I saw a patient recently who has stage four breast cancer.
She’d been to some of the best hospitals and specialists for care. Before she came to me she’d had a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Then the cancer spread to her backbone and she had radiation treatment.
Yet still, after all that time and until she came to my clinic, no one had mentioned a possible estrogen problem. No one ever bothered to measure her estrogen. They never looked at whether her breast cancer was estrogen positive or progesterone positive.
The rates of most cancers have stabilized. Most cancers aren’t a death sentence the way they used to be. But there are five cancers where the rates are still going up. They are breast cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical, ovarian and prostate cancer.
And the number one thing you have to do with these cancers is measure the estrogen in the blood. Unless you’re doing that it’s malpractice.
Most places test tissue samples for estrogen receptors. Except most of them do nothing with the results. Probably only 2% of the patients who come to me with those cancers have had their estrogen checked by an oncologist.
So I feel like now is the time to come out strongly and talk about where some of these cancers are coming from and how to prevent and take the fight to these cancers.
One of the most widespread chemical offenders that causes a huge jump in estrogen is bisphenol-A. BPA is known to increase hormone-dependent cancers.1
BPA and similar chemicals look just like estrogen to the body. That allows them to attach themselves to estrogen receptors.
BPA is still used in plastics, food and drink packaging, water bottles, computer discs, impact-resistant safety equipment, and medical devices. Epoxy resins used as lacquers to coat metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes have BPA. Some dental sealants and composites may also contribute to BPA exposure. And more than 100 tons are released into the atmosphere every year.2
If you don’t think this is a serious problem, consider this: the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of urine samples from people six years and older.3 That was 10 years ago, and the use of BPA has only expanded.
It’s easy to absorb. 60 percent of the BPA that comes in contact with skin gets absorbed.4
Several scientific studies conclude that even low-level exposure to BPA can promote prostate cancer,5 ovarian cancer, and bone tumors.6
Even products bearing “BPA-free” labels still contain its cousin bisphenol-S. BPS disrupts cell signaling in rat brains even at extremely low doses.7
And just a few days ago, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences came out with a study that found BPS causes abnormal growth surges of neurons in zebra fish.
This is important because zebra fish share 80 percent of their genes with humans. BPS caused brain cell damage and hyperactivity.8
There are thousands of other chemicals similar to BPA and BPS. If you accumulate enough of these toxins you might suffer, at the very least, fatigue, headaches, muscle soreness, bloating, and depression. At the worst, they can cause chronic disease and cancer.
But here’s the good news. There is ample scientific proof that you can begin to reverse this problem and right away…
You can begin the process of eliminating these chemical offenders in two ways:
1. Fight synthetic chemicals with natural healing chemicals:
Plant nutrients, or phytochemicals, can prevent the growth of estrogen-positive cancers like breast cancer. For example:
- Ellagic acid protects your healthy cells from free radical damage. It also detoxes would-be cancer-causing cells and prevents cancer cells from reproducing. In one study, ellagic acid stopped breast cancer tumor formation, and reverses cell damage that can lead to cancer. You can find ellagic acid in walnuts, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, pecans and pomegranates.
- Kaempferol helps guard you against the estrogen mimics like BPA that attach to estrogen receptors. It blocks the pathways used by cancer-causing estrogenic cells.9 Apples, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and green tea have it.
- Quercetin is a flavonoid that directly stops cancer cell formation caused by estrogen.10 My favorite foods with quercetin are plants I’ve found in my travels around the world. They are buchu from Africa, beluntas from Bali, and quinoa from Peru. Onions and apples also have quercetin.
2. Purge fake estrogens with plant power:
Brassica vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Bok Choy and Brussels sprouts have two nutrients that flush out excess estrogen and fight cancer.
- Indole-3-carbinol, also called I3C
- Diindolylmethane, or DIM
Studies show DIM both prevents cancer, especially prostate cancer, and kills cancer cells.11 I3C fights cancer by activating your body’s own cancer-killing agents.12
I3C and DIM work against estrogen look-alikes by binding to excess estrogen in your body and flushing it out.
However they don’t block your natural estrogen production. Instead they make estrogen more soluble in your urine. They won’t upset your levels if they’re already normal.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Rochefort H. “Bisphenol A and hormone-dependent cancers: potential risk and mechanism.” Med Sci. 2013;29(5):539-44.
2. Rezg R, El-Fazaa S, Gharbi N, Mornagui B. “Bisphenol A and human chronic diseases: Current evidences, possible mechanisms, and future perspectives.” Environ Int. 2013 Dec 29;64C:83-90.
3.“Since You Asked – Bisphenol A: Questions and Answers about the National Toxicology Program’s Evaluation of Bisphenol A.” National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences. niehs.nih.gov.
4. Mielke H, Partosch F, Gundert-Remy U. “The contribution of dermal exposure to the internal exposure of bisphenol A in man.” Toxicol Lett. 2011 Jul 28;204(2-3):190-8.
5. Prins G, et. al. “Bisphenol A Promotes Human Prostate Stem-Progenitor Cell Self-Renewal and Increases In Vivo Carcinogenesis in Human Prostate Epithelium.” Endocrinology. 2014:en20131955.
6. Jia J, Tian Q, Liu Y, Shao Z, Yang S. “Interactive effect of bisphenol A (BPA) exposure with -22G/C polymorphism in LOX gene on the risk of osteosarcoma.” Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(6):3805-8.
7. Viñas R, Watson C. “Bisphenol S disrupts estradiol-induced nongenomic signaling in a rat pituitary cell line: effects on cell functions..” Environ Health Perspect. 2013;121(3):352-8.
8. Kinch C, et. al. “Low-dose exposure to bisphenol A and replacement bisphenol S induces precocious hypothalamic neurogenesis in embryonic zebrafish.” PNAS 2015; Epub ahead of print.
Wang H, Gao M, 9. Wang J. “Kaempferol inhibits cancer cell growth by antagonizing estrogen-related receptor α and γ activities.” Cell Biol Int. 2013;37(11):1190-6.
10. Resende F, de Oliveira A, de Camargo M, Vilegas W, Varanda E. “Evaluation of estrogenic potential of flavonoids using a recombinant yeast strain and MCF7/BUS cell proliferation assay.” PLoS One. 2013;8(10):e74881.
11.Zhang W, Feng Z, Narod S. “Multiple therapeutic and preventive effects of 3,3′-diindolylmethane on cancers including prostate cancer and high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia.” J Biomed Res. 2014;28(5):339-48.
12. Choi HS, et al, “Indole-3-carbinol induces apoptosis through p53 and activation of caspase-8 pathway in lung cancer A549 cells,” Food Chem Toxicol. 2010;48(3):883-90.