Breast Cancer Prevention and the Estrogene Test
Breast Cancer is a major health issue in developed countries. There has been a lot of publicity surrounding breast cancer genetics and, for example, genes like BRCA1 and 2. A woman who has these mutations, for example, has a 90% risk of inheriting breast cancer and recently celebrities have made the news with their prophylactic mastectomies.
While the risk of cancer is high in such women, only 10% of all breast cancers are inherited this way. That means that 90% of all breast cancers are diagnosed in women who have no apparent risk factors and no family history of breast cancer. So, estrogen exposure raises risk of cancer but it is not simple to tell who is at risk. It also means that breast cancer genes are not the whole story. It is important to note that estrogen metabolism genes are not breast cancer genes. It is the way that women process estrogen that matters.
ESTROGEN: THE GOOD AND THE BAD
Estrogen refers to a a category of many hormones that are critical for normal growth and development, sexual maturation and reproduction in women. There are two sources of estrogen; internal and external. Internal estrogens are made in the ovaries. The ovaries produce estrogen during a woman’s reproductive years, from the time a woman starts having menstrual periods to the time she enters menopause. External sources of estrogen are many from diet, pollution and medications such as oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), bio-identical hormones, and fertility treatments.
There are many types of estrogen in women’s bodies. Some estrogens are good and some are bad. Even internal sources of estrogen can be bad.Women who naturally make more of the bad estrogens have higher risk of breast cancer. The difference is in the genes. External sources have well documented risks. Oral contraceptives often contain types of pharmaceutical estrogen, which provides a signal to the ovaries not to release an egg. Unfortunately, this oral estrogen exposure also can increase breast cancer risk in women who take the pill. A woman’s risk of breast cancer also increases when she takes hormone replacement therapy or HRT. Fertility treatments increase the levels of estrogens in the blood by several times the normal levels, which can increase breast cancer risk, especially in women who have a family history of breast cancer.
If a woman wants to know her true risk, she needs to know about her estrogen metabolism genes.
Estrogene testing can help pinpoint which women in this vast group are more at risk. The Estrogene Test checks your DNA for 8 SNP profiles with a simple swab of your saliva. Once processed, the Estrogene Test identifies which SNPs are present in your DNA. . This information is important for two main reasons:
You will know your personal risk. This could range from no increased risk up to a 13-fold increased risk of breast cancer.
Your doctor will be able to formulate a plan. Even if you have SNPs in your DNA, it does not mean you are destined to develop breast cancer. If you have SNPs, you can minimize that risk through changes in lifestyle and the targeted use of supplements and nutritional interventions.
Your doctor will be able to monitor your estrogen and adjust your individualized plan. Your clinician can then test your ‘point in time’ estrogens or the levels of good and bad estrogens in your body. Your plan can be adjusted accordingly.
You will have more peace of mind.
Your individual risk depends on your SNP profile.
Your individualized treatment is based on your SNP profile.
The Estrogen Gene Test measures your SNP Profile.