The stigma surrounding hormone therapy has slowly wafted into a mere dust clouds as more and more research unravels the findings of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) published ten years ago yesterday. Today, at least 15 major medical organizations endorse hormone therapy as a viable option for the treatment of menopause. The WHI
The Lancet Oncology published a study last week that shows oral estrogen may decrease the risk of invasive breast cancer in women with a hysterectomy compared to those who received a placebo. This is another study that comes from the Women’s Health Initiative. If you are not familiar with the Women’s Health
Bio-identical progesterone is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and actually decreases the risk of breast cancer. Bio-identical progesterone is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke as compared to synthetic progestins like Provera and is more effective. Patients report more satisfaction and fewer side effects
Here is another part of the story from the famed Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trials which were prematurely discontinued when it was found that women using a combination of conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) and the progestin, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) increased the likelihood of breast cancer and heart disease.
Finally, authors who are willing to look at the “good news” results from the WHI and to look at the hormone that is actually causing the increase in breast cancer – it’s the progestin, not the estrogen. As the authors state this is old news, in the WHI it was clearly shown that women who took estrogen only did have a decreased risk of breast cancer. Even though as the authors state that overall the reduction did not reach clinical significance, the message that is important is that estrogen alone did not INCREASE the risk of breast cancer. The only group that showed an increased risk of breast cancer was the group where estrogens were combined with progestin (an artificial form of progesterone).
Once again physicians are looking at the WHI results and trying to justify the use of Premarin. One has to wonder, given all we know about how toxic this drug is, why do they continue to do so? I wonder if there is a financial incentive from the drug company that manufactures Premarin. I would be curious about who is funding their research. The WHI study used Premarin, a form of estrogen hormone replacement therapy (EHRT) derived from the urine of pregant mares. It is well known to increase the risk of breast cancer, blood clots, and do little to prevent age-related, degenerative diseases, such as dementia or osteoporosis.
I know that my patients and their friends are an internet and media savvy group. As such, I am sure they are aware of the recently released JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) article that dealt with the incidence of breast cancer in patients undergoing long-term follow-up in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) studies. This study was released several years ago after analyzing the results of giving hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the form of synthetic Progestins (progesterone-like molecules) and Estrogens (Premarin) derived from horse urine which are most definitely NOT the same as human estrogen. Ultimately the study was discontinued because of the statistically increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and uterine cancer. The most recent data analysis looks at the incidence of breast cancer and it's complications in women from the original study who were followed for an additional 4 years. The results showed that there was a significantly increased incidence of breast cancer as well as the metastatic consequences of those cancers in the women who were given the synthetic hormones.
In a new analysis of the women involved in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), researchers discovered that synthetic hormone replacement therapy used after menopause not only increased the risk of breast cancer in women, but also increased their risk of dying from the disease, when compared with women who did not receive treatment. These new findings were recently published in the October 20th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The WHI was a federally funded study that analyzed more than16,500 postmenopausal women who were given either hormone replacement therapy or a placebo.
The media spotlight has honed in on hormone therapy once again, after the most recent findings from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) were published in last Wednesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association and once again women all over the world were done a huge disservice.
There’s a lot of talk in the media regarding the dangers of hormone therapy. Apparently new studies have shown that hormone therapy is more dangerous than doctors originally thought. I’ve been using bioidentical hormones for 9 months now and I’m concerned that I might be putting myself at risk for breast cancer and heart disease. My doctor tells me that bioidentical hormones are different than the hormones that were used in the WHI trials and that there dangerous side effects aren’t as common because bioidentical hormones are naturally occurring. In your opinion, what makes bioidentical hormones safer and/or more effective than other forms of HRT?
Be sure to tune in to Good Company Today this Friday to watch bioidentical hormones expert, Dr. Gary Joseph sit down one-on-one with Good Company co-host Michael Cardamone.
BodyLogicMD Medical Director Jennifer Landa, M.D. weighs in on the recent NY Times article that accounted the experiences of middle-aged John Bellizzi (51) during andropause. The article demonstrated how integrative therapies can help men overcome symptoms of the male menopause, known as andropause.
A recent article in the NY Times discussed the dangers of synthetic hormonal drugs such as Premarin, Provera and the compounded form or the two, distributed under trade name Prempro. Ever since the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the FDA has come down pretty hard on companies for the manufacture and distribution of the drugs and with good reason. According to extensive studies, the use of synthetic hormonal treatments such as Premarin, although somewhat effective in treating symptoms associated with menopause, can often lead to health complications such as premature heart attacks, blood clots and breast cancer.
Some simple steps to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
"The medical establishment must stop kowtowing to drug companies and start serving women's best interests -- and that involves widely prescribing bioidentical hormones. This will lead to healthier, happier women and, in the long run, help reduce America's skyrocketing health-care costs."