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Hormones and Breast Cancer Hormones and Breast Cancer

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Unread 07-21-2003, 05:31 PM
Hormones and Breast Cancer

I am concern by the women here who first had a hysterectomy and now have Breast Cancer. I have a lumpectomy scheduled for Thursday due to a 2cm invasive carcinoma which was undetected by my mamogram April 30th. The surgeon told me to stop any form estrogen immediately (not even soy). Which has caused an onset of migraines. I had my surgery a year ago and started taking the hormones then.

I guess I am asking two questions:

Could the cancer show up after only a year on a HRT? (I was taking Premarin .9 )

And anyone have migraines after coming off the HRT and if so what did they do for them?

Thank you,

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Unread 07-21-2003, 05:39 PM
Hormones and Breast Cancer


my situation is reversed..had dcis first (early stage breast cancer) then hysterectomy. because of the breast cancer i am not allowed to take any hrt. im not an expert but there have been studies where the findings were that hrt can cause breast cancer.
i was also put on the drug tamoxifan which is an estogen blocker. as far as could the hrt cause the breast cancer in 1 year...i dont think your going to be able to get a definitive answer on that. i guess it is possible.
Unread 07-21-2003, 06:30 PM
Hormones and Breast Cancer

I had a hysterectomy in April 2002. A month prior to the surgery I had a mammogram, which read clear. Now I have a lump on my breast and mammogram and sonogram read #4 suspicious. My doctor took me off hrt's (estratest hs) and I am seeing specialist next Monday.
How did you find your lump? Did you feel it? Did your doctor find it?
I am scared.
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Unread 07-21-2003, 07:38 PM
HRT and brca


I have fibrocystic breasts. Last November I was diagnosed with DCIS. A suspicious microcalcification cluster in the left breast had been showing in the mammogram for five years. Also had a suspicious cluster in the right breast showing for two - three years. That was biopsied in May and was benign.

I had been taking Premarin 0.625 mg for almost 13 years. Started the day after hyst. I guess 13 years worth of HRT would have something to do with brca. Due to stress, my diet at times during 2001 was really bad. That may have had something to do with it also.

Mary D.
Unread 07-21-2003, 08:10 PM
Hormones and Breast Cancer

Hi, Susan. I had my hysterectomy in April, just three months ago. During a post op visit, my gynecologist explained that they're going to be very focused on the "triad" (I think that was the phrase she used) being the colon, reproductive organs and breasts. I believe it's just not unusual to see any spread in those areas.
Unread 07-21-2003, 09:05 PM
Hormones and Breast Cancer

Hi Susan...

I have heard that it can cause brc.... I was told it was a catch 22 basically.. I am on estrogen therapy.. I had my hyster on 6-19-03 and was put on premarin 1.25mg and I think it is going to be increased to 2.5mg... I am concerned... My sister had breast cancer, estrogen dependent.. My Dr knows this.. The tumor board knows this.. The other 3 Drs that were consulted are aware and they all agreed that the benefits of estrogen therapy for me would benefit me even though I take the chance of getting breast cancer.. I was especially concerned because I had uterine cancer, endometrial cancer and when I was in my early teens, I had pre cancerous cells on my cervix.. I know my Dr researched all of this.. I am now more concerned hearing your story... I just wonder, if they are going to be able to tell you if your breast cancer is caused by the estrogen therapy?
As for your questions... Your headaches, are normal.. you are not taking estrogen, so your body is feeling the loss in balance... try taking tylenol.. I am sure the stress you are under, is not helping either... I would definitely tell your doctor about your headaches..
as for the hrt showing cancer that fast.. who knows... It is possible.. I would say it is a good thing that you had your mammogram when you did.. You have definitely caught it early...
Thinking of you and you are in my prayers... When you are able, please let us (me) know how you are doing...
sending big HUGS your way...
Unread 07-22-2003, 06:51 AM
Hormones and Breast Cancer

Thanks to all who have replied.

I did find the lump myself or as I say it found me. I rolled over in bed the morning on the 4th of July and something did not feel right. When I reached over and touched my breast I felt a hard lump. You can actually see it when I am lying flat on my back.

I was pretty upset that the mammogram did not find the lump but have found out two things. Mammograms only detect 90% of all cancers and if you have dense breast (which I do) then lumps can not always be seen. (I wish I had been told this before I put so much stock in them).

I have not yet gotten the part of the pathology report back which indicates the hormone receptors. So I am just at this point suspecting that they were responsible for the cancer. As someone mentioned stress could also play a major part because the last 10 years have been anything but stress free.

In the meantime I am taking what I can for the migraines (which continue). Being careful not to take anything with asprin before surgery.

Thank you again,

Unread 07-22-2003, 05:55 PM
Hormones and Breast Cancer

This is a very interesting conversation, so thanks to all who shared their experiences. I have thus far foregone HRT but I may consider taking a bioidentical product of some sort. It all depends.

Are the black cohoshes and Estrovens of the world helpful at all? These might be good alternatives to traditional HRT. My mom has been taking HRT for years and years, and she is healthy as a (healthy) horse. But she eats mostly steamed veggies and fish, and she walks three miles a day. So that may contribute to her outstanding health.

I wish there was some way to determine how long a cancer has been there. Two months? Four years? No one seems to know. But I do know that some things do grow really fast.

Susan -- I'm so sorry you're having to have a lumpectomy, but I hope it goes smoothly and that you'll be back on your feet and cancer-free in no time. :-) s!
Unread 07-22-2003, 06:07 PM
Hormones and Breast Cancer


i am also sorry to hear that you need a lumpctomy. i had dcis and had a mastectomy done. if you need some support or have questions about your treatment there are a bunch of wonderful ladies who post on the breast cancer just us board. they are really a strong bunch of ladies and are very knowledgeable.
Unread 07-22-2003, 07:04 PM
Hormones and Breast Cancer


My oncologist has done some research in the area of HRT and breast cancer survivors. His home page is worth reading, not only for the information on that study, but for those of you reading this with ovarian CA -- it's his particular area of interest (which is why I went to his group for my surgery).

His statistics are pretty interesting. When you load the Dr. Disaia's home page, you have to scroll down about halfway, and the information is there.

About the migraines: you should do a search on the Hormone Jungle with the keyword "migraine". There will be a whole lot of information there for you. If you in fact are estrogen-dependent for the treatment of these headaches, you might want to take Dr. Disaia's information with you and discuss it with your doctor.

Siren: There was recent evidence about black cohosh and cancer spread. Something about when there was cancer present, the black cohosh seemed to make it more aggressive. One of my main protein sources is soy, and I'd have a hard time giving it up!

Speaking of diet, and I think this goes for all of us: if you can afford it, and it's available to you, I think that anyone who has had any type of GYN cancer should make a real attempt to purchase only hormone free meat and chicken (fish is another issue...with them, it's mercury ). There are surprisingly high levels of hormone in most of the supermarket meats we eat, and maybe that's just enough to tip the balance. Frankly, I'd rather choose how I get my estrogen (low-dose, patch) than eat it in my food...just my . We stay pesticide-free, too, which is why I've always bought my produce at farmers' markets -- in fact, I was at the Santa Monica market only an hour before the disaster (and standing exactly where two people would be killed an hour later). We try to buy all pesticide, antibiotic, and hormone free products as much as we can. You can't eliminate it completely, but you can minimize the external estrogens that you take in.

Good luck with the lumpectomy Thursday..you'll be in my prayers for clean margins and a good bill of health!


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