Confirmed: A link between breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy

Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon has confirmed it: hormone replacement therapy that was so popular only a few years ago then was stopped suddenly did, in fact, have links to breast cancer, and was not, as many suggested, just because of the increase in the use of mammography that caught more cases of breast cancer.

But does hormone therapy-once touted as being heart-healthy and preventing bone-thinning osteoporosis-offer any benefits? “To get rid of hot flashes and to make it through the night, it’s probably a reasonable thing,” Berry says. “But don’t count on it having any long-term beneficial effects.”

Glass stresses that there are other treatments for cardiovascular and bone health that are more effective and less risky. “The only reason to take…[hormones]…now is for menopausal symptoms,” he says, “and it should be the smallest dose for the shortest time.”

It’s just one more example of how no treatment is often the safest and most effective treatment.

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