Hormone Replacement and Cancer-Are The Two Connected?

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3:18
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790
Published Date:
06/25/2013
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Interviewer: Doctor, can you talk about your perspective on hormone therapy? We hear a lot about that, especially at conferences like this, the A4M, hormone replacements, things like that. What's your thought on that practice?

Dr. Jamie Wright: As a board certified OB/GYN, hormone therapy is a dicey area. 

Interviewer: Sure.

Dr. Jamie Wright: So actually I was just attending a traditional OB/GYN conference this week and it's interesting to hear the different camps. You've got the old school docs who are hard core, women's health initiative, hormones are going to give you cancer, you've got to get off of them. 

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jamie Wright: You know, the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time mantra. And that's an easy sort of way to do it and, you know, they're kind of right. Their leaders put out documents that say those things and that's sort of what they do. What they're not doing is they're not recognizing that the hormones that they're talking about are not hormones, they're hormone-like molecules. Particularly progestins or progestogens. So synthetic hormones, or synthetically produced hormones that aren't exactly like what our human body makes. What I know is that hormones probably don't really cause cancer. In fact, if hormones caused cancer you might think, well, who should get the most hormone based cancer? 

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jamie Wright: My teenagers, right?

Interviewer: Sure. Yeah.

Dr. Jamie Wright: Because they've got hormones going crazy. Right?

Interviewer: All over. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jamie Wright: But they don't. It's probably hormone imbalance, hormone deficiencies in combination with genetic issues that are not really well understood right now, toxins in the environment, immune system imbalances. So when I have a woman that says 'Well, I don't want hormone therapy.' I ask them why. And they usually say, 'Because I'm afraid of cancer.' And I'll say, 'Well, who taught you that?' And then they don't really have a good rational explanation.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jamie Wright: It's just what they've heard. So I don't really, I'm not married to this one way or another, they have to make their decision. But the facts are the facts which are synthetic hormones probably contribute to cancer. Natural hormones, there's not a lot of good evidence that they do. In fact I don't really know of any that they do. And in fact you could just argue that these are just hormones that your body has . . .

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jamie Wright: . . . had your whole life. And maybe the cancer is an immune system problem. And gee, the immune system is regulated in part by the hormones. Well that's an interesting concept. Hmm. And then maybe, you know, the immune system is regulated by the gut. And maybe the foods that you eat contribute to some of these gut issues and immune issues and hormone imbalances. Oh, are you stressed? You know. You see what I'm saying?

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jamie Wright: So you have to take them from 'My hormones are the issue' or 'I'm afraid of hormones', or whatever the concept is, to this broader level of, 'Hey. Let's think about how your body works and how it got here and they start going, 'Oh, I get that. I understand why nutrition matters. I understand why sleeping matters.'

Interviewer: Mm-hmm. 

Dr. Jamie Wright: So it's really about helping people live well now.

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Dr. Jamie Wright discusses hormones and hormone replacement therapies. He gives his point of view on the connection between hormones, bioidentical hormones and cancer and how stress, digestion and diet are all part of the equation.

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