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Topic: Bioidentical Progesterone helps sleep, hair & lower risks cancer

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Nov 2, 2018 10:05PM

macb04 wrote:

Lots of people have the wrong idea, that ER/PR positive means that both estrogen and progesterone are cancer causing molecules. If that were true then puberty would cause us ALL rampant breast/uterine and ovarian c. Not true at all. I had exposure to ARTIFICIAL progestins in the birth control I used, like so very many of us.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here is another good article. They have stigmatized Progesterone unfarely, when in reality it was the ARTIFICIAL Progestins that were altered for PROFIT, that are the cancer causing molecules. Researchers were often sloppy, siting Progesterone, when they were actually talking about ARTIFICIAL progestins.

Progesterone has so many positive roles in our health, I have looked up some links to supporting research.

  1. Maintains the Uterine lining, reducing risks of Endometrial cancer. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13697137.2018.1472567
  2. Has a benign effect on Breast Cells, inhibiting Breast Cell Overgrowth https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22432812
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29962257
  4. Decreases Hot Flashes and Night Sweats https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/2018/oral-micronized-progesterone-may-decrease-perimenopausal-hot-flashes-night-sweats
  5. Increasing metabolism and promoting weight losshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245250/
  6. Balancing blood sugar levels
  7. Acting as a natural diuretic
  8. Normalizing blood clotting
  9. Stimulating the production of new bone https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22432813
  10. Promoting normal Sleep patterns https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/96/4/E614/2720877
  11. Enhancing the action of thyroid hormones
  12. Alleviating depression and reducing anxiety https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29322164
  13. Improving Libido
  14. Preventing cyclical migraine
  15. restoring proper cell oxygen levels
  16. Decreasing Female Pattern Hair Loss https://ndnr.com/womens-health/treating-female-pattern-hair-loss/
HEALTH NEWS

Fact Checked

Study Suggests Progestin, Not Estrogen, Is the Real Cancer Culprit in Hormone Replacement Therapy

Written by Ann Pietrangelo on April 26, 2015

Hormone therapy that includes progestin plus estrogen may increase breast cancer risk, but estrogen alone may lower risk, according to long-term review.

A long-term review of two clinical trials has shed new light on menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk over time.

In earlier clinical trials, combination hormone replacement therapy (HRT) consisting of progestin plus estrogen was linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and death from that disease.


Women who had a hysterectomy and took estrogen alone were found to have a reduced risk of breast cancer and breast cancer death.

Following those reports, use of both types of HRT declined.

Thirteen years later, researchers set out to determine both the short-term and long-term effects of HRT.

hormones

One analysis involved 16,608 women who had not had a hysterectomy. The women were assigned to receive estrogen plus progestin. Results showed this group was at increased risk of breast cancer while taking combination HRT. Within 2.75 years after stopping therapy, the risk was still present but not as high.

Another group of 10,739 women who previously had a hysterectomy were asked to take estrogen alone. This group had a reduced risk of breast cancer while receiving estrogen therapy. That lower risk continued for a few years after therapy ended. The benefit was lost after that.

The study authors concluded there is a "greater adverse influence for estrogen and progestin use and somewhat greater benefit for use of estrogen alone."

The research team was led by Rowan T. Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D., of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Details were published in JAMA Oncology.

This research focused on breast cancer risk and did not involve other potential risks of HRT.

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Apr 5, 2019 05:48AM DebAL wrote:

morning rah, this was a new dr to me but shes been around for years. Fully devoted to post menopausal women. She suggested progest topical cream. She spent a full hour with me but brain fog set in near the end. I just cant help to think I could feel better with basically no greater risk. Still thinking about it but leaning that way. Thanks for your reply. Have a great day!

Dx 1/22/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/12/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/12/2018 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/2/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/9/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/20/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Surgery
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Apr 5, 2019 07:20AM dtad wrote:

Hi DebAl...I was wondering where you live?

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Apr 5, 2019 07:25AM DebAL wrote:

ohio. You have no idea how many PMs asking if I'm from alabama!

Dx 1/22/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/12/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/12/2018 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/2/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/9/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/20/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Surgery
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Apr 5, 2019 06:24PM AliceBastable wrote:

I'll stick with Harvard.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/bioidentical-hormones-help-or-hype

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Apr 6, 2019 08:38AM dtad wrote:

AliceBastable...couldnt download the link. Can you ry again? Thanks so much.

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Apr 6, 2019 03:18PM MelissaDallas wrote:

All you had ro do was copy and paste if the link wasn’t “clickable”

https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/bioidentical-hormones-help-or-hype




LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Apr 7, 2019 06:31AM dtad wrote:

Thanks !

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Apr 23, 2019 02:19PM Misstic wrote:

Hi ladies,

Reading you about bioidentical progesterone, I wanted to add maybe an interesting information for women with ER+/PR+ breast cancer: there is an old drug, used in the 80's for metastatic hormonal breast cancer called Megace containing a type of progesterone. This drug has an anti testosterone effect which is good about aromatasing it to estrogen. MO gave me 40 mg a day of this because I had horrible hot flashes caused by Taxol then Tamoxifen (every 30 minutes). I was very near to the nervous break down because of this debilitating condition and any other drugs were effective for me (including anti depressant and Gabapentine). This drug was a miracle regarding my hot flashes. The side effects are:

- abundant thick hair (not bad at all after hair thinning due to Tamoxifen!)

- weight gain (I did diet all the time).

The dose of 20 mg seems to be effective too.


Dx 6/26/2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/15/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left) Chemotherapy 8/23/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/7/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 2/4/2016 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting Dx 1/5/2018, IDC, Left, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/4/2018 Gemzar (gemcitabine), Navelbine (vinorelbine) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2020 Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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May 14, 2019 05:11PM macb04 wrote:

MelissaDallas, when I say Bioidentical Progesterone, I mean a molecule that is identical to what our bodies produced when we are menstruating women. NOT a Progestin.

Many people confuse the dangerous side effects of the artificial progestins ( which showed a marked increase in breast cancer for women who had HRT) with that of Progesterone. Not the same thing at all. Mainstream medicine in the US only used artificial progestins, NOT Progesterone for women who took HRT. Artificial progestins like Provera increase risks of cancer because they have xenoestrogen-like effects.

A dangerous misconception.

Progesterone can be specially compounded by a Compounding Pharmacist, or it can be made in a factory like Prometrium. Both types are Progesterone molecules that are Safe, Effective and have many benefits like decreased hot flashes, improved bone health and better quality sleep.

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May 14, 2019 06:35PM MelissaDallas wrote:

Macb04, I know exactly what you are talking about. No need to explain.

Bioidentical hormones: Help or hype? Do these heavily promoted hormones justify the claims made for them?

Updated: May 1, 2018Published: September, 2011

"Bioidentical" hormones have been promoted as safer and more effective than FDA-approved hormones. The exaggerated claims go beyond relief of menopausal symptoms, suggesting they are a veritable fountain of youth.

It's understandable that women would be interested in a different approach now that long-term use of conventional hormone therapy (HT) does not prevent cardiovascular disease as researchers had hoped.

Most clinicians now counsel midlife women differently than they once did. Instead of urging women to weigh the risks and benefits of long-term HT for health, most now suggest HT only for short-term symptom relief. But many women want more from HT, and some look to bioidenticals.

What are bioidentical hormones?

The term "bioidentical" doesn't have a precise medical definition. The Endocrine Society defines bioidentical hormones as "compounds that have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the human body." Clinicians usually use the word to describe preparations containing either progesterone or one or more of three estrogens — estradiol (the predominant estrogen in premenopausal women), estrone, and estriol (the main estrogen produced during pregnancy).

Evaluating the claims for bioidenticals

Here are some of the claims made about bioidenticals:

Claim: Bioidentical hormones are not drugs because they are molecular copies of the hormones made by women's bodies.

Evidence: The FDA defines drugs as "articles (other than food) that are intended to affect the structure or any function of the body." If bioidentical hormones are designed to relieve menopausal symptoms or have other body changing properties — such as relieve hot flashes or improve the skin — their effects on the body's structure or function are undeniable. Therefore they are drugs.

Claim: Drug companies don't invest in bioidentical hormones because they can't make money from them; you can't patent natural substances.

Evidence: This is at best a half-truth. A drug company can't patent a naturally occurring hormone, but it can patent a process needed to render it absorbable as a drug. Several large drug companies have done just that (or have licensed process patents) and sell FDA-approved bioidenticals.

To bring a drug to market, drug companies invest millions of dollars in research and development, including the randomized clinical trials testing its safety and effectiveness that are required for FDA approval. A drug company must also keep tabs on a drug after it's in use, reporting side effects and monitoring quality.

Claim: Bioidenticals are safer than synthetic hormones.

Evidence: Understandably some women look for a safer alternative for symptom relief. Premarin is synthesized from the urine of pregnant mares and contains a mix of estrogens (some unique to horses), steroids, and various other substances. Might some unidentified molecule be responsible for the health risks? To many, the claim that bioidentical hormones are safer because they have the same chemical structure as those produced by our own bodies would seem plausible.

Yet there's no good evidence to support this claim. Although bioidentical progesterone and the bioidentical estrogen estradiol have been approved, they haven't been studied in large, long-term trials. They're FDA-approved because they've been shown in trials to relieve menopausal symptoms and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. These claims are allowed on their packaging. And similar to other FDA approved estrogens and progestogens, these bioidenticals also carry black box warnings. Hormones from compounding pharmacies, which aren't FDA-approved, don't come with package inserts bearing the black box warning, giving the illusion of being safer than commercially marketed drugs. But the lack of a warning doesn't mean they're safer, only that compounding pharmacies aren't required to detail potential risks. To date, hormones from compounding pharmacies haven't been tested in clinical trials. Until then, the risks associated with them cannot be fully known. Finally, while compounding pharmacies are regulated by state pharmacy boards, they're not required — as manufacturers of approved drugs are — to report on side effects or other adverse outcomes from their products.

There actually may not be much difference between an FDA-approved bioidentical and the custom-compounded version. Both are made from the same hormones and manufactured according to the requirements of the United States Pharmacopeia (a nongovernmental authority that sets standards for prescription and over-the-counter drugs). At a compounding pharmacy, hormones are placed in a capsule, gel, cream, suppository, or other vehicle. A pharmaceutical company follows the same procedure, but it must use a standard dose in a specific vehicle because the two have been tested and approved as a unit. In this respect, an FDA-approved bioidentical may be more reliable.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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May 14, 2019 06:57PM wintersocks wrote:

There is some further info here on from the UK. I see they can be bought online but as some has pointed out here no good if you are pr- as I am too. I wonder if they might help with thinning hair due to Letrozole.

https://thebms.org.uk/publications/consensus-statements/bioidentical-hrt/



Dx 2/20/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/22/2012 Doxil (doxorubicin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/28/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/9/2012 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/15/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes
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May 15, 2019 09:32PM macb04 wrote:

The problems with that Bioidentical Progesterone, Help or Hype article is that it makes women nervous to even consider Progesterone. It's not a magic panacea, no one with any sense says that. It has concrete benefits that are easy to see.

I had thinning hair after doing tamoxifen, worried I might go completely bare in the front. Embarrased me, and added to all the other blows to my self esteem, made me frankly miserable. I have to say that since I have been on the Progesterone, my hair is no longer sparse up front.

It has markedly improved my sleep, no doubt about it. I fall asleep quicker, and am again sleeping through the night. I am even well rested enough to usually wake up before my alarm. No more staring at the ceiling, waiting for morning. That alone is worth its weight in gold to me.

I have read about the improvement in bone health, but haven't measured that, so I don't know if that has occurred.

Overall, I am really glad with the things I noted regarding hair growth and improved quality of sleep, and wanted to make sure other women know about their true options. I read the boards here and know these are very important concerns for so many woman, that are only poorly addressed, if at all by their providers.

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May 15, 2019 10:06PM MelissaDallas wrote:

I used it years ago for early menopause symptoms. It probably fueled my ovarian cancer

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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May 16, 2019 08:02PM macb04 wrote:

Why would you say that? Sorry for your situation, but you don't know that's true.

Progesterone is the natural counterbalance to the growth properties of Estrogen. Otherwise we would have large numbers of women having hormonal fueled cancers in the years after puberty, which we do not.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC239900/

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May 16, 2019 08:20PM MelissaDallas wrote:

I had very low estrogen at the time. I understand how hormones work

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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May 17, 2019 09:08AM macb04 wrote:

So you were on some form of HRT? Had you taken birth control earlier in life? Did you have earlier or later life pregnancies? All of those thing will impact risk for ovarian cancer, as I am sure you are aware.

Take home message still the same. Progesterone,, not artificial progestins, is great for your health.

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May 17, 2019 09:59AM MelissaDallas wrote:

No, I was not on HRT. I told you I tried the biodentical progesterone cream years ago.You don't know that it did not contribute to my cancer. Actually, birth control pills LOWER the risk of ovarian cancer.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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May 18, 2019 07:53AM dtad wrote:

Hi everyone...I've been saying for years on this forum that there should be an endocrinologist on the BC team. I think this thread proves my point! MOs know very little about female hormones yet they are the ones prescribing these powerful drugs. We need to find docs who can help us with this subject. Good luck to all navigating this complicated disease.

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 18, 2019 08:04AM MelissaDallas wrote:

IMHO,I wasn’t aware that MOs OR endocrinologists were prescribing bio identical progesterone. Most likely they are not.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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May 18, 2019 12:01PM macb04 wrote:

Lots of providers prescribe Bioidentical Progesterone. I get mine from my OB/GYN. I know of score of other MD's in my community who also prescribe Bioidentical Progesterone. Perhaps different where you are from

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May 19, 2019 08:14AM dtad wrote:

MelissaDallas...You totally missed my point. All I'm saying is there should be someone on our BC team who is knowledgeable about female hormones. MOs prescribe these powerful anti hormones with very little awareness on how they affect us and what can be done about it.

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 19, 2019 02:23PM MelissaDallas wrote:

I disagree that they don’t know how the antihormonals affect us. My opinion

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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May 20, 2019 06:38AM - edited May 20, 2019 06:40AM by dtad

Of course you have a right to your opinion. However female hormones are not the focus of MOs education. IMO we need someone who has more formal education on how anti hormone therapy affects our bodies and what to do about it .Maybe your MO is knowledgeable on the subject but if you read these threads many others are not. I would much rather be treated by an endocrinologist who is an expert on the subject. All I'm saying is they would be a great addition to the BC team. Good luck to all navigating this complicated disease.

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 21, 2019 12:27AM macb04 wrote:

I agree with dtad, more knowledge is always useful. I think if you asked most MOs for an in depth explanation of the scores of side effects that are associated with tamoxifen and AIs, they would be only be able to give a very surface type of answer . I know their education doesn't cover very much of the intricate balance of normal hormones, let alone the outcomes when that is disrupted.


I just wanted to remind everyone of the research showing the benefits of Progesterone, which is why I started this thread in the first place.

  1. Maintains the Uterine lining, reducing risks of Endometrial cancer. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13697137.2018.1472567
  2. Has a benign effect on Breast Cells, inhibiting Breast Cell Overgrowth https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22432812
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29962257
  4. Decreases Hot Flashes and Night Sweats https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/2018/oral-micronized-progesterone-may-decrease-perimenopausal-hot-flashes-night-sweats
  5. Increasing metabolism and promoting weight losshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245250/
  6. Balancing blood sugar levels
  7. Acting as a natural diuretic
  8. Normalizing blood clotting
  9. Stimulating the production of new bone https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22432813
  10. Promoting normal Sleep patterns https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/96/4/E614/2720877
  11. Enhancing the action of thyroid hormones
  12. Alleviating depression and reducing anxiety https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29322164
  13. Improving Libido
  14. Preventing cyclical migraine
  15. restoring proper cell oxygen levels
  16. Decreasing Female Pattern Hair Loss https://ndnr.com/womens-health/treating-female-pattern-hair-loss/
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May 21, 2019 07:08AM dtad wrote:

macb04...thanks for the info.!

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 23, 2019 11:24PM macb04 wrote:

Saw this nicely written Abstract on Progesterone. Here it is:


Oral micronized progesterone.

de Lignières B1.

Author information Abstract

This review sought to examine the rationale for selecting an oral micronized progesterone formulation rather than a synthetic progestin for some of the main indications for progestogens. Unopposed estrogen use is associated with a high risk (relative risk, 2.1 to 5.7) of endometrial hyperplasia and adenocarcinoma, and it has been understood for some time that a progestogen must be added for at least 10 to 14 days per month to prevent these effects. However, the most commonly used synthetic progestins, norethisterone and medroxyprogesterone acetate, have been associated with metabolic and vascular side effects (eg, suppression of the vasodilating effect of estrogens) in both experimental and human controlled studies. All comparative studies to date conclude that the side effects of synthetic progestins can be minimized or eliminated through the use of natural progesterone, which is identical to the steroid produced by the corpus luteum. The inconvenience associated with the use of injectable, rectal, or vaginal formulations of natural progesterone can be circumvented by using orally administered micronized progesterone. The bioavailability of micronized progesterone is similar to that of other natural steroids, and interindividual and intraindividual variability of area under the curve is similar to that seen with synthetic progestins. A clear dose-ranging effect has been demonstrated, and long-term protection of the endometrium has been established. Micronized progesterone has been used widely in Europe since 1980 at dosages ranging from 300 mg/d (taken at bedtime) 10 days a month for women wishing regular monthly bleeding to 200 mg 14 days a month or 100 mg 25 days a month for women willing to remain amenorrheic. This therapy is well tolerated, with the only specific side effect being mild and transient drowsiness, an effect minimized by taking the drug at bedtime. The prospective, comparative Postmenopausal Estrogens/Progestin Intervention trial has recommended oral micronized progesterone as the first choice for opposing estrogen therapy in nonhysterectomized postmenopausal women.

PMID:
10090424
DOI:
10.1016/S0149-2918(00)88267-3
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Jun 11, 2019 10:18AM macb04 wrote:

Thank God for the Bioidentical Progesterone I take every night. I know I wouldn't be sleeping as soundly, for sure, without it.

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Jun 30, 2019 09:12PM - edited Jul 3, 2019 10:53AM by marijen

New Research Shows Natural Progesterone Can Help Treat Breast Cancer

An Exclusive Feature Article from the October 2015 Issue of the Hormone Balance Hotline

Two months ago, a large team of scientists working on multiple continents published a research study that came to startling conclusions about breast cancer and natural progesterone. The team determined that unlike synthetic progestins, which increase breast cancer risks, natural progesterone has the potential to slow the growth of many breast cancer tumors or even shrink them.

While this finding is stunning, it is not new. It is one of several conclusions about progesterone that John R. Lee, M.D. and David Zava, Ph.D. made more than a decade ago when they co-wrote the book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer. Now that their findings have been confirmed by other scientists, the medical community can no longer assume that natural progesterone promotes breast cancer like progestins do. Progestins are molecularly altered synthetic versions of progesterone.

It's All About Receptors

For years, breast cancer researchers have known that women whose breast cancers contain both estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors (known as ER positive/PR positive tumors) have better treatment outcomes than women whose tumors do not have these receptors. What researchers have not understood is why this is the case. To find out, scientists at Cancer Research UK and the University of Adelaide in Australia studied the interactions between estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer cells. They published their findings in the July 16, 2015 issue of the scientific journal Nature.

Before we discuss the study, let's answer the question that many of you may be asking. What are estrogen and progesterone receptors, and what do they do? Estrogen and progesterone receptors are proteins found within many of the cells of our bodies, including cells in the breasts. They are the mechanism that allows estrogen and progesterone to change the behavior of our cells. In the process, they change how many tissues and organs in the body function. Estrogen receptors can only interact with estrogen molecules, while progesterone receptors can only interact with progesterone molecules.

When an estrogen or progesterone molecule comes in contact with its respective receptor, the molecule binds to the receptor and activates it. Once this happens, the receptor enters the nucleus of its cell and attaches to specific spots on the chromosomes that contain all of the cell's genetic coding. When the receptor does this, it "turns on" and "turns off" specific genes that govern the behavior of the cell. So in a real sense, estrogen and progesterone receptors are constantly reprogramming our cells by turning selected genes on and off. However, these receptors can only do their work if the body provides them with estrogen and progesterone to activate them.

For years, scientists have known that when activated by most forms of estrogen, estrogen receptors turn on genes within cancerous cells that program those cells to multiply rapidly and stay alive rather than die off as normal, healthy cells do. This means that most forms of estrogen – especially estradiol and its metabolites – are potent fuels for breast cancer. That is why oncologists try so hard to reduce estrogen levels in breast cancer patients with drugs such as Tamoxifen, Femara, and Arimidex.

While scientists know how estrogen receptors fuel the growth of cancer cells, they know a lot less about what progesterone receptors do in those same cells. That lack of knowledge is what the latest research study was designed to correct. In the study, scientists took breast cancer cells that were ER positive/PR positive and exposed them to enough estrogen and progesterone to activate both the estrogen and progesterone receptors. They then used new, cutting-edge techniques to examine what the receptors did within the cancer cells. What they found amazed them. When activated by progesterone, the progesterone receptors attached themselves to the estrogen receptors. Once this happened, the estrogen receptors stopped turning on genes that promote the growth of the cancer cells. Instead, they turned on genes that promote the death of cancer cells (known as apoptosis) and the growth of healthy, normal cells!

Since these experiments were only performed on cancer cells in test tubes, the researchers took the next step and ran tests on breast cancer tumors in live mice. After embedding ER positive/PR positive breast tumors in a number of mice, they exposed some of the mice to estrogen only, others to both estrogen and progesterone, and others to no hormones at all. After 25 days, the team found that while the tumors in the mice that received only estrogen grew, the tumors in the mice that received both estrogen and progesterone decreased in size.

It should be noted that the research team gave the estrogen inhibitor Tamoxifen to some of the mice that had also been treated with natural progesterone. They then compared the tumors of these mice to the tumors of mice that received progesterone but not Tamoxifen. While tumor growth was reduced in both sets of mice, the tumors of the mice treated with both progesterone and Tamoxifen experienced the greatest growth reduction.

This led the research team to advise that doctors combine progesterone with estrogen inhibitors such as Tamoxifen in their patients' treatment plans. While this advice deserves consideration and further research, Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava point out that Tamoxifen and other estrogen inhibitors have serious side effects that should play a role in any decision about their use.

Taken together, the experiments conducted by the research team led them to a powerful conclusion. When activated by progesterone, progesterone receptors bind to and "reprogram" estrogen receptors, transforming them from agents that turn on cancer-promoting genes to ones that turn on genes which slow down or even reverse the growth of cancer cells. The researchers also pointed out that their conclusions apply to natural, bioidentical progesterone. They rightly observed that many progestins – the synthetic, molecularly altered forms of progesterone found in pharmaceutical drugs – have been clearly shown to increase rather than decrease breast cancer risks.

These findings are incredibly good news for women diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive/progesterone receptor positive breast cancers. If such women have healthy progesterone levels or raise them to those levels through natural progesterone supplementation, they could dramatically improve their treatment outcomes. According to the American Cancer Society, around two out of three of all breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive. This means that the majority of women suffering from breast cancer may benefit from adding natural progesterone to their treatment plans.

How the Latest Study Vindicates Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava

While the scientists behind the Nature study may not know it, Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava came to the same conclusions about natural progesterone and breast cancer 13 years ago. In 2002, the two men reviewed all of the available research on breast cancer in their groundbreaking book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer, and came to the following conclusions:

  • Women with progesterone levels that are low relative to estrogen levels are more likely to get breast cancer and have poorer treatment outcomes. Dr. Lee coined the term estrogen dominance to identify the hormonal condition of progesterone being low relative to estrogen. Based on available research, he and Dr. Zava concluded that estrogen dominance causes estrogen receptors to activate genes such as Bcl-2 that are known to promote the rapid growth of cancer cells.
  • When progesterone is raised to healthy levels relative to estrogen, it turns on genes that can prevent breast cancer from occurring and reduce the size of existing tumors. Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava cited research studies which show that progesterone receptors activate genes such as p53 that promote apoptosis. Apoptosis enables the body to "kill off" many cancer cells before they develop into tumors.

    Because progesterone promotes the healthy growth and death of cells, the hormone does two things. First, it can prevent healthy cells in breast tissue from mutating into tumors. Second, it can limit the growth of existing breast tumors or even reduce them in size. Dr. Lee said many times that women with hormone receptor positive breast cancers could especially benefit from natural progesterone supplements because their tumors had progesterone receptors to which the progesterone could bind.

In short, Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava anticipated the conclusions of the latest research study 13 years ago. At the time, many doctors dismissed their statements about the importance of progesterone. To this day, many oncologists refuse to let their breast cancer patients use natural, bioidentical progesterone out of fear that it could fuel tumor growth. Now, thanks to the new study in Nature, the medical community must rethink its position. It turns out that Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava were right all along.

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.

Sadly, 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 used What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer to answer these questions. 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. You can learn more about hormonal imbalances you may have by taking Dr. Lee's free Hormone Balance Test.
  • 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. For more information, click here to read our article about how to test your hormones when breast cancer is a concern. You can also order these tests in saliva (as Dr. Lee and Dr. Zava recommended) from our website.
  • Work with doctors who understand 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. To help you build your team, we offer a page on our website where you can find doctors who work with natural hormones. The page also offers a number of tips for finding such doctors in your community.
  • 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 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 vegetables, fruits, and fiber. They can also benefit from regular, moderate exercise, which helps metabolize and eliminate excess estrogens. There are entire chapters about these subjects in Dr. Lee's books for you to read.
  • 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 buy this book, read it carefully, and discuss it with your doctor. If you prefer to educate yourself by listening to lectures, we also offer a two-CD lecture on hormones and breast cancer by Dr. Lee that contains excellent information from the book. 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.

References

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.


https://www.johnleemd.com/natural-progesterone-tre...

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Jun 30, 2019 10:00PM marijen wrote:

https://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/07/08/solving-a-breast-cancer-mystery-why-do-double-positive-women-do-better/


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Jul 1, 2019 08:57AM Salamandra wrote:

Oh man. I'd be so into trying to raise my progesterone instead of messing with my estrogen. Or really anything that would make me feel safer on a lower dose of tamoxifen, which has been kicking my butt so hard.

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/18/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/3/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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