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I could hear her sobbing from behind the curtain. A sorrowful weeping that came from a place deep within. At only 45 my patient had been diagnosed and treated for colon cancer, then later doctors discovered uterine cancer and now she had masses in both her lungs. Her face, contorted, was turned toward the wall and her husband, not knowing what to do, gently caressed her hand. Seeing this woman hopeless and in emotional pain all I could think about was what Dr. D'Adamo had told us at the conference. How, like the volume on a stereo, you can adjust a gene's sensitivity and effectively turn down that gene's propensity to react.
I can not even begin to describe the sadness I felt as I witnessed her pain, nor the helplessness this incident induced in me. What if this patient had eaten the specific foods that would have targeted her cancer cells? Would this day have been different for her?
Later that afternoon while eating lunch with a co- worker, we were joined by one of the physicians caring for her. The conversation turned to this patient, her cancer, and whether cancer is preventable? The doctor, a rather young woman, said "If you have the genes for it, you will get it", she was adament about this. She brought up breast cancer and the BRAC genes. "See, they always get cancer", she said. "So they have to do mastectomies to keep people from getting it." She repeated herself again, "if you have the genes you will get it."
How sad for her and her patients that she lives in a world where she perceives cancer as unpreventable through the way we live. And how disapointing that she has not read anything regarding gene silencing, or foods that target cancer cells. I almost kept silent because I didn't want to put my foot in my mouth, but I did mention the Agouti mice, thinking maybe it would spark some interest in her to ask further, but she didn't take the bait. She merely choses to believe her own immutable truth.
Curiosity is an emotion, it represents a drive to know new things, curiosity is the fuel of science and all other disciplines of human study. I hope to always be curious and willing to accept new ideas and concepts when they differ from my own. Or at least to ask the questions that might lead to my own discoveries.
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