Progesterone Have Prevented Elizabeth Edwards’ “Incurable Cancer” ?
Last week’s media reports
that Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer had recurred stirred up a lot of discussion
about what it means to have an “incurable cancer”. In layman’s terms, a cancer
is incurable if it can’t be cured, or completely eradicated, but can be held
in check sometimes for years. The key question for Ms. Edwards, and others
like her whose cancer has metastasized or spread to other tissues or organs
within their body, is whether or not the cancer is hormone dependant.
A hormone dependent
cancerous tumor is a tumor that needs hormones, specifically estrogen, in
order to grow and progress. The medical term for these types of tumors is
estrogen receptor-positive. A critical question is “Where does the tumor get
the estrogen that feeds its growth?” The answer can be different for
different women. Let me explain.
Estrogen and progesterone
hormones are produced by the female ovaries. Estrogen fuels cell growth
which, if unchecked, can be a precursor of cancer. When the internal levels
of estrogen and progesterone are balanced, however, progesterone neutralizes
estrogen’s ability to stimulate cell growth. In other words, progesterone
evidences a natural antiestrogenic action. When internal progesterone levels
are sufficient to balance estrogen levels there will not be enough “extra”
estrogen circulating within the body to stimulate estrogen receptor-positive
Three common factors can
cause the ratio of progesterone to estrogen to become unbalanced and thereby
foster a condition of estrogen dominance. These are age, body fat and the use
of synthetic estrogen replacement therapies. When the body is estrogen
dominant, estrogen dependant tumors get “fed” and they grow.
§Age creates a naturally occurring condition of
estrogen dominance. In all women, progesterone production begins to decline
in the early to mid- thirties. Progesterone levels actually decline 120x more
rapidly than estrogen levels.
§Fatty tissue within the body also produces estrogen.
This means, that regardless of her age, if a woman is overweight she is more
likely to be estrogen dominant.
§Synthetic estrogen replacement therapies, such as
Premarin or Prempro, raise the levels of circulating estrogen within the
again the body becomes estrogen dominant.
Today, in the United States,
Tamoxifen is the drug of choice to treat estrogen dependant tumors. Tamoxifen
acts as an antiestrogen thereby blocking estrogenâ€™s ability to stimulate
Here is my question: What if
Elizabeth Edwards, and other women like her with estrogen receptor-positive
breast tumors, had used bio-identical progesterone to replace their progesterone
deficiencies and neutralize their condition of estrogen dominance? Would they
have been able to prevent the development of their initial breast cancer
tumors? Just as potent a question: Could the antiestrogen action of bio-
identical progesterone help prevent the recurrence and metastasis of their
estrogen receptor-positive tumors?
I do not have a conclusive
answer to the above questions but I do know this. In over a decade of
treating women suffering from hormone imbalances, I have never had a woman on
my bio-identical progesterone therapy regimen who has developed breast
cancer.I also know that multiple European medical studies examining the
antiestrogen action of progesterone in breast tissue validate my clinical
Is more research needed?
Absolutely! Women in the United States like Elizabeth Edwards – and like you
– need truth and answers regarding their risks of developing breast cancer
and what they could be doing right now to prevent it.