Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Estrogen-Breast Cancer Link

In 2006, I read Suzanne Somers' book Ageless, which touts the benefits of biodentical hormones for women going through menopause. I bought into the benefits of taking biodentical hormones hook, line and sinker and wasted no time making an appointment with my gynecologist so I could get on  biodentical estrogen supplements.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year and a half later, I found out my particular cancer was estrogen positive. That means my cancer was actually feeding off the excessive hormones I put into my body thereby growing at a faster rate. While my breast surgeon said the biodentical hormones may not have caused my breast cancer, she claims the hormone supplements probably did hasten the tumor growth. I put two and two together and realized that if I hadn't been taking those pills, perhaps I would have had only Stage 2 breast cancer. That means maybe I wouldn't  have had to have a double mastectomy--my breasts would have been saved. That's a bitter pill to take.

I sent Suzanne Somers an email telling her that she should have been more forthcoming  in her book about the risks of breast cancer when taking biodentical hormones--especially since she had breast cancer herself. I got no response. Then I emailed Oprah Winfrey about it since I read that she started taking biodentical hormones after Somers appeared on one of her shows. Again, I received no response. A friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer not only has the BRCA gene,(meaning there is breast cancer in her family history) she has been doing hormone therapy for years. Her doctor told her to get off the estrogen pills IMMEDIATELY.

The message of the the link between estrogen and breast cancer should be out there--loud and clear. There needs to be much more awareness. Case in point: I don't remember my  doctor even mentioning the possibility of getting breast cancer when he started me on estrogen pills. Women have a right to know about this risk--especially women whose family has a breast cancer history. So ladies, if your mother, your grandmother, your aunt or sister has gotten breast cancer and you are taking hormone therapy, talk to your doctor right away. It could save your life.

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