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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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breast cancer follow-up treatment
Posted by: Pat
Date: June 22, 2006 1:09 AM

Breast cancer diagnosed 2/2006. Age 57. Stage IIa - 1.7 cm, micrometastasis .15 in sentinel lymph node. Lumpectomy, 3/29/06. Radiation, yes. Chemotherapy, no. Hormone therapy, not my wish! Saliva test report of 4/17 reveals estradiol, 1.7 pg/ml; progesterone 128 pg/ml; testosterone 225 pg/ml; DHEAS <2.5 pg/ml; morning cortisol 11.4 pg/ml. Cholesterol consistently high past 10 years (250-350). Tryglycerides and LDL steadily mounting. Believe that number is due to stress as I am slim, active, and watch what I eat fairly conscientiously. I want to know if there is a relationship between high cholesterol, adrenal fatigue, and excessive testosterone (which can break down to estradiol) as they specifically relate to the possible development (in part) of my cancer. My intentions are to attack root causes, not just 'treat the symptoms.

RE: breast cancer follow-up treatment
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: June 22, 2006 5:08 AM

The link with cholesterol (specifically HDL) is controversial, but there is evidence for it (and some against it). Many conditions which raise HDL also are conditions associated with a higher incidence of breast cancer (alcohol, money, lower body weight for example). That does not mean elavated HDL itself causes breast cancer. While fatigue - adrenal or otherwise - is common in many cancer survivors - breast and other - it is not thought of as a predisposing factor. However, it makes sense to me that some of the causes of fatigue might also be risks for cancer, breast or other. High testosterone is surely correlated with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Attacking root causes may make more sense before a cancer develops than after. Although it can surely be done in a safe way, I would not recommend it as a substute for direct treatment. As an analogy, you could do a lot to lower your chances of a car wreck, but once you are in the car wreck all those preventive actions you could have taken are irrelevant and you go the emergency room / surgery, etc. and have done what must be done to save your life.

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