Stilboestrol, Its Use and Implications
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, like SLE.
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
- 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
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
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.