Dr John Lee Hated Tamoxifen, He Advocated Progesterone

 

Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and lusi
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and lusi

Dr John Lee Advocated Progesterone

Dr John Lee, a rather amazing renegade Harvard educated doctor, internationally acknowledged as a pioneer and expert in the study and use of the hormone progesterone, and on the subject of hormone replacement therapy for women, absolutely hated tamoxifen, a well known breast cancer drug.

He stated “In my opinion, progesterone alone opposes the undesirable effects of estrogen very effectively, and if oncologists understood this they would be prescribing progesterone for their breast cancer patients instead of tamoxifen and Femara.

Dr Lee was worried about the harmful side effects of tamoxifen and said that it doesn’t address the underlying issues of DNA damage and lack of progesterone, which he felt were some of the root causes of breast cancer.   In 2002, Dr Lee co-wrote “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer – How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life“, along with David Zava, Ph.D. and Virginia Hopkins.

Partly based on what I read in this book, I decided against Tamoxifen.  I just wasn’t willing to risk the side effects.

Instead, Dr Lee advocated hormone balancing and treating imbalances with natural progesterone rather than synthetic estrogen (which you won’t be given anyway if you’ve had breast cancer).

An Interesting 2001 Study

There was an interesting article on Dr Lee’s website (johnleemd.com) where he discussed the results of a study done in 2001:

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center released study results in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (July 2001) showing that women taking tamoxifen for treatment of first breast cancer are more likely to develop estrogen receptor-negative tumors in the other breast. These tumors are particularly aggressive and difficult to treat with conventional medicine.

The study looked at 9,000 women who survived breast cancer, about half of whom were being treated with tamoxifen. Some 27 percent of the tamoxifen group had estrogen receptor-negative tumors in the other breast, while only 4 percent of the tamoxifen-free group developed estrogen-negative tumors.

It’s frustrating to me that this huge study didn’t look more closely at the relationship between progesterone receptors and tamoxifen. Estrogen and progesterone are dependent upon each other for keeping their respective receptors active. In other words, estrogen is needed to maintain progesterone receptors, and progesterone is needed to maintain estrogen receptors. Thus, a drug like tamoxifen that blocks estrogen would be likely to severely down-regulate progesterone receptors, which would in turn down-regulate estrogen receptors, which would of course create a hormone receptor-negative milieu in the breasts.

The researchers said that this study should not discourage women from using tamoxifen, but to me it’s just one more reason to run from it. Tamoxifen also increases the risk of uterine cancer, blood clots and eye problems, and its benefits don’t last beyond about three to five years.

In Memoriam

Dr Lee passed away in 2003 but his work lives on.  From his website: “Dr. Lee s colleagues, family, and friends will carry on his legacy, as will the millions of others whose lives he touched over the years. We know that many of you will write, asking What can we do? The most meaningful way to remember John R. Lee, M.D. and carry on his work is to educate others, one-to-one, and give them the gift of optimal health, as he gave us.

That’s what I’m doing here – my best to educate others.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.

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7 thoughts on “Dr John Lee Hated Tamoxifen, He Advocated Progesterone

    1. Kevin,
      Indole 3 carbinol does not replace Tamoxifen. It works quite differently. See my articles on DIM (just look over on the right-hand side of the page under “Categories” and click on DIM to see them all). There’s a bit of confusion on there about indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and DIM and how they work to manage estrogen levels. If you’d like more information, just send me an email.
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

  1. I have a cousin who lives in Connecticut and has been treated for stage I invasive ductal carcinoma in situ with a mastectomy…she had no sign of cancer after the surgery and is now on tamoxifen. She is very unhappy on this medicine. Before agreeing to the mastectomy she tried alternatives like GC MAF, tumeric, vitamin C, indol 3 carbinol, etc but the tumor, though stable didn’t go away and finally she got the mastectomy. I was wondering if there is any integrative oncologist you know of who supports a natural approach post surgery other then tamoxifen. It has so many side effects and she is not feeling well on it. thank you, Joanie

    1. Joanie,
      There is indeed an integrative oncology office in Connecticut, here is their website: http://www.thermocaresolutions.com/healthcare-services/ I think she would be in very good hands with them. I can so appreciate your cousin’s problems with Tamoxifen, it comes with so many side effects for many women that staying on it just makes no sense in the long run. I am a firm believer that a comprehensive program of good nutrition, some very particular supplements, exercise, stress reduction and a few other things reduce the risk of recurrence by much more than Tamoxifen can offer. If she wants to know more, you might have your cousin subscribe to my newsletters, described here: http://marnieclark.com/8-reasons-to-subscribe-to-my-newsletters/
      Warmest regards,
      Marnie Clark

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