Diethylstilbestrol was given to several million women from 1938 in the first tri-mester of pregnancy to prevent miscarriage
it was largely unsuccessful and was banned for this purpose in 1971. It was still used here in Australia and overseas after
pregnancy to suppress lactation and was banned for this use in the United States in 1978.
Otherwise known as Stilboestrol, or DES. This compound has been described as a proved Xenoestrogen.
Stilboestrol, but not any other oestrogen was found to cause a form of cancer of the vagina in 1:1000 of the daughters
of the mothers who took the drug during pregnancy, as well as diminished fertility and an increase in auto-immune diseases,
Stilboestrol diphosphate now known as Fosfestrol and its trade name Honvan is used today to treat cancer of the prostate
gland. It comes in the form of white tablets of 120mg.
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, bloating, loss of appetite, fluid retention, breast tenderness and enlargement.
- Rash, loss of libido, depression and hair loss.
- Severe but rare:
- Yellow skin (Jaundice) and blood clots.
Not to be used by women and children.
Xeno as described in the Collins dictionary as indicating something strange, different or foreign.
Oestrogens or Estrogen are responsible for the process of sexual maturity and the function of the reproductive organs.
Blood levels of oestrogens rise and fall during the menstral cycle. Elements of the female appearance and behaviour are strongly
influenced by Oestrogen.
Oestrogens promote the retention of nitrogen and calcium by the kidneys which build bones. Loewe and Lange in 1929 identified
the presence of a sex hormone in the urine of menstruating women, the concentration of which varied throughout their cycle.
Scientific American (Oct 1995 p144) suggests physicians had no idea why breast cancer arises in two out of three women
with the disease. The "breast cancer gene" BRCAI turns out to account for perhaps 5 percent of all cases. Genetic inheritance
and all other characteristics, or risk factors known to increase susceptability explain only a third of all the cases.
The proposal of the two researchers (Davis and Bradlow) based on their research and that of others suggest that substances
referred to as Xenoestrogens, which are introduced into the body mimic the action of estrogen produced in body cells or alter
the hormones activity.
The article goes on to say that the possibility that some xenoestrogens promote breast cancer is speculative, but evidence
in its favour is accruing steadily.
Analyses issued by the German, British and Danish government have combined with earlier studies to suggest that xenoestrogens
and other endocrine-disrupting materials are harming men and wildlife. Indeed, it appears that such compounds may contribute
to abnormal development in animals and to a range of reproductive disorders that reportedly become increasingly common in
men world wide, notably testicular cancer, undescended testes, urinary tract defects and lowered sperm counts.
Breast cancer, like other malignancies, arises when a cell escapes the usual restraints on replication and multiplies out
of control. This escape is now believed to require the accumulation of mutations in genes that regulate cell division and
ensure the accurate replication of DNA. Hormones and other substances around the cell can also promote abnormal cell growth.
Xenoestrogens promote breast cancer by elevating total lifetime exposure to biologically active estrogen, principally the
form known as estradiol. Estradiol is produced in quantity during each menstral cycle; some is kept in an inactive state,
but the rest is able to influence physiological functioning. Ironically, then, the estrogen the women require for sexual development
and reproduction can harm them, by facilitating the development of breast cancer.
Although any given synthetic xenoestrogen may enter the body in small amounts, as a group the substances are ubiquitous
i.e. DDT, PCBs, Atrazine (weed killer), Endosulfan and many others. In the body, they tend to persist for decades and can
accumulate to high levels.
Large doses of Stilboestrol were given to young unmarried women in large doses here in Australia and other parts of the
world during the adoption period of the sixties through to the mid seventies. We can only guess the effect this has had on
our developing bodies. The practice of that time will be looked at as a period where the medical profession poisoned and mutated
a generation of innocent young women under the guise of rehabilitation. The horror of the whole scenario has yet to be played
out fully in our future generations.
- Davis D.L.: Bradlow H.L.: 1995. Scientific American October 1995.
- Carter W. Dr. : 1996. Home Guide to Medication. Redwood Editions Hinkler Book Dist. Pty Ltd. Victoria.
- Upfal J. Dr. : Australian Drug Guide. 1991. Bookman Press. Victoria.