Breast cancer and the timing of estrogen
May 24, 2011
Estrogen can be good or bad for breast cancer, depending on timing and environment.
According to V. Craig Jordan, who has studied estrogen and breast cancer for many years, estrogen is sometimes a good thing for breast cancer - meaning that it promotes the disease even more - and sometimes it inhibits the illness.
Jordan is the scientific director of the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University and he explains that while estrogen is needed for the continued growth of breast cancer cells, the hormone can also be used - in the right quantity and at the right time - to kill breast cancer cells.
Much previous public opinion centered around estrogen being a stimulant for tumors known as estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers. However, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown some evidence of the opposite.
While researchers continue to uncover the mechanisms behind breast cancer, women should perform regular self-breast exams and for those over the age of 40, yearly mammograms are recommended.