Every time a new report comes claiming to clarify the risks versus benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), it only highlights how many unanswered questions that remain. It is basically still a guessing game.
The latest such report came out this week. This one was published in Cancer Epidemiloogy Biomarkers and Prevention. It highlighted a study done by researchers at the University of Southern California, called the California Teachers Study.
This study was done on women who used both estrogen and progestin unlike the WHI study done in 2002, where only estrogen was used.
It's also important to note that all of these studies on HRT and breast cancer are conducted using synthetic hormones. Synthetic hormones are made from a pregnant horse's urine, not the more natural bioidentical hormones that are available to all of us.
Susan Hankinson, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and senior editor of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention said "the findings show that even with the recent trials on HRT, there are still questions that remain. These results add new evidence that risk does vary by other personal characteristics,"
My fabulous woman's health expert, Dr. Laura Corio who will start blogging here in September had this is say about the study. "I tell my patients to be on the least amount of natural bioidentical hormones for the shortest period of time. Just enough to control menopausal symptoms." She also added, that no studies have been done with women who are on estrogen and a natural bioidentical progerstone. She doesn't understand why any doctor would prescribe synthetic hormones to their patients.
So my best advice to you is – if you have questions talk to your doctor. And, make sure your doctor is one who is comfortable explaining all of your HRT options. So many gynecologists stuck in the past, and now that your body is changing, it's very important that you have a physician who is willing to work with you going forward. This is not an easy time in a woman's life and we all need the support of a doctor who understands, like Dr. Corio. There are no one-size-fits-all fixes here – each one of us is different.
Don't be alarmed when you read all of these different studies. If history is a guide there will be another 10 studies to follow that will challenge these latest findings.