Volume 4, Issue 19
May 12, 2011
Two overlooked hormones
prevent breast cancer
One of the biggest contributing factors to breast cancer is the estrogen hormone estradiol. Over 80% of breast cancers are estradiol dependent. That means that estradiol stimulates the growth of these cancers.
However, another hormone, progesterone, prevents this effect of estradiol. Unfortunately, the levels of progesterone go down in women as they approach menopause. That's why it's so important to monitor progesterone levels as women start getting closer to menopause, and supplement them as soon as the levels start to decline.
However, there are two other hormones that may be just as important as estradiol and progesterone in preventing breast cancer. Most doctors will never look at these hormones as a key to breast cancer. In fact, the connection would surprise most doctors — and it may surprise you.
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They’re the thyroid hormones, thyroxin (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3).
A recent study looked at the levels of these thyroid hormones in 39 Japanese women with breast cancer, and 36 Japanese women who did not have cancer. They found that the levels of both T3 and T4 were significantly higher in the women without cancer than they were in those with breast cancer. This was despite the fact that there was no correlation between the levels of estradiol and the levels of T3 and T4. This means that the decrease in thyroid hormones conferred its own risk, and had nothing to do with the levels of estradiol. The authors of the study said that lower levels of these thyroid hormones “may be an important determinant for the risk of breast cancer.”
Another study also compared women with breast cancer to those without. It showed that the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) were twice as high in women who had breast cancer as those who didn’t. TSH becomes higher as the thyroid hormones become lower, so this study simply backed up what the first study found.
So it should be easy to determine who’s at risk from low thyroid hormone levels and who isn’t. All you have to do is to check the levels of T3, T4, and TSH. Right? Wrong. The problem with doing that is that in both of these studies, the levels of all of the women, both those with and without breast cancer, were in the so-called “normal range.”
So simply testing blood levels is of no use. That’s why I’ve said for years that diagnosing low thyroid conditions simply based on blood levels of the hormones is almost always a waste of time. So what can you do as part of your breast cancer prevention program?
Find a doctor who can test your basal metabolic rate. This is the only test that’s sensitive enough to detect a thyroid deficiency even when the blood tests are all normal. Few things are more important to know than your thyroid status. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t even know about the test much less offer it to their patients.
Hopefully all that will change soon. Until then, you will probably have to travel to find a doctor who will do the test. You can get a list of doctors offering the test at www.bioenergytesting.com. I encourage every one of my patients over the age of 50 to have this done once a year. It is the ultimate key to staying well as you get older. And in these studies, you can also see that it is a very important part of breast cancer prevention.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Takatani O, Okumoto T, Kosano H, Nishida M, Hiraide H, Tamakuma S. Relationship between the levels of serum thyroid hormones or estrogen status and the risk of breast cancer genesis in Japanese women. Cancer Res. 1989 Jun 1;49(11):3109-12.
Paviæ Z, Paviæ S. Thyroid function and menopausal status in benign and malignant breast diseases. Med Pregl. 1995;48(7-8):231-3.
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