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Nearly Every Part of the Human Genome Is Now Owned by Corporations
Ironically, just as we’re entering the age of individualized
medicine, doctors’ ability to actually employ such advancements for
the benefit of their patients is being profoundly undermined and
restricted. As recently stated by Christopher E. Mason of Weill
Cornell Medical College: You have to ask, how is it possible that
my doctor cannot look at my DNA without being concerned about patent
Mason recently published a study in the journal Genome Medicine,
in which he and his co-author, Jeffrey Rosenfeld, an assistant
professor of medicine at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of
New Jersey, show that when you include both genes and DNA sequences
inside the genes, nearly the ENTIRE human genome is covered by patents!
What this does is render medicine prohibitively expensive. Under the
Affordable Care Act, BRCA genetic testing is classified as preventative
care, which means no out-of-pocket cost for those deemed eligible.
But as stated by Policy Mic:
Affordable Care Act money should be used to provide medical
care that is expensive for a reason, not to prop up an unfair and
Tissue Trauma and Surgery Can Actually Increase Your Risk of Cancer
There’s much yet to be learned about cancer development and
progression. For example, research has shown that trauma
to the breast itself can cause cancer.
According to the authors:
Models of epithelial cell generation indicate that a causal
link between physical trauma and cancer is plausible. A latent interval
between cancer onset and presentation of under 5 years is also plausible.
The most likely explanation of the findings is that physical trauma
can cause breast cancer.
And, as reported by Science News in 2011:
The slightest scratch can cause cancerous cells to crawl to
the wound and form tumors in mice, a new study finds. The work may
explain why certain kinds of cancers seem to cluster around burns,
surgical scars and other injuries. 'This work says that if you have a
predisposition to getting cancer, wounding might enhance the chance
that it will develop,' says cell biologist Anthony Oro of Stanford University
School of Medicine.
This raises questions about the possibility of developing cancer
in the remaining or surrounding chest tissue following a radical
surgery as double mastectomy. Needle biopsies have also been fingered
as sources of cancer that otherwise might not have occurred.
Epigenetics The Answer for Those Seeking Cancer Prevention
The paradigm-shattering research now referred to as epigenetics
proves your genetic code is not nearly as predeterministic as previously
thought. You actually have a tremendous amount of control over how
your genetic traits are expressed. As it turns out, your genes will
express or suppress genetic data depending on the environment in which
it finds itself, meaning the presence or absence of appropriate nutrients,
toxins, and even your thoughts and feelings, which unleash hormones
and other chemicals in your body.
Dr. Susan Love, a breast cancer surgeon and president of the Dr.
Susan Love Research Foundation, commented on such research back
in 2009, saying:
It’s exciting. What it means, if all this environmental stuff
is right, is that we should be able to reverse cancer without having
to kill cells. This could open up a whole new way of thinking about
cancer that would be much less assaultive.
Physician Discovers What It’s Like to Be 'Sold' Preventive Mastectomy
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
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.”
The Case Against BRCA Testing
In the research paper titled "The Case Against BRCA1 and 2 Testing",
published in the journal Surgery30 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 asingle nucleotide change, can have a formidable influence on protein
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.
In summary, the authors state that for screening and therapeutic
purposes, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genetic testing is really little more
than an expensive way of determining what can be accomplished more
expeditiously by speaking with your patient, since:
The DNA base pair sequence in all humans is 99.6% identical
Epigenetic factors influence substantively the RNA processing
and translational requisition of the initial DNA message. There are
thousands of sequence variants of the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes
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