Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer: Is There a Connection?

Send2Press Newswire

Belvidere Pharmacy

Thu, 09 Dec 2010 07:00:10 -0500 EST

SOMERSET, N.J., Dec. 9 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — From the blogosphere to mainstream media, there’s been a recent-and disturbing-buzz on a connection between hormone replacement therapy and a higher risk for advanced-stage breast cancer in post-menopausal women. The recent media focus stems from a study published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Practitioners from Belvidere Pharmacy and Balancing Health, both experts in women’s health, examine the issue.

Hormone Therapy, or HT, is often used to treat women suffering from the effects of menopause. As a woman ages, her body produces less estrogen, progesterone and testosterone – creating an imbalance in hormones that often results in hot flashes, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness and fatigue, to name just a few symptoms.

The recent publication is part of follow-up evaluation from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study which began in 1991. Researchers collected data from more than 12,000 women, and found that there was an increase in breast cancer: 385 women on HT developed the disease, as opposed to 293 who took a placebo. The WHI follow-up shows marginally higher breast cancer death rates in the women who took combination synthetic HT.

Breast cancer is the most commonly feared disease in women, so a study of this type makes for a very newsworthy story. But in the wake of public concern, experts warn that the media has told only part of the story. For many patients, the amount of information available about HT is overwhelming, and this recent study in JAMA only adds to anxiety.

To understand the WHI study fully, it is important to understand the design and several key factors that temper the conclusions. A critical factor of the study was the TYPE and DOSAGE of hormones used – specifically, a fixed, oral dose of horse estrogens (Premarin®) and chemically altered progesterone (Provera®) was taken by all the participants in the group randomized to test the designated medications.

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The controversy continues….but who would want to ingest equine urine and synthetic hormones anyway…..menopause is hormone imbalance not – syndrome or disease.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.