Updated September 30, 2017
My Aunt Margie developed breast cancer when I was in high school in the early 1960s. She was an intelligent, well-educated, and financially well-off person. We were close. Fortunately, Margie was “cured” after her left breast, lymph nodes, and chest muscles were removed during a procedure called a “radical mastectomy.” Just to make sure they “got it all,” a searing course of radiation was administered post breast amputation. Concurrently, she received potent chemotherapy, which happens to be the same concoction of chemicals given to women in 2017, more than half a century later. The following year her right breast suffered the same fate: amputation and radiation. Well-meaning physicians tortured her in a multitude of manners until her miserable death from metastatic disease three years later, at age 53.
The second time this disease, and the brutal treatments that followed, devastated our family was when 20 years ago my sister-in-law was diagnosed at age 28. She believed in her physicians and accepted every established (and some non-conventional) treatment available. She did not want to discuss her diet with me, unfortunately. Four years later, she died, leaving her husband and two pre-school-age children. Although a small matter in terms of the overall impact, her “state of the art medical care” left her family financially bankrupt. They all lived in my parents’ basement for the next year.
As a physician, I have had the opportunity to counsel hundreds of women with breast cancer. Early in my career I recognized that breast cancer is caused by, and the rate of growth is promoted by, the Western diet. I subsequently published the first scientific study on the dietary treatment of breast cancer in 1984.