Your Guide to Natural Healing

The Breast Cancer / Hormone Connection


Physician Reference
Product Guide
Donate to keep this site alive
Wellness Events

Alternative Medicine:
A Comparison

FDA World: 1965-2008
A tiny peek into the mind of the FDA

Can Environment Affect Your Health?

Vaccines: The Whole Truth And Nothing But

What is Your Prescription Medication Doing To You?

Timing Increases Effects of Supplements, Drugs and Surgery

The Brain-Gut Connection

Minerals and Their Function

Check Your Digestion

Who is Angel?



Breast Cancer and Apoptosis

Almost all the cells in your body are being created, live a certain length of time, and then die to make place for the new cells coming along. White blood cells last only two days. Red blood cells last 120 days. Your skin cells are being made new all the time. They are the ones that flake off when you take a bath and make a ring in the tub. This programmed cell death is called apoptosis.


What has been discovered is that the cells that become cancer cells are not only those that are multiplying rapidly. White blood cells multiply rapidly and they don't become cancer cells. Rather, it's the ones that don't die on time. They don't go through apoptosis.


Progesterone Promotes Apoptosis; Estrogen Turns If Off

Research has looked into what it is that makes a cell do this. It is not instructed by some other cell. It is built into the DNA of the genes of that cell. It's designed that way. It turns out that there's a gene that will block apoptosis and try to get the cell to live longer. That gene is called BCL2. BCL2 leads to the cell becoming a cancer cell.


Breast Cancer Cells Need Apoptosis In Order To Die

The cancer cell doesn't think of itself as a bad cell. It thinks of itself as a cell that outsmarted you, and it is going to live on. You might die, but it is going to try to live on.


The gene that normally functions to cause that cell to commit apoptosis is called P53. In the 1/28/98 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is an article entitled "To Die or Not to Die." The article discusses the cell and what controls and determines if it dies on time as it should. They refer to gene P53 as the gene that tells the cell to die on time, and BCL2 is the gene that blocks this. So if BCL2 is the dominant one you will develop cancer. If P53 is the dominant one you won't.


Inside your breast you have skin cells that line the milk ducts. You have miles of milk ducts in your breasts. These cells are like skin cells. They are being made; then they are supposed to die, and the specialized blood cells (macrophages) eat them up, because new cells are coming along all the time. Imagine if they didn't die on time, and you just retained all these cells that are being constantly made. Pretty soon your breasts would be dragging on the ground. The only way you keep normal size breasts is to have last month's cells die to make room for this month new cells. What keeps you young and healthy are those new cells coming along all the time.


Can You Cure Cancer if You Can Control Apoptosis?

The JAMA article admits that the war on cancer has been a failure. The war on cancer has been trying to find medicine that stops rapidly growing cells from multiplying so rapidly, but in the process they are stopping your own white blood cells, your hair follicles and everything else. So if they give you a medicine strong enough to kill the cancer cells, they are in the process -- killing you.


They admit that chemotherapy is a failure, except for some leukemias and lymphomas in very young children. Young children who have a real strong immune system will survive the chemotherapy and come back, expecially if they still have stem cells. But for those of us who are adults the chemotherapy strong enough to kill the cancer would have to be strong enough to kill us first. So now, the new treatment goal is how to control apoptosis to bring on cell death of the cancer cells.


Progesterone Boosts the Gene that Causes Cancer Cells To Die

Estrogen Boosts the Gene that Cause Cancer Cells Not to Die

In 1997, Dr. Ben Formby and Dr.T.S. Wiley at the University of California in Santa Barbara proved how to do that very thing. Dr. Formby is a molecular biologist from Copenhagen, Denmark, who has learned how to build cell cultures, and how to tell what specific genes like BCL2 and P53 produce. So he took the cell cultures of breast, endometrium, ovary and prostate, and he grew them in cultures.


On some he added a little estrogen (estradiol). Guess what happened. The estradiol turned on BCL2, and the cells grew rapidly and didn't die. Then he added some progesterone to it. Guess what happened. They stopped growing so rapidly; they died on time, and the cancer all disappeared. He did that for all these types of cancer.


So what do these studies tell us? The BCL2 gene stimulates the risk of cancer. Gene P53 decreases the risk of cancer. Estradiol boosts BCL2. Progesterone boosts P53. Therefore having the correct amount of progesterone in your system is what keeps cancer under control. Unopposed estradiol causes cancer.


Progesterone Decreases Cell Proliferation: Estrogen Increases It

Another JAMA article was the first double blind, placebo controlled, randomized study using transdermal progesterone and transdermal estrogen (estradiol) on real women (40 of them) who were having breast biopsies. They had one at the beginning of the study and another 13 days later, and were able to check on several interesting things.

The first thing of note was that even though the estrogen and the progesterone did not show up in the serum, it showed up in the breast tissue at over 100% increased levels above the placebo cream. The most interesting finding was what happened to cell proliferation during this 13 day test. The following chart shows two ways of measuring cell proliferation. The PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) is the most accurate, but both methods were used.

Method of Measuring Cell Proliferation




Estrogen & Progesterone

Mitosis per 1000 Cells










The numbers on the above chart were excerpted from the Fertility and Sterility Journal, Vol. 63, No. 4, April, 1995. The exact reference is: Chang KJ, Lee TTY , Linares-Cruz G, Fournier S, de Lignieres B. Influences of percutaneous administration of estradiol on human breast epithelial cell cycle in vivo. Fertility and Sterility 1995; 63; 7865-7891.

Based on PCNA numbers (these tend to be the most accurate measurement) the numbers in the chart showing increase or decrease of cell proliferation showed up in only 13 days. Translated into percentages the following 3 sentences summarize it.

1. Topical Progesterone reduced cell proliferation by 410%

2. Topical Estrogen increased cell proliferation by 223%

3. Topical Estrogen/Progesterone combination reduced cell proliferation by 16%

The conclusion seems to be: To increase cell proliferation use estrogen -- To decrease cell proliferation use progesterone. The entire study is worth reading.


For more information on the cancer related topics below, be sure to log in to to read the rest of this article:

  • Progesterone Levels At Time of Breast Cancer Surgery Affect Survival Rates

  • Research of Dr. P. E. Mohr

  • Estrogen Megadose: A Major Cause of Cancer

  • Comments of Dr. Ercole Cavalieri, the head of cancer research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • How does eating margarine or transfatty acids and GMOs cause mutations in the body that end up in cancer?

  • Excellent 2-min video of Dr David Brownstein explaining the Iodine Deficiency Continuum and its relationship to Cancer.

The above is a summary of the thoughts of John R. Lee, MD. 


For more interesting articles, click here for free access
to your guide to hard-to-find wellness information for obscure and difficult health conditions.


Health and Wellness Through Education