Dr. Julia’s Inn: How estrogen relates to cancer

By Dr. Julia Whipkey-Michniewicz, N.D.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

I am blessed to have celebrated another year cancer free. In 2000, I was told that I had breast cancer, and because of my belief system and my education, I personally could not do the chemical therapy and radiation. My oncologist told me that I would never see my son, Scott, graduate from high school if I did not do their treatments. I have been blessed to see Scott graduate not only from high school, but with his BFA and currently receiving his MFA.

My cancer was estrogen driven, as with many of my patients. Scientific studies have shown that many of the following symptoms and conditions may be caused by hormonal imbalance caused by high levels of estrogen. If you have ever come to see me, you will know that I preach and have information about why we should not eat soy. Soy is a phyto-estrogen, and high levels of soy will lead to breast and prostate cancer. To counteract high levels of estrogen, I suggest using a natural progesterone cream. Here are issues of an imbalance of estrogen/progesterone.

1. Breast tenderness

2. Cervical dysplasia

3. Decreased sex drive

4. Depression

5. Endometriosis

6. Fat gain around abdomen, hip and thighs

7. Fibrocystic breast 8. Fibroids

9. Hot flashes

10. Infertility

11. Insomnia

12. Irregular periods

13. Miscarriages

And on and on and on the list goes.

All estrogen without the balance of progesterone will increase cell proliferation, and to me, this is the precursor of cancer. If you have ever had a thermogram, you will see high levels of estrogen. Because of my breast cancer story, I only do thermography. In my case, for three years I felt a lump in my right breast, and my medical doctor told me that there was nothing there. The mammogram never picked up my breast tumor until it was 3 cm big. Because of this, I had to do my own research, and I then educated myself on thermograms. I found a medical doctor in Madison, Wis., who did thermograms, and I have been doing them ever since.

I truly believe if I would have done thermograms before I felt my lump, I could have balanced my estrogen/progesterone. Why am I so confident? After my breast cancer surgery, my medical doctor here in Rockford told me my left breast was fine. After doing a thermogram, I was so high in estrogen, I was an accident waiting to happen. I did think it was funny that my medical doctor told me that my left breast was fine when they never did an estrogen test. I also wondered why my medical doctor would only think my right breast could have high levels of estrogen. Another thing that I found interesting was that my surgeon suggested because I have a history of cancer in my family, I should remove both breasts. I then had to educate him on the fact that my ovaries are making the estrogen, not my breast, so I will keep an eye on my estrogen levels, and if there is an issue, I will remove my ovaries.

Let us look at why so many women need progesterone. When there is not a balance of estrogen/progesterone, this will cause EOS (estrogen overload syndrome). Every day we are living in a world where we are bombarded with estrogen — from birth control to hormone replacement therapy to synthetic chemicals, soy and so much more. Natural estrogen is produced by our body, xeno-estrogen is in our pesticides, plastics solvents, industrial waste and car exhaust. Estrogen is pumped into our livestock to make them grow faster and fatten them up, and phyto-estrogens are in our foods such as soy.

Doctors realized that there were problems with hormone imbalance, and to solve this issue, they started adding synthetic progesterone to birth control. But as we all know, the body cannot break this down, and it cannot be absorbed, which then causes serious side effects. These altered synthetic chemicals have been documented in the PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference), which includes blood pressure, blood clots, headaches, changes in libido, just to name a few. Natural progesterone works without any side effects. If you have a history of cancer in your family, you need to know what your estrogen levels are. You need to be proactive with your health. If you have concerns, and your doctor will not order this test, then, by all means, pay for it yourself. I carry hormonal kits in my office (both female and male), for we should all know what our hormonal panel is telling us. If I can help you with your hormonal issues, please feel free to call my office and talk to my Physician Assistant, Kay. She will be able to help you with any questions and concerns.

Dr. Julia Whipkey-Michniewicz is a Naturopathic Doctor who has an office in Rockford, Ill. You may reach her at (815) 962-3326.

From the Dec. 21-27, 2011, issue

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