Post breast cancer - can't have estrogen

by Joanne Strobel
(Belding, Michigan, USA)

I am turning 50 in less than 2 months. In 2006 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Prior to treatment, it was easy to maintain my slim weight. Since treatment I have battled many side effect symptoms and have struggled to reverse the effects.

15 lb weight gain
more cellulite
hot flashes
night sweats
light headedness
always hungry/more cravings
more joint/muscle pain
sleep problems
brittle hair & nails
bruising easily
always cold, other than when I have a hotflash
not as energetic as I used to be
sexual desire much lower

I am told I cannot every have estrogen as I am estrogen receptor positive.

I visited a hormone clinic (that my insurance will not pay for) and they put me on progesterone (125 mg). Its been almost a year and have tried the cream and the capsules didn't notice a difference. Still deal with most of the above symptoms.

I have read many articles and I am now more confused than ever.

Should I be on progesterone?
Will I benefit from progesterone?

How do I talk to my regular physician regarding progesterone, will she only refer me to a hormone specialist or is my only option to continue with the Born Clinic which is a Bio-identical hormone clinic? I tried a traditional endocrine specialist and all I got from him was that the clinic was full of quacks and that I don't have a problem.

Help direct me to a solution. Thank you very much for your time.

Comments for Post breast cancer - can't have estrogen

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Jun 15, 2010
Re: Post breast cancer - can't have estrogen
by: Anonymous

Have you had your progesterone levels tested? Many of your symptoms sound like you would benefit from progesterone - I wonder if you are not getting enough dosage. I am very deficient and I take progesterone all month, increasing to 600 mg/day during day 14-28 of my cycle. I would suggest having your levels tested as mine clearly show my deficiency. Finding the right level to eliminate my symptoms took a few months, but now I feel fantastic! Good luck to you.

Jun 16, 2010
Post breast cancer - can't have estrogen
by: Wray

Hi Joanne Although 125mg/day is a good amount, judging by the fact you still have your symptoms, obviously not enough. I generally recommend 100-200mg/day, and would suggest you try 200mg, but as a cream not oral. Oral progesterone is mostly destroyed as it passes through the gut and liver. Whereas in cream form it is taken up first by the fat cells, then the red blood cells. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, hence it's danger in cancer. I would hazard a guess you had excess oestrogen which is why you got the cancer. And for this reason the 125mg is not sufficient to counteract it. I've found 400mg/day is needed for about 4-5 days for hot flushes to go, the amino acid tryptophan also helps. It also helps stabilise the appetite, as does progesterone. Constipation and sleep problems are often a lack of tryp too. Bruising, brittle nails, joint pain, fatigue, lack of libido are all a lack of progesterone. In fact we have many men using progesterone to raise their libido. Progesterone also raises our temperature, whereas oestrogen lowers it. Please consider the progesterone again, but start with 200mg/day, you might need more, only time will tell. But before you do please read our web page on Oestrogen Dominance. And you might like to read these two pages Progesterone healed my radiation burns in days. and Progesterone returned my body to a healthy cycle following chemo Finally we do have a web page on cancer here. Take care, Wray

Jun 19, 2010
Re: Post breast cancer - can't have estrogen
by: Wray

Hi there It's very encouraging to hear you use up to 600mg/day! The hardest thing I find is persuading women it's safe and to use as much as is needed to eliminate symptoms. It's so easy to reduce the amount once they've been helped. It does take time and patience though, and getting through the initial stimulatory phase progesterone has. Thanks for your valuable input! Take care Wray

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