A new study published in the JAMA not only conclusively links hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with an increased risk of breast cancer but found the correlation is worse than first thought. Women on combined oestrogen and progesterone HRT were more likely to have larger tumours, were often hard to treat and were more likely to have spread to their lymph nodes. But the new shock was that their risk of dying from breast cancer appeared greater, than other post-menopausal women with the condition.
This is the latest evidence to emerge in the eight years since the initial HRT/cancer connection was made, strengthening and expanding on the initial concerns about the drugs.
Yet despite the initial drop off in prescriptions for HRT after the Women’s Health Initiative raised the alarm bells, many Australian GPs have reverted back to writing scripts for the drug. Some Integrative medicine GPs prescribe “bio-identical hormones” (BHRT) but there has been no studies to prove these are safer, though it is known that some women on BHRT develop breast cancer.
There are safe, alternative ways of treating negative symptoms of menopause using herbs, diet, stress reduction techniques and lifestyle.