Comprehensive Health and Hormone Assessment and Treatment

Hormone Replacement Therapy Reducing Cancer Risk and Mortality

Hormone Replacement Therapy Reducing Cancer Risk and Mortality

Even though you might not know it, your understanding of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is likely largely influenced by the Women’s Health Initiative, a 2002 study looking at estrogen and progestin therapy for post-menopausal women. 

Everyday, I talk to women struggling with menopausal symptoms, sometimes reluctant to try hormone replacement because they have been led to believe that it is potentially harmful or even dangerous. 

“In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen+progestin therapy results created lasting fears about hormone therapy (HT) despite later statistical corrections to the negative outcomes and another, less-publicized, WHI study in 2004 identifying several benefits for estrogen monotherapy.” – Medscape 

Meaning women may falsely believe that hormone replacement therapy is dangerous, despite ongoing evidence to the contrary. The findings of the WHI meant many patients stopped HRT, and many providers stopped recommending HRT. 

The current study (in pre-print) looks at hormone replacement as it relates to overall mortality and cancer risk.

They found significant reductions in mortality and the incidence of breast cancer, lung cancer, endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, and ovarian cancer with estrogen replacement therapy. That’s right, reductions in breast cancer! 

This study further highlights two things about HRT that have become exceedingly clear: the type of hormone administered and the route of administration both have notable impacts on safety outcomes. 

Hormones that are identical to our naturally produced sex hormones appear to be safer than synthetic hormones (like what’s in the birth control pill, for example). In addition, how you take your hormones matters. Both transdermal and vaginal estrogen preparations show better outcomes than oral hormone therapy.

These practices have largely already been adopted by physicians that work in the hormone field, including here are IHC, and this current study further validates these changes. 

The decision to start hormone replacement is still an individual one that should be made after thoughtful discussion with a provider up to date on the current best practices, well versed in HRT, and with a solid understanding of the possible risks and benefits.

To keep the discussion going, call 604-888-8325 to book you appointment.

You can read the full article here: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.05.25.22275595v1.full-text

Dr. Alanna Rinas, ND

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