I know that many if not all of you have heard that more information is being released about hormone replacement therapy, the incidence of breast cancer, and the severity/increased mortality from breast cancer in women who have taken HRT. The LA Times had an article about it this morning, and so has almost every other newspaper in the country. What the articles do not tell you is that the HRT in the Women's Health Initiative study is NOT bioidentical.
I believe in going to the expert in these matters, and so I am sharing with you what my own physician, Dr. John Carr, has to say on the subject (this will be up on his Facebook page later this evening, and I am very grateful to him for allowing me to share it on this blog):
In the news today are more reports about data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), that terribly flawed study that continues to confuse women and, quite frankly, irritate me.
Here is the conclusion from the current JAMA article:
"Estrogen plus progestin was associated with greater breast cancer incidence, and the cancers are more commonly node-positive. Breast cancer mortality also appears to be increased with combined use of estrogen plus progestin."
I do not dispute the data-we have know for YEARS that this combination of horse urine (what they refer to as estrogen) and medroxprogesterone (a drug, NOT bio-identical progesterone) increases the risk of breast cancer.
The WHI simply confirmed results from several other studies demonstrating that a synthetic progestin significantly increases the risk breast cancer, heart attack and stroke. It is a DRUG. Drugs have side effects. All of them do.
The only conclusion from this study should be to never to use synthetic horse urine (unless you are a horse) or medroxyprogesterone.
The irony of all of this is that these drugs are still on the market and prescribed by doctors every day to unknowing women. On Good Morning America they said you should not stop these medications without consulting with your doctor. I completely disagree. You have to ask yourself why they are even still available, right? Ask your congressman about that. And about cigarettes.
The bottom line is that the data from these drug trials cannot be extended to the use of bio-identical hormones that have been in your body your entire life.
HRT, which stands for Hormone Replacement Therapy, is a bad term. We should not be REPLACING human estrogen or progesterone with horse urine and synthetics. Instead, our goal should be to OPTIMIZE natural hormones to healthy levels on an individual basis.