Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Why Women in China Do Not Get Breast Cancer


By Prof. Jane Plant, PhD, CBE  
"Why I believe that giving up milk is the key to beating breast cancer..."

I had no alternative but to die or to try to find a cure for myself.

I am a scientist - surely there was a rational explanation for this cruel illness that affects one in 12 women in the UK ?

I had suffered the loss of one breast, and undergone radiotherapy.

There are many risk factors, which we can control easily.  These "controllable" risk factors readily translate into simple changes that we can all make in our day-to-day lives to help prevent or treat breast cancer. My message is that even advanced breast cancer can be overcome because I have done it.

The disease was virtually non-existent throughout the whole China.  Only one in 10,000 women in that country will die from it, compared to that terrible figure of one in 12 in Britain and the even grimmer average of one in 10 across most Western countries.  

I then discovered that whatever causes the huge differences in breast cancer rates between oriental and Western countries, it isn't genetic.  Scientific research showed that when Chinese or Japanese people move to the West, within one or two generations their rates of breast cancer approach those of their host community.

According to figures from the World Health Organization, the number of men
contracting prostate cancer in rural China is negligible, only 0.5 men in every 100,000. In England, Scotland and Wales, however, this figure is 70 times higher. Like breast cancer, it is a middle-class disease that primarily attacks the wealthier and higher socio-economic groups, those that can afford to eat rich foods.

We examined scientific data that pointed us in the general direction of fats
in diets. Researchers had discovered in the 1980s that only l4% of calories in the average Chinese diet were from fat, compared to almost 36% in the West.  But the diet I had been living on for years before I contracted breast cancer was very low in fat and high in fiber.

"The Chinese don't eat dairy produce!"

I knew of no Chinese people who lived a traditional Chinese life who ever used
cow or other dairy food to feed their babies. The tradition was to use a wet nurse but never, ever, dairy products.

Culturally, the Chinese find our Western preoccupation with milk and milk
products very strange. I remember entertaining a large delegation of Chinese scientists shortly after the ending of the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s.

Milk, I discovered, is one of the most common causes of food allergies. Over 70% of the world's population is unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose, which has led nutritionists to believe that this is the normal condition for adults, not some sort of deficiency.

Before I had breast cancer for the first time, I had eaten a lot of dairy produce, such as skimmed milk, low-fat cheese and yogurt. I had used it as my main source of protein. I also ate cheap but lean minced beef, which I now realized was probably often ground-up dairy cow.

Recently, I discovered that way back in 1989 yogurt had been implicated in
ovarian cancer. Dr Daniel Cramer of Harvard University studied hundreds of women with ovarian cancer, and had it record in detail what they normally ate.

I decided to give up not just yogurt but all dairy produce immediately. Cheese, butter, milk and yogurt and anything else that contained dairy produce - it went down the sink or in the rubbish.
 
My first chemotherapy sessions had produced no effect - the lump was still the same size. Then I eliminated dairy products. Within days, the lump started to shrink. About two weeks after my second chemotherapy session and one week after giving up dairy produce, the lump in my neck started to itch.  Then it began to soften and to reduce in size. The line on the graph, which had shown no change, was now pointing downwards as the tumor got smaller and smaller.

And, very significantly, I noted that instead of declining exponentially
(a graceful curve) as cancer is meant to do, the tumor's decrease in size was plotted on a straight line heading off the bottom of the graph, indicating a cure, not suppression (or remission) of the tumor.

On the following Thursday I had seen my cancer specialist at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He examined me thoroughly, and was initially bemused and then delighted as he said, "I cannot find it." None of my doctors, it appeared,
had expected someone with my type and stage of cancer (which had clearly spread to the lymph system) to survive, let alone be so hale and hearty.

I now believe that the link between dairy produce and breast cancer is  similar to the link between smoking and lung cancer. I believe that identifying the link between breast cancer and dairy produce, and then developing a diet specifically targeted at maintaining the health of my breast and hormone system, cured me.

Extracted from Your Life in Your Hands, by Professor Jane Plant
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