FROM OUR EXPERTS
Many women are looking for ways to ease the symptoms of menopause. One common way is through hormone therapy. I recent found a web resource created by The Federal Drug Administration that I want to share with you. This website lists the different types of hormone therapies – estrogen-only, progestin-only, and medications that combine estrogen and progestin.
The federal agency recommends that women interested in hormone therapy should consult their doctor before starting a regimen. Some research has found that hormone therapy may increase women’s risk of blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and gallbladder disease. Additionally, estrogen-only therapy also may increase the chances that a woman who has a uterus may develop endometrial cancer. Therefore, women should take the lowest dose that provides relief for them for the shortest time. Women also should not take hormone therapy if they are pregnant, have unusual vaginal bleeding, have (or previously ha...
Current or recent past users of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Before the link between HRT use and breast cancer risk was established, many postmenopausal women took HRT for many years to ease menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, fatigue) and to reduce bone loss. Since 2002, when research linked HRT and risk, the number of women taking HRT has dropped dramatically. Still, many women continue to use HRT to handle bothersome menopausal symptoms.
There are two main types of HRT:
combination HRT contains the hormones estrogen and progesterone
estrogen-only HRT contains only estrogen
Each type of HRT seems to have a different effect on breast cancer risk.
Combination HRT increases breast cancer risk by about 75%, even when used for only a short time. Combination HRT also increases the likelihood that the cancer may be found at a more advanced stage, as well as increasing the risk that a woman diagnosed with breast cancer will die...
At the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference in December 2006 a major presentation linked the drop in new cases (incidence) of breast cancer to the decline in the use of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy . Many were skeptical that this was a true cause and effect, and some postulated that the decline was not due to a decrease in the number of new cancers, but a decrease in their detection due to fewer women having mammograms . If women were less vigilant and not undergoing mammography than the number of new cases would decline - although probably only for a few years. Fewer mammograms would also mean the cancers would be detected at more advanced stages. A new study adds evidence that the decline is due to a decrease in hormone therapy rather than a decrease in mammography - published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Some of the controversy was raised in a series of letters to the New England Journal of Medicine. They pointed o...
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