So many of you have asked…
My number one intention for all women is to optimize their quality of life, and to always do so safely taking into consideration their unique medical history and current health status.
Women having had a history of breast cancer need to be particularly diligent about anything – even natural products – that they put in or on their bodies.
I’ve had hundreds of women asking me about the use of Julva® given their history of breast cancer. It is such an indicator of the huge toll that breast cancer has exacted on women…that so many need to ask these questions. For those who may not use or be familiar with Julva, it is a restorative feminine cream for the vulva, used to address vaginal dryness, urinary leakage issues, libido and more…you can read about Julva here.
I always recommend women discuss any new prescription, supplement or over-the-counter product with their primary care doctor. In the case of women having a previous breast cancer diagnosis and/or treatment, I strongly suggest women always talk with their oncologists.
I make this same recommendation relating to the use of Julva.
Julva is a topical restorative cream intended for the vulvar area containing pure, natural ingredients to improve vaginal dryness and reverse the symptoms of aging.
DHEA is the only ingredient in Julva that may concern women with breast cancer because it is a bio-identical hormone and women may fear using a ‘hormone’. DHEA is naturally secreted by the adrenal gland and ovary and is a very protective hormone with research indicating it is beneficial for brain health, bone health and breast health.
Here I share with you some of the research which is very supportive of DHEA in regards to women having had breast cancer:
We had a brief opportunity to talk about the DHEA Bioadhesive vaginal gel in the noted study as having been found effective for women who have had breast and other gynecologic cancers for the treatment of atrophic vaginitis, vaginal dryness, low libido, and dyspareunia.
The study looked at an alternative for estrogen preparations for the treatment of atrophic vaginitis, vaginal dryness, low libido, and dyspareunia. In June of 2011, at the request of North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Mayo Clinic, the DHEA bioadhesive vaginal gel was developed by Gateway Pharmacy for the FDA-approved; Phase III clinical trial (NCT01376349). The abstract was released from embargo in June 2014 at the ASCO meeting in Chicago and is currently in the peer review process for publication.
I’ll continue to post new updates on this blog as I become aware of them.
In earlier research (1999) women with uncontrolled PCOS and abdominal obesity may be associated with late promotion of breast cancer stimulated by prolonged intake of DHEA. Typically women with PCOS have elevated circulating levels of DHEA and additional oral DHEA would not be warranted.
As a precaution, if you are currently using Tamoxifen I do not recommend using Julva without your oncologist’s approval. The research on Tamoxifen has shown:
ORAL DHEA (systemic) converting to estrogen can interfere with Tamoxifen use and can decrease its effectiveness when blood serum levels of DHEAS are > or = 90 microg/dL (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12727558
Once off of Tamoxifen, I have no hesitation in recommending Julva to breast cancer survivors.
Femara/Letrozole (an aromatase inhibitor) does not appear to be affected by DHEA use and may be a better alternative should your oncologist agree. Some studies have in fact shown that breast cancer patients on aromatase inhibitors appear to benefit from higher levels of DHEAS and experience less musculoskeletal pain. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21647676 )
If you are concerned about the risk for blood clots: Consult with your primary care physician before trying Julva. We know that oral estrogen can increase blood clots; however trans-dermal estrogen, progesterone, & DHEA have not been shown to increase blood clots at all.
Please let me know if you have any questions relating to this information, you can always email me at Team@DrAnnaCabeca.com . Note that I can’t answer questions specific to your medical condition or treatment…please direct those questions, as always, to your physician.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to read my companion blog to this piece, on breast cancer prevention and steps we women need to make to maintain optimal health, you can find that blog here. Please share with the other women in your life.
According to the CDC, other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Prevention is key! Here are important health tips to reduce your risk!
It is shocking to learn that 1 in 8 U.S. women develop breast cancer.
This article by Melaina Juntti details 8 different ways to help prevent breast cancer.