Posts Categorised: Progesterone and Cancer

Many people have a misconception that progesterone and synthetic progestins (as found in HRT and the pill) is the same hormone.

They are not!

This confusion, even among certain health care professionals, misleads into believing that natural progesterone poses a cancer threat.

Studies published in 1995 found that women who had been exposed to HRT for longer than 5 years had a 32% increased risk of getting breast cancer. If the estrogen was combined with a progestin, it went up to 41%, and for those women who were post-menopausal the risk went up to 71%, while the risk of getting ovarian cancer went up by 72%. Further sub analysis showed that the SYNTHETIC PROGESTIN was actually the culprit causing the increased breast cancer risk. (Source Dr Anna Garrett)

Clinical studies by the Emory University suggest that progesterone is a beneficial and effective hormone. The University has been investigating this hormone for the last 20 years. A study conducted in 2006 on the victims of traumatic brain surgery also established that progesterone is effective in reversing the brain oedema after the injury. Progesterone showed no harmful side effects on the victims.

There are many studies that suggest how progesterone protects from cancer by activating the gene p53. Abnormal cells keep growing and multiplying when this gene is inactive.
Too much estrogen is known to trigger heart diseases and cancer. Progesterone protects from cancer by slowing down the production of the estrogen.
Various studies highlight the protective function of progesterone in the body. It prevents hypertension, lowers blood fat, prevents coronary artery disease, protects from endometrial and ovarian cancer, and epilepsy. The presence of progesterone in the body is essential for a healthy pregnancy as well as preventing miscarriages, it also aids in vasomotor symptoms.

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Progesterone protects from Cancer

The alarmingly increased rate of cancer is a result of pollution, toxins from agriculture and industry, processed foods and increase usage of prescription medicines such as estrogen. Studies reveal that only 5% of cancer is heredity.

A study in 2002 also revealed that the increasing occurrence of cancer in humans is due to a lack of UV-B and vitamin D3. Experts suggest by having careful exposure of sun and taking vitamin D supplements regularly can help in reducing the rate of cancer. Progesterone and vitamin D are of similar nature and studies suggest that a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone.

Exposure to high level of estrogen can result in cancers of the breast, ovaries, and endometriosis in women and prostate, testicular, and breast cancer in men.
The studies also highlight the fact that the longer a woman is exposed to her own natural estrogens, she will be at a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have low levels of progesterone are 5% more at risk of developing cancers.

How much progesterone to use?

The daily recommended progesterone dosage for women is 100 -200 mg daily, and for men it is between 10 – 100 mg per day. However the dosage should be increased until the estrogen dominance symptoms are taken care of. Progesterone can be used to sooth the radiation burn of radio-therapy and regenerate the skin. Progesterone is neuro protective agent as well as prevents lipid per-oxidation and protects the vascular system. This hormone works as an anti-inflammatory agent and is known to reduce the response of natural killer cells.
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Good News!!..But how long have people been saying this!!

Women with breast cancer could benefit from taking progesterone, after research discovers how it modulates the actions of the estrogen receptor.
How many more studies are necessary
for this fact to be accepted by the medical community as a whole??
Check this latest article in
Researchers have discovered why breast cancer patients whose tumours display both oestrogen and progesterone receptors have the best chance of survival, which has long been observed but not understood.

The finding could benefit up to half of all breast cancer patients, leading to the development of a hormone treatment that is cheap, safe and widely available.

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It has long been known that tumours with oestrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) (ER/PR double positive) have the best clinical outcome, but the interplay between the two proteins has remained unknown. Both are transcription factors, which means they are both involved in switching genes on and off in cells.
Breast cancer cells have increased sensitivity to oestrogen. Once oestrogen has bound to ER on the surface of these cells, the ER enters the cell and ends up in the nucleus, where it attaches to specific regions of DNA, switching on transcription of a group of genes that promote cell division and hence tumour growth.
Exactly what the PR does – if anything – while this is happening has remained unclear. All that was known was that the presence of these receptors would slow tumour growth. Now, Jason Carroll of Cancer Research UK’s Cambridge Research Institute and colleagues, have taken a closer look.
“We’ve used cutting-edge technology to tease out the crucial role that progesterone receptors play in breast cancer — a mystery that has baffled scientists for many years,” says Carroll. “This important laboratory research helps explain why some breast cancer patients have a better outlook.”
The team grew breast cancer cells that displayed both ER and PR in the laboratory, and made sure the cells had enough oestrogen and progesterone to bind to the receptors. The researchers then removed the PR (which had bound to progesterone) from the cells, and were surprised to find that the PR was now bound to the ER.
Since both receptors are transcription factors, Carroll’s team investigated whether this unexpected binding would affect gene transcription. They examined where the ER would attach to DNA in the absence of progesterone, and looked at where the ER would attach to DNA in the presence of progesterone and its receptor.
The researchers found that the receptor bound to different regions of DNA depending on whether progesterone was present. In other words, the PR (that had bound to progesterone) was changing the genes that the ER was switching on or off. Alongside this, the researchers saw that progesterone was associated with a slowing of cancer cell growth. The pattern was seen again in studies with different cancer cells and in mice.
The findings are particularly exciting because progesterone, which slowed tumour growth in both cells and in an animal model, is a cheap, safe, and widely available drug.
“These findings are an exciting development in our understanding of how hormones may make certain breast cancers grow,” says Samia al Qadhi, chief executive of the breast cancer support charity, Breast Cancer Care.

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