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Progesterone and Cancer Prevention

Posted by on in Breast Health

 

Many articles and papers have been written that implicate estrogen in connection to breast cancer. While this is a well accepted factor now in treatment of breast cancer, less written about is the importance of progesterone for the prevention of breast cancer.  

 

Progesterone reduces estrogen’s stimulating of breast cancer growth with several well known biochemical events that lead to tumour growth: 

 

Progesterone increases the level of enzymes that convert cancer prolific estrogen (estradiol) to inactive cancer protective estrogen (estrone sulfate).

Progesterone inhibits estrogen activity in the breast tissue and decreases the probability of clotting. 

Progesterone prevents angiogenesis known to be a major contributor in early stage of breast cancer tumour formation and growth.

Progesterone prevents vasodilatation caused by excess estrogen and thus acts as an anti metastatic agent

Progesterone activates natural killer cells that function as in immune defence mechanism destroying cancer cells.

Progesterone has a calming effect, helps with perceived  stress, thus lowering cortisol production by the adrenals

Here’s the critical point about progesterone for breast cancer prevention: synthetic progestins promote breast cancer and heart disease, while natural progesterone beneficially lowers breast cancer and heart disease risk. Progestin (synthetic) is NOT Progesterone (natural). Unfortunately many physicians believe progestins to be equivalent to progesterone. This is a mistake.

 

The enzymes needed to metabolize progesterone are present in the human body, not so with progestin. Further, the biochemical structures of several synthetic progestins have carbon-carbon bonds, which are not present in the hormones that humans have. Thus synthetic progestin has well known detrimental effects on women’s health while progesterone has beneficial effects on breast health and cancer prevention.

  

Of course, your breast cancer prevention strategy has to include other contributing factors, such as healthy diet, physical activity, avoidance of pollutants, stress reduction and possibly natural progesterone therapy. Investigate and see if this will work for you.

 

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Avoid (HRT) Hormone Replacement Therapy. 

HRT increases the risk of Breast Cancer. In 2002, a huge double blind placebo study called “Women's Health Initiative” sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) was stopped early because it was proven during the study that HRT causes breast cancer. 

Natural Bio-identical hormones on the other hand are safe. They are made from botanical plants such as soy and yams. These plants are pharmaceutically processed to produce natural bio-identical progesterone or estrogen derivatives; they may come in cream or oral forms. 

It is not difficult to determine if one needs some form of hormone balancing – if you feel perfectly well and have no symptoms it is very unlikely that you need to do or change anything. However, a large number of peri-menopausal women suffer from the following symptoms: fatigue, pre-menstrual breast tenderness, fibrocystic breast condition, short menstrual cycle (less than 28 days), anxiety, headaches, sleep disorders, low libido, depression and PMS. Women in menopause may have some of these symptoms in addition to hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and memory loss. If some of these complaints are present in a patient it is important to identify any hormonal deficiencies. 

We can carefully monitor most hormone levels with blood tests, although they are not as reliable as saliva tests, which measure bio-available free-hormone levels, or 24-hour urine collection, which looks at what is excreted through metabolites over a 24 hour period. Once identified, single or multiple hormone deficiencies can be corrected by the use of bio-identical hormones, which have an anti-aging action by the nature of their activity. 

The effect of these hormones is dose specific, however in nature more is not necessarily better – if the hormones are prescribed in too high a dosage, they can cause adverse effects. Many women, hearing of the great effects of progesterone, decide to self medicate.  A word of caution here needs to be made – some progesterone products on the market have very little or no effect. Compounding pharmacies have a reliable and consistent product; however this would require a prescription from your doctor. 

Bio-identical hormone therapy should never be taken orally as it can result in many unwanted side effects. Transdermal (through the skin via a cream) is much safer and more effective because it bypasses your liver and avoids many side effects. I have been very fortunate to learn a lot about hormones from my extraordinary friend Dr. Alvin Pettle - ObGyn. You can learn more about bio-identical hormone therapy from this world renowned expert by visiting his website www.drpettle.com

 

Take charge of your health today, be proactive and help others to prevent breast cancer NOW!

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