Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Pills spilling from bottleNew research published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute found that women who take estrogen and progestin have an increased risk of developing breast cancer and dying from it. (1)

Dr. Rowen Chlebowski from the UCLA Medical Center followed almost 42,000 post-menopausal women for an average of 11 years. In the study, more than 25,000 women did not take any hormone therapy and some 16,000 took synthetic estrogen and progestin. After 11 years, more than 2,200 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Women who started hormone replacement therapy (HRT) within months of menopause had a three times greater risk of a breast cancer diagnosis than women who started 10 years after menopause.

According to the research on combined hormone replacement therapy, numerous studies show that it may increase the risk of breast cancer. This particular study linked increased risk to when the HRT was started.

The above study was done with synthetic HRT, not on bio-identical hormones, which seem to be much safer. But it should be known that bio-identical hormones are not 100% natural. They are typically a compound of botanical and synthetic constituents. It could be said that bio-identical hormones are made roughly half from plants and half from synthetic material. Considering this, are they half as safe?

That said, it might be a good idea to seek alternative care to restore balance before considering HRT of any kind. Please seek this advice from a qualified health care practitioner.

1. Chlebowski R. Journal of National Cancer Institute. March 29. 2013

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