- Question from Joanne: I've decided not to take tamoxifen since my DCIS is low grade and I do not like the side effects I have been reading about. Is there any natural supplement you could recommend that might help reduce the risk of recurrence of DCIS?
- Answers - Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. Joanne, many patients do not want to risk the side effects of tamoxifen or other anti-estrogen agents. There are no naturally occurring substances that have specific anti-estrogen effects but the best way for you to decrease the circulating estrogen in your body is to become as physically healthy as you possibly can by decreasing your body fat content through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and strength training. What many people do not realize is that the drug tamoxifen and the second generation anti-estrogen medications such as Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole) and Femara (chemical name: letrozole) work by decreasing the effective circulating estrogen in the body. Our natural means of decreasing the circulating estrogen in our body can come by (1) the removal of the ovaries surgically, or (2) the lack of function of the ovaries through menopause and (3) the method that requires the most intense work is by obtaining a physically fit body that is low in fat content and high in muscle content. In other words, a lean physique, thereby decreasing the body's ability to make estradiol through the conversion of fats to estrogen in the adrenal glands.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Vitamins and Herbal Supplements featured Gary Deng, M.D., Ph.D. and moderator Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answering your questions about how to safely and sensibly incorporate vitamins and supplements into your diet.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2007.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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