An exciting major new study has found that taking hormone replacement therapy to counter the symptoms of menopause does not increase a woman’s risk of early death. Researchers in the early 2000s discovered a link between women taking HRT for over five years and a higher risk of cancer. It even detailed how patients could be more at risk to develop heart diseases due to increased chances of strokes and clotting. Due to this published study, it came as no surprise that, the amount of woman who decided to take hormone replacement therapy dropped drastically. Why would you want to combat the symptoms of menopause just to develop life-threatening cancer?
But the recent follow-up study which involved the original 27,000 patients has debunked this claim. The new study has found there to be no difference in mortality rates between women who had HRT and women who only took the placebo. By tracking the patients for over 10 years after they had quit taking the drug, researchers from Harvard University were able to determine that the hormone medicine was not connected with any extra risk of death from cancer or heart disease.
In fact, the study went on to detail the protective effects that HRT is able to bring to the table. Estrogen, for example, is a component that is highly protective and helps reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. However, the therapy needs to be taken for the correct reasons and at the right age. For example, women less than age 60 who begin HRT with estrogen are less prone to heart attacks as it helps reduce clotting. Hormones are not a forever medicine and regular appointments with your gynecologist are needed to ensure the treatment stays safe.
A sigh of relief?
Experts around the globe have confirmed the findings in the new study are very positive. It provides doctors with the reassurance they are not suggesting a bad treatment plan for their patients. It also gives patients the confidence that the drugs they are taking are safe for their body. And hopefully, the new study will dispel some of the myths that hormone replacement therapy was causing cancer!