Comparing the Endometrium and the Breasts, or,
The Breasts Don't Menstruate!!!
Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist
A comparison between the endometrium (the mucosa that covers the uterine cavity) and the breasts is pertinent since both run the risk of the development of determined estrogen-dependent hyperplasias and epithelial atypias possessing variable degrees of pre-malignant potential. So, acting together with other factors, the continuous estrogenic stimulation along the menacme (the period of women's lives during which they have menstrual cycles) can favor the growth of these lesions. On the other hand, the other pre-carcinogenic or even cancerous lesions of the female sexual organs do not present hormonal dependence. Contrary to the endometrial and mammary neoplasias, the cancer of the uterine cervix, the ovaries and the vulva do not suffer influence of the sexual steroids.
As it is well-known, regrettably both the endometrium and mammary cancer exhibit high incidence. However, when the first histological alterations possessing some pre-malignant potential appear along the menacme, the endometrium still presents, when compared to the breasts, some "protection" of a physiological order - it consists of the endometrial periodic desquamation through menstruation, allowing the elimination of slight hyperplasic lesions. It is evident that when the several carcinogenic factors remain acting and exerting their influence, even the periodic menstrual endometrial desquamation is not able to prevent the development of the neoplasia.
Besides, extensive endometrial hyperplasias - even those that are benign as the simple and cystic glandular ones -, hardly completely desquamate during menstruation; this fact, allied to other factors, may contribute to their aggravation and transformation into adenomatous or atypical endometrial hyperplasias which are precursors of endometrial cancer.
Even so, at least along the menacme several initial hyperplasic alterations that arise in the endometrium as a consequence of hyperestrogenic conditions can, to some extent, be eliminated with menstruation. Conversely (and this is very important), the breasts do not have any special physiological mechanism that allows them to periodically eliminate their hyperplasias and epithelial atypias. Sadly, this facilitates the perpetuation and aggravation of these mammary lesions, since for this reason they become continuosly exposed to the action of their causal and aggravating agents. This is one more of the several factors responsive for the breasts being extremely problematic organs.
Note: the article above is an excerpt from my book "Os Órgãos Sexuais
Femininos: Forma, Função, Símbolo e Arquétipo" ("The Female Sexual
Organs: Shape, Function, Symbol and Archetype"), published in 1993 by
Imago Editora, Rio de Janeiro. For more details on the book see
Copyright Nelson Soucasaux 1993-2012