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exercise, estrogen, breast cancer, and osteoporosis

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Old 10-24-2008, 03:49 PM   #1
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osteoblast HB User
exercise, estrogen, breast cancer, and osteoporosis

I read the abstract of an article titled "Effect of exercise on serum estrogens in post menopausal women.... " The research article was published a few years ago. They found that serum estrogen levels decreased when the exercise resulted in loss of body fat. The amount of serum estrogen decline in this group that lost body fat was over 10%(in a 12 mo study). The abstract concludes with..the association between increased phys. activity and reduction in risk of post menopausal breast cancer may be attributed in part to the effect of exercise on serum estrogens.
We seem backed into a "Sophie's Choice" situation in a way --
exercise will decrease serum estrogens ,and decrease risk of breast cancer OR
decrease exercise,have more body fat and have higher estrogen levels and..... I believe decrease risk of osteoporosis or osteoporotic fracture.This study didn't go into the osteoporosis angle ....but I believe we know the decreased estrogen levels increase risk of osteoporosis. It seems well established as this is a treatment for osteoporosis.
I know that someone here recently put up an article about women with post menopausal osteoporosis have lower breast cancer risk-- seems estrogen is the factor at play
I think that most of this info is known to people on this board, but just wanted to mention the research article and lament the bind we are in.
For me, now on hrt for my bones after forteo-the breast cancer risk is increased .
I continue to exercise ,what I think is alot by most standards and this prob. explained my nonexistent estradiol level and why it is taking a larger dose of estrogen to make a change in my levels.
In a way it is interesting to see how these pieces interplay--on a personal level it comes down to not so great choices.

Last edited by osteoblast; 10-24-2008 at 03:57 PM.

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Old 10-25-2008, 01:04 AM   #2
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Re: exercise, estrogen, breast cancer, and osteoporosis

Hi...i posted on here a very long time ago...i was and am a
dancer for50 years and have always pushed the envelope. I
would not be considered thin but i look like a dancer with that type of body...after menopause....i started to bleed again and
was offered HRT rather than do a D and C. I chose the HRT
and the bleeding stopped and i was on this up until i started
to bleed again and their was the scare regarding this med and
the doc pulled me off. I had at least 6 uternine biopsies done
and it just showed a thicker lining but that was it. So i went
from a lot of estrogen to nothing and never thought anything
about it until i needed a hip resurface and i needed a bone
density test and i laughed when they said i had not even
moderate, but severe osteoporosis! -3.5 in femur...started
fosamax and went through the surgery with flying colors
never had a fracture in my life and the head of the femur
was as hard as a am off fosamax and yes the lack
to estrogen and no body fat contributed to the ostoporosis
but i have no fractures...big bones and little body...maybe their bone mineral density sucks but their bone integrity or structure is rock solid...thanks to all of that dance....i use a estring for estrogen in the vaginal area
since i had atropic vaginitis and no doc diagnosed
was something older women had to live with...ha! The ring
works like a charm, but they would not give me estradiol
i think because of uterine cancer as well as heart problems.
Many of my friends are on it, but i will just continue to plod
away doing pilates and dance....Karen

Old 10-25-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
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Re: exercise, estrogen, breast cancer, and osteoporosis

Well, it is great to hear that your bones are rock solid--I guess this is what the surgeon must have said after your operation?And, this hardness is probably attributed to your dancing over the years. I am wondering what kind of dance you do/did that made your hip bones so hard despite the t score? Also is your t score at the spine roughly the same as your hips?
My spine t score is significantly worse. Spine is -3.2 and hip now in osteopenia.

Old 10-26-2008, 01:47 AM   #4
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legallyblondied HB User
Re: exercise, estrogen, breast cancer, and osteoporosis

Hi...yes the hip surgeon said the head of the femur had cysts
or hole but it was hard and not mushy or soft. He just used the bone cement and bone shavings to fill in the holes. He said the bone density is just a test....numbers are numbers
and the only true way is to see the bone..he had also made
a comment that i had a very large femur. I started dancing
at a dance school in a small town at 4 and did ballet and tap
and then point, and did this until i was 17 and then applied
for college out of arizona in Ca where there was dance. I have
my MA in dance and put myself through school dancing at
Disneyland in the summers and in a cage at Gazzari's on
Hollywood Blvd and the Whiskey A Go Go as a go go dancer. Ah, those were the days. Joined a modern dance
company after college but could not make the ulimate commitment to put dance before marriage and everything else in your life. So continued to dance and perform and teach dance classes , had children , took two years off and
went back , Did dances in clubs and shows when flash dance was popular and finally and just regelated to taking
jazz classes ...Fosse and some modern classes. I am taking pilates to straighten out problems with my spine
that put my hips where they are...using wrong muscles and not using and building core strength to support the spine.
It is good...My spine was +4.0 and they said there was so
much bony outgrowth in calicum deposits that it was hard
to measure! Am not sure what that meant.. I have spondy
grade 1 and stenosis grade 1 and i do not want back surgery. Hip is is ok and you are done..back is
much more frightening to me and i will continue to do all
the dance and pilates and yoga to keep my muscles that
support the skelton as strong as possible. I did research an
article or just type it in on bone density vs bone integrity
and it makes sense. So density is very important but it is
not the whole pic. If you have sustained fractures in the
spine and other areas...totally different story, but i have
not...ripped a hamstring and pulled tendons and muscles
pretty bad, have sciatic problems and acupuncture and
exercises are my salvation....Karen

Old 10-26-2008, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: exercise, estrogen, breast cancer, and osteoporosis

Karen-Your dance history is amazing.
That is a huge discrepancy between your spine and hips t score. It is truly unbelievable about your spine bone density. I still do not understand your numbers they are so puzzling.
Your dancing began so early and your physical challenges to your body have been lifelong. Is it ok to ask your age? Did any dr. even began to try to explain the difference between your spine and hip bone density?
I understand that you are working on keeping all the muscles that support your back strong by pilates, yoga and dance.Being the athlete that you are , what would you suggest for a person seeking to strengthen their back extensor muscles..... I would love to hear what you think is very good for the back extensors as your bone density in the spine is showing that you have def. done something that has worked.
Why did you have to have a hip re surfaced? I have not heard of such an operation.
Also I hope that you can avoid back surgery by what you are doing!

Old 10-27-2008, 12:19 AM   #6
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legallyblondied HB User
Re: exercise, estrogen, breast cancer, and osteoporosis

That is ok...i do not understand my numbers either. Kaiser
has done two bone density tests.....and they said there was
no improvement. There bone density test took a few minutes. Before i had my hip surgery, they did a bone density test and it took a good 1/2 hour and i had to lay in
certain positions. that doc said my hip scores had come up
and also my bone density in the back was of a young woman
Go Figure?
I will be 64 years old in February. A long time of hard use on the body. My mom had bad osteoarthritis and had spine surgery which she waited to long to do and never recovered from. I had my right hip resurfaced as a bone
conserving alternative to a total hip replacement. It is a great surgery and i have metal on metal hip but with the
femoral head left in tact and a metal cap over it and the
inside of the pelvis is lined with metal. In a total hip you hack off the head of the femur and run a metal spike down
it. Your hip loads differently after that and there is a stress
shielding factor in the front of the femur. I had to have the
surgery since i was bone on bone from arthritis and repitive
motion of that joint. I am not saying i would not have had
to have it any way..but i want or try to correct and use the
rest of my body correctly. I know that the core muscles
help support the spine and stablize the hips. I work these
since pilates is based on using core muscles for almost everything. It is hard to do and isolate the muscles and not
go to using the hamstring or the quads but try to lift with
the stomach and core muscles. Back extensors that support the spine all of the way up , i am not sure but i would try to find a pilates teacher in your area ...they are
all trained and certified to help with rehab and certain areas like i am working on. It seems like when you have
problems with the back you are given back exercises and
in pilates you support much of it with the external obliques
the rectus abdominus and psoas not sure
about back...Karen

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