By Prof. Jane Plant, PhD, CBE
Why didn't Chinese women in China 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.
It is not just a matter of China being a more rural country, with less urban pollution. In highly urbanized Hong Kong , the rate rises to 34 women in every 10,000 but still puts the West to shame.
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.
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.
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 insight. 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.
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 food.
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.