A Recipe for Beating (and Preventing) Breast Cancer
The latest research on natural progesterone and breast cancer clearly indicates how important it is for women to maintain healthy, normal levels of progesterone that are in proper balance with estrogen. Doing so could not only increase many womens’ chances of recovering from breast cancer – as the latest research indicates – but could also help them to avoid getting breast cancer in the first place.
As Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava point out in their book, hormonal imbalances have reached epidemic proportions in most developed countries over the last several decades. Due to poor diets, lack of exercise, a rise in obesity levels, the widespread use of hormone-altering chemicals, and other factors, many women suffer from chronically higher than normal estrogen levels and much lower than normal progesterone levels. In other words, many women are in chronic states of estrogen dominance. This is one of the key reasons why breast cancer rates are as high as they are.
Considering the epidemic levels of hormonal imbalance we are experiencing, how can a woman know if her progesterone and estrogen levels are in proper balance? If they are out of balance, how can she return them to proper balance and maintain them in that all-important state? Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava answered these questions in their landmark book: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer . While it is not possible here to cover everything they wrote, here is a short summary of their recommendations.
- Check yourself for symptoms of estrogen dominance. While being estrogen dominant is bad news, the good news is that it usually leaves a clear trail of symptoms. To find out if you may be estrogen dominant, read Dr. Lee’s list of estrogen dominance symptoms . If you find that you have a number of the symptoms on this list, chances are good that you are suffering from this syndrome.
- Get your hormone levels tested. While symptoms are good indicators of hormonal imbalances, the most decisive tool for identifying imbalances is a hormone test. As a general rule, Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava recommended that women who are concerned about breast cancer test at least five hormones. These are estradiol (the most potent estrogen in the human body and the one most frequently linked to breast cancer), progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and DHEA-S.
- Work with doctors who are trained in the use of natural hormones. Beating breast cancer is a team effort, so build a team that will support rather than thwart your quest for hormone balance. While growing numbers of doctors are becoming aware of the value of natural hormones, many have not kept up with the latest research and may resist your suggestions.
- When needed, take physiological doses of bioidentical progesterone and other bioidentical hormones to restore proper balance. When it comes to taking natural hormone supplements, it is critical to remember that more is not better . The goal is to return hormone levels to what would be considered normal for a healthy person. In most cases, this means taking relatively small amounts of bioidentical hormones and regularly reevaluating hormone levels through saliva testing. Many women find after testing their hormones that all they need is some bioidentical progesterone to establish proper balances between the major hormones. Others, however, find that they may need to add other natural hormone supplements to achieve balance and get adequate symptom relief. A good doctor who understands and is trained in the use and prescribing of natural hormones can advise you on your supplement strategy and help you consider your options.
- Eliminate hormone-altering chemicals and xenohormones from your life. Every day, our bodies are exposed to toxic chemicals that did not exist just a decade or two ago. There are synthetic hormones in the foods we eat, pesticides in our air and water, and estrogen-like compounds in many of the products we use every day. Many of these chemicals and xenohormones are known cancer-causing agents. Fortunately, we can sharply reduce our exposure to these substances and dramatically reduce their presence in our bodies. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer identifies the sources of these chemicals and offers concrete advice for avoiding them.
- Use diet and exercise to support hormone balance. Our modern diets are heavily tilted towards foods that promote obesity and estrogen dominance. Our sedentary lifestyles only reinforce this problem. Both women and men can benefit from reducing their intake of sugars, refined carbohydrates, and foods that are high in trans-fatty acids while increasing their intake of organic, cruciferous (e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts) vegetables, fruits, and fiber. They can also benefit from regular, moderate exercise, which helps metabolize and eliminate excess estrogens.
- Keep educating yourself, for you are your best health advocate. When it comes to preventing or fighting breast cancer in your body, you have every right to be the leading decision maker. Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava firmly believed this and wrote What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer for patients as well as their doctors. The book contains a wealth of information that can help you make important decisions with your doctor. For instance, if your doctor is recommending you take an estrogen inhibitor such as Tamoxifen, the book can help you weigh the pros and cons of using such drugs as well as chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatment options. So we encourage you to read it carefully and discuss it with your doctor. In addition, we encourage you to read the free articles about breast cancer on The Official Website of John R. Lee, M.D. as well as the references listed at the end of this article.
Thanks to the latest research, we have further proof that Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava were ahead of their time when they said that natural hormone balance could help prevent and treat breast cancer. We support you in learning from them, putting what you learn into practice, and sharing what you learn with your family, friends, and doctors.
Mohammed, Hisham, et al “Progesterone receptor modulates ER-a action in breast cancer,” Nature 2015; 523; 313-317. Click here for abstract .
Perks, Bea “Progesterone receptor could slow breast cancer growth,” Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ 17 Jul 2015. Click here to read .
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