Dr. John Lee said estrogen can be the angel of life and the angel of death. When estrogen is metabolized abnormally, it can modify the gene expression and alter important intracellular signaling sequences that promote abnormal cell growth and endothelial damage by creating vasoconstriction and causing high cholesterol. So too much estrogen can be a weak DNA damaging (genotoxic) carcinogen and stimulate tumor-cell activators. For women, abnormally metabolized estrogen can lead to uterus, breast and ovarian cancer; for men, prostate cancer. A new article published in Molecular Cell Endocrinology in 2012 explained that testosterone can be converted to estradiol by aromatase in the fat cells, breast cells, endothelial cells and prostate cells. Dr. Bosland MC of U. of Illinois at Chicago did an experiment in which estradiol is applied to the rats. When he did so, prostate cancer incidence gradually increased and even a short course of estrogen treatment resulted in a high incidence of prostate cancer.
Fourty years ago, prostate cancer was usually more common in older people. By the age of eighty, more than 50% of men had an enlarged prostate. But most older men do not die of prostate cancer, because they do not have imbalanced estrogen and testosterone levels. Some men develop prostate cancer, while others do not. This depends how the testosterone is metabolized. The testosterone can be metabolized to 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone which can not be aromatized to estrogen and severely induces prostate cancer. On the other hand, if too much testosterone is converted by an enzyme called aromatase into estrogen, it may lead to prostate cancer. Therefore it is not testosterone itself but how it is metabolized that leads to prostate cancer. Estrogen receptors are expressed in the prostate and may mediate which direction the testosterone can be metabolized. In the rat prostate, DNA damage can result from estrogen treatment; this phenomenon can occur prior to cancer development and at exactly the same location. Masayoshi Hiramatsu et al. suggested in a book called Prostate that overexpression of aromatase, possibly attributable to abnormal gene regulation, may result in abnormal estrogen production in situ and play a role in the induction or development of human prostatic disorders.
The reason more and more younger men diagnosed with benign prostate enlargement and prostate cancer even in their forties or fifties is because as a society, we eat more processed food or simple sugars every day, which can be converted into fat due to our sedentary life style . Simple sugars can lead to an insulin surge, which causes inflammation. More fat means more testosterone which can be converted into estrogen by aromatase. An abnormal level of estrogen, stress, lack of exercise and inflammation together can turn on bad gene expression. Drinking alcohol regularly may not only cause impotency due to lowered levels of testosterone, but also increase activity of aromatase abnormally, which can lead to more intracellular estrogen production from testosterone.
How does acupuncture help prevent or treat prostate cancer? First, acupuncture can balance your immune function to reduce general infection, which is closely related with cancer development. Second, acupuncture can change the way you metabolize by improving your digestive and thyroid function. So when you eat certain foods, instead of storing all the calories as fat, you produce more energy and heat to let your body work more efficiently- less fat and less estrogen means less gene mutation. Third, acupuncture can reduce stress improving your sleep, reducing anxiety and enhancing natural killer-cell activity, which is critical during chemo- and radiation therapy treatment. Fourth, acupuncture help your body produce more feel-good hormones, such as GABA, serotonin and dopamine, so you do not have to drink alcohol to feel good and relax.