About 5% of breast cancer is the result of a gene mutation (the BRCA mutation) that holds a lifetime risk of 50 to 70%. People carrying this mutation need to be closely monitored by their physician and may be advised to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy or ovariectomy to prevent development of cancer. In some cases, hormone cancer prevention is useful.

To help determine if an increased risk for breast cancer exists in women with the BRCA mutation or with genetic predispositions for breast cancer, scientists have developed a way to identify genes involved in estrogen metabolism – genes that create special enzymes designed to control the detoxification, neutralization and elimination of estrogen from the body.

Bioidentical hormones may be able to help prevent cancer.

Metabolization of estrogen occurs along a “safe” pathway and a “high risk,” or potentially carcinogenic pathway. Harmful free radicals form in both pathways that need to be dissolved and discharged from the body. This process is regulated by gene segments located on your DNA helix.

However, if single point nucleotides (gene mutations) occur and control the “high risk” pathway, toxic products produced by SPNs can cause abnormal division of breast cells that may produce cancerous tumors.

Finding out if your DNA contains SNPs can be done by taking a mouth swab or blood test and sending it to a genetics research laboratory. Although the cost of analyzing your DNA template is not covered by medical insurance, the cost more than pays for knowing if you need to make lifestyle changes now, such as treating hormone imbalances, to decrease your risk of suffering breast or ovarian cancer.

If you discover your carcinogenic pathway dominates the “safe” pathway, it is possible to redirect metabolization of estrogen to the “safe” pathway by reducing the amount of free radicals in your body. Stop smoking, reduce exposure to food pesticides, increase consumption of organic foods, exercise and take nutritional supplement that can effectively redirect estrogen elimination from your body.