note: the information on this page for apoptosis applies to all forms of cancer.
All of the cells in your body are generated by cell renewal, have a specific life-span and are replaced by a new cell. This normal, health process is called apoptosis (programmed cell death). Consequently, cancer is the result of cells not dying on time, thereby continuing to proliferate. In time the cancerous tumor will crowd out vital organs, leading to fatality. Cells in almost any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body.
It is now well recognized that apoptosis is essential in many aspects of normal development and is required for maintaining tissue homeostasis. Failure to properly regulate apoptosis can have catastrophic consequences. Cancer and many diseases (AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart attack, stroke, etc.) are thought to arise from deregulation of apoptosis.
Parallels with Breast Cancer
What effect do hormones have on cell apoptosis? The information on this page has specific application to the condition of ovarian cancer.
Basic Roles of Estrogen & Progesterone:
Estrogens (estradiol, estrone, estriol) are predominately female hormones, and in adults, they are important for maintaining the health of the reproductive tissues, breasts, skin and brain.
However, excessive estrogens cause:
- fluid retention
- weight gain
- over stimulation of the breasts, ovaries and uterus, leading to cancer
- damage to process of cell apoptosis
- polycystic ovaries
- uterine fibroid tumors
Insufficient estrogen levels or fluctuations of estrogen are almost always responsible for:
- hot flushes
- vaginal dryness
- rapid skin aging
- urinary problems
- excessive bone loss
- possible acceleration of dementia
An excess of estrogen, relative to testosterone conversion to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), is known to play a role in the development of prostate problems. Most scientists now agree that by-products of estrogen metabolism are the cause of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer (elevated DHT levels).
Progesterone is a hormonal balancer, particularly of estrogens. It enhances the beneficial effect of estrogens while mitigating the problems associated with estrogen excess. Natural Progesterone also helps regulate apoptosis. Progesterone also helps create a balance of all other steroid hormones. It also has intrinsic calming and diuretic properties. Progesterone is the “Pro-Gestational” hormone and plays a critical role in conception and full-term pregnancy. It is important in women, but it’s importance in men for the maintenance of prostate health is only now being appreciated.
A 29 year old woman in the United States presented with excessive facial/body hair growth, acne, and weight gain about the waist. She had suffered with these problems since puberty and had been on several of the popular low fat/high carbohydrate diets, which helped with weight temporarily, but resulted in rebound weight gain. Menstrual periods were also irregular. Saliva testing during the second half of the menstrual cycle (luteal phase) indicated high-normal estradiol, low progesterone, and high androgens-both DHEAS and testosterone. Further examination by her doctor revealed cystic ovaries. Dietary modification (removal of simple, refined carbohydrates-pastas, chips, pastries, sodas etc.) and use of natural progesterone has helped restore normal menstrual cycles. Subsequently, the cystic ovaries and the risk for ovarian cancer ameliorated.
All of the reviewed research, and the many years of clinical experience of Dr. John Lee (California, USA) as detailed in his best selling books, cause many conclude that bioidentical, natural progesterone is a wise choice for the informed woman (when administered topically in an all plant-based, organic cream) and, in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, addresses the underlying causes of most hormone related health problems that challenge women.