Breast Cancer Medications Laurel MD
Bel Air, MD
Chevy Chase, MD
For fighting breast cancer, is there any problem taking DIM along with Arimidex?
Q. For fighting breast cancer, is there any problem taking DIM along with Arimidex? -Tami
You big tease. Throwing out such a question just gets me fired up because the biochemistry of breast cancer cell function is a fascinating tale of good versus evil. I’ll try not to bore you but the answer is more involved than yes or no. If a yes or no answer is all you seek then your answer is yes DIM has much to offer in conjunction with Arimidex. They work by different mechanisms and would compliment each other. Now if you are a true geek (like me) read on.
A breast cancer cell simulates its own source of estrogen to help it grow. A cancer cell creates inflammation which triggers your bodies immune system to respond with IL-6 cytokine production. This inflammatory cytokine in the case of an infection is helpful part of your immune response but in the case of a cancer cell actually causes some problems. IL-6 causes the production of three enzymes. The first is aromatase which converts testosterone into estradiol, your most active estrogen. Aromatase also converts androstenedione into estrone, a weaker estrogen. Obviously any estrogen will work to stimulate cancer growth. The next enzyme that IL-6 stimulates is estrone-sulfatase which takes stored, relatively harmless estrone and cleaves of the sulfatase component making it an active estrone. Estrone is a weak estrogen but then the third enzyme that gets stimulated is 17BHSD which turns this weak estrone back into estradiol, the strongest, most active estrogen. So the cancer is inducing the production of estrogen from cells right there in its own neighborhood. It doesn’t use the ovaries or the adrenal gland to do any of this. Three enzymes leading to greater pools of estrogen to stimulate cancer and Arimidex only blocks one of them.
So the only thing that the Arimidex is doing is blocking aromatase enzyme so it’s decreasing estradiol production from testosterone but it’s not doing a thing to stop the other two sources of estrogen production. The body needs to clear out this estrogen to keep the levels as small as possible. Thats where DIM comes in. Your body has a natural process to convert estradiol back to estrone and then clear estrone out of the body by binding it up in the liver and putting it into the stool for removal from the body. Once the body converts estradiol into estrone it has the option of going down a “good” pathway (2-hydroxy) where it is converted into a beneficial product and is harmless in the cancer department.
OR it can go down a “bad” pathway (4-hydroxy) where it is converted into a carcinogen and stimulates the potential for more cancer. Obviously we want to facilitate the bodies ability to drain estrogen out of the system via the good 2-hydroxy pathway and this is what DIM does. DIM accelerates our bodies ability to clear estrogen via the healthy 2-hydroxy pathway. Think of it as drilling holes in the bottom of...