5 Estrogen Sources and Breast Cancer Risk

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Women exercise-in-the-1950s-493921-mHave you ever wondered if “Estrogen” was an issue that these energetic women thought or talked about back then?

Estrogen is a steroid hormone, made from cholesterol, occurring in both women and men. It plays a major role in the growth and development of sex organs and reproductive tissues. Conversely, too much estrogen can do other things; among them is an increased risk of cancer.

Because estrogen contributes to breast cancer, today let me direct your attention to eliminate over-stuffed estrogen from your daily life.

There are five major sources of “Uninvited Estrogen”: foods, physical inactivity, obesity, environmental toxins, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Let’s go over them one by one.

1.      Poor diet and unhealthy foods

Without doubt, synthetic hormone-containing foods are available everywhere. For example, a lot of beef and dairy products are pumped up with synthetic growth hormones, which can interrupt your hormonal balance if you often consume them. Excess carbohydrates from refined foods and sugars are normally not needed for energy, so if you eat a lot, they will be stored as fat in your body. Read on to find out what happens next.

 2.      Lack of exercise

Living a sedentary lifestyle is closely associated with obesity and hormonal imbalance. Scientific research shows that exercise can regulate the balance of estrogen. So lack of exercise can cause estrogen accumulation in the body.

 3.      Obesity

Being overweight is a significant lifestyle factor related to cancer risk. Obesity is linked to breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and other cancers. Think about this. The fatty tissue is one of factories for estrogen production in the body. Here is the process:

Testosterone    via aromatase in fatty tissue —->  Estrogen

By this conversion, fatty tissue raises your estrogen levels. Research indicates that in post-menopausal women, obese individuals tend to have higher estrogen levels than their lean counterparts, and obesity is a risk factor for their development of estrogen-driven breast cancer.

4.      Environmental toxins

Xenoestrogens, you can call it “fake estrogens” or man-made toxins, are a group of chemicals present in the environment and our everyday products. They mimic the effects of estrogen in your body. When excessive estrogen is accumulated, as a result of the combination of these toxins sneaked into your body with those naturally produced by your body, normal hormone functions are compromised.

Xenoestrogens are often present in

  •       household cleaners.
  •       household plastics products (e.g. plastic containers and bottles)
  •       personal care products (e.g., nail polish and nail removers)
  •       pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides
  •       industrial pollutants.

 5.      Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control pills

Estrogen and progesterone are naturally occurring hormones. Although women (under 60 years old) can benefit from HRT for menopause related symptoms, clinical studies also reveal that HRT poses higher risks for breast cancer, cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Likewise, synthetic hormones such as estrogen are used in birth control pills. Research shows that the earlier a girl begins to use contraceptives, the greater her risk of breast cancer is.

In essence, over-loaded estrogen in your body may come from the food you eat, the amount of exercise you get, the weight you carry, the place you live and work, and possibly the drugs you take. Elevated estrogen is linked to breast cancer and other cancers. Furthermore, the worst is the harmful impact on the next generations, because their exposure during early life leads to their illness in later life.


Image credit:  by hortongrou