The news isn’t good for women looking to begin or resume hormone replacement therapy (HRT), such as Prempro, to offset menopause symptoms. A new report shows increased links between HRT and recurring breast cancer. The study’s results only increase the weight of initial evidence announced three years ago, linking the hormones estrogen and progestogen to higher cancer risks.
The study tested the effects of HRT for post-menopausal women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. In the first trial, women receiving both estrogen and progestogen showed an increased risk of breast cancer in comparison to women not receiving hormones. A second trial, where women received only estrogen in relation to those who didn’t receive any drugs, fared better with no increased risk of breast cancer.
The results offer more evidence that a combined use of estrogen and progestogen elevate the risk of breast cancer, however, more studies must be done to research the safety of estrogen-only therapies.
The studies don’t bode well for women who initially stopped taking hormone therapy drugs back in 2002 when the news of the drugs’ dangerous side effects broke, but returned to taking hormone drugs as a last resort for severe menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings. Medical authorities recommend using the smallest estrogen dose possible for those women who use the therapy as a last resort.