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Women urged to avoid using HRT for menopause
Written by: Helen Branswell
Provided by: Canadian Press
Thursday, January 8, 2004
The Canadian Cancer Societyis urging women to avoid taking the combined form of hormone replacement therapyif they can help it.
The society waded into the murky waters of the HRT debate Thursday, saying the accumulation of evidence in the last 1½ years have made it overwhelmingly
clear the risks outweigh the benefits. "I believe it's a step beyond where the market is right now. We're actually telling women to avoid it unless
they've tried other things and they can't relieve their menopausal symptoms," said Heather Logan, director of cancer control policy.
"In Canada there's about five million women over the age of 50. Based on the results of the WHI study, if even 100,000 of those women take combined HRT for four years,
we'll end up with an additional 80 cases of breast cancer. That's a significant increase and we're concerned about it."
Surprisingly, this is the first position statement the society has issued since a landmark study on HRT was abruptly ended in July of 2002.
Themassive U.S. study into hormone replacement therapy, called the Women's Health Initiative, was scheduled to conclude in 2005. But the main arm - looking
at the use of combined estrogen-progestin by post-menopausal women - was halted early when the number of adverse events reached a pre-established threshold .
A smaller arm looking at the use of estrogen alone in women who've had a hysterectomy continues. The cancer society's recommendations do not relate to women using this form of HRT.
HRT did not improve quality of life, that women taking it were more likely to have abnormal mammograms and that it increased the risk of dementia among women over 65.
In the wake of the first report on the study's findings, the cancer society merely advised women they should discuss the benefits and risks of HRT with their doctors and make a decision based on that
But the additional evidence from the trial tipped the balance toward making a firm recommendation, Logan said.
"The increased risk of breast cancer is small, but it's real. Breast cancer is the most common cancer that women are diagnosed with in Canada, so any increase is of concern to us when we have a sense of what the cause is," she explained.
For years millions of women around the world took hormone replacement therapy on the advice of doctors who believed that in addition to relieving menopausal
symptoms it lowered a woman's risk of developing heart disease, dementia and osteoporosis.
But the study found some of those assumptions were false. In addition to raising a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer, combined HRT was found to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots.
The numbers weren't huge, but they were statistically significant. In the months since, women have been grappling with the difficult question of how to interpret the results for themselves.
Good Natural Alternative to Estrogen (HRT)
Concentrated Natural Flax Hulls is the best natural alternative to estrogen supplement. It provides the daily value of Vitamin B12 in the form of Cobalamin. Flax Hulls also boost
the body's immune system and a great dietary fibre supplement. Used in conjunction with LB17 "live" probiotic it is a great nutritional therapy to recover and maintain good health.
See below for a sample of Fortified Flax Hulls (1st pic) and Flax Hulls (2nd pic)
Each jar contains 180gm of fortified flax hulls or 150gm of flax hulls
The above information is provided for general
educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace competent
health care advice received from a knowledgeable healthcare professional.
You are urged to seek healthcare advice for the treatment of any
illness or disease.
Health Canada and the FDA (USA) have not evaluated these
statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent