Review by Yeong Sek Yee & Khadijah Shaari
The author, Jane Plant, was formerly the Professor of Geochemistry and Chief Scientist at the British Geological Survey, London with a DSc and seven honorary degrees and many prizes and distinctions for her contribution to science. She was awarded a CBE for her work in relation to human health. In 2005, she was made a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine for her books on cancer and was later appointed to the Prince’s Trust Foundation for Integrated Health.
In 1987, at age 42, and with two young children, she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. Within five years, the cancer returned four times – and, as she explained in her book this was “despite a radical mastectomy, three further operations, 35 radiotherapy treatments, several chemotherapy treatments and irradiation of my ovaries to induce the menopause”. The doctors then gave her three months to live.
The cancer specialists at Charing Cross Hospital where Plant was treated told her that her chemotherapy treatment (methotrexate, fluorouracil and cyclosphosphamide) had been only the same basic type that has been used for breast cancer for the past 20 years. None of her doctors, it appeared, had expected someone with her type and stage of cancer (which had clearly spread to the lymph system) to have survived. The drugs she was given was the cheapest standard preparations available and after her reading several medical textbooks, it was clear to Plant that it was highly unlikely that these drugs would, on their own, have cured her cancer.
When orthodox medicine gave up on her, Plant was determined to use her extensive scientific training and her knowledge of other cultures to find a way to survive. Her husband was also an earth scientist, and both of them have spent a considerable amount of time working in China and Japan. They were both desperately engaged in trying to understand and explain the factor(s) responsible for the significantly lower rates of breast and prostate cancer among the Japanese and Chinese.
At the time she discovered the last cancerous lump in her neck in 1992, her colleagues in China – where she had worked – happened to send her an atlas detailing the different cancers found across that country. Looking at it, she realised that breast cancer (and prostate cancer) were virtually unknown throughout China at that time – one death in 100,000 women, as opposed to one in 10 in some western countries. Why should that be?
It was this startling statistical disparity that led Plant to believe that there had to be a dietary trigger for the disease. As she continued her scientific investigations, Plant became convinced that she had discovered a causal link between consumption of animal and dairy products and breast cancer.
Her job as a scientist gave her the ability to research the components of the food we eat, particularly discovering that milk proteins find their way into a good many products; to analyse the nutrients required to help the body withstand treatment and stay cancer-free; to understand the effects of chemicals used in food processing. Her diet became totally dairy-free but full of food containing cancer protective ingredients; she was careful to reduce her intake of hormones and chemicals from food; and altogether changed her lifestyle.
The large cancerous lump in her neck disappeared within five weeks and no cancer has ever returned. However, her consultant radiologist (cum oncologist) was concerned that it would return once the chemotherapy treatment was over. It was all too clear from what her doctors had said, and from reading medical, pharmacological and chemical textbooks that chemotherapy treatment alone was unlikely to cure her. For five years, she had done everything her doctors had advised (perhaps including…”eat anything you like?”) and undergone all the treatments that they had prescribed.
Two years after her recovery, Plant was offered a new, advanced form of chemotherapy by the Charing Cross Hospital. The treatment offered was extremely expensive. The doctors were impressed by her positive approach and because she survived much longer than they had expected, they felt that they should help her as much as they could. Plant turned down their offer because she knew that the key to her cure lay elsewhere.
In the first edition published in year 2000, readers were presented for the first time with a compelling body of evidence strongly suggesting that consumption of dairy products may cause breast cancer. It demonstrated the specific changes that women can make in their day-to-day lives to help prevent and treat breast cancer.
Your Life In Your Hands contained detailed suggestions for ways to alter your diet by eliminating or reducing consumption of many suspected cancer-causing agents, especially dairy products, and replacing them with healthful alternatives. She offers well detailed menus and recipes to help you make the transition and enjoy it. She called this The Plant Programme which was later expanded into a book of the same name.
The second edition of Your Life In Your Hands was published in 2007 with extensive updates to each Chapters 1-7 and with additional information on ovarian cancer. Relevant scientific studies are attached to each Chapter. This is definitely the work of a real scientist.
The thrust of Professor Plant’s arguments outlining the links between dairy products and breast cancer are wide-ranging and deserve serious consideration and further research. Some of the health risks of consuming dairy products include:
- Babies fed on cow’s milk are at risk of developing iron deficiency; the link between insulin-dependent diabetes and dairy products;
- Milk is one of the most common causes of food allergies;
- Milk can harbour many pathogenic microorganisms including Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (possibly associated with irritable bowel syndrome);
- Milk often contains toxic and hormone-disrupting chemicals, including antibiotics, growth promoters, most notably insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), anti-parasitic drugs, environmental toxins such as PCBs and dioxins.
- Research is also cited demonstrating the relationship between IGF-1 and breast cancer.
If you are a breast cancer patient, we strongly urge you to change your diet just like Jane Plant did and not to “eat anything you like” as usually advised by your doctor/oncologist. Take some time off and watch the following YouTube videos and read further. Some suggested readings are attached.
SOME YOUTUBE VIDEOS: (there are many more)
1) Professor Jane Plant…Her views on Dairy Products.
2) White Lies—The Dark Side of the Dairy industry.
3) White Lies (Clip 2).
4) Growth Hormones in Animal Products Equals Cancer.
5) Animal protein (meat and dairy) causes cancer by Professor T. Colin Campbell PhD.
SOME ARTICLES/BOOKS : (there are many more)
1) WHITE LIES—The Health consequences of consuming cow’s milk.
2) THE CHINA STUDY by Dr T. Colin Campbell….read the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted on the link between nutrition and cancer
3) NATURAL STRATEGIES FOR CANCER PATIENTS by Dr Russell Blaylock, MD and a former neurosurgeon (Read why he does not recommend cancer patients to consume animal protein and dairy products).
4) THE ENZYME FACTOR by Dr Hiromi Shinya, MD and a gastrointestinal specialist. (Find out why animal meat and dairy products are toxic).
5) WAKING THE WARRIOR GODDESS by Dr Christine Horner, MD and breast surgeon (Read about Dr Christine’s program to protect and fight breast cancer).
JANE PLANT’S WEBSITES:
(From the above websites, you would be able to view Jane Plant’s other books and articles on cancer).