Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Here’s a question for you…if estrogen caused cancer, why don’t all women get cancer at age 25 when their estrogen levels at their peak?
…because there’s much more to the story!
Estrogen is at the top of the list when it comes to women’s hormones. In addition to being responsible for women’s physical development and regulation of their menstrual cycles, it also plays key roles in brain, heart, and bone health.
· In the brain, estrogen protects brain cells, reduces inflammation, and makes sure brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) work correctly. In fact, estrogen deficiency has been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
· Promoting cardiovascular health, estrogen reduces blood pressure, lowers inflammation, improves cholesterol levels, and improves tissue sensitivity to insulin (reduces risk of diabetes).
· In the bones, estrogen inhibits bone breakdown and increases bone formation.
Estrogen also is absolutely essential for maintaining normal body weight. In fact, lack of estrogen has been shown to cause the development of belly fat, increased hunger, and abnormal blood sugar regulation….so, without estrogen, good luck losing weight and/or keeping it off!
Whether it’s uterine cancer, breast cancer, or any other cancer, a person’s risk of developing cancer has been directly tied to environmental (>95%) and genetic (<5%) factors. Have you ever heard of epigenetic changes?
Even though a person is born with a certain set of genes (DNA), how cells express those genes is affected by hundreds of other factors. In other words, if a woman is genetically predisposed to getting breast cancer, if, when, and how her genes will act depend on other things including:
· Stress levels
· Personal habits (like smoking and drinking)
· Body weight
· Toxins in the environment
And the list goes on and on.
So, for example...if a person doesn’t have any genetic predisposition to cancer and they smoke, then smoking (just one of many epigenetic influences) will negatively change the way their cells express their DNA...and their risk of cancer goes up.
Alternatively, if a person is genetically predisposed to get cancer but doesn’t smoke or drink, eats a healthy diet, minimizes stress, and favorably alters other epigenetic factors, they may NEVER get cancer.
So, now you know the real story behind the beneficial effects of estrogen and the more complicated story of how people get cancer. It makes no sense that a naturally occurring hormone with so many health benefits could cause cancer. It’s there for a reason.