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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Hormonal Testing

The month of October especially recognizes the importance of breast cancer and prevention.

Hormone testing does not diagnose breast cancer. However, it is part of a comprehensive plan when evaluating a woman's hormonal balance. One of the culprits of breast cancer is estrogen imbalance. Not only does the amount estrogen matter, but the metabolism of estrogen. The goal of hormonal testing is to help a woman understand and reduce their risk of breast cancer.

The hormone test I run with my patients is the DUTCH hormone test. Here are a few ways the test can be helpful in determining a comprehensive plan for your body:

1. Progesterone versus Estrogen

It compares progesterone levels compared to estrogen. This can determine whether low progesterone is present and/or estrogen is dominant.

2. Estrogen Metabolism

The test also compares the metabolism of estrogen into the healthier 2OH-E1 pathway versus the 4OH-E1 pathway. Those with genetic mutations in CYP-1B1 may have an increased unhealthy 4OH-E1 level. 2OH-E1 is considered to be less carcinogenic.

3. Estrogen Methylation

Next, estrogens going down the 4OH-E1 pathway should be methylated. Those with methylation issues such as MTHFR and COMT may have an increased risk of unmethylated 4OH-E1 estrogen and be at risk of DNA mutation.

4. Melatonin Levels

Not only does the DUTCH hormone test compare estrogen and progesterone levels, it measures melatonin. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant. There have been studies correlating the lack of melatonin and increased risk of breast cancer.

If you have not had your hormones checked, I strongly recommend the DUTCH hormone test.

Where do your hormones stand?

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