The most significant risk factor for developing (breast) cancer is prolonged exposure to estrogen and chemicals, particularly those that mimic estrogen, known as xenoestrogens or estrogen mimickers. How can women safely address menopausal symptoms, low libido, UTIs, vaginal dryness or signs of aging with hormone replacement therapy, HRT? Get informed! Learn about estrogens, how your body processes hormones, and how bio-identical and naturally compounded hormone treatments create less cancer risk than synthetic hormone treatment.

 The Subject of Hormones Can be Confusing

Whether you have questions about the hormones that your own body is producing or regarding hormone replacement therapy, it is important to be informed. Please consider the following:

To learn if you are genetically or epigenetically disposed to metabolize or methylate hormones poorly, creating cancer-causing estrogens in your body, see “Testing & Intervention: Resources,” below.

You Convert Testosterone and Progesterone to Estrogen!

Prolonged exposure to excess estrogen is the greatest risk factor for developing cancer and every man and woman converts some progesterone and testosterone to estrogen, often without symptoms. No wonder so many people are blind-sided with a diagnosis of cancer!   Please… spread the word. To see how, click Hormone Cascade for a diagram. Don’t underestimate the importance of testing and intervention as an integral part of your cancer prevention plan. For more information and resources, read “Testing & Intervention: Resources,” below and About Aromatization by Dr. David Jockers DC, MS, CSCS and Converting Testosterone to Estrogen by Dr. Len Lopez.

Testing & Intervention: Resources

Many Functional (Genomic) Nutritionists, Functional Medical Doctors and Naturopathic Doctors can test and tell you how much progesterone and testosterone you are converting to estrogens, explain inherited genetic variations-epigenetics-gut-hormone connections, and recommend nutritional, nutraceutical, and behavioral changes to intervene. Tirza’s Functional Nutritionist is Kaye Reich CNTP, CGP at and (303) 834-8500 because of her holistic approach, wealth of knowledge and experience, and because we share common philosophies of self-care education and extensive handouts. (She also does 100% TeleHealth, so you need not leave your home, and offers FREE 15 minute consultations.)

Estrogen Dominant?

If you’ve been told that you are “estrogen dominant” or if you suspect that you might be, be aware that:

  • Prolonged exposure to excess estrogen is the greatest risk factor for developing cancer.
  • Consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates are intrinsically linked to an excess of estrogen in the body, so reducing consumption may help reduce estrogen dominance, which in turn may reduce the risk for breast cancer.
  • Your Functional (Genomic) Nutritionist, Functional Medical Doctor or Naturopathic Doctor can make recommendations for intervention and improvement, typically based on nutritional, nutraceutical, and behavioral modifications.

Please consider these articles:

Low Libido, UTIs, Vaginal Dryness or Menopausal Symptoms?

Many women use a vaginal cream formulation containing small amounts of estriol and progesterone (and sometimes testosterone) for treating Vaginal Dryness and UTIs and for addressing Menopausal Symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.

  • Keep in mind that bio-identical hormone support carries less cancer risk than synthetic hormone support, and since vaginal absorption is more effective than other skin surfaces, smaller dosages are used.
  • Consider choosing health professionals already familiar with such protocols to suggest the right treatment for you.
  • Be aware that non-hormone based treatments may be appropriate for you that are herbal based. For instance, since the adrenal glands produce some of the sex hormones once produced by the ovaries in menopausal women, supporting the adrenal glands can help reduce menopausal symptoms. Your Functional (Genomic) Nutritionist, Functional Medical Doctor or Naturopathic Doctor can help. (***Note*** From Jonathon Wright: Women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer should not use any form of estrogen. Some doctors are still concerned that even natural bioidentical estrogen and testosterone could induce breast and other cancers by stimulating excess cellular proliferation.)

Learn more here:

For the scientifically-minded:

Hormone Replacement Therapy Considerations

  •  Since prolonged estrogen exposure is a major risk factor for developing breast cancer, please take these watch-outs seriously.
  • Consider herbal, nutraceutical and nutritional support before hormone replacement therapy.
  • When hormone replacement therapy is warranted, consider naturally compounded or bio-identical hormone replacement therapy instead of synthetic hormones.
  • Consider the lowest possible dosages to obtain the symptomatic relief needed.
  • Since many doctors do not provide functional or metabolic pathway testing, be sure to ask for such testing and/or seek a Functional Medical Doctor or Functional Nutritionist or Naturopathic Doctor.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Watch-Outs

According to Dr. Laura Ellis, women should:

  1. avoid prescription estrogen that is administered orally,
  2. never take prescription estrogen without progesterone, and
  3. avoid prescription estrogen that is administered orally,
  4. never take prescription estrogen without progesterone, and
  5. consider functional testing to determine how the body is metabolizing hormones.
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