It has long been known that progestins, the synthetic form of natural progesterone given to millions of women around the world, can increase Breast Cancer risk—and it had been thought by many that the natural progesterone found in Bioidentical Hormone Therapy did the same.
Not so. An exciting study conducted by researchers at both Cambridge University and the University of Adelaide in Australia and published this past summer (2015) in the journal Nature found that not only does natural progesterone not increase Breast Cancer risk, it may actually prevent it.
Good News for Healing ER Positive/PR Positive Breast Cancer
It has been common knowledge for some time now that women with ER positive/PR positive Breast Cancer (where cancer cells contain both estrogen and progesterone receptors) often have better outcomes than women who do not have both of these receptors. The reason why this is so, however, has remained a mystery─ until now.
In women, both estrogen and progesterone are produced in the ovaries, which are hormonal glands controlled by the endocrine system. This system produces the chemical substances that regulate reproduction, stress response, sexual development, bone and muscle strength, mood, sleep, breast development and overall internal balance in the body. Receptors for these hormones allow them to do their job of changing cell behavior in response to the specific conditions and needs of your body.
For the most part, “like” hormones always interact with “like” receptors. For example, estrogen receptors only interact with estrogen molecules and progesterone receptors interact only with progesterone molecules. In short, this is how genes get “turned off” and “turned on” by your hormones.
Research over the years has proven that when activated by most forms of estrogen (and especially highly aggressive forms such as Xenoestrogens), estrogen receptors “turn on” genes within cancer cells, allowing them to grow and multiply.
Until now, however, not that much has been known about what progesterone receptors do in these same cells.
In the recent study, scientists from the UK and Australia exposed ER Positive/PR positive cancer cells to enough natural estrogen and progesterone to activate both kinds of receptors. When progesterone receptors were activated by the progesterone, something quite amazing happened.
The progesterone receptors actually attached themselves to the estrogen receptors, causing the estrogen receptors to stop “turning on” the genes that caused cancer cells to grow. In addition, they also turned on genes in the cell that promoted apoptosis, or programmed cancer cell death, as well as turned on genes that promote the growth of healthy, normal cells.
The research team then took the next step and worked with laboratory mice. After approximately one month, they discovered that the tumors in mice which received only estrogen grew in size, which was to be expected. The tumors in mice that received both natural forms of estrogen and progesterone, however, clearly decreased in size.
What You Can Do
Western medicine continues to dispense toxic artificial hormones to millions of women each year, even though research has shown its devastating effects, including an increase Breast Cancer risk caused by progestin, the molecularly altered form of progesterone.
In contrast, the natural progesterone found in Bioidentical Hormone Therapy does not cause disease and aids in the many natural processes that progesterone is responsible for.
After conducting hormone saliva tests for over 15 years, I have seen a pattern of consistent estrogen dominance and not enough progesterone in most women, and especially women with Breast Cancer.
So what can you do to make sure you have balanced amounts of both estrogen and progesterone for healthy breasts and a vibrant body? There are several things you can do starting now:
- Let Food Be Your Medicine by eating a diet that is high in hormone-balancing organic cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale.
- Take the right supplements such as I3C, green tea and melatonin.
- Lower your toxic load by avoiding foods and beauty products that lend themselves to the production of Xenoestrogens and Xeno- progesterones in your body.
- Consider Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHT).
Before considering BHT, make sure you complete a thorough test of your hormone levels as well as a consultation with your health-care provider. Always support your methylation and liver detoxification pathways if you are considering natural hormone therapy.
The test I recommend is the Comprehensive Saliva Plus Panel by Labrix, which will discover critical markers such as the three kind of estrogens, progesterone, Testosterone, DHEA and Cortisol.