Warning about Hormone Replacement…even in short term

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

A new warning for post menopausal women who take hormone replacement therapy in the form of Prempro.  The treatment is already known to increase the chances of breast cancer and heart disease with long term use, now a new federal study suggests that even short term use can be deadly.  The study published in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that the hormone treatment doubles the chance of a woman dying.

Prempro contains a combination of estrogen from horse urine and a synthetic form of progesterone.  Researchers followed more than 12,000 women for over 11 years and concluded that deaths from breast cancer were more frequent among hormone users, even with short term use;  and those who used the therapy had larger, more aggressive tumors, which spread to lymph nodes.  They also had an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and pulmonary embolism.

Doctors have been prescribing the therapy for the treatment of menopause sysmptoms like hot flashes and night sweats but only in the short term – about 4 to 5 years.  They’re now rethinking that treatment plan.  This leaves women with few options when faced with the uncomfortable side effects of menopause.  Some have turned to bio-identical hormones with the belief that they are safer, but there’s not enough research to support that.  The message now is that women should stay away from hormone replacement therapy if possible, unless their symptoms are debilitating; and in those cases, they should only take the lowest dose for the shortest period of time, like 1 to 2 years.  Each case should be discussed individually with your physician.

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