Suzanne Somers was on Oprah talking about bio-identical hormone (estrogen and progestine) replacement therapy (BHRT) instead of hormone replacement therapy.(HRT).
blog…oprah.com/community/thread/100054?start=0&tstart=0 (Many women have had hysterectomies.)
Articles immediately appeared in U.S. New and World Reports,etc…
Since the release in 2002 of a Women’s Health Initiative report, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – used to relieve symptoms of menopause – has generated worrisome, and sometimes conflicting, headlines. While linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer and fractures, the therapy has also been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots and heart attack. And – so far, at least – there are no indications that HRT has any effect on the development of dementia.
Here are some points the FDA says to keep in mind:
• Approved hormone therapies are available by prescription only.
• Bio-identicals will have the same risks as the products they’re identical to – namely a heightened risk of breast cancer and serious heart problems. There may be other, as-yet-unknown risks, as well.
• Beware of claims that bio-identical products can be made based on hormone levels measured from a woman’s saliva sample. Hormone levels fluctuate constantly. Saliva tests, which are FDA-approved, aren’t specific enough to determine drug dosages.
• No drug containing the hormone estriol (the weakest of the three estrogens produced by the body) has been approved by the FDA. Only prescribers who have an investigational new drug (IND) application can compound drugs with estriol.
• In general, when using approved hormone-replacement therapies, the FDA and health-care professionals recommend using the lowest dose possible for the shortest period needed.
Study finds link between hormone replacement therapy, breast cancer risk
05:30 PM PST on Thursday, February 5, 2009
By JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News
A new study confirms what many have suspected: that the recent drop in breast cancer cases is because women are stopping hormone replacement therapy. It makes the strongest cause yet that HRT causes breast cancer.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center researchers co-authored the study.
Valerie Marcon was part of the women’s health initiative study that came to an abrupt halt in 2002.
“I never worried about the medication being harmful,” she said.
In hindsight, perhaps she should have been concerned. The study showed that women on combination hormone therapy - taking estrogen and progestin - were at much higher risk for breast cancer………
“A reduction by about 15,000 or 20,000 breast cancer cases per year in the country, a reduction that we see, a rather quick reduction could explain a majority of that within a couple of years if women stopping taking these hormones,” said Prentice.
So what does this mean for women who have uncomfortable side effects from menopause?
“I think the advice to women, to use a low dose in as short period of time as possible is quite sensible of overall benefits and risks, but for breast cancer we really can’t say there is a safe period or a safe dose,” said Prentice.
**The study is published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.