THE surgeon who treated Angelina Jolie and Sheryl Crow says the rates of breast cancer cases in Scotland could be reduced – if women helped themselves dodge the disease.
Dr Kristi Funk says too many women have become convinced that family genes and fate means breast cancer is unavoidable.
But, she says, people can change their lifestyle to reduce the chances of becoming ill.
The 48-year-old is credited by Hollywood A-lister Jolie in her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy and Dr Funk says the first thing Scots should do is look at their diet with a recommendation to go vegan – and learn to stress less.
She said: “Most women believe family history and genetics determine who gets breast cancer, but for most people they don’t.
“Inherited mutations only cause 5-10% of breast cancer. In fact, 87% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a single first-degree relative with breast cancer.
“Think about this, 3,395 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in Scotland in 1996. Twenty years later, cases rocketed to 4,636 – a 36.6% increase.
“And that’s no leap of fate or family history, you have more control over this disease than you might think.
“Admittedly, until that elusive cure or prevention vaccine shows up, our best efforts will occasionally be thwarted by uncontrollable mutations and unrecognised causes. Sadly, cancer sometimes occurs even in those who ‘do everything right’.
“Nevertheless, you have significant power over this disease – so use it!”
Dr Funk, who opened the Pink Lotus Breast Centre in LA shortly before giving birth to triplet sons, claims research shows 50% – and perhaps as much or more than 80% – of all breast cancer could be eliminated if women understood that daily choices such as food, drink, exercise, toxic exposures and mindset create the environment inside the cells of the breasts, which either stay healthy or turn malignant.
She has presented her findings and experiences in a book, Breasts: An Owner’s Manual, which has been described as a straight-talking, myth-busting, strategy-filled guide to breast health. She continued: “Every day, you make choices that either bring you closer to cancer or move you farther away. Let’s move farther away!
“A cell microenvironment refers to the fluids in which breast cells bathe, so you want to load that world with powerful anti-cancer properties.
“Take phytonutrients. Phyto means plant. You just chew and swallow and what you’ve unleashed in your bloodstream is an arsenal of phytonutrients that run around and takes away what cancer and disease require.
“These nutrients fight against inflammation, free radicals that damage DNA, growth hormones, oestrogens that fuel 80% of breast cancers and angiogenesis, the ability for cancer to create new blood vessels to nourish and sustain itself.
“On the other hand, practising an unhealthy lifestyle and eating poorly creates a pro-cancer cell microenvironment – whether you intend to or not.”
Dr Funk says she has 10 tips that will not only help reduce the chances of breast cancer but also lead to “fewer heart attacks, a leaner body, less diabetes, painless joints, better sleep, a happier mood, less dementia, smoother skin, regular bowel movements, cleaner lungs, less cancer in every organ in your body, a healthier planet, and a longer life”.
She added: “Rigorous science backs everything I advise and if you practice this list you will radically reduce, if not completely prevent, many of the illnesses that lead to chronic and life-threatening conditions.
“Do your best to control the controllable in your life.
“May your efforts bring you to the healthiest, most joyful you you’ve ever known.”
Breast cancer surgeon Kristi Funk