is known to fuel breast cancer growth by promoting the proliferation of cells in the breast
There are many different types of breast cancer. Breast cancer’s type is based on which cells in the breast reproduce excessively and can become cancerous. Breast cancer types have different hormone receptors:
- Estrogen receptor positive (ER+)
- Progesterone receptor positive (PR+)
- A protein called HER2 is expressed (HER2+ cancers)
- Breast cancers that do not have HER2 proteins or hormone receptors are known as triple negative breast cancers
The way the body
may play a role in breast cancer risk.
All estrogen is metabolized in the liver. There are three types of estrogen: 2-OH, 16-OH and the most concerning is the 4-OH metabolite.
- Most estrogen is metabolized into the 2-OH metabolites, these are the most stable and have the least risk for leading into breast cancer development.
- The 16-OH metabolite has an increased capacity to induce tissue proliferation in the breast leading to our fibrocystic breasts, heavy bleeding or ovarian cysts.
- The 4-OH metabolites have the strongest bond to the estrogen receptor and the body must work extremely hard to break this bond to estrogen. 4-OH metabolites should be minimized as this metabolite has the potential to cause DNA damage. If the body is not able to reduce the effect of the 4-OH metabolites well or efficiently, they can damage DNA, further contributing to development and growth of breast cancer.
Detoxification of Estrogen
Estrogen metabolism and detoxification is completed in the liver. The liver sends metabolized estrogen to the gut. Daily bowel movements are essential for detoxification of estrogen and other toxins that come from the liver. With constipation, estrogens can recirculate be reabsorbed, increasing the amount of estrogen to be detoxified.
Repeated exposure to the 4-OH metabolites increases the opportunity for DNA damage leading to breast cancer.
How do I know what my levels of estrogen are in my body?
Am I detoxifying these estrogens?
At Hyperion Functional Medicine, we use the DUTCH Test by Precision Analytical to measure your estrogen metabolites in their different phases of detoxification.
Knowing your estrogen levels in the body can help you understand estrogen-related cancer risk. And knowing these pathways can lead us to make appropriate diet and lifestyle modification changes and recommendations to reduce your risk of breast cancer development or re-occurrence.