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dr. phuli's blog

Breast Lumps and the WHI Study:
Guess What, We Are Not Horses!

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Okay another week of misleading headlines. The confusion stems from a study that is about to be published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI)2 (View PDF). The alarming headline, “Estrogen Linked To Breast Lumps”, would lead you to believe that this is a new finding and that the researchers studied natural bioidentical estrogen and not synthetic horse estrogen, right? Wrong. They examined data from the World Health Institute (WHI) study published in 2002, which involved a group of women who used only Premarin, derived from horse estrogen, and keep in mind that this group had had hysterectomies, so we already know from the get-go that their hormone balance was not great.

The WHI gave this group of women horse estrogen (yes estrogen designed for 1200 lb mares and known to be much more potent than a woman’s own natural estrogen). And, guess what? These women had an increase in breast lumps. Go figure. They really should have titled the article, “Horse Estrogen Use Causes Breast Lumps” or “Estrogen not Properly Balanced with Progesterone Increases Breast Lumps”.

As I discuss in my book The Natural Hormone Makeover, breast lumps will occur if estrogen is in excess of progesterone. The women in this study did not have any progesterone to oppose the extra strong stimulating effects of Premarin, horse estrogen. Progesterone is naturally produced by women to counteract estrogen’s stimulating effects on the breast.

I have posted a great article on my website from Climacteric1 (View PDF) which shows that using transdermal natural estradiol with natural progesterone does not increase breast cancer or breast disease. Show this to your doctor. Other nations have been using natural hormones for years. When are more US physicians going to start? Ladies, when you begin to demand natural hormones. In order to stop being treated like horses we may need to act more like cougars!

1Lignieres, B. de, et al., “Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy and the Risk of Breast Cancer in a French Cohort Study of 3175 Women”, Climacteric 5, no. 4 (2002): 332-340. View PDF

2Rohan, TE, et al., “Conjugated Equine Estrogen and Risk of Benign Proliferative Breast Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial”, Journal of the National Cancer Institute 100, no. 8 (2008): 563-571. View PDF

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