How can testosterone in pellet form can decrease the risk of breast cancer?
One in eight women in North America are at risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime. Research has shown that there are genetic factors as well as behavioral factors that can contribute to the risk of breast cancer. This week we are discussing the results of research by Dr. Rebecca Glaser (2019) that confirmed the fact that treatment with testosterone pellets decreases the risk of breast cancer. This research confirms the clinical findings of Dr. Maupin and BioBalance Health®. We want you to know how to decrease your risk of breast cancer by replacing your testosterone with bio-identical subcutaneous pellets.
Dr Glaser uses the same type of testosterone as I do when treating my BioBalance patients. We use two different compounded combinations of testosterone to treat our patients with, one type is pure testosterone plus stearic acid to hold the pellet together, and the second type is composed of non- micronized testosterone, stearic acid plus anastrozole in a ratio of 15:1:1. Anastrozole blocks the conversion of testosterone into estradiol and estrone and is frequently used orally to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. In the pellet form it works more effectively and has very few side effects.
To prevent breast cancer, the combination of testosterone plus anastrozole implants are effective in preventing breast cancer occurrence. The pellets are inserted into the subcutaneous tissue (fat) of the upper hip or lower abdomen (love handles) through a 2 mm incision using local anesthesia.
Testosterone implants (pellets) are not a new phenomenon.
They “have been used for over 80 years to treat symptoms of hormone deficiency in pre and postmenopausal women.”
Women who are at highest risk of Breast cancer often have a family history of breast cancer, therefore the genetics for developing abnormal cancerous cells in the breast and lack the immune response to kill these cancerous cells. Other risk factors that increase the risk of breast cancer include obesity, women who have suppressed their immune system with daily alcohol intake, lack of exercise and a non-nutritional diet. Dr Glaser’s research found that the incidence of invasive breast cancer is decreased in women treated with testosterone and anastrozole pellets over a 10-year study.
How does Testosterone work to decrease the risk of breast cancer?
- Testosterone is an immune stimulator. It increases the action and number of T-cells and T-killer cells that kill cancer cells, so it lowers the risk of all types of cancer. By giving a woman back her testosterone after she has lost it due to aging, gives her a better response to cancer cells, so she can kill them early in their creation like she could when she was younger.
- Testosterone competes for the estrogen receptors on breast cancer cells so the cancer cells don’t grow.
- Testosterone suppresses the production of estrone, the adrenal estrogen that can also be made in fat, that stimulates breast cancer formation.
- Testosterone downregulates (decreases the stimulation) the tissues in the body that are estrogen sensitive and contain estrogen receptors.
- Anastrozole added to Testosterone decreases the production of estrone in the fat and stops the conversion of testosterone into estrone in the breast. It is effective in both oral and pellet form and adds to the effectiveness of testosterone pellets.
- It is known that T’s direct effect at the androgen receptor is antiproliferative, proapoptotic (stimulates death of the cancer cell) and inhibits Estrogen receptors and breast cancer growth.”
What are estrogen and testosterone receptors?
Some of the tissues in your body are sensitive to estradiol, estrone and/or testosterone hormones. That means that one or all of these hormones can turn on specific cells to make them responsive to the hormone. This works like a light switch on the cell. An estradiol/estrone sensitive cell has receptors on the cell wall that are like light switches and when the estradiol is in the blood around the cell, a molecule of estradiol or estrone attaches to the switch and turns it on. The more hormone, the more receptors are turned on and the cell starts the job it was genetically programmed to do.
There are receptors to testosterone as well on some of the same breast cancer cells as have estrogen receptors. The testosterone does the opposite job of estradiol on the cell and turns the growth of the cell light switch off. The more T and the less E2 causes breast cancer cells to decrease its growth, and testosterone goes as far as causing the cell to die! That is why testosterone is so important to killing breast cancer cells!
The research study by Dr. Glaser is important to understanding what we see clinically every day
“This 10- year prospective cohort study was approved in March 2008 and closed in March 2013.” This study was supposed to run for 10 years but it ended early because the results were obvious that testosterone pellets and testosterone plus anastrozole pellets lowered the incidence of breast cancer.”
The details of the study showed that “As of March 2018 a total of 11 vs. 18 expected cases of IBC were diagnosed in 1267 patients within 240 days following their last testosterone insertion equating to an incidence rate of 165/100000 people years which is significantly less than the age matched expected incidence rate of 271/100000.”
“Conclusion reveals that long term therapy with subcutaneous testosterone or testosterone combined with anastrozole did not increase the incidence of IBC.” And may decrease the risk,” Testosterone should be further investigated for hormone therapy and breast cancer prevention.”
“1267 patients were evaluated in this study it has shown a 39% lower incidence of invasive breast cancer in T users compared with age matched SEER expected incidence.”
Why other studies have not found the same positive findings about Testosterone pellets decreasing the incidence of breast cancer.
The last important piece of information regarding Testosterone pellets effectiveness against breast cancer is one that many studies testing testosterone’s effectiveness against breast cancer do not address. …these correlated studies do not address the “Obesity-Insulin testosterone connection.” “Obesity and insulin increase inflammation and have direct and indirect causal effects on breast cancer, including increased aromatase activity (the hormone that anastrozole inhibits).” “The more obese you are, the more at risk for breast cancer you are.”
Also, many of these studies that do not find a benefit from testosterone pellet therapy “do not measure the Free Testosterone available, rather they only count the total T levels in women”. The free T is the testosterone that your body “sees” and is the only part of the testosterone that actually can work. The rest of the testosterone is bound and cannot bind to receptors, so is invisible to the body.
Both Dr. Glaser and Dr. Maupin believe that it is important to make a distinction between free Testosterone and total testosterone when doing this research and planning treatment protocols. The critical distinction is to measure the amount of free testosterone because it is more indicative of the real effect of testosterone on the cancer cell.
When evaluating treatments for a particular disease, or to prevent a disease, a doctor always must look at the side effects that can occur secondary to a particular treatment. The side effects of testosterone oral and testosterone transdermal therapy compared to T pellet therapy is quite different. The researchers, with exception of Dr Glazer, do not distinguish between the types of testosterone or the delivery method. This is a huge mistake, because these types of T are as different as they can be. Testosterone pellet side effects are limited to facial hair and acne, which can be prevented by prescribing Spironolactone 100 mg/day. The other types can easily be converted to estrogens and cause weight, anger, body hair, breast stimulation, and many other androgenic and estrogenic side effects.
“Side effects of T (pellets) reported: 85% reported a mild to moderate increase in facial hair, 6% reported a severe increase in facial hair, 11% reported an increase in acne, 50% reported improvement in skin moisture, tone/ texture, and fewer wrinkles, and 1% reported perceived voice changes: cracking, raspy or deeper voice.” The voice change can be reversed by decreasing the dose of T pellets.
Breast Cancer is being treated now more effectively than it has in the past, but the treatments are often surgical and fraught with side effects and risks of developing other cancers. Breast cancer can still be a deadly disease, so the most prudent course of action is to avoid getting it the first time! Everything that we can learn about avoiding or inhibiting it is important. It is hoped that the information in this Healthcast and in the research article from Dr. Glaser will help you and your physician protect you from the risk of Breast Cancer.
All quotations are from an article in BMC Cancer: Glaser et al BMC Cancer. (2019) 19:1271
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.