News Flash!!!! More bad news about hormone therapy

Posted by on Dec 14, 2008 in breast cancer, HRT | 2 comments

Today marks the close of 31st Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. And the news that taking hormones to prevent menopause symptoms for five years doubles the risk for breast cancer.

Dr. Rowan Chelboski from the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center presented these bubble bursting results on Saturday.  Tracking over 15,000 women originally enrolled in the halted  Women’s Health Initiative study (originally designed to examine the use of Wyeth’s Prempro until higher risks of heart disease were observed), the researchers plotted breast cancer cases over time for an average 5.5 years.

Importantly, they saw a clear trend showing increased breast cancer risk at the start of using the pills, a peak in risk as the study ended, and a decline once the women stopped using the pills. At its peak, women using hormones had twice the risk of developing breast cancer as those who never used them.

What’s more, despite the argument that the decline in cancer rates seen after women stopped using hormones might be due to fewer mammograms being done to detect cancer, these new data show that mammogram rates were the same among women taking hormones and those not taking hormones.

So what’s the take-away advice? Experts suggest that hormone use in the short-term (3-4) is still safe but recommend that long-term use be avoided or at the very least, dosage reduced.

Personally? I’d look for other safer solutions for those bothersome side effects of menopause.

What do you think?!


  1. 12-15-2008

    I think–Why postpone the inevitable. I’ve read that once you stop taking the hormones, the menopausal symptoms kick in anyway. So, why not just get it over with?! 🙂

  2. 12-16-2008

    I think you are right on about looking for alternatives, and using hormones for as short a time as possible.


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