What Can WomenLearn From Angelina Jolie’s Surgeries? by Christine Horner, M.D. (NAPSA)—In 20138, actress Angelina Jolie made headlines by announcing that she had decided to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure against a hereditary form of cancer. Sadly, Jolie had previously lost her mother, grandmother and aunt to this same type of cancer—linked to a mutation in the BRCAL gene—and knew that her risks were extremely high. So, in a bold and somewhat controversial move, Jolie took preventative ated with certain cancers. Specifically, caffeinated coffee and cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage have all been shown to be effective in reducing the risks of BRCA1-associated cancer. These foods are rich in antioxidants that help to repair damage done by free radicals, as well as micronu- trients that help to support a healthy immunesystem. 3. AHCC. A unique mushroom extract. A natural substance derived from Japanese medicinal mushrooms, AHCC is steps before the cancer ever fully developed. On March 24, 2015, Angelina made another startling announcement through a New York Times Op-Ed piece: She had opted to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes surgically removed. Along with increasing the risk of breast cancer to 87 percent, the BRCA1 mutaDr. Horner tion also carries a 50 percent chanceof developing ovarian cancer. Again, Jolie reacted pre-emptively to stop the cancer before it started. In her article, Jolie was very clear and logical—stating that she had put plenty of thought into the decision. But recent blood tests had shown an increase in certain inflammatory markers that could be a sign of early cancer. After receiving the news, Jolie saw several doctors—both from Eastern and Western disciplines—and decided that surgery was her best option. Potential Problems Interestingly, Jolie also plainly stated that women in situations similar to her own should not jump directly to surgery; it was simply the recommended solution based on her unique circumstances. The procedure does carry significant risks, some of which Jolie is currently dealing with. Specifically, Jolie is currently receiving bio-identical estrogen through a patch and progesterone via IUD. Despite these steps, though, Jolie was honest in stating that she is now undergoing early menopause. Jolie also noted in her article that a surgery similar to her own carries a fairly large list of risks, including: Hormonal imbalances, caused by sudden and severe surgical menopause Complications associated with any major abdominal surgery Angelina Jolie A170 percent increaseof premature death in women under45 The risk of developing heart disease increases by seven times An increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, dementia and osteoporosis * Decline in sexual function and overall psychological well-being. Based on these added risks, Jolie recommended in herarticle that women seek out other options. Commonly used approaches include birth control pills or alternative medical treatments. In addition, Angelina herself wrote that she is currently looking for natural ways to strengthen her immune system. With this in mind, what are some of these other options? Are there natural ways to strengthen your immune system and reduce yourrisk of certain cancers? Yes. Other Options Here are some quick tips to strengthen your immune system and reduce yourrisk of cancers by up to 200 percent (even if you have the BRCAI gene mutation): 1. Adequate sleep. Oneof the most powerful steps you can take is doing all you can to improve the function of your immune system. The sleep hormone, melatonin, has many anticancer actions including suppressing the BRCAI gene. Adequate sleep (at least seven hours each night, ideally between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.) coupled with appropriate exercise has been shown in numerous studies to strengthen youroverall immunehealth. 2. Proper diet. Along with that, a proper diet—onerich in a variety of nutrient-dense foods— can also help to improve your immunesystem while fighting the oxidative damage that is associ- the leading alternative cancer treatment used in hundreds of clinics throughout Asia to support the immune system in lowering the risk of cancer while improving survival. Research has shown that AHCC increases the numbers and activity of several components of the immunesystem, such as cytokines (immune messengers), as well as natural killer cells, macrophages, T cells and dendritic cells (all types of white blood cells that destroy pathogens and abnormal cells). This allows the body to better identify and react to foreign invaders—including cancer cells, which very closely resemble normal, healthy cells and which your immune system may not be able to recognize if it is not strong enough. Supplementation with AHCC, though, can help to strengthen your body’s natural defenses as proven in 25 human clinical studies. Again, as Jolie said in herarticle, there is no one way to treat cancer because each caseis different. In her situation, a team of professionals advised Jolie that preventative surgery was the best course of action—although sheis still at risk of developing cancer. However, natural strategies do exist that can help to both prevent cancer from forming and complement the treatment of pre-existing conditions. Christine Horner, M.D., FACS, is a nationally known surgeon, author and professional speaker and holds two board certifications: the National Board of Surgery and the National Board of Plastic Surgery. Horner is the award-winning author of “Waking The Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer” (8rd Edition /2013 / Basic Health), and is one of the coun- try’s leading authorities on cancer prevention.