Prof.Jane Plant:Respected Scientist Tells of Remarkable Breast
Cancer Cure 1.24.00
http://members. tripod.co. uk/AllThingsChil dren/MilkCancer. htm
Daily Mail, Monday, May 27, 2000 Prof. Jane Plant, PhD, CBE
[ http://www.litopia. com/jplant/ bio.htm ]
Why I believe that giving up milk is the key to beating breast cancer
Professor Jane Plant is a wife, a mother, and widely respected
scientist, who was made a CBE for her work in geochemistry. When she
was struck by breast cancer in 1987 at the age of 42, her happy and
productive existence seemed destined to fall apart.
But despite the
disease recurring a further four times, Jane refused to give in. As
she describes in an inspiring new book, [Your Life In Your Hands]
serialised by the Mail this week, she devised a revolutionary diet
and lifestyle programme that she believes saved her life and can cut
the chances of other women falling prey to the disease.
Her theory remains a controversial one - but every woman should
read it and make up her own mind. Today, she explains her personal
I had no alternative but to die or to try to find a cure for myself.
I am a scientist - surely there was a rational explanation for this
cruel illness that affects one in 12 women in the UK?
I had suffered the loss of one breast, and undergone radiotherapy. I
was now receiving painful chemotherapy, and had been seen by some of
the country's most eminent specialists. But, deep down, I felt
certain I was facing death.
I had a loving husband, a beautiful home and two young children to
care for. I desperately wanted to live. Fortunately, this desire
drove me to unearth the facts, some of which were known only to a
handful of scientists at the time.
Anyone who has come into contact with breast cancer will know that
certain risk factors - such as increasing age, early onset of
womanhood, late onset of menopause and a family history of breast
cancer - are completely out of our control. But there are many risk
factors, which we can control easily.
These 'controllable' risk
factors readily translate into simple changes that we can all make
in our day-to-day lives to help prevent or treat breast cancer. My
message is that even advanced breast cancer can be overcome because
I have done it.
The first clue to understanding what was promoting my breast cancer
came when my husband Peter, who was also a scientist, arrived back
from working in China while I was being plugged in for a
He had brought with him cards and letters, as well as some amazing
herbal suppositories, sent by my friends and science colleagues in
The suppositories were sent to me as a cure for breast cancer.
Despite the awfulness of the situation, we both had a good belly
laugh, and I remember saying that this was the treatment for breast
cancer in China, then it was little wonder that Chinese women
avoided getting the disease.
Those words echoed in my mind. Why
didn't Chinese women get breast cancer? I had collaborated once with
Chinese colleagues on a study of links between soil chemistry and
disease, and I remembered some of the statistics.
The disease was virtually non-existent throughout the whole country.
Only one in 10,000 women in China will die from it, compared to that
terrible figure of one in 12 in Britain and the even grimmer average
of one in 10 across most Western countries.
It is not just a matter of China being a more rural country, with
less urban pollution. In highly urbanised Hong Kong, the rate rises
to 34 women in every 10,000 but still puts the West to shame.
The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have similar rates.
And remember, both cities were attacked with nuclear weapons, so in
addition to the usual pollution-related cancers, one would also
expect to find some radiation-related cases, too.
The conclusion we
can draw from these statistics strikes you with some force. If a
Western woman were to move to industrialized, irradiated Hiroshima,
she would stash her risk of contracting breast cancer by half.
Obviously this is absurd. It seemed obvious to me that some
lifestyle factor not related to pollution, urbanization or the
environment is seriously increasing the Western woman's chance of
contracting breast cancer.
I then discovered that whatever causes the huge differences in
breast cancer rates between oriental and Western countries, it isn't
genetic. Scientific research showed that when Chinese or Japanese
people move to the West, within one or two generations their rates
of breast cancer approach those of their host community.
The same thing happens when oriental people adopt a completely
Western lifestyle in Hong Kong. In fact, the slang name for breast
cancer in China translates as 'Rich Woman's Disease'. This is
because, in China, only the better off can afford to eat what is
termed 'Hong Kong food'.
The Chinese describe all Western food, including everything from ice
cream and chocolate bars to spaghetti and feta cheese, as 'Hong Kong
food', because of its availability in the former British colony and
its scarcity, in the past, in mainland China.
So it made perfect sense to me that whatever was causing my breast
cancer and the shockingly high incidence in this country generally,
it was almost certainly something to do with our better-off, middle-
class, Western lifestyle.
There is an important point for men here, too. I have observed in my
research that much of the the data about prostate cancer leads to
According to figures from the World Health Organization, the number
of men contracting prostate cancer in rural China is negligible,
only 0.5 men in every 100,000. In England, Scotland and Wales,
however, this figure is 70 times higher.
Like breast cancer, it is a middle-class disease that primarily
attacks the wealthier and higher socio-economic groups - those that
can afford to eat rich foods.
I remember saying to my husband-- 'Come on Peter, you have just come
back from China.
What is it about the Chinese way of life that is so
different. Why don't they get breast cancer?'
We decided to utilize our joint scientific backgrounds and approach
it logically. We examined scientific data that pointed us in the
general direction of fats in diets.
Researchers had discovered in the 1980s that only l4 % of calories
in the average Chinese diet were from fat, compared to almost 36% in
the West. But the diet I had been living on for years before I
contracted breast cancer was very low in fat and high in fibre.
Besides, I knew as a scientist that fat intake in adults has not
been shown to increase risk for breast cancer in most investigations
that have followed large groups of women for up to a dozen years.
Then one day something rather special happened. Peter and I have
worked together so closely over the years that I am not sure which
one of us first said: 'The Chinese don't eat dairy produce!'
It is hard to explain to a non-scientist the sudden mental and
emotional 'buzz' you get when you know you have had an important
It's as if you have had a lot of pieces of a jigsaw in your mind,
and suddenly, in a few seconds, they all fall into place and the
whole picture is clear.
Suddenly I recalled how many Chinese people were physically unable
to tolerate milk, how the Chinese people I had worked with had
always said that milk was only for babies, and how one of my close
friends, who is of Chinese origin, always politely turned down the
cheese course at dinner parties.
I knew of no Chinese people who lived a traditional Chinese life who
ever used cow or other dairy food to feed their babies. The
tradition was to use a wet nurse but never, ever, dairy products.
Culturally, the Chinese find our Western preoccupation with milk and
milk products very strange. I remember entertaining a large
delegation of Chinese scientists shortly after the ending of the
Cultural Revolution in the 1980s.
On advice from the Foreign Office, we had asked the caterer to
provide a pudding that contained a lot of ice cream. After inquiring
what the pudding consisted of, all of the Chinese, including their
interpreter, politely but firmly refused to eat it, and they could
not be persuaded to change their minds. At the time we were all
delighted and ate extra portions!
Milk, I discovered, is one of the most common causes of food
Over 70% of the world's population are unable to digest the milk
sugar, lactose, which has led nutritionists to believe that this is
the normal condition for adults, not some sort of deficiency.
Perhaps nature is trying to tell us that we are eating the wrong
Before I had breast cancer for the first time, I had eaten a lot of
dairy produce, such as skimmed milk, low-fat cheese and yoghurt. I
had used it as my main source of protein. I also ate cheap but lean
minced beef, which I now realized was probably often ground-up dairy
In order to cope with the chemotherapy I received for my fifth case
of cancer, I had been eating organic yoghurts as a way of helping my
digestive tract to recover and repopulate my gut with 'good'
Recently, I discovered that way back in 1989 yoghurt had been
implicated in ovarian cancer. Dr Daniel Cramer of Harvard University
studied hundreds of women with ovarian cancer, and had them record
in detail what they normally ate. I wish I'd been made aware of his
findings when he had first discovered them.
Following Peter's and my insight into the Chinese diet, I decided to
give up not just yoghurt but all dairy produce immediately. Cheese,
butter, milk and yoghurt and anything else that contained dairy
produce - it went down the sink or in the rubbish.
It is surprising how many products, including commercial soups,
biscuits and cakes, contain some form of dairy produce.
proprietary brands of margarine marketed as soya, sunflower or olive
oil spreads can contain dairy produce. I therefore became an avid
reader of the small print on food labels.
Up to this point, I had been steadfastly measuring the progress of
my fifth cancerous lump with callipers and plotting the results.
Despite all the encouraging comments and positive feedback from my
doctors and nurses, my own precise observations told me the bitter
My first chemotherapy sessions had produced no effect - the lump
was still the same size.
Then I eliminated dairy products. Within days, the lump started to
shrink. About two weeks after my second chemotherapy session and
one week after giving up dairy produce, the lump in my neck started
to itch. Then it began to soften and to reduce in size. The line on
the graph, which had shown no change, was now pointing downwards as
the tumour got smaller and smaller.
And, very significantly, I noted that instead of declining
exponentially (a graceful curve) as cancer is meant to do, the
tumour's decrease in size was plotted on a straight line heading off
the bottom of the graph, indicating a cure, not suppression (or
remission) of the tumour.
One Saturday afternoon after about six weeks of excluding all dairy
produce from my diet, I practised an hour of meditation then felt
for what was left of the lump. I couldn't find it.
Yet I was very experienced at detecting cancerous lumps - I had
discovered all five cancers on my own. I went downstairs and asked
my husband to feel my neck. He could not find any trace of the lump
On the following Thursday I was due to be seen by my cancer
specialist at Charing Cross Hospital in London.
He examined me thoroughly, especially my neck where the tumour had
been. He was initially bemused and then delighted as he said, "I
cannot find it.' None of my doctors, it appeared, had expected
someone with my type and stage of cancer (which had clearly spread
to the lymph system) to survive, let alone be so hale and hearty.
My specialist was as overjoyed as I was. When I first discussed my
ideas with him he was understandably skeptical. But I understand
that he now uses maps showing cancer mortality in China in his
lectures, and recommends a non-dairy diet to his cancer patients.
I now believe that the link between dairy produce and breast cancer
is similar to the link between smoking and lung cancer. I believe
that identifying the link between breast cancer and dairy produce,
and then developing a diet specifically targeted at maintaining the
health of my breast and hormone system, cured me.
It was difficult for me, as it may be for you, to accept that a
substance as 'natural' as milk might have such ominous health
implications. But I am a living proof that it works and, starting
from tomorrow, I shall reveal the secrets of my revolutionary action
Extracted from Your Life in Your Hands, by Professor Jane Plant, to
be published by Virgin on June 8 at £16.99. © Professor Jane Plant,
Evidence that reveals the dangers lurking in a pinta
Jane Plant's conviction that dairy products can cause cancer arises
from the complex chemical makeup of milk. All mature breast milk,
from humans or other mammals, is a medium for transporting hundreds
of chemical components.
It is a powerful biochemical solution, designed specifically to
provide for the individual needs of young mammals of the same
species. Jane says: "It is not that cow's milk isn't a good food. It
is a great food- for baby cows. It is not intended by nature for
consumption by any species other than baby cows.
It is nutritionally different from human breast milk, containing
threetimes as much protein and far more calcium.'
Breast milk, like cow's milk, contains chemicals designed to play an
important rote in the development of young cattle. One of these,
insulin growth factor IGF-1,causes cells to divide and reproduce.
IGF-1 is biologically active in humans, especially during puberty,
when growth is rapid. In young girls it stimulates breast tissue to
grow and, while its levels are high during pregnancy, the hormones
prolactin and oestrogen are also active, enlarging breast tissue and
increasing the production of milk ducts in preparation for breast-
Though the concentration and secretions of these hormones in the
blood are small, they exert a powerful effect on the body. All these
hormones are present in cow's milk. IGF-1 is identical in make-up,
whether in human or cow's milk, but its levels are naturally higher
in cow's milk. It is also found in the meat of cows.
High levels of IGF-1 in humans are thought to be a risk factor for
breast and prostate cancer. A 1998 study of pre-menopausal women
revealed that those with the highest levels of IGF-1 in their
bloodstream ran almost three times the risk of developing breast
cancer compared with women who had low levels. Among women younger
than 50, the risk was increased seven times.
Other studies have shown that high circulating levels of IGF-1 In
men are a strong indicator of prostate cancer. Interestingly, recent
measures to improve milk yields have boosted IGF-1 levels in cows.
Could IGF-1 from milk and the meat of dairy animals cause a build-up
in humans, especially over a lifetime, leading to inappropriate cell
division? Though we produce our own IGF-1, could it be that the
extra amounts we ingest from dairy produce actually cause cancer?
Jane Plant already knew that one way the high-profile drug
tamoxifen, used in the treatment of breast cancer, is thought to
work by lowering circulating levels of IGF-1.
IGF-1 is not destroyed by pasteurization, but critics argue that it
is destroyed by digestion
and rendered harmless. Jane believes the main milk protein, casein,
prevents this from happening and that homogenization, which prevents
milk from separating into milk and cream, could further increase the
risk of cancer-promoting hormones and other chemicals reaching the
She also believes there are other chemicals in cow's milk that may
be responsible for
sending muddied signals to adult tissue. Could prolactin, released
to stimulate milk production in cows, have a similar effect on human
breast tissue, effectively triggering the same response and causing
cells to become confused, stressed and start making mistakes in
replicating their own DNA?
Studies have confirmed that prolactin
promotes the growth of prostate cancer cells in culture.
Another hormone, oestrogen, considered one of the main risk factors
for breast cancer, is present in milk in minute quantities. But even
low levels of hormones are known to cause severe biological damage.
Microscopic quantities of oestrogen in our rivers are powerful
enough to cause the feminisation of many male species of fish. While
oestrogen in milk may not pose a direct threat to tissues, it may
stimulate the expression of IGF-1, resulting in long-term tumour
Jane, who has found growing support for her theories from cancer
that she is not setting out to attack more orthodox approaches. She
intends her dietary programme to complement the best therapies
available from conventional medicine, not to replace them.
Pure but deadly: Is milk potentially fatal?
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http://www.ostomyin ternational. org/June2000/ 1124.html
Dairy-free diet and breast/colon cancer
[ IOA Archived Discussion Forum May 2000 ]
Posted By Leslie Dungan on June 19, 2000 at 17:40:01:
The following review appeared last week in the Irish Times.
Has anyone out there opinions or experiences relevant to Prof
Plant's approach? British scientist Jane Plant, who believes a dairy-
free diet helped her recover from breast cancer, talks to Katie
Tempted by a cream bun, you talk yourself out of it with thoughts of
all that unhealthy fat clogging up your arteries. You opt for a low-
fat yoghurt instead, with skimmed milk in your tea, congratulating
yourself on your sensible self-control. Think again. According to a
ground-breaking new book about breast cancer (which kills over 600
women in Ireland annually), dairy products, whether low-fat or full
cream, should be off everyone's menu overnight. (They are also
culpable with regard to prostate cancer, so that really means
Prof Jane Plant CBE, author of Your Life in Your Hands, was
diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago. She was 42, a successful
geochemist (she is now chief scientist of the British Geological
Survey), and led, she thought, a healthy life.
There was no history
of breast cancer in her family. She discovered that "only five to 10
per cent of breast cancers are the result of inherited genes, and
the disease may not always develop, even in those carrying the
mutated gene." Bamboozled by jargon and frozen with panic, she fell
back on her scientific training to try and figure out how she had
developed the disease, and how best to cure herself.
She went on the Bristol diet, she had a mastectomy, she had
radiotherapy, she had her ovaries irradiated (to induce menopause
and eliminate oestrogen), she asked questions and did lots of
research. To no avail.
By the time of the cancer's fifth recurrence (it spread into the
lymph), she was given a course of chemotherapy and three months to
live. She had an egg-sized tumour on the side of her neck.
Brainstorming one night with her fellow scientist husband about why,
in the West, one in 10 women get breast cancer (one in 14 in
Ireland), while in China it's only one woman in 10,000, the pair
came up with the simple answer: Chinese people don't eat dairy
Plant eliminated all dairy products (including goat and sheep) from
her diet. Six weeks later, the tumour had disappeared.
When I meet her she is a youthful-looking woman in her mid-fifties,
quaffing mint tea and eating a tuna sandwich (no butter or
mayonnaise). She has stayed on her dairy-free diet and has remained
clear of cancer.
Giving up dairy products was only part of a healthy regimen she had
been following throughout her cancer, including taking folic acid
and zinc supplements, drinking filtered water and never consuming
anything that had been packaged in plastic (phthalates, harmful
carcinogenic chemicals, leak from soft plastic into food).
In spite of her best efforts it was only after she gave up all dairy
products that the cancer disappeared. Sixty-three other women who
had breast cancer and who came to her for advice, also recovered
after giving up dairy products.
So how, I ask, can dairy products-- beloved of both the Irish and
British alike, not to mention the Americans whose diet is 40 per
cent dairy-- have such a lethal effect? "Milk is designed as the
perfect food for newborn animals. They can't eat ordinary food, they
are dependent on milk to keep development and cell differentiation
going. But milk contains a chemical-- insulin-like growth factor, or
IGF-1 -- which girls have naturally as teenagers
to help their breasts develop. This chemical-- which is designed to
stimulate cell growth-- can send the wrong signal to adult breast
She quotes studies in the US and Canada in 1998 which found that pre-
menopausal women with the highest IGF-1 concentration in their blood
had a far higher risk of developing breast cancer (similar studies
have found a link between IGF-1 and prostate cancer). The drug
Tamoxifen, prescribed for women with breast cancer, is thought to
work by reducing circulating IGF-1 levels.
"Over 70 per cent of the world's population are unable to digest the
milk sugar, lactose," she observes. "Lactose intolerance may be
nature's early warning system: perhaps nature is trying to tell us
that we're eating the wrong food." Homogenization apparently only
enables cancer-producing chemicals to reach the bloodstream quicker.
Plant has done her homework: "Epidemiological studies have indicated
a positive correlation between dairy product consumption and breast
cancer risk going back two decades. Studies have found an increase
in breast cancer risk among women who consumed milk (especially
whole milk) and/or cheese."
In 1977 scientists examining the incidence of breast cancer in Japan
found "a significant increase in both the consumption of dairy
products and the occurrence of breast cancer in urban areas".
She quotes more research to suggest that "free oestrogens"- - found
in commercial pasteurized whole cow's milk and in skimmed milk-- may
stimulate expression of IGF-1 resulting in "indirect long-term
She lists dioxins and other damaging environmental chemicals, some
of them carcinogenic, which are often fat soluble and end
up "particularly concentrated" in milk.
As for the argument that we need dairy products because they contain
calcium, Plant quotes the World Health Organization' s finding that
countries which have low intakes of calcium do not have an increased
incidence of osteoporosis:
"Scientific studies into calcium
absorption have shown that only 18 to 36 per cent of the calcium in
milk is taken up by the body."
Now that we're convinced, what should we be eating instead? Plant
recommends soya milk, herbal tea, humous, tofu, nuts and seeds, non-
farmed fish, organic eggs and lean meat (not minced beef, which
tends to be dairy cow) and plenty of fresh organic fruit and
vegetables (in salads, juiced, or lightly steamed).
But how can the average woman afford the time and energy it takes to
source and prepare such food? "Your priority should be good food,
not glop," she stresses. "Put organic food first. Your health is
more important than a new car. Anyway, I don't find it too costly--
after all, I don't buy any processed food, which is very expensive."
Her husband and two children have no problem following her diet. And
although she travels a lot for her job, she finds that she is able
to manage-- she includes many tips in her book about what to bring
with you on a trip (dried soya milk, herbal tea bags, kelp tablets
for iodine, etc).
She is about to start writing a new book, a guide for busy women who
want to stay healthy.
She advocates thorough and frequent self-examination of your
breasts, and, if you do develop breast cancer, self-empowerment by
working with your doctor "as a partner,
not as a victim".
She is not a fan of the Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life
philosophy: "I do believe in positive thinking, but I'm also a
scientist and I wanted a rational explanation. I have friends with
diseases like MS who have read Hay's books and feel guilty because
they can't adapt their mental attitude; or, if they have adapted,
and the disease doesn't go away, they become distressed."
Plant, who is an advocate of acupuncture, has varying opinions of
alternative therapies. She is suspicious of aromatherapy, found
visualization didn't work, but took much comfort from cognitive
therapy and hypnotherapy (both of which helped her to reduce the
stress and anxiety caused by having cancer).
Overall, however, it was her professional research as a geochemist
into the links between disease and trace elements (such as selenium)
in the environment in China and Korea that led to her insight about
the role of dairy produce in her cancer. She finds the medical
profession particularly shortsighted about the influence of
environmental factors-- such as pollution and industrialization- - on
disease: "I think public health has done a lot for the elimination
of infectious diseases, but looking at the environment and nutrition
could do the same for a lot of degenerative diseases."
Plant started writing Your Life in Your Hands for her daughter Emma
(now 25). Emma's teen years were dominated by the fear that her
mother was going to die: "The book's original title was What I Want
My Daughter to Know," recalls Plant. "The 63 women with breast
cancer who followed my diet and survived their cancer encouraged me
to publish the book. I was reluctant at first-- I knew I'd get flak
for it, because science is an
But morally, I felt if I had done the research and I had the
information, I should share it with others. Men and women have the
right to know what I know, and to draw their own
Your Life in Your Hands by Jane Plant is published by Virgin at
£16.99 in UK
Leslie Dungan, Dublin
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* *******
Welcome to BCUP's website
Breast Cancer Understanding & Prevention (BCUP)
BCUP is the foundation established by Professor Jane Plant CBE to
promote more widespread understanding of the insights into the
causes of breast cancer as first described in her book "Your Life In
Your Hands", published in Britain by Virgin Publishing Ltd. BCUP is
currently in the process of acquiring charitable status in the UK.
Professor Jane Plant is one of Britain's most distinguished female
scientists. She has won many scientific honors, and last year was
presented with British science's highest award
-- the Lord Kilgerran Prize.
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