As a little girl, one of my favorite games from Santa was Operation by Milton Bradley. My younger sister and I played with it for hours, and it felt thrilling to challenge friends in the neighborhood. If you’re not familiar, the object of the game is to remove organs and bones of the patient – wish bone, heart, funny bone, etc.—without hitting the metal sides where the body part rests. If your hand isn’t steady enough, the patient’s red nose lights up and makes an unpleasant buzzing sound.
It’s funny how this game showed up again in some of my early meditations during Operation Save Uterus – my intention to save my uterus from a hysterectomy. The image of the patient wasn’t a man; it was me, with my female reproductive organs displayed like game pieces. I’d see my doctor lean in to remove my uterus, and I’d hear a loud alarm and a “no.” This image helped to ground my intention and encouraged me to continue focusing on reclaiming my health to successfully save my uterus. Deep down, I knew that if I had my uterus removed, it would be a life game-changer. Once the doctor had performed the surgery, I wouldn’t be able to change my mind and get my uterus placed back inside me, the way I used to reinstall organs in the game I played as a child.
More important, I knew that even if I did have my uterus removed, it wouldn’t mean I was healthy. It might reduce the risk of uterine cancer, but it wouldn’t prevent a doctor from telling me in the future about another issue with my reproductive organs, or prevent me from the risks of having a hysterectomy – emotional and hormonal effects, decreased sexual enjoyment, urinary issues.
During Operation Save Uterus, it struck me as very odd that hysterectomies are the second most common surgery performed on women. That’s a lot of uteruses being removed from ladies! Today there is a growing trend for women who have the BRCA gene mutation, genes involved with cell growth, division and repair, to have an oophorectomy – an operation to remove their ovaries. Some women also choose to have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed – aka Salpingo-oophorectomy. These serious operations are done to help prevent ovarian and breast cancer.
The New England Journal of Medicine indicates that for women with the BRCA mutation, removing the ovaries reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by ninety-five percent, and reduces the risk of breast cancer by approximately fifty percent, because the same type of cells in the ovaries and the fallopian tubes are also found in the abdomen, and all the cells can’t be removed.
As I mention in my video Let’s Talk Girlfriends and Our Female Organs, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I’m just a lady who saved her uterus when my doctors wanted to take it out. The decisions to take drastic steps or not in the hope of preventing a life-threatening disease is deeply personal. With that said, deep down, I feel as though there are opportunities for women to steady their hands in their daily choices regarding their health, rather than rely on the steady hand of their doctor to excise their organs in the hope of preventing cancer.
Here are three opportunities I think are important to consider in prevention:
- Genes (the ankle bone connected to the knee bone)
Our genes are not the only factors determining our well-being and destiny. A 2010 report in Sciencemag.org shares that “applying genomics to treat disease is misguided because 70–90 percent of your disease risk is related to your environment exposures and the resultant alterations in molecules that wash over your genes.” Genes get turned on or off depending upon toxins, diet, inflammation, and stress levels. If you could change the environment that your cells perform in, what kind of healing could occur? To learn more about the human genome read here.
2. Diet (Butterflies in the stomach)
Hippocrates may not have got it right with the theory that a woman’s uterus travels around her body searching for peace, but he did well with, “Let food be thy medicine.” Our diet plays an important role in our health. What healing transformations could occur in your body with nutrient dense foods found in organic, fresh, and unprocessed foods? Paying attention to and avoiding the vast amount of toxins in the foods we eat and in the products we use daily is also an important aspect to supporting the health of our cells. To learn more about the human genome read here.
3. A Calm Mind (Wish bone)
Research indicates that positive emotions, thoughts, and actions can elevate the immune system. If from a young age someone thinks that the odds of their developing cancer are high because it runs in her family, how does that impact the outcome? An illuminating book to read about how our cells respond to positive and negative thoughts is The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton. No time to read the book? Prioritize 5–10 unplugged minutes a day to spending time with yourself, quieting your mind, and focusing on deep breaths. Here are 20 scientific reasons to still your mind.
Removing an organ is a drastic action that can’t be undone. Why not give your body and the cells of your organs what they need to restore them to health?
- Information on oophorectomies
- Never Be Sick Again: Health is a Choice Learn How to Choose It by Raymond Francis, M.Sc. with Kester Cotton
Lorraine Giordano Inspired To Health www.inspiredtohealth.net firstname.lastname@example.org 201.344.6448