What About Side Effects?

July 18, 2019
What About Side Effects? TRUTH ABOUT HORMONES AND BREAST CANCER Another worry is side effects of hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer. “Most experts in the medical field today would agree that hormones might influence breast cancer, but do not cause breast cancer. Breast cancer originates in a mutation.” – Dr. Leon Speroff, MD, NCMP Professor Emeritus, OB/GYN, Oregon Health & Science University; Hot Flash Havoc We agree, there’s a lot of data to sift through. But whose information should you believe? Cancer treatment is big business. What else can you read? Dr. Mahmud has practical ways to prevent breast cancer for women. And then there’s the Women’s Health Initiative Study that scared everyone. “In 2002, a study conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative on synthetic hormones was halted early due to reportedly perceived adverse and serious side effects.”23 Did you know that doctors misunderstood the WHI findings? Many women (who’ve already had hysterectomies) have shared their fears and concerns. Their doctors put them on, and then took them off hormones. Often many times and with the risks and side effects for osteoporosis, heart disease, and breast cancer. In 2013, an article written by the Yale School of Medicine was in the American Journal of Public Health and reported in Yale News. 24 The Yale study said because these women - aged 50 to 69 who have had a hysterectomy - stopped using estrogen therapy (after the scare of the 2002 WHI study) it led to almost 50,000 unnecessary deaths. Before the WHI report came out, the Yale study estimated that 90% of these women took estrogen to control hot flashes, prevent osteoporosis, and treat other diseases related to hormone deficiency. Fast forward ten years to 2013. Now only 10% of these same women take estrogen therapy. The remaining women put their lives at risk over wrong data. The Yale study ends with: The truth is that for women without a uterus, estrogen-only therapy may be life-saving. Women who took estrogen had fewer deaths each year for 10 years and were less likely to develop breast cancer and heart disease than those who took a placebo.”25 “Distortion of details can prove to be nothing less than lethal. The Women’s Health Initiative findings need to be presented so that they very important differences between the two treatment modalities are emphasized and the benefits for hysterectomized women aged 50 to 59 years are appreciated. This effort has clearly been inadequate to date.” We do understand the fears about breast cancer. Many of us know women who’ve died from breast cancer in their mid-fifties. And what about women who’ve had a complete hysterectomy in their early thirties? It’s interesting that when we're young we're put on synthetic hormones - birth control pills. Some women are on them for years, sometimes decades. If hormones caused cancer, why is it okay before menopause but not after?    
  1. National Institutes of Health, News Release, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/science/womens-health-initiative-whi
  2. Yale News, July 18, 2013. https://news.yale.edu/2013/07/18/women-hysterectomies-estrogen-may-be-lifesaver-after-all
  3. Yale News, July 18, 2013. https://news.yale.edu/2013/07/18/women-hysterectomies-estrogen-may-be-lifesaver-after-all