Estrogen Metabolite Index and Breast Cancer: What We Need To Know
Apart from timely mammography for breast abnormality evaluation, a simple urine test on Estrogen Metabolite Index (EMI) can help in determining whether one is at risk for developing breast cancer.
From Estrogen Carcinogenesis in Breast Cancer by James D. Yager, Ph.D., and Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine [2006;354:270-82]:
Studies of breast cancer have consistently found an increased risk associated with elevated blood levels of endogenous estrogen, clinical indicators of persistently elevated blood estrogen levels, and exposure to exogenous estrogen plus progestin through hormone-replacement therapy and the use of oral contraceptives. In experimental animals, estrogen treatment leads to the development of mammary tumors. Together, these observations support the hypothesis that estrogen is a mammary-gland carcinogen.
A proper balance between 2-OHE1 and 16alpha-OHE1 is the key to optimal health. Measuring these primary estrogen metabolites allows practitioners to develop individualized therapy based on each woman’s unique health risks.Flaxseed (lignans), soy products (isoflavones), cruciferous vegetables (indole-3-carbinol), vigorous exercise, and omega-3 fatty acids are interventions that may reduce the risk of estrogen-dependent disease by favorably modifying the 2:16alpha-OHE1 ratio. Using this assessment, practitioners can monitor the physiological impact of these and other treatments (including hormone replacement therapy), gaining added insight into their clinical safety and effectiveness.The Estrogen Metabolism Index is designed for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. The test is fully validated and approved for in vitro diagnostic use by the FDA. Urine testing offers convenient, noninvasive sample collection. In urine, 2-OHE1 is the primary 2-hydroxyestrogen measured, although urinary analysis also detects small amounts of other 2-hydroxyestrogens.
Related article from the Mayo Clinic Proceedings here.
Do not be overwhelmed. It is as simple as a cup of urine first thing in the morning. Ask your physician about it on your next visit. It may save you some unnecessary worries.
~ by Karina Descartin on 16 October 2007.
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