He was not involved in the study. The new data shows that the risk for breast cancer begins to increase with as little as one to four years of HRT use. For women taking five years of HRT starting at age 50, one in every 50 users of continuous estrogen-progestogen therapy develops breast cancer over a year period than would have otherwise.
Even after stopping HRT, that increased risk can persist for more than 10 years.
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On the brighter side, use of HRT for less than one year or use of vaginal estrogen creams alone were not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. On average, women use HRT for approximately two to three years, but the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that women use the lowest dose of hormones for the shortest period of time to minimize both breast cancer risk and risk of blood clots. Determining what exactly the HRT doses and regimens should be is challenging, and this study gives doctors a bit more guidance. Women who take HRT can either take estrogen alone or estrogen in combination with a progestogen.
For women who still have their uterus, estrogen causes excess growth of the uterine lining as an unwanted side effect, so they need to take a progestogen to balance out this effect. But there are different ways to take progestogens and there are different kinds. The study showed that women who take cyclic progestogens have a slightly lower risk of breast cancer compared to women taking progestogens every day. Breast cancer: Know the facts Risks and benefits of HRT The research, published in the journal The Lancet on Thursday, found that risks increased steadily the longer the hormone replacement therapy was used, and were greater for estrogen-progestogen hormone therapies than for estrogen-only hormone therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Every type of hormone replacement therapy, except for vaginal estrogens, was associated with excess breast cancer risks. The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55, causing symptoms to appear due to changes in the body's production of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Sometimes women take hormone replacement therapy , also called HRT or menopausal hormone therapy, to help relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, pain during sex and vaginal dryness. Those symptoms can be mild in some women but can impact the wellbeing of others.
The hormones most commonly used to treat symptoms of menopause are estrogen and progesterone.
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The new research was based on an analysis of data from 58 previously published studies on hormone replacement therapy, which included more than , postmenopausal women with invasive breast cancer. Hormone replacement therapy tied to Alzheimer's risk, study says, but experts urge caution. The researchers found that for women of average weight in Western countries, five years of using estrogen plus a daily progestogen hormone therapy, starting at age 50, was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer up to age Specifically, the research suggests that the estimated incidence of breast cancer at ages 50 to 69 was tied to an increased risk -- from 6.
The role of hormones in our bodies Estrogens: Estradiol E2 , Estrone E1 , Estriol E3 Responsible for: growth and function of reproductive organs, maintaining healthy bones, increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, and impacting cardiovascular health Progesterone: Responsible for: normal menstrual cycle, breast development and maintaining pregnancy Testosterone Expressed in lower levels in women Responsible for: Energy, memory, muscle structure, libido What happens to hormone levels in menopause?
Testosterone replacement for men How does HRT work? Systemic: for women with hot flashes Topical: for women with vulvovaginal atrophy only Guideline recommendations for pharmacologic management of menopausal symptoms:.
Once and for all: Hormone replacement is good for women - Los Angeles Times
Combined estrogen and progestin arm included 16, women 2. Estrogen-only arm enrolled 10, women Risk of VTE Venous Thromboembolism and stroke increases with oral MHT Menopausal Hormone Therapy containing estrogen, but the absolute risk is low in women below 60 years of age. Based on observational studies, transdermal MHT and low-dose oral estrogen therapy appear to have a lower risk of VTE and stroke compared to standard-dose oral estrogen regimens. Menopausal hormone therapy is contraindicated in women with a personal history of breast cancer.
The risk of MHT-related breast cancer appears to be associated with the addition of progestogen to estrogen and increases after 5 or more years of continuous combined use. However, use of estrogen alone appears to decrease rather than increase breast cancer risk.