The concern about a connection between Hormone Therapy (HT) and breast cancer is a complex and frequently misunderstood subject.
Reports in the media are often sensationalized and misleading.
For example: In July 2002 the initial findings of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) showed a 20% increase in breast cancers in women taking a combination of estrogen and progestin when compared to the placebo group.
In a panic, many women stopped their hormones.
Unreported was a group of women taking estrogen alone, which did not show an increase. Seven-year follow-up, published Fall 2004, actually showed a decrease in breast cancers.
Hormone therapy may increase the chance of certain women to have a blood clot or stroke.
The choice to start HT is one that should be individualized and based on a thorough discussion of risks and benefits.
The patient and her physician will explore both her personal and family histories in detail.
In addition to treating menopausal symptoms, HT has been shown to decrease the risk of osteoporosis and colon cancer.
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