Breast Tumors & Progesterone

Breast Tumors & Progesterone

It’s well known that abnormal breast tissue including fibrocystic breasts can progress towards more severe conditions including malignant tissue. Our medical technology is extremely sophisticated, able to detect early stages, yet women receive very little information about what to do with cysts and benign changes.

Avoiding caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and refined sugars are important yet there’s much more to be done.


This hormone is the body’s way of naturally reducing cystic conditions of the breast. Most women realize this since in the 3rd and 4th week of their cycle their breasts become more tender with cysts becoming slightly enlarged. This second half of the cycle is when estrogen falls and progesterone should increase. Many women’s progesterone is suboptimal and this leads to a number of problems including mood swings, hypoglycemia, insomnia, tender breasts and others.

Is bioidentical progesterone an option in this case? Certainly but the question is, why is a woman’s progesterone low in the first place. We too often jump to medication before asking the question why.

Ovarian Production

Progesterone is a steroid hormone produced primarily in the ovaries. The backbone of this hormone as well as many others is cholesterol. Low fat diets and the lack of animal protein eventually lead to inadequate levels of these steroid hormones. Some womens’ cystic condition is aggravated by a diet rich in saturated fats yet my experience shows that it’s not the fat in their diet but the lack of Omega III fish oils. Usually this supplement corrects the problem without having to avoid animal protein.

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Low Thyroid Hormones

Inside ovary cells are thyroid hormone receptors. When the T3 thyroid hormone attaches to its receptor the ovary cell is stimulated to make progesterone. Low levels of circulating thyroid hormones leads to low progesterone production.

One effective approach to reducing cystic conditions of the breast is to optimize thyroid hormone production and metabolism. To comprehensively assess thyroid hormones requires four lab tests; TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone, T4 (bound & free), Free T4 (available) and Free T3 (available). The Free T3 is the most important one.

Most of the time a deficiency of any of these can be corrected through nutrition and specific supplements.

Huge Research Study

From 1945 to 1965 Linda Cowan and her team worked with a group of 1,083 women with infertility. They were divided into two groups, one having infertility due to a progesterone deficiency and the other having non-hormonal causes.

Both groups were followed until 1978 to determine breast cancer incidence. Women in the progesterone deficient group had 5.4 times the risk factor for premenstrual breast cancer than the second group. In this study they could find not other variable than low progesterone.

And compared with the control group the progesterone deficient group also had a 10 fold increase in deaths from all malignant cancers.

Obviously there are many advantages to optimizing thyroid hormones including greater physical stamina, mental clarity and concentration, and a higher metabolic rate.