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Complementary Medicine
Questions about Integrative and Complementary Medicine
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
02/09/2004Having completed treatment for DCIS Breast Cancer in 2003, and recently genetic testing. I am perplexed with the medical and scientific communities confusion and lack of clarity over benefit versus risk of phytoestrogens in a breast cancer patients daily diet, and health and beauty product usage (cosmetics, lotions, etc... After my questions were being brushed off or discounted. I found through my personal research that there are many natural substances that have been labeled "profoundly estrogenic", that are in all types of seemly innocuous products women are using from sunrise to sundown (teas, cosmetics, health products, food, drugs etc.) I am in absolute shock as to the lack of information and education of this by the Breast Cancer Community. My oncologist mentioned clearly with a warning tone to "stay away from soy", but I began to think there might be others, and my theory was correct. There are many products that I should stay away from. Including toxic, carcinogens in health and beauty as well as those that mimic estrogen and not just soy. Why is the science on phytoestrogens so complex and controversial. When are women going to be told the truth with clarity and definitive conclusion about limiting exposures to these potentially life threatening supplements, ingredients, and additives. And, if a breast cancer patient has "profoundly positive" Estrogen Receptors isn't there a need for full disclosure by the medical profession, on the long list of estrogen mimicking botanicals to stay away from, not just soy. Why are women having to search for this? Who has this list, where can I get it, and who should I contact for more specifics.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
02/09/2004There remains controversy about this subject and it will continue until more scientific research is published about it. Some physicians believe that phytoestrogens act like SERMS and actually prevent breast cancer and there are studies that imply this; there are others who are concerned that phytoestrogens work like HRT and therefore discourage it. Until more study is done to truly biologically measure its effect the controversy will continue.

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