Hormones and breast cancer: can we use them in ways that could reduce the risk?

  • Khalid Mahmud | kmahmud@idinhealth.com Medical Director Innovative Directions In Health, Former Medical Director of Oncology North Memorial Medical Center, Minneapolis, United States.


Many hormones promote or inhibit breast cancer in different ways. These effects and the mechanisms involved are reviewed in order to suggest a potentially safer use of hormones. Natural estrogens, administered transdermally, and natural progesterone may be the safest combination of female hormones. Increased intake of cruciferous vegetables could provide additional safety by improving 2-hydoxyestrone and diminishing 16 alphahydroxyestrone. Testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may directly inhibit breast cancer, but could potentially stimulate it by being aromatized into estrogen in the breast. Modest doses with blood level monitoring appear logical. Melatonin and oxytocin are inhibitory to breast and other cancers. Insulin is a growth factor for breast cancer. Managing insulin resistance before the onset of diabetes could reduce the risk. Tri-iodothyronine (T3) has multiple anti-breast cancer effects. Synthroid may not increase T3 levels adequately. Human growth hormone does not appear to increase risk; but it should not be given for performance enhancement.



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Breast Cancer - Hormones - Menopause - HRT, Bio-Identical
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How to Cite
Mahmud, K. (2011). Hormones and breast cancer: can we use them in ways that could reduce the risk?. Oncology Reviews, 2(3), 146-153. https://doi.org/10.4081/oncol.2008.122