Why Alternative Cancer Treatment

Timing of biopsy/surgery & menstrual cycle

by Leonard, copyright © Healing Cancer Naturally

Cutting into the cancer can cause cells to break off and metastasize (see Biopsy & Surgery Can Spread Cancer). Accordingly, all else being equal, I would tend to prefer to get a lumpectomy rather than a biopsy in MOST cases, but every case is different.

Also, to minimize the chances of metastasis, I would much prefer to get a biopsy or surgery on Days 18-20 of the menstrual cycle (or 7-10 days after ovulation) or, as a 2nd choice, Days 13-17 of the menstrual cycle. I would particularly AVOID getting a biopsy or surgery on Days 1-6 of the menstrual cycle.

The rationale for this recommendation is as follows:

Based on a review of all the studies on this topic, I've concluded:

  1. Days 18-20 of the menstrual cycle (or 7-10 days after ovulation) appear to be about the BEST/ideal time to get surgery. As far as I know, results of all the studies are consistent with this finding.
  2. Days 13-17 of the menstrual cycle also appears to be a good time.
  3. Days 3-6 appears to be a bad time to get surgery.
  4. Days 21-25 are better than days 0-3 or days 26 and later.
  5. The data are less clear regarding other times of the cycle, but the data SUGGEST that days 1-2 are poor times.

Saad et al. (Br J Surg; 81(2):217-20 1994; UI: 94207736) "1-12 days...poorer compared with...more than 12 days...(disease-free survival rate 40 versus 72 per cent, P=0.002; overall survival rate 40 versus 79 per cent, P=0.001)".

R. A. Badwe et al. (Lancet; 337(8752):1261-4 1991; UI: 91226296) "3-12 days after last menstrual period (LMP) (group 1, n=75)...0-2 or 13-32 days after LMP (group 2, n=174). Overall and recurrence-free survival were greatly reduced in group 1 women (p<0.001...).

Actuarial survival at 10 years was 54% in group 1 versus 84% in group 2. This effect...seemed to be greater in women with small tumours [<2 cm] and was seen in patients with estrogen-receptor positive and negative tumours."

Bluming & Hrushesky (Ann N Y Acad Sci; 618:277-91 1991; UI: 91174387): "recurrence was more frequent and more rapid in women whose initial tumor resection was performed during the perimenstrual period (days 0-6 and 21-36) than during the periovulatory period (days 7-20)....7 of the 19 perimenstrual patients (37%) have relapsed and 6 (32%) have died of metastatic disease. Only 3 of the 22 periovulatory patients (14%) have relapsed and only 1 (5%) has died".

William J. M. Hrushesky et al. (Lancet; 2(8669):949-52 1989; UI: 90013738) "disease recurrence and metastasis were more frequent and more rapid in women who had been operated upon during the perimenstrual period (days 0-6 and 21-36 of the menstrual cycle)...perimenstrual period had a more than quadrupled risk of recurrence and death".

Although these studies were done on breast cancer patients, the results likely are applicable to all types of cancer (Hrushesky, 2003, personal communication). The following study suggests that menstrual cycle variation in estrogen levels influences metastasis in melanoma:

Vantyghem SA, Postenka CO, Chambers AF. (2003 Aug) Estrous cycle influences organ-specific metastasis of B16F10 melanoma cells. Cancer Res. 15;63(16):4763-5.

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