Women who eat oily fish once or twice a week can reduce their risk of breast cancer. British Medical Journal says that researchers made their assessment after studying 26 trials from around the world that involved more than 800,000 women. That’s a lot of women and a significant reduction of 5% for every 0.1g (100mg) of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) consumed. The oily fish were sardines, salmon and tuna.
Meanwhile I hear TV news reports of big increases in prophylactic breast removal a la Angelina Jolie. It truly saddens me to think that women have become so fearful and life-negating, believing that their genetic predisposition is also their entire destiny. Yet in 2002, the Journal of National Cancer Institute warned ... 'Without a healthy respect for the many factors that may influence disease incidence, we will continue to overestimate the risk conferred by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations alone and, thus, miss opportunities to develop truly effective prevention strategies . . . based on a broad understanding of causative factors.'
Instead of the nay-saying and fear-mongering, what would it take for doctors to advise women differently, suggesting life-affirming beliefs along with attention to all the dietary and lifestyle factors that reduce the risk of cancer (not just of breast, but of all types)? That’s a rhetorical question of course. After all, you consult an oncologist and his armoury is limited to chemotherapy and radiation, go to a surgeon, he too has only one tool in his war chest. Time to think beyond the invasive medical solutions, oily fish are just a beginning ... regular doses of sunshine another simple step