Articles by Natural Health Author Barbara Minton
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Blockbuster News for Women with Breast Cancer – Estrogen May Actually Cure Breast Cancer
by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life) For many years women have been told estrogen causes breast cancer because it encourages breast cell proliferation. In cases where estrogen has lost its balancing hormones, progesterone and testosterone, this statement is considered true. However a team of researchers headed by a special doctor at the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has now shown there is more to the story. They have discovered that, while estrogen may cause breast cancer, for a large group of women with the disease, estrogen is also by far the best treatment for it. For them, estrogen kills breast cancer cells quickly and completely, without terrible side effects. And it ends the need to worry.
The group of women able to effectively kill breast cancer cells with estrogen is those having estrogen deprivation, a condition in which the body has for some time failed to produce estrogen. This failure can be the result of completing menopause, or it can be the result of hysterectomy. The single determining factor is the complete loss of estrogen.
To understand the great importance of this discovery, here are some statistics from the Susan G Komen Foundation. Fewer than five percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. are younger than 40. Rates of breast cancer begin to increase after age 40 and are highest in women over age 70. The average age for a diagnosis of breast cancer is 64. This means this news pertains to the majority of women with breast cancer, and to those who may be diagnosed with it in the future.
The average age for menopause, when hormone deprivation begins, is 51. Once complete estrogen deprivation is established, women can benefit from estrogen treatment to kill breast cancer cells and put an end to their disease. Treatment need be no more complicated than visiting a doctor for a prescription of estrogen in one of the many forms in which it is offered.
Once estrogen deprivation is established, there is no need for surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or hormone blocking drugs such as tamoxifen or arimidex.
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Brainchild of “Father of tamoxifen” may save many women from breast cancer
In 1978, the FDA approved a triphenyl ethylene-based drug known as tamoxifen. The man behind it was Dr. V. Craig Jordan. Despite his success, the issue of patients becoming resistant to the drug bothered him greatly. Long-term tamoxifen use in humans “seemed like a recipe for disaster,” he said. However the belief that estrogen blockers were required to thwart the growth of breast cancer persisted in his mind, even though he saw holes in the theory.
Reports dating back to the 1940s had shown that giving breast cancer patients estrogen seemed to stop growth of the disease. In fact, estrogen was routinely used to fight breast cancer in women long before hormone blocking drugs such as tamoxifen came along. Approximately 30% of patients responded favorably to the treatment.
In the 1990s, a graduate student in Jordan’s laboratory, Doug Wolf, transplanted tamoxifen-resistant tumors from mouse to mouse, and treated them all with estrogen. He found the tumors disappeared. Of that experiment, Jordan said, “Estrogen didn’t stimulate the growth of these tumors anymore. It killed them. They just melted away”. But he and Wolf still didn’t know the underlying mechanism of how that happened.
Jordan set out to determine how the same hormone often responsible for activating breast cancer could also kill it off. He came up with the theory of estrogen deprivation as the key. When women still making their own estrogen take more estrogen, it can fuel the growth of tumors. But when the patient is not producing any estrogen of their own, giving them estrogen causes tumors to quickly shrink away.
In his inaugural article, Jordan evaluated genetic changes to estrogen deprived breast cancer cells during the first week of estrogen therapy. The changes he found were stunning. The endoplasmic reticulum, which is the internal structure of the cell, quickly grew inflamed, triggering the cell’s death. Further, Jordan found that cancer cell death occurred with relatively low doses of estrogen.
“In bodies that have been starved of estrogen, the hormone comes back as a jet fuel,” he said. That fuel overwhelms the estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, causing them to invoke a death signal. “The dramatic cell kill I get with estrogen is better than anything I saw with tamoxifen”, he said.
Unfortunately, Dr. Jordan seems to be still attached to tamoxifen, and he wants it to continue to be the first-line treatment. Then when tamoxifen resistance is established, patients can be given estrogen treatment. Since he is a part of the medical establishment, he may have no other choice but to play down his discovery. Standard cancer treatments are very big business.
Tamoxifen has a long list of side effects that include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, low libido, mood swings, nausea, change in the uterus, increased risk of blood clots, endometrial cancer, depression, dementia, and reduced size and function of the brain.
Replacement estrogen has none of those symptoms and may work with the other steroid hormones to restore the life force in women who have experienced breast cancer.
How long does it take to establish estrogen deprivation? That depends on the person and her hormonal terrain. For me it took six months, after stopping synthetic hormone replacement when diagnosed with invasive hormone-positive breast cancer eleven years ago. Now that there is this documentation supporting what I instinctively knew back then, I can write about my experience for the first time.
Any woman wanting to stop breast cancer with estrogen should be tested to see if she has achieved estrogen deprivation. Once that is established, be sure to use bioidential estrogen, which is estrogen that exactly replicates what a woman makes in her own body.
And plan on frustration as doctor after doctor refuses to treat you because he has been taught only that estrogen causes cancer. The best route to finding a doctor who will treat you is probably to go to the nearest compounding pharmacy. Tell the pharmacist what you want to do and ask him or her to recommend a doctor. Compounding pharmacies are where bioidentical hormones are made, so the pharmacists know the doctors. Usually doctors who prescribe bioidentical hormones are those specializing in hormone replacement or anti-aging medicine, but some may be gynecologists.
Since my journey began I have replaced all hormones that were deficient in my body, and I am now truly living the best years in life.
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Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.
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