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Weaning Off Bio-identical Hormones due to high risk breast cancer Weaning Off Bio-identical Hormones due to high risk breast cancer

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Unread 09-14-2007, 03:54 PM
Question - Weaning Off Bio-identical Hormones due to high risk breast cancer Weaning Off Bio-identical Hormones due to high risk breast cancer

After years of taking synthetic hormones (Prempro) I was advised to wean off and did ok until two years after. At that time, the hot flashes started back, anxiety very bad, etc.
I went on the bio-identicals and did have for the most part a good experience with them. My mother just recently passed away with breast cancer, now my GYN wants me to start immediately weaning off the bio-identicals due to being at high risk for breast cancer. Can anyone tell me if they have weaned off bio-identicals succesfully & any problems they incurred while doing so. I am not thrilled about having to go off these, but I don't want to develop breast cancer either.I have also had myself a couple of scares with my left breast, but each biopsy came back benign. Thanks in advance for any input.
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Unread 09-14-2007, 06:11 PM
Weaning Off Bio-identical Hormones due to high risk breast cancer

I'd do some research. Breast cancer is scary and being at risk is scarier. BUT...it doesn't mean that you are that likely to get it.

The thing with breast cancer, as I understand it and I emphasize YOU need to research further because I really haven't but I have sort of, is an out of balance situation with hormones etc.

One thing I found while researching fibroids (which I HAD...I love the past tense now) is an over the counter thing called DIM (look it up on google it is an acronym for a longer name). It helps to BALANCE hormones. Same with Indole 3 Carbinol. Both are related one turns into the other (it's complicated). BOTH are made from crusteferous vegetables like broccoli etc....(remember the anti-cancer vegetable is broccoli)...so think about supplementing with that too to help. I take a think called "broccalive" or something like that which is like the Indole 3 Carbinol or DIM.

Do some research about bio identicals and hormones. I think the one thing with the synthetics and cancer was that they were NOT similar to human hormones and thus required more to get the effect. Too much hormone leads to cancer...again from what I understand. I don't know that the bio identicals are necessarily bad but true they are fairly new and there are not that much studies on their LONG TERM affects.

Unread 09-18-2007, 10:02 AM
Weaning Off Bio-identical Hormones due to high risk breast cancer

Hi sthriving Just a couple of comments here. First, Prempro has been linked to an increase in incidence in breast cancer in the WHI study data. However, bioidenticals have never been shown to "cause" breast cancer. Any form of estrogen, bioidentical or not, can cause existing breast cancer to grow. Also, it can take 7 to 10 years for breast cancer to start and grow to the point where it can be detected on a mammogram.

So... I would do some more research into the risks and benefits before deciding to discontinue HRT altogether, and have regular mammograms. And then, if you should end up with breast cancer, I would look to the time you spent taking Prempro and to genetics rather than the bioidentical hormone replacement.

I've been diagnosed with breast cancer twice since my hysterectomy, once two years and once four years later. I am still on bioidentical hormone replacement, and I also take DIM. However, I blame the years I was using depo-Provera, about 10 years ago, before we knew anything about its association with breast cancer.

There are some good links to information about hormone replacement and breast cancer risk in our Resources directory. You might want to check out both the Hormone Jungle and Breast Health sections over there; perhaps you will find some information that can help you in discussing this issue with your DRs and arriving at a decision that is right for you.

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Unread 09-18-2007, 08:10 PM
Weaning Off Bio-identical Hormones due to high risk breast cancer

Thank you Linda for you input on the bio-identical weaning off issue.
I did start weaning off last Thursday, taking it only every other night until I can talk with the surgeon who not only is my doctor but also was my mother's doctor that diagnosed her with breast cancer. I also have been looking back on my mother's side of the family and have found more than just a few cousins that had or passed away from breast cancer.
My son who is also a doctor is not pro or con. He did say that bio-identical estrogen tricks the body into thinking it is using the same estrogen we produce normally, and just depending on the severity of the patients menopausal symptoms determines whether to prescribe or not. He himself, only prescribes bio-identicals. In his opinion, due to the age of my mother at the time of onset (85 years old) the cancer she had in her breast was not a typical breast cancer that someone younger may develop. It was very slow growing . He also believes that if she not of had the masectomy then, something else would have probably took her from this world before the breast cancer did. He talked to my mother at length and asked her to reconsider the surgery, but it was her decision to go ahead with it.
I am with you about the prempro and all the other synethic hormones and I can't understand why they are still on the market. The years I was on Prempro probably far outweighs the bio-identicals I have taken for the past few years. The jury is still out on weaning completely off. Right now I am doing ok but as the weaning continues who knows where I'll be. I know one then for sure, I do not want to go back to having hot flashes, mood swings etc. Thanks again for replying. I will continue to post as to my progess weaning off or my staying on. Take care, Sheila

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