Breast Health and Epigenetics

Breast Health and Epigenetics

Breast Thermography

Before I share some exciting news for Charleston locals, I remember that I have something else to tell all the HealthE gals out there…

So, breasts have been on my mind a good bit recently…

Perhaps it’s because of all of the media around Angelina Jolie, or because I’m actively trying to wean my youngest (who is not so young anymore), or it’s the new Doc in town with an innovative approach to screening (more on that to come), or it could just be trying to update my Pinterest account with my favorites reads… for certain, I have been thinking a lot about breast health.

Regardless, yesterday, I recalled one of my favorite books… Breasts, A Natural and Unnatural History, by Florence Williams… remembering I should tell more people to read it.  Is it about nutrition?  Not necessarily, but it is about the effects of our modern environment on our health… particularly breast health.

I urge you to read Florence’s book but here’s a one of my blogs, Modern Day Canary in a Coal Mine, where I share some of her key points.

So, we have to ask, “Do we have any control over the effects of environment on our health?” “Do we have control over our genes?”  Yes and Yes.  But wait… we’ve been told forever that if it’s genetic, then that’s it… it’s to be our life’s burden.  Current research shows it’s not really so.

Epigenetics is the study of how our environment affects our genes and gene expression.  (One of the most significant areas that we all need to know about involves a gene mutation, MTHFR, that affects methylation.  Methylation is occurring billions of times per second at the cellular level turning genes on and off and affects every system in your body… don’t overlook this one.)  To understand epigenetics, simply, think of a suntan. (Sun = environmental “exposure”, tan = responsive change in gene expression and subsequent protein synthesis).  The genes coding for melanin production are turned on by the exposure to the sun.  Until that exposure, they lay dormant.  I go into it further in Do I Look Healthy in these Genes?, but the take-home message is that a genetic condition can be in your genes but never affect you.

So, here’s what I wanted to share with Charleston locals that ties this all together.  I’m excited to introduce Dr. Ariane Cometa.  She’s a wonderful practitioner that’s bringing her Thermography skills to Charleston.  Dr. Cometa is currently opening a thermography practice, locally, and I think we all need to know about it.  I know her personally and can assure you… her heart (and practice) is in the right place.

Let me know if you’ve had it done.  Perhaps for something other than breast health.  What was your experience?