How risky is Hormone Replacement therapy?
I am 45 and had a hysterectomy with one ovary removed when I was 41. I took a low dosage of HRT for two years and slowly reduced and stopped it. I am having severe menopause symptoms again and am miserable.Considering trying low dosage HRT again but worried about breast cancer risks. I am confused and weighing my options. What do you think about the risks versus the benefits of HRT?
It’s actually not that risky. And there are benefits to HRT that offset the risk of the HRT. And in the biggest study of HRT, done by the WHI in the early 2000s, they found that women who take premarin plus provera (Prempro):
For every 10,000 women taking Prempro, each year:
8 more will develop breast cancer
7 more will have a heart attack or other coronary event
8 more will have a stroke,
and 8 more will have blood clots in the lungs
That’s probably the thing you’ve been hearing about. BUT!!!!! they also found:
“After careful consideration of the data, NIH has concluded that with an average of nearly 7 years of follow-up completed, estrogen alone does not appear to affect (either increase or decrease) heart disease, a key question of the study. At the same time, estrogen alone appears to increase the risk of stroke and decrease the risk of hip fracture. It has not increased the risk of breast cancer during the time period of the study.”
You are not taking provera, because you do not have a uterus. You are only taking estrogen. And estrogen alone does not appear to increase risk of breast cancer!
Hormone replacement therapy…what are the risk?