Jacksonville, FL (PRWEB) April 3, 2007
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, says leading bio-identical gynecologist C.W. Randolph. 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 dependent.
A hormone dependent cancerous tumor is a tumor that needs hormones, specifically estrogen, in order to grow and progress, says Dr. C.W. Randolph, author of From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well.
"The medical term for these types of tumors is estrogen receptor-positive," says Randolph. "A critical question is "Where does the tumor get the estrogen that feeds its growth?" The answer can be different for different women."
Estrogen and progesterone hormones are produced by the female ovaries. Estrogen fuels cell growth, says Randolph, and if unchecked, can be a precursor of cancer. When the internal levels of estrogen and progesterone are balanced, progesterone will neutralize estrogen's ability to stimulate cell growth. Dr. Randolph says 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 tumor growth.
Three common factors can cause a condition of estrogen dominance, says Randolph. These are age, body fat and the use of synthetic estrogen replacement therapies. When the body is estrogen dominant, estrogen dependent 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 120 times more rapidly than estrogen levels.
-Fatty tissue within the body also produces estrogen. 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 body and 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 estrogen's ability to stimulate cell growth.
Dr. Randolph asks, "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? 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," says Randolph, "but in over a decade of treating women suffering from hormone imbalances, I have never had a woman on my bio-identical progesterone therapy regimen that has developed breast cancer. Also, in multiple European medical studies examining the antiestrogen action of progesterone in breast tissue, it validates my clinical experience."
Dr. C.W. Randolph is both a practicing gynecologist and pharmacist. He is one of the country's leading experts on bio-identical hormones and wrote the best selling book, "From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well."
For more information on Dr. Randolph, go to http://www.hormonewell.com. For media inquiries, contact Nanette Noffsinger, by e-mail or 615-776-4230.