Lindsey pic in office-white jacket paperwork

In the September 2020 Issue of Townsend Letter, Dr. Berkson shares her personal battle with a rare breast cancer and her advocacy for estrogen and hormone therapy in this two-part series entitled Estrogen Vindication.

  • Part One: Part 1: Estrogen and the WHI
  • Part Two: Physiology of estrogen and breast cancer, and the WHI and Million Women Study

A Rare Cancer Diagnosis

Twenty-six years ago, Dr. Devaki Lindsey Berkson was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not just any breast cancer, a very rare type of breast cancer at the time, so rare that Dr. Berkson was the first woman in the US diagnosed with a pure mucinous cancer.

Dr. Berkson was a DES daughter, meaning that her mother had been given the drug diethylstilbestrol when she was pregnant with her. From 1938 – 1971, diethylstilbestrol was given to pregnant women as a prenatal vitamin or to prevent miscarriages. It was banned in 1971 and at the time, was noted as the most cancer-causing substance at the time.

As time went on, many other DES daughters emerged and developed breast cancer in their 40’s but Dr. Berkson was one of the first and her physicians had never treated this rare type of cancer before.

Advocating for Herself, Her health and Hormone therapy

This unique and scary situation launched Dr. Berkson into a path of research, exploration and self-discovery that ultimately saved her life.

Read more about Dr. Berkson’s story in her article Estrogen Vindication, Part 1: Estrogen and the WHI, in the Townsend Letter and learn about:

  • The history and evolution of estrogen in hormone therapy
  • The development of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)
  • The Women’s Health Initiative’s role in estrogen’s popularity and demise
  • Dr. Berkson’s personal experience with estrogen and hormone therapy
  • The use of hormone therapy in cancer treatment
  • Estrogen and breast cancer

Request an Appointment with Dr. Berkson

Naples Center for Functional Medicine is honored to work with Dr. Berkson.

The author of 21 books, including “Safe Hormones, Smart Women,” Dr. Lindsey Berkson has worked as a continuing education professor for doctors and pharmacists. She is a functional medicine specialist focusing on hormones, anti-aging and medical nutrition, especially for breast cancer survivors.

Please consult with your physician prior to making any substantial lifestyle, health or nutritional changes. To request an appointment with Dr. Berkson or Dr. Roberts as a first-time patient, please contact our new patient coordinator at or (239) 649-7400.