Just the Facts: Breast Cancer and Bioidentical Hormones

Author: Dr. Gary Huber, DO

Date: Oct, 2015

Breast cancer is the number one killer of women age 45 to 60 and the range of those affected is growing. There is a lot that women can do in their daily lives to greatly reduce their overall risk.

I often lecture on bio-identical hormone use in women and the question that always gets asked is whether hormones cause breast cancer or not. The short answer is yes and no. “Thanks doc, very helpful”. What I mean is that normal healthy hormones such as estrogen and progesterone do wonders for the human body as they keep blood sugar under control, they help regulate mood and sleep, they provide proper stimulation to the brain and other organs and keep the heart healthy to avoid heart disease. The hormone itself is not a problem. It is what WE do to them with our lifestyle that perverts them into potential monsters.

Bio-Identical Hormones

Bio-Identical hormones are hormones that are an exact match to our own natural hormones. Our body knows how to use and dispose of them appropriately. The same cannot be said for drug therapies such as birth control pills and other drug based traditional hormone replacement therapies. These drug-based replacements have been shown to increase cancer risk as well as blood clots and heart disease. So the effect is almost the complete opposite from that of bio-identical hormones.

The real problem is what are we doing to those beneficial hormones with our lifestyle? Eating sugar and trans-fats will cause problems and oxidize the estrogen into something bad. Eating broccoli and cruciferous vegetables protects the estrogens and keeps them from turning into a problem. There are at least 20 decision points that every women faces in the course of her day that will either walk her toward breast cancer or away. Am I going to drink from plastic bottles? Do I over indulge in alcohol or caffeine? Am I getting enough vitamin D and iodine? Am I taking a birth control pill or other drugs that increase my risk for breast cancer and disease? 

Quick hit

Breast cancer is the number one killer of women age 45 to 60 and the range of those affected is growing. There is a lot that women can do in their daily lives to greatly reduce their overall risk.

5 things that INCREASE your breast cancer risk

  1. Drinking more than one cup of coffee a day. Caffeine intake over 200 mg is risky.
  2. Drinking alcohol daily or more than one glass a night.
  3. Drinking from plastic bottles or eating from plastic containers.
  4. Eating sugar, high glycemic foods, trans fats or deep fried foods.
  5. Taking birth control pills or progestin drugs (not progesterone)

 

Now 5 easy things that greatly reduce your cancer risk:

  1. Eat cruciferous vegetables (Google it) every day, example = broccoli
  2. Eat 5 to 6 vegetables in general every day (fiber > 30 grams)
  3. Get more iodine in your diet. Dried seaweed in your protein shake or simply an iodine tablet or drop. Iodine is also in fish.
  4. Get your vitamin D level measured and keep it around 50 to 60.
  5. Eat flax seeds (not flax oil) or “organic” soy

 

Care to know more? Read Taking Control Of Your Breast Health

Start arming yourself with some simple facts that will help you make better decisions. Life is not about being “perfect”. There is margin for error but limit the simple errors that aren’t deal breakers and reduce your overall risk. It’s really not that hard to make a huge difference in your health.