Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on May 14, 2013
New guidelines for pap smears have recently been introduced, even though cervical cancer still remains a significant risk for women in the United States. The recommendation for screening intervals is increasing in length because of a “rationing” of healthcare. The rate of cervical cancer in women is about 8 cases per 100,000, and currently about 55 million women annually receive cervical cytology. Of these, about 10% require further evaluation for some type of abnormality.
Because it is a screening test, the Pap smear may miss cancer or precancerous cells. For this reason, the testing was recommended on an annual basis when it was introduced over 60 years ago. The rationale was that if an early lesion was not immediately detected, it could be found by the next year’s Pap smear. Since cervical pre-cancerous cells are usually slow moving, this was viewed as acceptable.
The new healthcare guidelines do not seem to take into account the inherent error built into the Pap test. Although it has not been proven, co-testing for HPV (human papillomavirus) after age 30 may help detect cervical cancer at an early stage. We are now able to diagnose high-risk HPV infections, which are linked to the development of cervical cancer. As young women receive the HPV vaccination, we expect that the risks of cancer will decline further. In the meantime, we know that cervical cancer is largely preventable, but only with appropriate screening.
This confusion in the new healthcare arena will send a message to women that an annual female exam in no longer necessary. However, a woman’s annual exam entails much more than just a Pap smear. The clinical breast exam and pelvic exam also remain an integral part of a woman’s preventive health care.
Are women being targeted with healthcare “rationing?” Is it acceptable to change the Pap smear paradigm, which has been so effective in reducing cervical cancer and has been the model for modern health care screening? With the new health care plan on the horizon, we will be forced to find out.
Alan Unell, MD FACOG
Posted in Women's Health | Tagged: cancer, health, health. women, healthy-living, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on March 19, 2013
I would like to begin this discussion with an interesting observation published in Science 2003 by Mary Claire King, the lead researcher who discovered the BRCA 1 and 2 genetic mutations. The lifetime risk for being diagnosed with breast cancer among female BRCA mutation carriers is currently 82%. If a carrier was born before 1940, her risk for breast cancer was 24% by the age of 50. Contrast this to a carrier born after 1940, who was found to have a 67% risk of breast cancer by age 50.
How does traditional medicine, using the conventional cell mutation theory of breast cancer upon which chemotherapy is modeled after, explain why women with the exact same genetic mutation (1) have 1 in 4 chance of breast cancer being born before 1940 versus (2) a 2 out of 3 chance of contracting breast cancer being born after 1940? The answer to this question is the basis of the FEM Centre wellness program.
The cell is a rigid structure which has been designed by evolutionary forces to divide and survive. It is the glue which holds the cell (breast cells) in place that determines the potential for tumor formation (breast cancer).
If cells were not programmed to divide, then all of us would exist as primitive cell organisms in algae ponds. The key to higher biologic organization is controlling the cell and harnessing its biological drive in order to form specialized organs (examples such as heart, liver, brain, and breast) which then come together in the form a complex higher life form – the human being.
The extracellular matrix (which we have labeled ECM) is the biologic glue comprising almost 70% of your body’s mass. It functions to place growth restraints around each cell, preventing uncontrolled division. Cell nourishment, removal of waste products, electric signals, mechanical support, and chemical signals are some of the many functions supported by the ECM.
Your ultimate health and well being is determined by the stability of your extracellular matrix and not just the status of individual cells. Supporting a healthy matrix is the basis of our stabilization program, which includes the evaluation and proper balancing of hormones along with the assessment, correction, and support of your systems that detoxify and alkalinize.
Your most powerful medicine to accomplish ECM stabilization resides in the food you eat, followed by the water you drink, the air you breathe, and the clothes you wear, including all substances which contact the skin, and the stressors to which you are mentally subjected to.
Using this information, a future blog will expand upon how the extracellular matrix of the breast is influenced by the “sea of environmental estrogens” you swim in. This will help us understand the apparent cancer paradox posed in Dr. King’s article.
The famous Dr. Louis Pasteur was rumored to have uttered as his final words, “the cell is nothing; the matrix is everything.”
Posted in Breast Cancer, FEM Centre, Men's Health, Women's Health | Tagged: Breast Cancer, diet, estrogen, health, health. women, healthy-living, hormones, menopause, postmenopausal, premenopausal, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on March 12, 2013
Statin drugs, the first line pharmaceutical treatment to reduce elevated LDL, act by poisoning the main cholesterol-synthesizing enzyme located in the liver. Studies suggest that these drugs have the ability to lower inflammation, as reflected by decreases in the CRP (C- reactive protein), which provides a pathway to control cholesterol levels.
Beware that the use of these cholesterol-lowering drugs carry the following risks in 20 to 25 percent of users:
- increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- liver injury
- cognitive problems
- muscle injury when used in combination with other drugs for the treatment of HIV or hepatitis C
From my personal experience on statins, my muscle aches were so intense that I would have gladly stopped the medication and taken my chances with having a heart attack rather than live in agony.
The Truth About Statins is a book by Barbara Roberts, MD, which I recommend reading before beginning statin therapy. Studies have not been unanimous in their findings that women without diagnosed heart disease benefit from statin therapy. Forty women out of 4,904 on statins either suffered a heart attack or cardiac death compared to 44 out of 4,836 on a placebo. These results are not statistically different enough, especially considering the worrisome incidence of side effects, to recommend commencement of treatment.
The best way I can describe the current overuse of statins is summarized by the proverb attributed to several writers, including Mark Twain: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. I am not condemning statin usage but there needs to be a more individualized approach which takes into account a) family history, b) risk factors such as diabetes, and the c) Coronary Artery Calcium Score. Blanket treatment based solely on a woman’s LDL may cause more harm than good.
Stabilization of plaque, reduction of inflammation, and decreasing LDL are attributed to statin therapy. Depending on your unique needs, other approaches may be a better first line treatment, such as the use of supplements containing rice fermented with red Monascus fungus, Red Yeast Rice-900mg/day. Unadulterated, non-Americanized, Red Yeast Rice contains low amounts of natural statins which account for the almost 15% to 20% drop in LDL noted by my clinical observations. As with pharmaceutical cholesterol lowering drug usage, please take 100-300 mg of CoQ10 in order to help combat stain induced muscle damage.
An extremely effective way to lower LDL, inflammatory markers, and triglycerides, decrease or eliminate statin usage, lower, and raise HDL is by supplementing with highly refined Krill oil blends which contain elevated levels of phosphatidylcholine encapsulated omega-3 fatty acids and the potent anti-oxidant Astaxanthin. I prescribe a specific ultra refined krill oil product, capable of accomplishing the above, which has meet the FDA standards for designation as a medical food .
Omega 3 fatty acids are most often attributed to fish oil, but do not overlook krill Omega 3. It has the same structure but exhibits a greater cell membrane absorption capacity (enhanced bioavailability) due to being surrounded by phosphatidylcholine. Astaxanthin, which gives salmon its orange coloring, is one of nature’s most potent anti-oxidants. Its unique structure spans the entire width of the cell membrane, offering protection for both inner and outer sides. Synergistically, the phosphatidylcholine encapsulated omega 3 fatty acids, along with Astaxanthin, provide krill oil blends with better ability to quench oxidative stress and inflammation within the coronary arteries, thus lowering plaque formation. I prefer krill oil formulations which contain a marine phospholipid concentration of 540 mg and Astaxanthin levels of 2000 mcg preserving.
Ultra refined krill oil blends used in my practice have reduced LDLs by approximately 30%, raised HDLs by 8%, and lowered triglycerides by 6%. An unrelated but welcomed effect was the marked reduction in joint pain from osteoarthritis. Side effects associated with pharmaceutical statins are not present when using the specialized krill oil. It’s your choice!
Posted in Detoxification, FEM Centre, Men's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | Tagged: detox, detoxification, diet, health, health. women, healthy-living, heart health, men, men's, nutrition, side-effects, weight, weight loss, women | 2 Comments »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on March 5, 2013
No discussion about heart health would be complete without addressing the issue of cholesterol. The cholesterol/heart love-hate relationship began in the 19th century with observations by the world renowned German pathologist Rudolph Virchow. He noted that people who died of heart disease had significant amounts of thickened and irregular fatty yellowish plaque in the walls of their arteries.
More than a dozen Nobel prizes later, these observations by Virchow have been biologically dissected and now form our basic understanding for the causes of heart disease. In recent years, the role of inflammation as the driving force for cholesterol’s involvement in plaque formation has been added to this story.
Based on these findings, pharmaceutical companies have created various drugs, most recent examples being statins, which lower cholesterol levels in hopes of decreasing heart disease.
A balanced cholesterol level is essential for your wellness. Too low a level can be just as detrimental as those too high. Approximately 1 gram is synthesized daily in healthy adults while 0.3 gm/day is consumed in food products. Approximately 10% of daily cholesterol formation is synthesized by the liver, and 15% originates from the intestines.
Cholesterol is essential to life since it is utilized in the cell membrane, the synthesis hormones (including Vitamin D, pregnenolone, DHEA, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), and formation of bile salts (digestion of fat). We need to be aware that cholesterol is transported throughout the body by carrier proteins called lipoproteins. In fact, it is the lipoprotein levels which are most critical in assessing the impact of cholesterol on the heart.
Cholesterol is packaged with proteins in the liver for transport throughout the body by synthesizing VDL – Very Low Density Lipoproteins. Many of you will recognize this terminology, especially after reviewing your lab work. VLDL is converted to Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) by enzymes in the cells lining the arteries. LDL lodges with the heart vessels, leading to plaque buildup, and thus increasing the chances of heart attacks.
The rate of lipoprotein production and conversion is determined not only by diet but more importantly by your genetic inheritance and the amount of chronic inflammation within your body. High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) are the heart friendly lipoproteins which act as dump trucks by removing excess cholesterol before it can be deposited in blood vessel walls. The sum of VLDL + LDL + HDL = Total Cholesterol.
When attempting to control cholesterol levels, one should try to minimize excess LDL while raising HDL. Options for balancing total cholesterol should always include proper diet and exercise. The greater the chronic inflammation present in your body, the more cholesterol is produced to quench the biologic fire. Anti-oxidants, such as cholesterol, cool inflammation by becoming oxidized. Unfortunately this leads to increased unhealthy levels of oxidative waste products such as LDL (oxidized form of cholesterol).
Reduction of inflammation in your body is of paramount importance. Balancing of hormones and detoxification stabilizes your extracellular matrix, which lowers chronic inflammation, decreasing cholesterol and LDL production. In our next blog discussion, we will discuss ways to balance cholesterol with and without statins.
Posted in Detoxification, FEM Centre, Men's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | Tagged: cooking, detox, detoxification, diet, health, health. women, healthy-living, hormones, men, men's, nutrition, recipes, side-effects, weight, weight loss, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on February 28, 2013
As we end February, let me summarize a “Matrix Way of Life” to heart health. Stabilize the extracellular matrix (ECM) surrounding the endothelial cells lining your coronary arteries by reducing chronic inflammation.
1) Minimize risk factors such as bad eating habits, insufficient exercise, not enough sleep, and chronic exposure to stress. (Remember that when the world pulls at your strings, the mind can wield a mighty pair of scissors). Family history is one of the strongest indicators, which translates into determining the intensity level that a person must follow in a heart healthy program.
2) Monitor and correct chronic hypertension (persistent high blood pressure).
3) Determine your individualize heart status – your Coronary Calcium Artery Score, fasting cholesterol levels (consider subparticle scores such as NMR testing), Echocardiogram, and a stress test, to name a few. Traditional medicine is fixated on numbers which practitioners believe reflect our health status; therefore, monitor your lipids, triglycerides, hemoglobin A1C/fasting blood sugar, hs CRP, homocysteine, and PLAC testing.
4) Balance your hormones, which include, but are not limited to: insulin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, thyroid, cortisol, and Vitamin D.
5) Follow an intermittent low carb diet with no refined sugar – watch simple carb ingestion and avoid hypoglycemia.
6) Practice moderate persistent supplementation with anti-inflammatory herbals and ultra-refined krill oil. Always include daily Vitamin K2 (unless using blood thinners) at approximately 100 mcg.
7) Periodically detoxify (depending upon lifestyle but approximately every 3 to 4 months) using a hypoallergenic elimination diet along with detox baths (previously described), infrared saunas, and even colonic therapy. Chelation of heavy metals has also been shown to be important in reducing plaque formation.
8) In certain appropriate cases, such as an excessive Coronary Artery Calcium Score with abnormal levels of LDL, statins can be helpful. Following the regimen above seems to reduce statin side effects, possibly because of reducing the overall amount required.
Make a change for life by following the “Matrix Way of Life” for your heart. Stabilization of the extracellular matrix (ECM) also protects other body organ systems such as brain, breasts, bone, gastro intestinal system, and skin.
My next two blogs will address the possibility of lowering cholesterol without the use of statins.
Posted in Detoxification, Men's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | Tagged: detox, detoxification, diet, food, health. women, healthy-living, heart health, Inspiration, men, men's, nutrition, side-effects, skin, weight, women | 1 Comment »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on February 19, 2013
The shortcomings of traditional medicine’s approach to heart disease is summarized by the sobering statistics that 70% of heart attacks and 50% of sudden deaths related to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) occur in people never diagnosed with the disease.
Don’t count on an EKG being the answer. How many times have we heard about a friend or relative who suddenly died of heart attack a few weeks after passing an EKG test? Stress testing also fails to be effective in screening people with no symptoms for heart disease.
We seem to fixate on our cholesterol scores as the defining marker for heart disease, yet it’s the plaque load in the coronary arteries supplying the heart muscle which determines your ultimate risk. An invaluable yet relatively unknown screening tool which not only determines your plaque load but also identifies the whereabouts of the plaque is the “Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring” test.
An ultra-fast CT (electron beam computed tomography) scanner detects specks of calcium in the coronary arteries by imaging the surface of the heart. The detection of calcium by CT scanning indicates the presence of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which then alerts you to pursue further sophisticated testing in order to determine the amount of blockage.
The Coronary Artery Calcium Score – which takes about 10 minutes – allows the detection of atherosclerosis prior to having any symptoms. Why wait till your first heart attack or even sudden death?
Summation of the total amount of calcium detected is directly correlated to the risk of future heart disease.
Coronary Calcium Score Cardiovascular Disease Likelihood (odds)
0 no calcium detected/ <1%
160 and above 35:1
A score above 50 indicates that you have atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries and should start an anti-inflammatory wellness program as described in my previous blogs and website.
The total coronary artery calcium score also helps a woman determine her need to monitor cholesterol levels. The preventative cardiologist I use has indicated that a calcium score of zero would argue against treatment with cholesterol lowering agents even if that total number exceeded 300mg/dl. A calcium score of 50 or greater would require further assessment and possibly tighter cholesterol control.
The other proactive impact provided by a coronary calcium score is best described by the Chinese proverb “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Seeing your heart filled with plaque, especially in the LAD artery (the artery of sudden death), is quite a motivating experience.
In a future blog, I will discuss a proactive heart ECM stabilizing program which includes controlling elevated bad cholesterol without the use of statins.
Posted in FEM Centre, Men's Health, Women's Health | Tagged: health, health. women, healthy-living, heart health, men, men's, women | 3 Comments »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on February 12, 2013
As I started writing this week’s commentary, a media flash caught my attention: “Dietary and Supplemental Calcium Intake and Cardiovscular Disease Mortality”. This particular study found that supplemental, but not dietary, calcium intake increased men’s relative risk of death from heart disease by almost 20%.
This made me recall two previous studies published within the last three years which reviewed calcium supplementation in women for prevention of osteoporosis. Again a 20% to 30% increased relative risk of death in women due to cardiovascular disease was noted. The results were so overwhelming that the researchers concluded, “A reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in osteoporosis management is warranted.”
Ok, I understand that clever media advertisements, coupled with the zealous recommendations from well meaning health practitioners, have resulted in large quantities of calcium supplements being ingested daily by midlife women, and now middle age men. The premise for “uber” supplementation is based on the reasoning that greater calcium intake (than can be provided through the diet) is essential for bone support, thus preventing the onset of osteoporosis.
If this truly was the case, then ask yourself:
Which nation has one of the highest calcium supplementation usages and which nation has one of the highest incidences of osteoporotic-induced hip fractures?
The answer is the United States.
Age-induced bone loss and osteoporosis is caused by chronic inflammatory destabilization of the bone extracellular matrix. Bone-related inflammation is mediated by the same molecules as those causing heart disease and breast cancer formation. Your goal to stop bone loss is to prevent or lower chronic inflammation, which can be accomplished by following our wellness program which emphasizes hormonal balance and proper detoxification (alkalization of your body).
Currently, calcium supplementation is administered in doses ranging from approximately 600 mg/day to 1200 mg/day. Vitamin D may be included in this regimen, but the most important component for bone acquisition of calcium is missing – Vitamin K.
Vitamin K is essential for calcium to be deposited into bone and not the heart or kidneys. In each of the above studies, Vitamin K was not included in the supplementation regimen, explaining the increase risk of heart disease. Vitamin D and its metabolites help absorption of calcium from the intestines into the blood stream but Vitamin K directs final bone ossification.
Animal studies have shown that aggressive supplementation with Vitamin K can result in plaque regression. (I will discuss my clinical observations using Coronary Calcium Scores and Vitamin K in a future blog.)
Except for people on the blood thinning drug Coumadin, supplementation with calcium and/or Vitamin D should be avoided without proper dosing of Vitamin K. Coumadin treatment requires restricted ingestion of Vitamin K, resulting in premature vasculature disease and increased risk of osteoporotic fractures.
Before starting Vitamin K supplementation, understand that there are two types of Vitamin K. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in green leafy vegetables and Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is derived from bacteria. Vitamin K2 is the preferred form used in calcium supplementation at doses of 50 to 100 mcg.
Staying heart healthy requires an understanding of the synergism and interactions of supplements. The studies discussed above illustrate why supplementation requires proper medical guidance similar to that of taking pharmaceutical drugs.
Posted in FEM Centre, Men's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | Tagged: detoxification, food, health, health. women, healthy-living, men, men's, side-effects, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on February 5, 2013
Since February is “Heart Health Month”, I decided to continue my discussion on how the stability of the extracellular matrix is essential for you to be healthy and free of chronic disease. Instead of the breasts we will focus on the heart.
What should your top health priorities be in terms of monitoring the body’s organ systems? The “lifetime risk of dying” is a measure of the probability of dying from a specific cause within a large cohort of women whose average life expectancy in years averages in the mid 80s.
The lifetime risk of dying from breast cancer is 2.76% and the lifetime risk of dying from colon/rectal cancer is 1.94%. Contrast this to the lifetime risk of dying from heart disease which is 40%. While hundreds of millions of dollars are directed toward a breast cancer cure and countless dollars are spent on mammograms and colonoscopies for early detection, very little is offered in terms of media coverage or early detection for heart disease.
Ask yourself: “What test has been offered to me during a medical visit or have I heard discussed in the media assessing the status
of my coronary arteries for plaque?”
Knowing the amount of plaque in the coronary arteries is, in my opinion, essential to determine what is required for prevention.
“The run for heart attack victims” maybe too risky compared to breast cancer survivors, but still we need to have a program in place which addresses early detection along with ways to safely prevent or reverse processes leading to heart disease.
Certainly we have a plethora of drugs for the heart, but these are mainly designed to intervene after someone suffers their first cardiac event or heart attack. Our traditional approach for cardiologists is to function as interventionist while prevention is relegated to primitive discussions on lifestyle, which includes proper diet and exercise.
Let’s start by realizing that coronary heart disease is a complex mixture of genetics, lifestyle, and chronic inflammation. A simplistic explanation for the origin of heart disease involves the age-related onset of chronic inflammation, which damages blood vessel walls (arteries) inside the heart muscle. Sensing tissue damage, the body’s repair mechanisms respond by depositing a natural “Band-Aid” which manifests as layers of calcified plaque. As the plaque builds up, occlusion of the artery or fracturing of the (unstable) plaque leading to blockage downstream can occur. Blocking the blood flow inside the coronary (heart) arteries leads to eventual death of the heart muscle and ultimately pump failure.
Prevention and reduction of chronic inflammation is part of our “Matrix Way of Life”. The same inflammatory molecules which lead to breast cancer formation also cause heart disease. What helps the breast therefore helps the heart. The same health program we describe on our website can be applied for heart protection.
Remember to assess and balance hormones, especially those of you with estrogen deficiency. Shortly after the onset of menopause, replacement of transdermal bio-identical estrogens preparations, which act to quench the inflammation inside the coronary arteries, has been shown to be heart protective. Testosterone, DHEA, Vitamin D, progesterone, insulin balance, and thyroid are examples of other heart healthy hormones.
Moderate persistent ingestion of anti-inflammatory herbs in conjunction with specialized Omega-3 formulations act to cool inflammation, allowing stabilization of the cardiac blood vessel extracellular matrix (described on my website, in my book, or during an office visit). The concept of the extracellular matrix as the focus of health applies also to the heart. Chronic inflammation increases within the heart ECM when you ingest excessive amounts of sugar and grains. The greater the inflammation, the more potential there is for plaque formation.
My next blogs will discuss further heart disease preventative concepts including tests you should consider in assessing the current status of your heart and what specific modifications you can make for cholesterol issues without the implementation of statins.
Posted in Breast Cancer, FEM Centre, Men's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | Tagged: Breast Cancer, cancer, diet, estrogen, health, health. women, healthy-living, hormones, men, men's, menopause, women | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on January 29, 2013
Summarizing our previous estrogen stocking stuffers discussions:
- Estrogen is one of the body’s most important hormones because of its ability to squelch chronic inflammatory pathways which are implicated in premature aging and disease. Upon entering menopause, you suffer greater internal biologic inflammation, manifested by a host of troublesome changes in your body, including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, memory loss, depression, bone loss, skin wrinkling, and weight gain around your waist. If you wait 10 or more years before starting estrogen therapy after menopause, it may be too late to reverse the chronic diseases of aging (dementia, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease).
- Estrogen has the ability to kill breast cancer when reintroduced into postmenopausal women not currently taking estrogen replacement. Per our discussion on DES (both as a killer of breast cancer when used post-menopause versus being a risk factor if exposure occurs to the fetus), the timing of exposure of breast tissue to estrogen is biologically sensitive and ultimately determines one’s risk for malignancy.
- Estrogen can provide protection for women with breast cancer who were taking estrogen replacement at the time of diagnosis.
- Estrogen replacement is a personal choice with many products to pick from. Referring to the FEM Centre website, we suggest the use of a combination of topically applied, bio-identical estrogens since our program provides for healthy usage and proper disposal of hormonal byproducts. This does not preclude the use of other types of estrogen, but our clinical experience guides us in providing patients with a successful health and wellness plan.
While estrogen balance is essential for long term health, its impact occurs on an area of the body whose stabilization forms the basis of my entire wellness program – the extracellular matrix (ECM). As you continue reading and participating with me in this blog experience, I will explain how the stability of your body’s biologic glue, or ECM, determines your ability to remain creative, energetic, spiritually satisfied, and free of chronic diseases.
Traditional medicine has almost exclusively focused on the cell and its pathways in terms of treatment modalities. For acute issues involving a single disease such as bacterial pneumonia, one drug (antibiotic) can completely block one biologic pathway (e.g. strep or pneumococcal), which effectively eradicates the bacteria, and the pneumonia resolves. Unfortunately, in the case of chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s , coronary artery disease, and a variety of autoimmune diseases involving multiple pathways, the traditional approach has failed.
Our ultimate endpoint in the war on aging and chronic disease should be in prevention instead of relying exclusively on intervention. For instance, the futility of treating breast cancer as if it is solely was a cell mutation with aberrant biologic pathways is best summarized by a well-respected physician quoted in a 1960s’ medical article as saying, “Cancer is no more a disease of cells than a traffic jam is a disease of cars.” Embracing this concept serves to explain the origins , prevention, and treatment modalities for the chronic diseases of aging.
Join me in my upcoming blogs to find out more about how to stabilize your extracellular matrix and delay the process of aging.
Posted in Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement, Breast Cancer, FEM Centre, Women's Health | Tagged: bio-identical, breast, Breast Cancer, cancer, diet, estrogen, health, health. women, hormones, mammogram, men, men's, menopause, over-diagnosing, postmenopausal, premenopausal, Tamoxifen, women | 4 Comments »
Posted by Joseph F. McWherter, MD on January 22, 2013
While I was writing my final installment on estrogen, I received an email blast from the Endocrine Society highlighting the lawsuit brought by breast cancer survivors against the manufactures of the synthetic non steroidal, DES (diethylstilbesterol).
DES is a “new to nature molecule” with a very pronounced estrogen effect listed as several times greater than the potent bio-identical hormone Estradiol. It was used for almost three decades by pregnant women to prevent miscarriage.
Let me make a disclaimer now: I do not plan to issue a medically-oriented legal opinion on this lawsuit – especially since it has been settled. Remember that in our legal system, it is not what you know, it is what you can prove. Based on my personal clinical observations, I know women who were exposed to DES while in utero (the fetal stage) who now suffer from higher incidences of:
- abnormal vaginal/cervical anatomy
- breast pathology
I also know that peer-reviewed medical literature clearly shows DES exposure in fetal rodents results in an increase in breast cancer rates. Even more troublesome are the DES-induced epigenetic breast changes – changes in gene configuration – which can be responsible for increased breast cancer rates in second and third generations (daughters and granddaughters of those originally exposed to DES in utero).
These observations, along with the peer-reviewed medical literature, would not necessarily constitute admissible proof in court. Yet, in terms of your long-term health and in my opinion, a skilled practitioner’s clinical observations trump the technical jargon of our legal system. The animal models showing detrimental DES effects are similar to those used in testing drugs such as chemotherapy. In other words, rodents are valid models to predict human responses.
Questions and answers arising from this DES suit include:
- How did the FDA ever approve the use of DES in prevention of miscarriages, especially with flimsy, non-substantiating data?
- If you were exposed to DES or your mother was exposed, what next? And how does a woman monitor her breast and pelvis health?
- The answer includes appropriate pelvic evaluations and ultrasound-enhanced pelvic exams. Thermograms, HALO Breast Pap Tests, and radiographic studies are helpful for breast health.
- Follow a “Matrix Way of Life” which includes hormonal balancing and frequent detoxification to reduce your body’ s toxic load. Supplement with epigenetic stabilizers found in cruciferous plants. (See FEM Centre’s website)
- Is timing critical regarding susceptibility of breast tissue to hormone exposure?
- The earlier the exposure of breast tissue (especially fetal exposure) to abnormal estrogen levels, the greater the chance of cancer later in life. Contrast this with exposure in menopause, which can be protective.
- Avoid needless exposure to other environmental estrogens or endocrine disruptors (discussed in another blog).
- This advice also pertains to your children – both your sons and your daughters.
Posted in Breast Cancer, FEM Centre, Men's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | Tagged: bio-identical, breast, Breast Cancer, detoxification, estrogen, health, health. women, healthy-living, hormones, mammogram, men, men's, menopause, nutrition, women | 1 Comment »