Dr. Heward shares hormone replacement therapy/HRT risks for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Well if a woman has breast cancer, there’s a possibility, and a fairly good possibility, that the cancer itself, the cancer cells contain estrogen receptors and that the growth rate of the cancer will be responsive to estrogen. So, if you know you have breast cancer and you take hormone replacement therapy, you expose that cancer to estrogen, you may make that cancer grow faster. That’s not a good idea and in fact, you might take a better approach in a type of cancer that is responding by growing faster to estrogen, would be to block the estrogen, to shut down the estrogen growth stimulus and help that cancer grow more slowly because again, what happens with cancer is what kills you is, you end up with tumors growing where they don’t belong, and when they get big enough, they interfere with the vital process and you die.
So the last thing you want, if you got tumors growing somewhere, is to accelerate their growth. That said, if you don’t already have cancer, estrogen won’t give you cancer. So the message, the take home message for estrogen and cancer is if you’re going to take estrogen then, you want to heighten your surveillance and make sure that you don’t have cancer. If you have cancer, estrogen is probably not a good idea.
About Dr. Heward, Ph.D:
Dr. Christopher B. Heward is past-President of Kronos Science Laboratory. His primary responsibility was providing scientific and technical leadership for all laboratory activities. He oversaw the development and implementation of the clinical laboratory testing program; assisted in designing and refining both internally and externally sponsored clinical studies; directed and coordinated diagnostic product research and development; administered laboratory and patient databases; was principal investigator for the Kronos Longitudinal Aging Study (KLAS); and communicated Kronos’ discoveries and advances to lay and scientific audiences via presentations and publications. Dr. Heward’s research interests included healthy aging, endocrinology, oxidative stress, Alzheimer’s disease, prion disease (TSE) and menopause. Dr. Heward attended the University of Arizona and received a Bachelor of Arts degrees from both the Department of Psychology and the Department of Chemistry, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Biology. He earned his PhD from the Department of Biology in 1981.
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