Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How DUTCH Testing Helps Manage Risk


Here at Precision Analytical, we think it is very important to raise breast cancer awareness and honor those courageous individuals that have experienced this monstrous disease. We are honored to support our practitioners who work tirelessly with breast cancer patients. Please read this article written by Dr. Carrie Jones, ND, MPH.


human-faceBreast Cancer Awareness is important all year long. However, throughout the month of October, it is especially recognized to honor those who are fighting the battle, those who won, and sadly, those who lost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. There were just over 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in 2015. While the average age of diagnosis was 61 years old, women of all ages are at risk. [1][2]

While the DUTCH test does not diagnose cancer, it is part of a comprehensive plan when evaluating women’s hormones. Breast cancer is often blamed on estrogen gone awry; however, it is estrogen metabolism through phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification that counts the most. Of course, not all breast cancers are due to estrogen; there are other types known as estrogen receptor negative (ER negative) breast cancer. Unfortunately, some women with healthy phase 1 and phase 2 metabolism can still develop cancer.  The goal of the DUTCH test is to help minimize risk and provide important insight.

First, many practitioners look to see if a woman is estrogen dominant. On the DUTCH test, this is done through several layers. Comparing the progesterone dials to the estradiol dial helps in the initial evaluation to see if she is making enough progesterone or too much estrogen. Second, practitioners see if her estrogens are going through the healthier 2OH-E1 pathway which is considered the less carcinogenic route compared to the 4OH-E1 pathway. Genetics do play a role here as those with mutations in CYP-1B1 may have increased unhealthy 4OH-E1 levels. Those with mutations in the CYP-1A1 gene, may have decreased 2OH-E1 levels. Third, part of phase 2 detoxification of estrogen involves methylation including the MTHFR genes and COMT genes. If 4OH-E1 is not methylated, it goes down a pathway known as the Quinone pathway where DNA mutation risk is much higher resulting in a higher cancer formation risk.

Fourth, melatonin, as tested on the DUTCH Complete, is a powerful antioxidant that is often used as part of an integrative oncology treatment plan.  If levels are low, the risk for cancer could potentially increase. A 2009 study[3] (among others) showed that there is an inverse relationship between urinary melatonin levels and postmenopausal breast cancer. This means as urinary melatonin went down, breast cancer risk went up.

Lastly, the pattern of the free cortisol as graphed on the DUTCH Complete and DUTCH Adrenal test is critical for understanding possible survival of both breast and prostate cancer. Several studies have demonstrated that a flattened slope (or flat line) free cortisol level resulted in earlier mortality[4].

Precision Analytical, Inc. strongly supports our practitioners who work with breast cancer patients or with patients working to understand their risks. Consider the DUTCH complete test in order to understand progesterone levels, estrogen metabolism, melatonin, and cortisol levels as part of a comprehensive integrative program.


[1] American Cancer Society. (2016). Breast Cancer Facts & Figures. Retrieved on October 10, 2016 from http://www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/breast-cancer-facts-figures
[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Breast Cancer Statistics. Retrieved on October 10, 2016 from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/index.htm
[3] Schernhammer E and Hankinson S. Urinary Melatonin Levels and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk in the Nurses Health Study Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Jan; 18(1): 74–79. doi:  10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0637
[4] Sephton S, Sapolsky R, Kraemer H, and Spiegel D. Diurnal Cortisol Rhythm as a Predictor of Breast Cancer Survival.  JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2000) 92 (12): 994-1000. doi: 10.1093/jnci/92.12.994

 

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