Let’s talk about phyto-oestrogens. The term stems from the Greek word “phyto”, or plant, and “oestrogen,” being the hormone that makes us fertile. Phyto-oestrogens, also known as plant oestrogens, are naturally occurring chemicals with a structure similar to that of the female hormone, oestrogen.


Phyto-oestrogens affect the body by attaching themselves to our oestrogen receptors[i]. Whether or not they can act detrimentally to oestrogen blocking drugs for breast cancer, the answer is unclear[ii]. This is a contentious and complicated subject matter, with inconclusive and inconsistent research surrounding it. So, what do we know about breast cancerns?



About 80% of breast cancers are oestrogen-receptor positive.



About 65% of oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers are also progesterone-receptor-positive. This means that the cells have receptors for both hormones, which could be supporting the growth of the breast cancer.



About 13% of breast cancers are oestrogen-receptor-positive and progesterone-receptor-negative. This means that estrogen, but not progesterone, may be supporting the growth and spread of the cancer cells.



About 2% of breast cancers are oestrogen-receptor-negative and progesterone-receptor-positive. This means that the hormone progesterone is likely to support the growth of this cancer. Only a small number of breast cancers test negative for oestrogen receptors but positive for progesterone receptors.



If the breast cancer cells do not have receptors for either hormone, the cancer is considered oestrogen-receptor-negative and progesterone-receptor-negative (or “hormone-receptor-negative”). About 25% of breast cancers fit into this category.


ER-/PR- HER2- or Or Triple-negative breast cancer

Triple-negative breast cancer is a subtype of breast cancer that is generally diagnosed based upon the presence, or lack of, three “receptors” known to fuel most breast cancers: oestrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).


What does a Positive Test Result mean?

Any positive test result — whether just for oestrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or both — means that the breast cancer is considered “hormone-receptor-positive.” Hormonal therapy may help to slow or stop the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers by lowering your body’s oestrogen levels or blocking the effects of oestrogen. These medications also may reduce the risk that the cancer will come back (reoccur).

Oils such as borage, avocado, evening primrose, flaxseed & soy are examples of plant-based oestrogens. Should these ingredients be going onto and in some cases into the skin? Each of us must may decide this for ourselves. As a practising Oncology Certified Facialist Corneotherapist in Raby Bay, I choose not to use phyto-hormone based plant extracts on my health challenged clients.

As a practising Corneotherapist, I only stock corneotherapeutic products. What does that mean? Corneotherapy is the protection & preservation of the stratum corneum at ALL times. 1.1 Cosmetics can influence the process of the upper layers of the skin. Cosmetics should help to maintain the protective barrier of the skin, supplying potential to restore its components & protecting against negative environmental influences. 1.2 Corneotherapeutic products are free from fragrances, preservatives, emulsifiers, colours, mineral oils, silicones & amines.

What is corneotherapy?[i] As a progressive skin treatment methodology, corneotherapy is built on the foundation of principles that it is possible to achieve healthy skin with a functioning innate immune system, which is done by preventing or reducing structural inflammation.

By using preventative interventions that are designed to assist in the correction and restoration of the stratum corneum and barrier defence systems, it leads to homeostasis and the improved function of the entire integument. This helps to protect you from harmful substances and micro-organisms, while keeping the epidermis intact at all times.

Corneotherapy uses methodologies that are designed to correct and promote skin barrier defences that have been impaired by disease, or intrinsic and extrinsic factors. As a practicing Oncology Certified Facialist Corneotherapist in Raby Bay, corneotherapy is an innovative skincare and clinical treatment methodology that provides an individualised skin care solution adapted to the specific needs of the skin.

For an Oncology Certified Facialist Corneotherapist in Raby Bay, look no further than Paula Cliffin Skin. For more information, please call me today on0438 735 990 or simply book an appointment using my easy-to-use online booking system.


[i] International Association for Applied Corneotherapy. What is Corneotherapy? https://www.corneotherapy.org/about-corneotherapy/what-is-corneotherapy

[ii] Phytoestrogens and the prevention of breast cancer: The contentious Debate. World Journal of Clinical Oncology. Pub 2014. Accessed February 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4129534/

[iii] The Pros and Cons of Phyto-oestrogens. US National Library of Medicine. Published in 2010. Accessed February 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074428/ 

[iv] Breastcancer.org. How to read Hormone Receptor Test Results. Modified January 2017. Accessed February 2018.  http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/hormone_status/read_results

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paula cliffin

Paula Cliffin

Dermal Facialist/Practising Corneotherapist
Certified in Oncology Aesthetics (COA)
Phone: 0438 735 990 (Appointment Only)

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The advice on my oncology pages is just advice. It is in no way medical advice. The advice I offer comes from many years of experience with health challenged clients and endless, ongoing education to ensure I offer my clients the best advice and products on the market. If you do have any concerns, I strongly advise you to consult your medical team.