authors like that who wrote Fair Food to show how broken the system is. I fully agree that the food system needs to change and that diet/exercise/lifestyle can go a long way toward preventing MANY cancers (and other diseases). However, you’re still comparing apples and oranges here and that’s what has me frustrated and concerned. Even your article that you posted here by Dr. Drake – is (a) mostly about her frustration with the medical “system” which is in and itself growing amongst even the physicians themselves, who are leaving medical practice in droves! ………. and (b) is about someone with LCIS and again, that’s apples. She herself says that mastectomy might be called for if your risk is 100% – and BRCA gets some women to 90%, which in science is about as close as you can get to 100 (a scientist would rarely say anything is 100). I fully agree, Dr. Drake needs another physician! That was not at all my personal experience and I know for a fact that’s not the experience that many of my “sisters” in this journey have had. I’ve known my surgical/oncological team (at a High Risk Breast Clinic) for 7 years (see them every 6 mos) – we’ve spent FOUR YEARS discussing my decision and if anything, they were cautious. But in the end, I chose to do the surgery last month and it was the best decision of my life. Which is really what this boils down to, is a personal, well-thought out, well-researched but STILL PERSONAL decision by a woman. And for those who think she shouldn’t be speaking out about it lest it “influence others”, I say let her because for those of us who HAVE walked in these shoes (and thus have a right to really have an opinion here), there are far too many critics speaking against us and not enough championing our right to protect ourselves from a horrible disease that most of us have watched several close loved ones die from.

          Reply
          • I don’t understand the “logic/reasoning” that because McDonald’s catered the last California Dietetic Association conference that therefore anyone who is a Dietitian must recommend McDonald’s as healthy. Do you believe people are really STUPID enough to follow that lack of logic????

            Also referencing a single case where someone got cancer after having her tubes and ovaries removed doesn’t seem like a very large sample to prove much of anything. She may have very well gotten ovarian cancer if she had kept them.

            No idea if Jolie is eating healthy or not, seems like a poorly written/researched write up. Just like the single case Costco coconut oil write up you did before. Please post things that you do know or research and let people make their own decisions based on facts not your beliefs that you can’t back with more than a hearsay story about a single person/incident.

  53. If you’ve never had cancer, you can’t begin to understand the terror. And being a mother with young children magnifies that terror 1000 times. Having had cancer twice with young children, I would never judge anyone on how they choose to deal with their cancer.

    Reply
  54. You can take all the vitamins you want, but the science behind the risks associated with the BRCA genes and genetic predisposition to ‘female cancers’ is indisputable. I would hope to have the same bravery as Angelina Jolie if I ever found myself in her position.
    Regardless of your personal opinion, this is her body, her decision. She wants to be here to raise her children, and removing the ‘source’ will obviously prevent those specific cancers. All women should feel empowered to make their own medical (or holistic) decisions.

    Reply
  55. Sonya Anne via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I might not fully understand why shes making her choice since ive never walked in her shoes. Its her choice.

    Reply
  56. Melissa Butler via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Oh dear! If you have positive blood you have the cancer genes from birth. Google the polio vaccine & the SV40 virus’ that came with it.

    Reply
  57. Marcia Jones via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    There is some kind of weird self-mutilation thing going on here…. Very creepy if you ask me!

    Reply
  58. Nicole Mathews via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    A truly healthy lifestyle- not conventional by our cultures standards today- does help control/change even our own mitochondria so yes, you can prevent cancer in that sense. But removing organs in hope? No.

    Reply
  59. Luckily she doesn’t have a high chance of brain tumor, because I heard that is kind of hard to live without a brain. Nice post, by the way.

    Reply
  60. Tonjia Mallory via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Genes don’t just turn on by themselves. Dr Bruce Lipton explains that the environment and our perceptions are the biggest factors in how our genes express themselves.

    Reply
  61. Timothy Hillhouse via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I think she is mentally ill and the doctors who perform these acts of butchery need to be in jail.

    Reply
  62. Emily Christensen Barker via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Unfortunately a healthy lifestyle will not prevent cancer when you have a gene mutation.

    Reply
  63. Marisol Garcia Correa via Facebook June 1, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Her position is hard to understand (and to follow), and makes one worry about sending the wrong signals to the public. Our organs are not “risky” per se.

    Reply
    • If you have the BRCA gene Marisol, your breasts are in fact risky. Very risky (as in up to 90% sure to get cancer!). I’d say that’s risky, wouldn’t you?

      Reply
  64. It is my understanding that Angelina Jolie did not have a true mastectomy, instead she redid the implants she had for over 20 years. It is a little known or discussed fact that implants are not something one has for a lifetime rather they have to be re-done usually every 20 years, for some sooner. That’s why Angelina had her reconstruction so fast which is not recommended for mastectomy patients and is in fact discouraged. I do not believe she will actually have a hysterectomy or have only her ovaries removed or anything else. The people who are stars as well as the ones who actually run Hollywood spin the stories we are told. Usually to increase their likeability or to promote a movie of some kind, however there is also as of late the idea of being able to sway the populace and that is what you are seeing with the Angelina story. Of course it is needless to say never ever do something just because a Hollywood star claims they are or have done something or will do something. Rather ignore their advice and do your own research and make your own choices just like we were all taught as children. Ultimately the responsibility for our lives and what we do to our bodies rests with us. Hollywood is make believe and the people involved in make believe will tell you all sorts of things. Don’t listen or believe them,

    Reply
  65. When you mention “vegetable oils”, are you referring to olive oil as well? I buy the organic ‘Bragg’ brand. Is that still healthy?

    Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
      Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 2, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Good question … olive oil would be fine. The term vegetable oils typically refers to polyunsaturated oils manufactured under denaturing conditions in a factory.

      Reply
  66. One of the recommendations for cancer prevention, and in case of cancer, is an alkaline/alkalizing diet. What I find interesting is that many of the recommendations for cancer prevention in this article, are banned according to an alkaline/alkalizing diet: eggs and dairy products. This brings up a question I have: when the categorized food as either acidic or alkaline, did they use supermarket products, or products from free range and grass fed animals. Any input on this would be welcome!

    Reply
  67. I agree totally with Melinda – none of you have any idea what Jolie’s, or anyone else’s, lifestyle is. And it’s obvious none of you or even the author understand anything about the BRCA mutations and what some of us live with. Until you have had most of your family members die of cancer and face a 87% chance yourself, in SPITE of healthy living, then mind your own business.

    Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
      Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      This article judges no one … Jolie put it out there for discussion herself when she did a press release about it. The article simply questions as a number of doctors already do … the removal of body parts when there is no proof it prevents cancer and may in fact cause a more dangerous form of cancer in a more vital organ.

      Reply
      • Sarah, the assumption that it may spike the risk for other cancers is in error. The article you linked did not validate that assumption, so to state “that in fact” was what happened is irresponsible. It’s not like if you remove the breasts or ovaries, that sneaky mutation then targets the next available organ on the list. The nature of the mutation is that one has only 1/2 the ability to fight off cancer cells and that half, diminishes over time. The risk is a lifetime risk. To have a 2% risk of pancreatic cancer is very different from 90% breast, nearly 50% ovarian cancer risk. A good diet is always advised, but it’s not going to provide the other half of what is genetically lacking to fight the cancer cells.

        Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
          Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 2, 2014 at 8:45 am

          This mistake you are making is that you are assuming the risk for pancreatic cancer stays the same when the breasts and/or ovaries are removed. Removing these organs changes the game .. and the risk for pancreatic. Cancer will go to the weakest link .. if the genetic weakest link is no longer there (breast and/or ovaries), it will go to the next weakest link (pancreas) if you are predisposed to cancer. Removal of body parts is not proven to reduce overall cancer risk … just removes risk for that particular organ, nothing more.

          Reply
          • The logic that the risk to other organs would increase just does not follow. BRCA 1 is a mutation in the tumor suppressing gene. The gene either works or it doesn’t. It doesn’t increase as you remove the breasts or ovaries. There is no science to back up your claim. There is, however, for the efficacy of surgical removal of at least the ovaries. http://www.asco.org/press-center/large-study-shows-preventive-ovarian-surgery-brca1-mutation-carriers-should-be
            An aside, I have the mutation. I’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt. I also follow a whole foods diet, because it’s good for my body. The comments of some of your readers have been ignorant and horrible. There is no easy answer for dealing with this issue. Every avenue has it’s own kind of pain. Death is appointed once for every man. Our journey towards it is our own personal path.

          • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

            The logic follows because it’s actually happening already … women who have had their ovaries and/or breasts removed got pancreatic cancer anyway … the third most common cancer for BRCA mutation carriers. Coincidence? Time will tell. But, women need to know the full story before making their own decision.

  68. I’m amazed at the self righteous people in here who feel qualified to judge the life style and life choices of a woman they DO NOT KNOW. None of us have any idea about what she eats or does not eat, does or does not do, and IMO that means none of us are qualified to comment on her choices. Get over yourselves!

    Reply
    • Of course, didn’t you realize that media coverage is only trustworthy and complete when it is used to assert one’s otherwise ignorant and uninformed view point. Otherwise, the mainstream media coverage of anything or anyone is ill of half truths and devoid of the real story. /sarc

      Obviously, I agree. Ideas for articles must be running dry at this blog.

      Reply
  69. Well Jolie can do whatever she wants, but it’s unfortunate so many women will look at her as a role model. They will really believe that surgery prevents cancer. I refuse to live my life in worry of illness anyways. Especially when one knows that low quality nutrition can trigger mis-expression of genes.

    Reply
  70. Pingback: Angelina Jolie Plans More Surgery in Lieu of Cancer Prevention Lifestyle » Nourishing News

  71. Everyone should be allowed their own choice, but as for me personally…
    I refuse to live in fear of the unknown possibilities. I choose to live a joy-filled life of abundance with healthy (as healthy as possible) foods, activities, environment, family and friends. Those are the greatest cancer prevention methods. Fear can be cancer-inducing and to me unnecessary pre-surgies are laden with fear.
    And when I say I choose to live in abundance… abundance is a mind-set, not a financial status.

    Reply
  72. I was also thinking like you do, about Angelina. But then I thought, may be I don’t know the whole trough. I don’t know exactly what supplements she takes or what foods she eats, or what else is going on in her life. There is much more to this than just food, and toxins.
    We should not be judging other people for the things they do or don’t. We don’t know what else is “on their plate”.
    The information you share to educate people is great. Thank you for all your hard work!

    Reply
  73. I wish someone prominent such as Jolie would go on a diet such as the Weston A. Price diet and see if that indeed does prevent cancer. I would rather attempt that than to cut off body parts. I am no scientist, but maybe if she adopted a healthy lifestyle that would be enough to suppress the gene and she would end up cancer free. We don’t know what kind of lifestyle her mother and aunt had, so this kind of experiment would be preferred to surgery.

    Reply
  74. To have to money to do all things is one thing… To completely overlook dietary causes is another. I was reading an article yesterday from USA today on her:
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2014/05/29/angelina-jolie-launches-historic-year-with-maleficent-and-unbroken/9681259/

    What does it say at the very beginning: “Jolie sipping a diet soda”.
    Really?! Thousands of money cancer preventative surgeries and no one has told her about diet sodas!?

    The irony is sad.

    Reply
  75. Thank you for this important post. Also, I think people need to reduce exposure to radioactive particles, such as the ongoing radioactive contamination from Fukushima which has already impacted the air, water, and food supply in the US, and reduce exposure to microwave radiation, such as from cell phone towers and wifi transmitters.

    Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
      Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      The coffee enema is without dispute the most effective way to detox which is why Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez MDs includes them on a daily basis as part of his holistic cancer treatment protocol.

      Reply

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