Aromatase Inhibitors for Breast Cancer in Bristol, TN
An aromatase inhibitor (AI) acts as an anti-hormonal agent, specifically with estrogen. As a result, the use of aromatase inhibitors have become a very popular and effective treatment option for those with postmenopausal breast cancer. AIs offer the cancer-fighting abilities of other treatments with significantly fewer and less harsh side-effects.
What is an Aromatase Inhibitor?
An aromatase is an enzyme responsible for jumpstarting the creation of estrogens and androgens in the body (estrone/estradiol and androstenedione/testosterone respectively). Estrogen and androgens control a vast array of bodily functions, most notably secondary sexual characteristics between puberty and menopause in women.
Estrogen, in particular, is crucial to the health of any women, hormonal imbalance can cause drastic changes in ovulation, fetal development and even incite breast cancer. In fact, estrogen levels in cancerous breast tissue have been measured and found having 20x the amount of estrogen as nearby tissue. This supports the fact that estrogen, though essential for some bodily functions, can have a significant detrimental impact on a woman’s health when in excess. This excess of estrogen is largely believed to be caused by aromatase enzymes in/around the cancerous tissue.
To combat this uncontrolled creation of estrogen, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) were created. Available as steroidal (Type 1 aromatase inhibitors) and non-steroidal (Type 2 aromatase inhibitors), these medications attach to the aromatase making it impossible for it to fit into estrogen receptors. When aromatase can’t effectively bind to an ER (estrogen receptor) estrogen won’t be created.
AIs are a popular treatment option for women with breast cancer, not only because of the simplicity of taking pills rather than chemotherapy, but because of the significantly reduced side-effects AIs exhibit. That said, side effects do occur, including:
- Decrease in bone density
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Cardiovascular issues
- Memory loss
- Cognitive clouding
- vaginal dryness
- Low libido
Most worryingly, however, is that the long-term use of aromatase inhibitors have been shown to lead to an eventual resistance. This resistance to AI causes a cancer relapse in about a year with tumor growth. Some suggest the issue may be in the source of the aromatase inhibitor used. The AI we’ve been discussing have all been synthetic, which is to say man-man in a lab. The problem with man-made compounds designed to replicate compounds in the body is that they can only get so close. Some complex compounds can’t be made.
Natural Aromatase Inhibitors
To get around the problem of synthetic AIs, many are starting to experiment with natural sources of aromatase inhibitors, grape seed extract being one of them. Grape seed extract has been shown to contain proanthocyanidins, a natural aromatase inhibitor that may be potentially useful as a preventative treatment in postmenopausal women at risk of developing breast cancer.
Other sources of natural aromatase inhibitors include Sielbold (a Korean homeopathic remedy), Cabernet Sauvignon from France, Purple mangosteen (an Indonesian fruit), Red clover flowers and white button mushrooms.
Breast cancer is an all too common disease that claims the lives of many, existing aromatase inhibitors—and the future development of naturally derived aromatase inhibitors—can give you a fighting chance against this debilitating condition.
Request more information about aromatase inhibitors today. Call (423) 301-6964 or contact Tri-Cities Functional Medicine online.
Tri-Cities Functional Medicine
Address2726 W State St
Bristol, TN 37620
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