GOSSIP GIRL: Daiana Menezes: Surviving cancer gracefully

Published May 24, 2022, 8:01 AM

by Giselle Sanchez

Daiana Menezes

Philippine’s entertainment has adopted several celebrities from different countries to live and work here. A classic example is the late Keith Martin, an Afro-American singer who has lived in our islands for two decades and died here in Manila last month. He composed and popularized the classic song “Because of You”.

Another foreigner enjoying celebrity status in our homeland is Brazilian actress and host Daiana Menezes who in the past five years stayed below the radar. I was happy to see her on a new show with Net 25 and I asked why I did not see her in the past few years. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 2B. I felt a lump in my breast but dismissed it since I was young anyway, so I figured it might just be a cyst. But after a few months, something was telling that I need to have it checked. My gut feel was correct, it was breast cancer stage 2B. I was able to address my cancer well and proceeded to treatment immediately.”

New advocacy

“I am proud to say that I am now cancer-free, next year will be my fifth year, so I could claim health and wellness for now. Actually, every person that undergoes cancer knows for a fact that it can come back anytime, which is why I have this advocacy of information dissemination for people undergoing the same ordeal that I have had. This is so that they can survive it gracefully, just like I did. The first step is acceptance. Of course, when I found out I had cancer, I felt devastated, but I did not have time to feel that way because I wanted to heal myself as fast as possible. Acceptance is the key so that you can take the necessary steps towards healing. When I found out I had cancer, I studied a lot about it – Western treatments, alternative treatments, neuroscience and epigenetics. The latter is the study of how your lifestyle and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they change the way your body reads a DNA sequence. Let me try to explain it the way my doctor explained it to me. A lot of people whose parents died of cancer will most likely have cancer in their late years. This is because they have inherited genetic mutations. But because of epigenetics, we can teach our body how to read a genetic mutation in such a way that the body will repair itself and not destroy itself. So basically I did all of that — surgery, chemo radiation, alternative medicine, epigenetics and most of all avoiding sugar! Because sugar is cancer’s favorite. It feeds on sugar, and the cancer cells start reproducing in faster rates and spreading all over the body. This was probably the most difficult part of my journey—imagine saying goodbye to ice cream, cake, beer and cocktails forever!!  But I had to do it because I wanted to live. Because of all of these steps, I now have a body that keeps the cancer cells stagnant and my healthy cells alert and healthy,” Daiana ends her interview with Gossip Girl with a smile.