Archive for the ‘HORMONE REPLACEMENT’ Category

The WHI trial results of 2002 concluded that the risks of using HRT outweighed the benefits. But industry had too much to lose. Like the contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy was one of the biggest money spinners of all time and history had shown that healthy older women are a target group easily convinced.  So as the years have gone by the risks of cancer heart attack and stroke have been downplayed and the possible benefits to bone and menopause management enthusiastically revisited. Although many women have stopped using HRT, some have continued and others returned, reassured by their doctors that the risks are minimal.

But the damning evidence keeps coming…

Further analysis of the WHI trial has found that taking combined oestrogen plus progestin longer than 5-years nearly doubles subsequent breast cancer risk each year. [i]  And among current smokers using combined HRT there was an increased risk for death from non-small-cell lung cancer. It was reported that 1 in 100 current smokers experienced an avoidable death during the 8 years of the study. The death rate among women who had been most regular with their HRT during the trial was 53 percent higher in the hormone group than in the placebo group. [ii]

A Dutch study published in February 2009 found that women taking HRT for more than six months at a time are twice as likely to have a malignant melanoma. The investigation, one of the largest ever carried out on oestrogen use and malignant melanomas, found a sharp increase in risk.[iii]

A study published in the journal Cancer in March 2009 reports that breast cancer risk increases steadily during the first three years of hormone therapy and the combination of oestrogen and progesterone is the HRT regimen most likely to be the source of that danger.[iv]   In addition, women who used oestrogen for 10 years or longer had a 50 percent increase in risk of invasive lobular breast cancer.


A Nationwide Danish prospective cohort study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July 2009 concluded that regardless of the duration of use, the formulation oestrogen dose, regimen, progestin type, and route of administration, hormone therapy was associated with an increased risk for ovarian cancer. [v]


More dodgy science

Physicians rely on medical literature to keep abreast of safety profiles. A colleague’s name on a peer-reviewed article gives confidence when making prescribing decisions. But it has come to light that over several years Wyeth pharmaceuticals hired medical ghost-writers to create favourable articles about HRT that would later add the name of a reputable physician, giving the appearance that they were the writer. A New York Times article ‘Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy’ of August 4th  documents the practice which is also known to be used by other pharmaceutical companies.  Earlier this year it came to light that Merck went so far as to create a fake medical journal called The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine in order to promote Vioxx and Fosamax.  World osteoporosis authorities were named on the editorial board, giving great credibility to what was nothing but a marketing tool. Unsuspecting doctors receiving the literature would be hard pushed to see through the deception.



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The truth about HRT

Survey after survey has linked hormone replacement therapy to cancer, strokes, blood clots and heart disease. Why, then, are so many women so relaxed about using it? And why do some doctors insist that the dangers are exaggerated? Sarah Boseley from the Guardian investigates. Wednesday June 6, 2007 (more…)

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It is truly astonishing, and most heartening. Breast cancer incidence continues to decline. Some 30,000 fewer women developed breast cancer in the US in 2003 and 2004 – the lowest rate since 1987 and something that few doubt is directly aligned to the decline in HRT use since that time. Of note, estrogen receptor postive tumours – those most likely to be affected by HRT use – have declined by a massive 14.7 percent. 

 HRT is much in the news. Two weeks ago a flurry of articles in the media announced that it appeared to be safe afterall for younger women in the ten years after menopause. It wasn’t true of course.    (more…)

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by Amy Allina and Adriane Fugh-Berman
In the wake of the recent news about the risks of estrogen/progestin hormone replacement therapy (HRT), many women are looking to so-called “natural” or “bioidentical” hormone preparations in the hope of finding a safer alternative to the synthetic hormones contained in conventional regimens. “Natural” may refer to hormones made from natural substances; “natural” or “bioidentical” may also refer to hormones that match those in the human body. Manufacturers of these alternative products have leaped into the fray to promote their hormone preparations as better and safer than HRT. (more…)

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Evidence for serious risks associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has left women struggling to interpret conflicting advice from their doctors and the media. A series of large studies over the past two years has shown that HRT doubles the risks of breast cancer and makes those who suffer from such a cancer less likely to survive. It also significantly increases the risk of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks, and doubles the risk of dementia in women over the age of 65. (more…)

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