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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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In his best selling book ‘What your doctor may not tell you about breast cancer’, Dr. John R. Lee gets to the bottom of why women get breast cancer and how to prevent it.  According to Dr. Lee, one of the most important risk factors associated with breast cancer is Estrogen Dominance that seems to affect more and more women these days.

 

By taking a closer look at this we can see that not all estrogens are created equal; some are cancer protective while others are cancer-permissive. There are three main estrogens in your body: estrone, estradiol and estriol. The ratio in your body should be: Estriol 80%, Estradiol 10% and Estrone 10%. 

 

As long as they’re in that ratio, everything seems to be working fine. Estriol is a hormone of pregnancy and when women are pregnant, they are protected from breast cancer as well as many other diseases. Estradiol, on the other hand, is a cancer-permissive estrogen and too much of this particular estrogen definitely increases the risk for breast cancer. 

 

To oppose your estrogen there is another hormone called Progesterone. Estrogen and Progesterone are in a yin and yang relationship. Estrogen says ‘grow’, while progesterone says ‘stop growth’. Most women in the peri-menopausal and menopausal stages of their life appear to be progesterone deficient and thus become estrogen dominant. 

 

What can you do?  How do you know if you’re estrogen dominant or progesterone deficient? There is no need to guess, test it. 

 

Make sure that you get the proper hormonal testing done and check your estrogen levels but also check your progesterone levels as well. Your estrogen may even be in a low range but if there is no progesterone in your body, you are still estrogen dominant. There are several ways to check this; blood test (most common), saliva and urine. Saliva and urine tests maybe useful since you can take samples over a period of time and thus giving you additional information as to your hormonal fluctuation during your monthly cycle. Blood tests are somewhat static as they can only provide you with the information for the period of time when the test was done. Once you get tested you can start correcting your hormonal imbalance by regulating your estrogen metabolism or supplementing with progesterone if required. 

 

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

 

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