SUNDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) — Hormone replacement therapy once seemed like a wonderful means to help women age gracefully. By dosing menopausal women with estrogen and progesterone as their bodies began to produce decreased amounts of those hormones, doctors believed they could help fend off heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer.
But those beliefs collapsed in 2002, when researchers pulled the plug three years early on the Women’s Health Initiative, a large-scale, federally funded study of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). They had found that the therapy produced an increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke and blood clots. HRT has been pretty much taboo ever since.
Or has it?
Several studies released in the past year have revealed ways in which HRT might still be beneficial. Under certain conditions and with the right timing, they found, some women could be helped by the therapy.
Despite these findings, experts with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association say there’s scant chance there will be any revision on the position on HRT in the United States anytime in the near future.