Aging is difficult enough for women without having to deal with declining hormones. Women of Broward often complain of a diminished sense of wellbeing, chronic fatigue, and a loss of libido just to mention a few symptoms of hormone imbalance.
For many women there is a tremendous void in treatment of menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes, mood swings and low or no sex drive are just the tip of the iceberg. Some earlier hormone imbalance symptoms of estrogen deficiency are frequent waking at night. Many others are present, including “mental fogginess.” A woman’s short-term memory retention may be dwindling and her concentration and focus isn’t as good as it used to be. Frequently, women may experience some loss of energy to the point that they actually slide into symptoms of chronic fatigue.
In addition, women may experience some mood swings and irritability, and at the extreme may actually develop feelings of depression. With the loss of energy and chronic fatigue, females find themselves unable to exercise as much as in the past, or to recover as quickly when exercising. Women often find themselves increasing weight gain in spite of attempts at exercising. One hormone imbalance symptom that is not frequently discussed is the loss of sex drive and diminished libido. Not only is energy level and sense of wellbeing diminished, but anticipation and enjoyment of sexual activity is waning as well.
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Breast Cancer is the cancer that develops in the breast tissues mostly in the inner lining of milk ducts or in the lobules which supply milk to the ducts. Depending on the place of origination, they are known as ductal carcinoma, if originated in the milk ducts or lobular carcinoma when originated in the lobules. Breast cancers are also classified as hormone-positive or a hormone-negative cancer which is decided based on their sensitivity to hormones like progesterone and estrogen.
The options available for breast cancer treatment depend on the type of breast cancer and the staging results. Staging is the process in which the disease spread and its progressive extend is determined. Though it is the most common non-skin type of cancer in women and is considered one of the fatal types of cancer, there are many advanced breast cancer treatment options which can help cure this disease if detected early.
Breast Cancer Treatment Plan
Once the cancer has been diagnosed, the doctors evaluate the pathology report and form a plan that would suit the type of cancer and the stage to which the disease has progressed. Treatment modes aim at reducing the spread of the disease, destruction of the diseased cells and reduction of chances for re-occurrence in future. The doctors would choose a single or a set of treatment options based on the patient's medical conditions which they may evaluate periodically.
Types of Breast cancer treatment methods
The treatments available are in general classified as standard methods and clinical trial methods. Standard methods are those that are currently practised for the cure of breast cancer while clinical trials are those that are currently being tested for more efficient results. The standard methods of breast cancer treatment include surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation treatments and targeted therapy.
Surgical method of Breast Cancer Treatment
Surgery is one potential option for removing the cancerous cells from the body. The entire breast or a partial portion of the breast is removed depending on the level of spread and the stage to which the disease has progressed. Based on the level of operation that is required to remove the cancerous cells, the surgeries are differentiated into three types as below.
* Breast-conserving Surgery - This is an operation where only the portion of the breast that contains the cancer is removed and not the breast itself. If the surgery requires removal of just the tumor in the breast and a little amount of tissue, it is known as Lumpectomy or is known as Partial mastectomy if it includes removal of partial amount of the breast along with a considerable amount of normal tissues. These kinds of surgeries may also include removal of lymph nodes under the arm which are used for the purpose of biopsy. Such dissection done either along with the surgery or after it is known as lymph node dissection.
* Total Mastectomy - This kind of surgery targets on removing the whole breast which is infected with the cancerous cells. This also requires removal of lymph nodes for the purpose of biopsy.
* Modified radical Mastectomy - This is the surgery that removes extensive portions to get rid of the cancerous cells. The complete breast affected by cancer along with certain lymph nodes under the arm and the chest muscle lining is removed by this process of surgery. In certain cases, even part of the chest wall muscles that are affected are removed by this surgery.
* Radical Mastectomy - This surgery removes the complete breast, chest wall muscles and all the lymph nodes under the arm. This kind of surgery for breast cancer treatment is also known as Halsted radical mastectomy.
These surgeries can also be followed by other modes of breast cancer treatment methods like chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiation therapy to kill any presence of cancer cells. Such kinds of treatment that helps in prevention of cancer re-occurrence is known as adjuvant therapy. Some patients can also consider the option of breast implants to rebuild the removed breast shape after a mastectomy.
This kind of treatment helps in killing the cancerous cells or prevents them from growing by means of internal administration of drugs. The way of drug administration can be either through the blood stream that spreads throughout the body which is known as systematic chemotherapy or is placed directly in the cerebrospinal fluid or any specific organ which is known as regional chemotherapy.
This kind of breast cancer treatment includes the introduction of substances that negate the effect of hormones which induce cancerous growth. Estrogen has been known to induce the growth of breast cancer in certain cases. One of the treatment methods includes prevention of ovaries from secreting the hormone estrogen and such a method is known as ovarian ablation. The hormonal therapy includes the usage of aromatase inhibitor which decreases the estrogen secretion in the body. Aromatase inhibitors are given for hormone-dependent breast cancer patients who are in postmenopausal stage while tamoxifen is used in cases of metastatic breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors are also in general used as a means of adjuvant therapy after continued use of tamoxifen for two years or more.
High energy x-rays are in general used as an alternative for drugs to kill the cancer cells and prevent them from growing.
Another type of treatment that helps in destroying the cancer cells without any harm to the normal cells is called targeted therapy. The targeted therapies used in breast cancer treatment are in general of two types, Monoclonal antibodies and Tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
* Monoclonal Antibodies - These kinds of substances are antibodies that are made from a single type of immune system cell which has the potential to identify and destroy cancer cells. They are also sometimes used to carry toxins or drugs to the cancer cells to bring in effective destruction of the cells. Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that is used in treating patients of breast cancer. This method can be clubbed along with chemotherapy as a means of adjuvant therapy.
* Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors - These drugs block signals that are needed for tumor growth and are in general used in combination with other anti-cancer drugs. Lapatjnib is one such inhibitor which helps block the HER2 protein inside the tumor cells and is used effectively for treatment of HER2- positive breast cancer patients.
Information About Breast Cancer Treatment
It might be tempting to get a quick fix for hot flashes, but consider a different perimenopause treatment besides hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT may be inexpensive and easy, but its long-term risks outweigh the benefits - not to mention that it will likely further aggravate the symptoms of menopause! This outcome occurs because HRT causes estrogen dominance, a condition where there is far more estrogen than progesterone in the body. On the other hand, products that are natural for menopause-related symptoms will provide relief from your symptoms without causing estrogen dominance.
How is estrogen dominance related to traditional perimenopause treatments?
Estrogen dominance was a term coined by Dr. John Lee, the first doctor who published shocking findings on the dangers of HRT. His research was premised on the fact that a woman can experience serious health problems if she has normal or excessive estrogen, but little or no progesterone to balance out estrogen's effects on the body. Progesterone inhibits estrogen's effects on the body, e.g. when estrogen increases fat accumulation and weight gain, progesterone burns fat for energy. For these reasons, Dr. Lee suggested that giving progesterone supplements would benefit menopausal women more than estrogen-only HRT. However, his work was shunned by the medical community despite mounting evidence against HRT and the damage it causes. It's easy to see why - when Dr. Lee's research first came out in the 1980s, everyone was still caught up in the hype of estrogen HRT pushed by pharmaceutical companies.
Despite what you might be led to believe, HRT promotes unopposed estrogen. Women these days are very susceptible to becoming estrogen dominant, even when they are menopausal. The beauty products and cosmetics we use are laden with xenoestrogenic preservatives - manmade chemicals that behave like estrogen when they enter the body. Cows and chickens are also fed estrogen so they can grow and fatten up faster. On the other hand, we aren't exposed to the same levels of progesterone. Taking HRT will only skew the balance of estrogen and progesterone, causing estrogen dominance and increasing the risks of various health problems.
Risks of estrogen dominance caused by medications for perimenopause
Below are just some of the risks faced by menopausal women when they take HRT.
Increased menopause symptoms
While restoring your estrogen levels might reduce hot flashes initially, it may also cause increased weight gain, poor sleep patterns, headache, anxiety, and depression if left unopposed.
Fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer
Researchers from Harvard University discovered that the longer your exposure to estrogens, the greater your risk of fibrocystic breasts (breast cysts) and breast cancer. In their Nurses' Health Study, a study that tracked the health of 70,000 women for almost 20 years, they discovered that menopausal women who used estrogen had a 30% increased risk for breast cancer than women who didn't take HRT. The risk for breast cancer was 40% more among women who took estrogen and progestin (a manmade progesterone). Those who were taking HRT for over five years had an elevated risk that increased with their age. The Nurses' Health Study supports early evidence that HRT plays a significant role in the onset of breast cancer, even if progestin is added to balance out the estrogen.
Studies show that an increased risk of blood clots among menopausal women is triggered by two things: cigarette smoking and the use of synthetic estrogens.
Gallstones and liver problems
If you have a liver disorder, then you should definitely avoid HRT; estrogen affects the function of the liver enzymes. Research shows that women taking HRT have twice the risk of developing gallstones that require surgical removal.
Four to eight out of every one thousand menopausal women will develop uterine cancer because of HRT. Although the risk of uterine cancer is decreased when progestin is added, research shows that progestin will place you at risk for breast cancer. Other risk factors like cigarette smoking, a family history of uterine cancer, and abnormal uterine bleeding will also increase the likelihood of HRT-related uterine cancer despite the presence of progestin.
Unlike the symptoms of menopause, which are temporary, the side effects of HRT may last a lifetime. Avoid these risks and consider making lifestyle changes or using natural progesterone or phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) for perimenopause and menopause relief.
Weight Loss Consequences, Physical or Emotional?
Aging is difficult enough for women without having to deal with declining hormones. Women often complain of a diminished sense of wellbeing, chronic fatigue, and a loss of libido just to mention a few symptoms of hormone imbalance.
For many women there is a tremendous void in treatment of menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes, mood swings and low or no sex drive are just the tip of the iceberg. Some earlier hormone imbalance symptoms of estrogen deficiency are frequent waking at night. Many others are present, including "mental fogginess." A woman's short-term memory retention may be dwindling and her concentration and focus isn't as good as it used to be. Frequently, women may experience some loss of energy to the point that they actually slide into symptoms of chronic fatigue. In addition, women may experience some mood swings and irritability, and at the extreme may actually develop feelings of depression. With the loss of energy and chronic fatigue, females find themselves unable to exercise as much as in the past, or to recover as quickly when exercising. Women often find themselves increasing weight gain in spite of attempts at exercising. One hormone imbalance symptom that is not frequently discussed is the loss of sex drive and diminished libido. Not only is energy level and sense of wellbeing diminished, but anticipation and enjoyment of sexual activity is waning as well.
All of these symptoms are the result of a hormone imbalance deficiency state, not a "normal aging process." Restoring your normal balance of hormones will go a long way toward making you feel like a younger, healthier, happier woman again.
10 Self Questions to determine if you may have Hormonal Imbalance:
1. Do you have hot flashes?
2. Do you have a lack of energy?
3. Do you have restless sleep or sleep disturbances?
4. Do you have a diminished sex drive?
5. Have you noticed a decreased "enjoyment of life"?
6. Are you moody or easily irritated?
7. Do you have difficulty concentrating, or have short-term memory loss?
8. Have you noticed muscle loss?
9. Do you feel fatigued often?
10. Do you have bladder leakage?
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement therapy increases female and male libido, decreases menopause, increases weight loss and more with an anti-aging hormone imbalance health procedure. Bioidentical hormone is the chemical makeup of the replacement hormone and is exactly the same hormone that the human body produces.
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