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Topic: Bioidentical hormones..is anyone taking after breast cancer?

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Jan 4, 2012 10:47AM

ccjj wrote:

I have 4 tx left of my weekly taxol. Prior to that I did 4 DD AC.  Now that I am getting close to the end of my treatments, I have started to research diet, supplements, etc to hopefully help avoid recurrence.  I have been reading Suzanne Somers, the Anticancer book, and some others. Overall, its been somewhat depressing as the books basically state chemo doesn't work and I wasted my time doing it plus compromised my immune system in the process. Being Her2+ , cant say I regret my chemo decision and nothing I can do about that now anyway, but I feel having balanced hormones is interesting and makes some sense. The theory being that hormones only cause cancer when they are out of balance and they do a lot of good for overall health and actually reduce cancer recurrence if balanced. As long as they are natural and not the synthetic kind. However, I am triple positive and dont think this is something to mess around with.  My Onc wants me on tamox once chemo is done.  I haven't had the hormone talk with her yet, but I'm not guessing she will be supportive.  Any thoughts... has anyone else researched? 

Dx 7/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 4, 2012 11:10AM Kate33 wrote:

I can't answer your question but have been wondering the same thing myself.  I know my BS and gyn both said the same thing- no hormones of any kind.  (They even said I couldn't take OTC Estroven when I was having issues with hot flashes.)  But I agree with you that balanced hormones make sense.  Many (MANY!) years ago when I was in my second trimester I think, for the first time, the hormone levels in my body were spot on because I have never felt so good prior or since.  I think, for whatever reason, a lot of us (BC or not) are running around with less than optimal hormone levels.  I will be really curious to see if you get a response here and if there is anyone out there who is on the bioidenticals and if they have their doctor's blessing.

Kate33 "Yes, they're fake. (@)(@) The real ones tried to kill me." Dx 12/27/2009, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes
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Jan 4, 2012 11:54AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Hillock,
Thank you for saying something that always puzzled me. BC or not, menopause is a naturally occurring part of a woman's life cycle. Why would those who seek a natural approach take anything to change this natural process? I understand taking natural remedies to alleviate symptoms, but I don't understand "balancing" at a time when your body is moving through a change, naturally. Anyone?
Caryn
PS: I have been through menopause prior to bc.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jan 4, 2012 12:11PM - edited Jan 4, 2012 12:13PM by dlb823

ccjj, I've researched this and continue to research it, having been on HRT for several years prior to my bc-dx, and hating the new lines in my face now after almost 4 years without it!  

First, I want to say that I really don't think you (or I) did chemo for nothing.  I've always been a natural girl, but bc (IMO), required the bigger guns, and after talking to quite a few conventional & holistic docs, I believed that chemo was my best shot.  I like and respect SS, but you really can't compare your situation (Her2+ w/a positive node) with hers (DCIS, I believe).

As far as using hormones now... three or four integrative and/or naturopathic docs, including two mentioned in SS's books, have told me no.  The SS acclaimed one said, not for at least 5 years, but that was a casual, general assessment; he really knew nothing about my bc.

What I have done is had a Total Hormones Assessement (24-hour urine test) with a naturopath, and she's put me on a couple of other hormones that I was low in to start.  And we'll see how it goes from there.  She told me she has other bc patients on some estrogen & progesterone, but I got the feeling their bc may not have been invasive, so I'm happy to just go slowly with her for now, especially because the Integrative Specialist @ UCLA said absolutely not.

So that's my experience so far.  Like you, I would love for someone to tell me it's okay, but so far I haven't found someone I trust to do that.  What hillck said about adding any hormones post-menopause, is exactly the thought-provoking comment the Integrative Specialist @ UCLA told me -- that it's not logical to say it's "natural," when having it is not natural to our bodies at this point.     Deanna

Oh.... PS.... One thing I am using is vaginal estrogen, and I also put a bit of that on my face occasionally. 

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Jan 4, 2012 02:23PM Kate33 wrote:

dlb- Your post was what I was wondering about- are any bioidenticals o.k.?  I wouldn't even consider estrogen but there are also other hormones that help us feel and look good.  So I was curious whether or not doctors would say that progesterone or others is o.k. if you are shown you are low in those.  

Kate33 "Yes, they're fake. (@)(@) The real ones tried to kill me." Dx 12/27/2009, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes
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Jan 4, 2012 02:37PM - edited Jan 4, 2012 02:53PM by gentianviolet

My question is about natural progesterone.  If, in fact, there is a better prognosis for women with high progesterone levels when diagnosed........then why don't the docs suggest natural progesterone?   And just why test the tumor for progesterone if no one can tell us what it means?  I did start a thread asking if there were any women diagnosed with estrogen negative, progesterone positive, Her2 negative..........Someone answered that when any Dx  comes back E-P+,Her2-, they consider it a lab error.  I would sure love to find someone that can clear this up for me.

Barbara Dx 8/13/2009, IDC: Cribriform, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/1/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 10/15/2009 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 4, 2012 02:48PM dlb823 wrote:

Kate, Dr. Hardy @ UCLA advised me against using progesterone, which I actually had dabbled in on my own (Kokoro) for a month or two.  She said we just don't understand enough about how it interacts with estrogen, and based on some very recent research that's found some obsure pathway interaction, I kind of believe she's right -- or at least, I personally choose to value her MD/PhD opinion over that of Dr. Lee, for example, whose research is quite a few years older, and who, it seems to me, greatly over simplified breast cancer.  

As far as other hormones, there are several.  I am personally on TSH, DHEA and Testosterone -- all RX'd after some extensive blood and urine testing by a highly qualified naturapathic doctor and concurred with by a different integrative doctor I consulted.  I must sound like a doctor junkie, but I have just found it so frustrating to have some top notch conventional & integrative docs who really know their science & chemistry, but who are slow to embrace any information that doesn't have scientific studies to back it up, vs. newer-thinking alternative docs who may be onto something, but who don't seem to have as much experience with breast cancer.      Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Jan 4, 2012 10:19PM ccjj wrote:

Thanks ladies for the responses.  I should have mentioned that I was 43 when diagnosed and pre menopausal.  I turned 44 in Nov. I'm currently in chemo pause. Not sure what will happen after chemo is over. Hillck and Exbrnxgrl.... I agree that it does seem weird to be of a certain age and basically still having periods because your taking hormones to mimic youth. Your right, it isn't natural. SS theory is that when your body stops producing hormones, you basically die either through cancer, heart issues, etc. health continues to decline. I would still like to protect my heart, bones, and overall well being both mentally and physically since I was pre menopausal to begin with if possible to do it safely. However, I dont think it is. DLB823.. thank you for sharing your research.  This really helped me.  I was also thinking about doing progesterone only as Kate33 and Gentianvoilet mentioned, but wont now after your conservation with Dr. Hardy. So glad you took the time to share the information.  You make a good point in distinguishing between those of us with invasive cancer and those of us with DCIS in terms of the safety of the bio identical hormones.  I am going to take my tamox as directed and move on to focusing on diet/supplements and exercise.

Dx 7/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 5, 2012 02:28PM - edited Jan 5, 2012 03:48PM by cinnamonsmiles

Since Suzanne Somers was offered and declined chemo, there is no way she had DCIS alone. Chemo is never a treatment option for pure DCIS. Perhaps DCIS with an invasive component it would be offered. So it is impossible that she had pure DCIS. I saw her on tv once and I don't believe she ever mentions what stage she was at, just early cancer. Either way, I don't care for what she says but some people do but I will not judge them for it.

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Jan 5, 2012 03:39PM ccjj wrote:

I wonder why SS has never come out and stated what exactly her bc dx was.  Seems she is very public about all other things. If she is going to give advice regarding treatments, she should be upfront on what her situation was.  Your probably right about her not having pure DCIS since she was offered chemo. Although my coworker had pure dcis that was ER/PR- and HER2+. She was offered chemo and herceptin. She took it. I don't think they were pushing very hard for her to have it though.

Off to reading the organic makeup thread.  I've been reading all my skin care/makeup labels and everything I have has parabens in it and all kinds of other toxins. Yikes.. I'm going to try and not go to crazy but it really is shocking all the toxins we are exposed to daily. Who knew?

Dx 7/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 5, 2012 03:51PM cinnamonsmiles wrote:

WOW!! I can not believe that for DCIS she was given chemo and herceptin. As far as the Her status of DCIS, the jury is out on whether it plays into DCIS in any significance. Beesie has all the proof. And that is the first time I have ever heard of DCIS getting chemo. That isn't standard treatment. I will be posting that on the DCIS boards and find out whats up.

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Jan 6, 2012 10:08PM ccjj wrote:

cinnamonsmiles...  regarding my coworkers situation... It is weird she had chemo with DCIS. She was finishing up her year of herceptin when I was diagnosed. At the time,  I was blissfully unaware of bc treatments and protocol so just thought it was standard. I had lunch with her in Nov while I was in the middle of my AC DD treatments.  She told me that she was stage 0, DCIS, had a single mast, and TCH x6 followed by the herceptin every three weeks for a year. She did mention that her husband wasn't happy with the chemo decision and he felt she really pushed for it unnecessarily. She stated she was just so scared of it coming back. Our insurance paid for it though. I think they usually tend to deny anything not medically necessary.  I also read somewhere that alot of DCIS is Her2+. But that doesn't mean that if it goes invasive, it will stay her2+ so therefore treatment decisions should not be made on a DCIS/her2+ designation. I don't know. Maybe she did have some invasive component found after her surgery that she isn't comfortable discussing.
Dx 7/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 8, 2012 01:40PM Kaara wrote:

I was on HRT for over twenty years due to having a complete hysterectomy at age 50.  I was taking straight premarin because I had no ovaries and my gyno said that was all I needed.  As a result my progestrone levels were zero when I was finally tested.  Switching to bioidenticals and the addition of progestrone made a big difference in my well being.  I was feeling normal for the first time in years, and had the energy of someone in their 20's.  Now after the bc dx, I have been taken off all hormones with the exception of my thyroid.  It's taken about two months for me to get right back to feeling like I did before...and my heart palpitations that were almost non existant have returned full force, to the extent that I am now going to have to seek medical advice for them.  I cannot believe that this is what a bc survivor must put up with for the rest of their life!  You survive only to feel like death warmed over, and the doctors don't seem to care at all.

Kaara Dx 11/14/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 17, 2012 12:32AM jg10 wrote:

Be careful with DHEA and Testosterone. Your body can convert them into estrogen like substances! They do make you feel great, but might be dangerous. It is always important to research everything. Hope you achieve the sense of well being that you seek. Jen

Jenny Glikin Dx 2/23/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/23/2009 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/15/2009 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 8/12/2009 Reconstruction (left)
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Jan 18, 2012 11:55PM - edited Jan 18, 2012 11:57PM by chatsworthgirl

After reading about postive results in clinical studies on breast cancer cell death using progesterone, I did extensive research on as many clinical studies as I could.There is a ton of information regarding the fact that the role of progesterone in the body is to regulate estrogen and it does stop the proliferation of cancer cells. There is also evidence that women with a history of progesterone deficiency have a higher incidence of breast cancer.

Consider this:  if progesterone is anti-estrogen and we can be given that to regulate and balance our hormones to block cancer - there are NO side effects.

Progesterone is needed to bring a baby to term.  I had two miscarriages.  I wish that I had known then what I know now so that I could have been tested for deficience and perhaps been given progesterone and had my children.

In addition, after menopause our progesterone level drops to little but our estrogen level does not. So we are estrogen dominant which is said to cause breast cancer.  Also, when women stop taking estrogen blocking drugs they sometimes experience recurrence.  And one of the clinical studies I read said that this is due to the estrogen gaining dominance again.

I asked my onc for a test to determine what my estrogen levels were at the beginning of my treatment and he balked.  Now I am going to demand a saliva test to determine that and I also want to know what my progesterone levels are.  My initial path report had the percentages but I do not have them in my possession now because I handed them over but I intend to get that info as well.  I was on HRT for three and a half years prior to being diagnosed so my initial path report would reflect what my levels were at that time.  I want to know where the levels are NOW.

If anyone wants to know what the various research papers are please let me know and I will list them for you to look up.

Kathy 

Dx 6/6/2011, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/4/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/14/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 2/20/2017, ILC/IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/21/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jan 19, 2012 12:43PM chatsworthgirl wrote:

I also just came across a drug called Prometrium.  It is a bioidentical progesterone that is FDA approved for endometrium hyperplasia.

So it would appear that the drug companies are marketing natural progesterone products. 

I have read that it is progestins, not progesterone, that should not be taken.

Kathy

Dx 6/6/2011, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/4/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/14/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 2/20/2017, ILC/IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/21/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jan 22, 2012 11:54PM ccjj wrote:

This is so confusing to me.  I agree that research seems to show that progesterone is needed to balance out the estrogen and when that doesn't happen BC can occur.  I also had problems conceiving and feel that low progesterone levels were part of the problem.  What I don't get is so many of our BC are also progesterone +. So doesn't that mean that progesterone also fuels the cancer?  I asked my MO about bio identical hormones and progesterone in particular at my appt with her last Friday.  She looked at me like I had two heads and basically told me to take the tamoxifen and move on.  It still makes sense to me that with all the estrogens in foods, cosmetics, etc, one should take progesterone to even it all out and keep the hormones in balance. Very frustrating. 

Dx 7/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 23, 2012 12:33AM gentianviolet wrote:

hi ccjj

I have searched diligently through these threads to find people that ER-/PR+, HER2-. I was told anyone with a ER-/PR+ diagnosis, that it was considered it a lab error.   I googled that type of diagnosis and found information that it is extremely rare.  So, my question is:  If it is so rare that ER-/PR+ end up with breast cancer, then why is it not recommended that women supplement with natural progesterone?

Is this a stupid question?

Barbara Dx 8/13/2009, IDC: Cribriform, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/1/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 10/15/2009 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 23, 2012 11:55AM - edited Jan 23, 2012 11:56AM by chatsworthgirl

I agree that it is confusing.  There are so many clinical studies showing that progesterone counteracts the cancer cell proliferation caused by estrogen. However, I have not been able to find clinical trials with humans.  But that doesn't stop  the fact that drug companies are manufacturing progesterone drugs for the treatment of infertility and uterine cancer and probably other issues. There is a whole host of side effects that these drugs can cause. .

.  Now, one study I found talked about the dosage of progesterone being key in the death of cancer cells, too little and it cause proliferation but a large dose caused cell death.  I also recall that a study talked about sequence, that is, dosage in premenopausal based on menstrual cycles, but in postmenopausal it didn't matter. 

I will be meeting with my onc on the 30th and giving him copies of all the clinical data and asking him point blank why it is OK to use progesterone on women who no longer respond to Tamoxifin but not OK to use it before?  If the evidence is clear that progesterone inhibits cell growth and its purpose is to counter the negative effects of estrogen (clinical study info) then why are we not given natural progesterone instead of having ourselves cut up and poisoned. Especially in light of the fact that natural progesterone causes no side effects as has been proven by women who have been given progesterone for menopause symptoms.

In clinical studies regarding the progesterone receptor PR - when that is absent they have found that re-asserting the progesterone receptor then made it possible to treat with progesterone. Also the presence of a PR is positive in that it signals that it is there to mitigate the damage caused by estrogen.

I will have my levels saliva tested to see what they are now.  If my progesterone level is at a level much lower than estrogen, or if my progesterone level is non existent then I will ask why my levels should not be balanced instead of stripping me completely of estrogen.

These are the questions among others I will ask.  Since he is an oncologist and not an endocrinologist I don't expect him to budge from the "standard of care" but I want him to at least address the issue with me and, if possible, give me a referral to an endocrinologist that I can talk to about this.

Kathy 

Dx 6/6/2011, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/4/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/14/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 2/20/2017, ILC/IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/21/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jan 23, 2012 12:12PM dlb823 wrote:

I had asked my local onc this question when I wanted to use natural progesterone (and actually did for a couple of months) shortly after I finished tx.  He's been practicing a long time, and he told me that years ago, pre Tamox & A/I's, they actually did use progesterone to treat bc, and it worked -- for a little while.  But then the bc would always come back.  What I took this to mean is, just like with today's various chemo drugs used for metastatic bc (and I'm not sure if he was talking mets, but probably so), active bc cells will mutate to survive whatever we do to impede their growth.  

I had asked Dr. Mary Hardy @ UCLA (you can Google her credentials) the same question during a consultation I had with her, and she felt strongly that we don't fully understand progesterone's role, and she advised against supplementing with it because hormone interactions can be far more complex than they may appear.       Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Jan 23, 2012 12:34PM VJSL8 wrote:

I believe that progrestrone was what kept my cancer in remission for almost 23 years. I was first diagnosed in 1987, took Tam. for 1 year--couldn't tolerate it, and was put on Megace ( a progestrone med.) for 8 more years--loved it but gained a lot of weight. After I stopped it, I used a compounded prescription progestrone cream until I switched GP's and the new one won't prescribe it. 3 years later, I had a recurrence. 

This time, I couldn't handle arimidex and asked my oncologist to put me back on Megace--he said that my reasoning wasn't wrong--there was just no research to back it up and he wouldn't prescribe the Megace now because I'm post-menopausal and he said that now the progestrone in the Megace may cause uterine problems (which when I was pre-menopausal wasn't a concern). He said he wouldn't object to me using the cream but wanted my gyno to prescribe it. VJ 

VJ Sleight, 1st diagnosis: 1987, stage 2, ER+, 0/18 nodes, lympectomy, radiation and chemo. cancer free for 22 years, 10 months and 27 days. www.VJSleight.com Dx 8/2/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 23, 2012 02:35PM gentianviolet wrote:

Thanks to all that responded to my question about the use of natural progesterone.  I find it difficult to just accept the information that they are just not sure what role progesterone plays in breast cancer.  But, of course, we can't count on the pharmaceutical industry testing natural topical progesterone, can we?  I guess that means that we read the literature that is out there and then go with our very best guess of what is right for us.

Barbara Dx 8/13/2009, IDC: Cribriform, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/1/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 10/15/2009 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 23, 2012 07:35PM chatsworthgirl wrote:

VJSL8 Are you saying that you used the progesterone until you switched doctors and three years later got cancer?  Does this mean that you went without the progesterone for the three years prior to recurrence?

Tamoxifin is used in pre menopausal women and according to the site for Squibb Megestrol (megace)  it is used when the cancer cells no longer respond to Tamoxifin. 

It is well known that Tamoxifin can cause uterine cancer. 

However, I see that you are PR negative.  From what I have gathered in the clinical studies, it is important to re-establish progesterone receptor to a positive in order for progesterone to be effective.

It is very puzzling that your doctor would recommend the cream if you gyno says it's OK.

Barbara  What I find most galling is that pharma is making progesterone based drugs for the treatment of uterine cancer, infertility - and breast cancer when Tamoxifin doesn't work any longer. Where were the clinical trials with humans? I found lots of clinical research on progesterone and its effectiveness in killing breast cancer cells but no clinical trials.  Yet the pharma can produce it and sell it.   And, why can't they simply make a natural progesterone that won't cause side effects

 Again my questions questions questions.  Why is it OK to give progesterone in these cases?  In the case of infertility it was found that low progesterone equals miscarriage so women who either can't conceive or miscarry then have babies after being on progesterone.  Estrogen dominance causes breast cancer.  In the literature on Megestrol it has the effect of blocking the estrogen induced cancer cells.

I HATE the idea of taking Armidex and stripping myself of all estrogen and possibly reaping the downside of bad side effects. I am struggling with this and looking for an out. If it all fails then I will submit to the Armidex to see what happens but if it causes me too much pain I will quit.

Kathy

Dx 6/6/2011, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/4/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/14/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 2/20/2017, ILC/IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/21/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jan 23, 2012 07:47PM LtotheK wrote:

I say this without any judgement and with sincere question:  how is Suzanne Sommers a credible source?  How is it people talk about "cures" for cancer when they are a study of "one" and the medical field doesn't even fully understand how cancer works?

I was humbled when my naturopath gave me my urinalysis results for hormones.  No diss on her, I think she even barely has a handle on it.  Have you ever seen the charts?  It's not as simple as add a bit of this to the three of that and bingo.  There are conversion pathways, metabolic efforts, variations within each hormone...I've posted before, I consider myself pretty able.  But I all but gave up trying to understand hormones.

They are so very complicated, and consequently, I'm uninclined to mess with them, even bioidentically.  I am opting for non-hormone interventions. Fish oil, coconut oil, and hyaluronic acid are some natural ways to deal with vaginal dryness, for instance.  www.europeanreview.org/article...  This doesn't help my hands--my face really hasn't shown wear from treatment, but goodness.  My hands look like a 90 yr old at the tender age of 41!

Given my diagnosis of osteoporosis recently, even if I become fully menopausal (no period 18 months pfc, high FSH, high estrogen, thus not techincally in menopause) I will refuse Arimidex.  The heart and bone implications are just not worth it in my case.

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Jan 24, 2012 12:38AM gentianviolet wrote:

The compounding pharmacist in our area has been making natural progesterone cream for much more than a decade and he told me he has never had a woman who has used it end up with a diagnosis of breast cancer.  But I am his first.  Initially, at age 50 or so I used the estroderm patch in the lowest available dose with provera.  This was 20 years ago and I was told I should stay on it the rest of my life because it was so good for the heart, bones, etc.  By the time I was 60 I took the patch off one day and never went back to it.  I waited a year and then requested from my gyn a script for natural progesterone.  I used it and a bit of estriol cream until the day I found the lump in my right breast.  I do not believe that the natural progesterone/estroil had anything to do with my cancer but I do think the provera I took ten years previously did.  This is my gut feeling but my gut has certainly been very wrong before and perhaps it is on this too.

I hate tamoxifen side effects.

Barbara Dx 8/13/2009, IDC: Cribriform, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/1/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 10/15/2009 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 26, 2012 07:51PM chatsworthgirl wrote:

I have been preparing all the clnical study documents I downloaded and a detailed memo for my onc on Monday.  I am more convinced than ever after reading them again that progesterone is what is needed to stop the cancer cells from proliferating or metastasizing, not aromatase inhibitors.

Also, there is a PhD in biology who writes about progesterone and its benefits.  Ray Peet.  Very interesting stuff.

Barbara  Everything I have read in the many studies conducted and all the known data on breast cancer points to estrogen dominance as the main culprit.  I recently adivsed a young women to go to an endocrinologist and have her hormones checked - simple saliva test - to see what her levels of estrogen, progesterone and testoserone are and to do it periodically to make sure they are in balance.  Progesterone deficiency causes infertility and miscarriage.  So women are given progesterone and are then able to bring a baby to term.

Your gut is right on.

Kathy

Dx 6/6/2011, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/4/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/14/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 2/20/2017, ILC/IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/21/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jan 26, 2012 08:32PM - edited Jan 26, 2012 08:33PM by gentianviolet

Hi Chatsworthgirl,

I, too, have read most of the articles and am, (or should I say) was convinced that progesterone was what I wanted and needed to use.  However then I read a study done at Michigan Sate University and I began to question all over again.  There is this one:

http://news.msu.edu/story/6713/

and then this one:

http://news.msu.edu/story/8785/

And then finally Virginia Hopkins wrote this, which helped but did not totally take away my fear of doing something that was damaging.

www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/progesterone_inflammation.html        What do you think, Kathy?

Barbara Dx 8/13/2009, IDC: Cribriform, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/1/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 10/15/2009 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 27, 2012 07:12AM - edited Jan 27, 2012 10:22AM by chef127

Hi Ladies,

Your research is impressive. I too am on the fence about taking arimidex. Take my breast, take the full use of my arm, LEAVE MY HORMONES ALONE. Its tricky business to mess with hormones. I want to try and balance my horm w suppliments and diet.  If I can find a dr to give me progest.. I will try it.

Several years ago my sister was suffering from uter. fibroids. She had bleeding for a year, non stop and her dr told her to have a histerectomy. She refused and sought a dr that RX'd progest. and she doubled her dose. It stableized the fibroids and she had a D&C(I think) and the problem is gone. She had NO SE's from the progest. and her fibroids were cured w/o major surgery.

THANX for your research.

Makes sense to me. but WTF do I know

I spoke w my sister this morning. She took Provera. started w 5, then 10 and upto 25/day for a month. The bleeding stopped, the sore fibro breast disappeared and she had the fibroids removed via laser. She was on the provera for 4 years. She is CA free.

Dx 8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 1/3/2012 Breast
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Jan 27, 2012 01:01PM - edited Jan 27, 2012 01:05PM by chatsworthgirl

Gentianviolet    I read the two MSU papers.  Very contradictory from all of the other clinical studies I assembled that date from 1998 to the present - 13 years of the same conclusions.

If you type in the name of each study you will be able to read it.  I can't do a link to each because I downloaded them and this is the list on my word document.  And, there were more studies that came to the same conclusion but I just ran out of time and energy to get and list them.  I figured this was a substantial amount to present to my onc for discussion.

1998 Serum progesterone and prognosis in operable breast
cancer

1998 Estradiol and progesterone regulate the proliferation
of human breast epithelial cells.

1998 Progesterone inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in
breast cancer cells

2000 Progesterone effect on cell growth

2000 Hormonal regulation of apoptosis in breast cells and tissues

2004 Steroidal hormones and proliferation, differentiation
and apoptosis in breast cells

2008 Progesterone receptor inhibits aromatase and
inflammatory response pathways

2011 Progesterone inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in
cancer cells

2011 Effect of combined treatment with progesterone and
Tamoxifin on apoptosis

I am puzzled by the description of macrophages in the MSU paper.  Macrophages are the body's garbage collectors..  They attack foreign substances including cancer cells and consume them.  I have never heard of macrophages having any other purpose.

In a host of clinical studies the culprit that causes inflammation is ESTROGEN.  It was shown over and over that progesterone had a mitigating effect on the inflammatory properties of estrogen.  So I am again puzzled by the MSU paper which contradicts all of the clinical studies - and importantly many in vivo.

In addiiton, it has been shown that taking aspirin is beneficial for women who have had breast cancer and can prevent metastasis.  Why?  Because aspirin is an anti-inflammatory.  And these are women who are NOT being given progesterone and have estrogen fed cancer cells.

It has been proven that women who are deficient in progesterone have problems with fertility and are also most likely to get breast cancer.  After menopause is when most women get breast cancer and that is precisely when the progesterone levels have dropped way below estrogen levens, sometimes to zero.

A study I would like is to compare the hormone levels of women who DO get breast cancer with the hormone levels of women who do NOT.  I realize it would take 20 years or more to get the data but perhaps there would be final convincing data regarding this puzzle. 

I honestly don't know what to do.  The Journal of Clinical Oncology report - recent - states that the absolute benefit of aromatase inhibitors is 2.9% reduction in recurrence   Is this worth the side effects?

What if I never had to have my breasts cut off or go through chemo when all the time what I needed was to take progesterone?  How do you argue with the results that chef127's sister had?

I am struggling with this and trying to find the answer.  Good luck I know.

Kathy

Dx 6/6/2011, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/4/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/14/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 2/20/2017, ILC/IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/21/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jan 27, 2012 01:24PM chatsworthgirl wrote:

One more thing I would add.  If messing around with our hormones is dangerous, that is, taking progesterone or testosterone - then why isn't is dangerous when we are given aromatase inhibitors?

We are most definitely messing with the natural proces of menopause aren't we?  If nature decrees that we lose progesterone and have more estrogen after menopause we shouldn't be doing anything at all.

But that's not what is being done.  We are destroying all the estrogen production.  In effect bringing the two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, back into balance - OR perhaps making them both zero.

I intend to have my hormone levels checked before I agree to take Armidex and if I do take it I will have them checked again after a minimum of two months to see what they are then.  To me that is a rational and scientific approach. 

Kathy

Dx 6/6/2011, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 10/4/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/14/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 2/20/2017, ILC/IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/21/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jan 27, 2012 01:27PM gentianviolet wrote:

Chatsworthgirl

If I am not mistaken, chef127's sister was on Provera.......and from I have read that is a pharmaceutical progestin and not natural progesterone.  I felt that my breast cancer was due to the Provera I took for 10 years or so when I was on the Estroderm patch.  I believe that there are studies that do implicate the synthetic progestin may play a part in breast cancer.  Is this not what you have read?

Thanks for all the info you listed, I will google them and read them.  In the meantime please let me know what your onc says to you once you present your studies.  I am incredibly interested in this topic, almost to the point of obsession.

Sending good thoughts

 

Barbara Dx 8/13/2009, IDC: Cribriform, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/1/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 10/15/2009 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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